Event Marketing Trends for 2020

Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Not too long ago, I was sitting here writing about 2019’s social media event marketing tips. Although those tips still hold true, 2020 has brought with it certain event promotion challenges that event managers need to keep in mind.

Event promotion is no longer just about having a strong social media presence but also making efforts on other platforms such as TVs, physical banners and public awareness. Here, I’ve listed some marketing trends to keep in mind when spreading the word of your next big event.

Event Marketing in 2020

Using Existing Clientele to Spread Word of Mouth

One of the most important things to remember on your event promotion ventures is that you don’t have to go at it alone. If this isn’t your first rodeo, there are sure to be some past attendees who were so impressed by your last event that they won’t miss your next one for the world.

Use that to your advantage.

The secret is to spread your hands far and wide to look for potential attendees, but to keep it subtle at the same time. There’s no need to be obnoxious or over-the-top, else you risk offending your audience.

You can incentivize audiences to bring their friends, families, and co-workers to the event with an award of some sort, be it a shout-out, perhaps a goodie bag or a free sample of your product. This is great not only for promoting your event, but also to help you increase brand awareness.

“Humanistic” Content

It’s not enough to just create personalized content, it needs to show how much you care about your event as well. It needs to have a human feel to make sure it connects and enhances engagement.

For example, a tagline that says:

 “The 2020 ‘Relaxing’ event will help you relieve stress and get rid of negativity”

might speak to audiences, but not as convincingly and engagingly as:

“Experience serenity and find your true self at the 2020 ‘Relaxing’ event by rooting out negative thoughts and stress factors.”

Yes, I know this might not be a perfect statement, but it does sound much better than the first, more robotic one, doesn’t it? Incorporate your banners, social media posts, advertisements, and other event promotion ventures with this type of content and you’ll see a significant increase in people who want to attend! More descriptive, the more attractive.

Different types of content you can use include;

  • Videos
  • Readable content
  • Newsletters
  • Banners

Art Installations – Targeted and Random (Now I love these!)

I’m using the word ‘random’ here very loosely.

Even the most random marketing tactic is supposed to lead back to you, otherwise why bother? One of the best ways to attract attendee attention is by using art installations. Let’s discuss the targeted ones first.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Marketing Tactic

From a large burger spilled on the road to a huge VR hot-air balloon, art-marketing literally comes in various shapes and sizes. For example, for the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) Sony did something similar. The idea of the movie is that food rains from the sky, and Sony played with it and incorporated installations around the city in the shape of huge fallen ice cream and a huge burger on top of stairs.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Marketing Tactic

This was effective, and invited many foodies to cinemas across the city to watch the masterpiece.

You can do something similar for your event and based on your budget, you could either go for one huge installation or numerous across the city.

Anonymous Marketing

As for random art installations, we must talk about the large, 8-foot tall Lego man that washed up on a beach on Florida on 25th October 2011. The Lego man had “NO REAL THAT YOU ARE” printed on its shirt. Although LEGO® denied any involvement; it did help the world recognize the brand even more.

If you can’t go for something like that, perhaps an online puzzle can help attract puzzle-solvers to your event. Of course, you are going to have to put in a reward at the end for those who solve it and put in information about your event somewhere, so it might not be as random.

With the ease and accessibility offered by smartphones, everyone likes taking photo. Art installations are a great way to make your audience want to take pictures, all while spreading the word about your event.

Virtual Experiential Marketing (VEM)

When it comes to VEM, there is no cookie-cutter policy for this. It’s all about enhancing your audience’s digital experience either by offering readable content, interactive videos, infographics, e-books, or any other type of media.

One common example of this is a Customer Relation Management (CRM) system that offers web-based live chat platforms. The idea is to target five core elements:

  • Sense
  • Interaction
  • Pleasure
  • Flow
  • Community relationship.

If you’re successful at stimulating any four of the five elements, the last one will follow automatically. We recommend using the 7Cs framework for this;

  • Content
  • Customization
  • Customer Care
  • Communication
  • Community
  • Convenience

Advocacy

Millennial and Generation Z are more inclined towards the ‘greater good’ or ‘social good’ that simply partying. They expect brands to advocate a good cause. This plays an important role in event marketing in 2020.

Even promotion isn’t just about letting the world know your products or services are out there, but is about helping people understand that value that comes with your products as well.

For example, two ads about the same milk brand, one that simply tells customers that this milk is out there and another that boasts about its organic make and positive impact on the environment are going to perform very differently.

The one that promotes the greater good (the second one) is bound to be more appealing to audiences.

Introduce Challenges

This is where you target Generation Z alone.

While Generation X and Millennials aren’t as keen on challenges, Generation Z is somewhat more, dare we say, competitive.

Respective of what you aim to promote, you can create a challenge on social media platforms and perhaps offer gifts at your event to those who complete it.

You’d be surprised at how much effort people are willing to put in for prizes. It’s not about what you get, it’s about the applause and feeling of accomplishment people get that keeps them going. Challenges also create a unique, shareable experience for your attendees, apart from serving as an icebreaker at your event.

Capitalizing on event marketing trends is a great way to promote your event and maximize the impact of your events, be it for brand awareness, business ventures, or simply to promote social welfare.  

Always remember to keep your marketing ideas fresh and target them to the right audiences. Here’s to an exciting 2020!

Author
David Yakas
Managing Director
Wrapped Creations

Selecting The Perfect Event Hashtag

When hosting an event, your goal is to make the most of your marketing campaigns. You want to reach out to a large target audience, which increases the number of attendees.

Out of all the tools available, social media sites are one of the best platforms, given the fact that they have hundreds of millions of users. With the right marketing campaigns, you can ensure your event has the attention of the right target audience.

To improve the reach of your events, you need to use hashtags. They are words or phrases, which help users on social media view all related posts. From this, it is quite clear that hashtags are powerful marketing tools when you use them correctly.

However, the challenge is that you need to come up with a unique and new one, which captures the attention of your audience. You want to make sure the one you create is the perfect one for your event.

Since you are in the event management industry, you can’t rely on trial and error, to see which one works best.

What to do before selecting the perfect event hashtag?

Before you start thinking about which hashtags to use for your events, you need to make sure you know your target audience. The people who are going to attend your event should be ready to use your hashtag in their social media posts.

If a younger demographic is going to be a part of your events, it makes perfect sense to use hashtags. After all, these people love using social media, which is why they will use the key phrases you provide all the time.

The second step is to find out what your competitors are using for their event hashtags. Find out the success rates of these keywords and how often event management companies use them. When you perform this type of research, it will help save a lot of time.

If you don’t know how to keep track of the key performance indicators of hashtags, you can always use tools. They provide the necessary analytics, which will give you the complete picture of how well it performs.

Characteristics of the perfect event hashtag

How do you know whether the event hashtag you created is the best one for your event. Go through this list of characteristics, to understand if you are on the right path:

Catchy

One of the traits of every successful hashtag on social media is that they are catchy. You want the attendees who come to your events to remember the keyword, after hearing/seeing it for the first time.

Your attendees and guests should be ready to use the hashtag without any hesitation. However, there isn’t any formula or secret tips which will help you find out whether it is memorable. You can ask your friends and peers what they think about the hashtag you created, to understand whether it is catchy or not.

Relevant

While you are making sure the hashtag sounds as catchy as possible, it should be relevant to the theme of your event. All the guests and attendees should know what it refers to, the moment you inform them about it.

It tends to be challenging with you and your team members having to channel those creative juices with these restrictions in mind. One place where you can start is to make an acronym of the name of your event.

Short

You don’t want to use an event hashtag which consists of characters in double digits. The reason is that it becomes challenging for the attendees and guests to remember them. Also, when it takes up a lot of space, Twitter users won’t be able to provide additional details about your events.

The trick is to make it short, while being powerful simultaneously. People will be able to use it all the time, making it a great marketing tool.

Simple

A golden rule when it comes to selecting hashtags for your events is that it should be simple. If you create a complex one which is hard to remember, there is a high chance the guests and attendees won’t use it. It defeats the purpose, if you select one which is a mouthful for everyone.

Always keep it as simple as possible, so that people feel like using it. If you feel it is quite difficult, try using a new one, which is easy to remember and use. Imagine how it will be, if people ask you about your hashtag constantly.

Unique

The hashtag you create for your event should be unique. It doesn’t make any sense if it is quite common or related to another event. When people start to check the discussion for your hashtag and find unrelated posts, it becomes confusing.

You want people to know that it is your event. Once you create a hashtag, make sure you check whether it is already in use. If you come back with nothing, it is the green signal to go ahead and use it in all your marketing campaigns.

What should you do while selecting the perfect hashtag?

If you try to create a hashtag for your event by yourself, you are going to find it an uphill task. There is a high chance you will face a mental block, which makes everything challenging. Also, you may not come up with enough catchy phrases, making it harder to select the right one.

The best way to create and select the perfect hashtag is to have brainstorming sessions. Ask people for ideas, which will help your team come up with diverse phrases. The next step will be to check if it has the characteristics to become successful, before asking other people what they think about it. You should ask people who aren’t in your business about their opinions of your event’s hashtag. If you are still finding it challenging to create hashtags, there are tools which will help you do the same.

The second step is to perform adequate research about the hashtag. After all, you don’t want your event to be lost in a myriad of unrelated posts. It is a simple process, and you can type the hashtag you selected in the search bar of any social media site. If you don’t find any results, you are good to go.

What to do once you select the perfect event hashtag?

Once you complete all the above steps, you are ready to use your event hashtag. Make sure you include it all your marketing campaigns to create the hype for your events. At the same time, ask your followers to use it in their posts and stories.

Every time you post a picture or video about your event, make sure you include it. You can make sure it is present in your posters and pamphlets. Also, you can create small signs and stick it in the bars, tables, and other items that people will use.

Make sure you engage with the people who add your hashtag to their posts. Like and comment on them, so that it encourages users to continue using them. The best part about creating the perfect event hashtag is that it gives you a lot of content you can use in the future. You can repurpose them after your events come to an end, which is a great form of marketing.

The process of selecting the perfect event hashtag is going to be a piece of cake, if you follow the instructions in this guide. When you use it properly, it boosts the visibility of your event. You can generate immense amounts of buzz about your event, which will work wonders for the attendance rates. Although it seems like such a small thing to pay attention to, the right event hashtag is a powerful marketing tool.

It gives the target audience a space where they can come together and talk about your event. Also, it is a cost-effective tool, once it becomes popular. The reason is that people will continue to use it all the time, ensuring a large number of users get to know about your events!

Author
David Yakas
Managing Director
Wrapped Creations

Marketing Your Event on Social Media

When it comes to spreading the word about your events, nothing is more powerful than social media platforms. These sites have millions of users, giving you the opportunity to reach out to a huge audience, unlike conventional marketing tactics.

Social media is an incredible tool in the event management industry because of its diverse use cases. It is also a great place to innovate and engage with your target audience. However, you need to have a sound strategy when it comes to making the most of these platforms.

Without a plan, it is hard to keep your target audience engaged, which is crucial in the marketing world. It is no longer enough for a large number of users to know about your event.

Only when you go the extra mile, will you be able to reap the benefits of your efforts, especially while using social media for marketing. Below is a guide which will help you with this path, ensuring excellent results for promoting your events:

Determine which social media platforms to use

There are several social media platforms to choose from – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Each site comes with a diverse user base and unique features to interact and engage with your target audience.

For example, Instagram is famous for visual content, which means that you need to focus on creating eye-catchy images and videos. Similarly, Facebook allows you to create groups and target them with specific advertisements.

If your events are for professionals, LinkedIn is the best place to advertise about it. You need to take a look at the type of crowd your event will attract, which will help in selecting appropriate platforms. Also, when you don’t have a lot of resources at your disposal, spreading yourself thin can create a lot of problems.

Develop and use a unique hashtag

Hashtags are important on social media platforms and you can use them to create significant amounts of hype for your events. While creating this keyword, you can let your imagination run wild and come up with excellent ideas.

Make sure that you keep the hashtag small and relevant to your event. After you create this unique keyword, you need to make sure you use it in all your posts. Whether you are talking to potential attendees or uploading videos, it is essential to include this hashtag.

Even during the events, you need to make sure everyone uses this unique keyword. Display it in as many areas as possible in your venue and inform the attendees to use it.

Host a competition

Engaging with your target audience is crucial, especially in the event management industry. When you post on social media, you want your followers to share it, so that you can reach out to a larger target audience.

One way to do so is to create a competition on a platform of your choice. For example, you can hand out free tickets to specific people of your target audience for coming up with a great hashtag. You can also ask users to share a specific post, and the one with the most likes and comments will get a discount on tickets. The more unique and creative the competition, the more exposure you’ll likely find your competition will receive,

Infographics are your friend

You only have a couple of seconds to capture the attention of your target audience, especially on social media. Due to this reason, creating bite-sized information is an excellent technique you can use, to achieve the same.

Enter infographics, a type of content which will leave your target audience wanting for more, after they go through it. Make sure the information you provide is relevant to event and you can place various call-to-action buttons, enticing the users to learn more.

Although it takes a lot of time to create infographics, there are several templates available online, which cuts down the amount of effort required significantly and best of all heaps of them are free!

Make use of advertisements

When you post on various social media platforms, you will only be able to reach a portion of your target audience. By running advertisements, you can overcome this obstacle and market to a greater number of users.

Social media ads are powerful tools when your event management company uses them correctly. It gives you granular control, which you can use to fine tune the advertisements. For example, you can target users based on their interests, online behaviour, gender, age, and activity.

Make sure you include eye-catchy visuals in your advertisements so that it compels users to go through the content. Try to keep the text as short as possible since people don’t want to spend time reading ads. End every advertisement with a strong call-to-action, directing users towards your event page so that they can talk more about the conference.

Respond to your target audience

When using social media for marketing, you should be ready to go out of your way to communicate with users – at the end of the day they want to connect with you. There will be several guests who need to clarify their doubts about your event as soon as possible and socal media is the perfect avenue for it.

As people can use social media 24/7, the target audience expects you to respond within a couple of hours. It is understandable that you may not be able to do so, especially when you pack up for the day. In this situation, you can use a chatbot which will reply to users or automate the process with a different tool.

The key takeaway is that you never leave the people who contact you hanging. People are looking for fast response and the more prompt you are, the more likely they are to attend the event. If you find it challenging, you can always ask a professional to take over.

Show behind-the-scenes videos and images

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow you to create stories by uploading videos and images. When your followers use these sites, they will go through your content.

Behind-the-scenes for your events are a great way to generate hype and excitement among the target audience. The reason it works so well is that the attendees feel like they are looking at one of your many secrets.

At the same time, it acts as a reminder that your event is coming up. While you are preparing for your show, make sure you take plenty of pictures and videos and share them on various social media platforms.

Use countdowns and teasers to generate hype

Generating interest in your event is crucial to get the attendees excited to be a part of the show. Countdowns and teasers are excellent ways to create hype and pique the curiosity of the attendees. They want to learn more and will continue talking about it, which is excellent marketing for your events.

For instance, if you are getting an incredible entertainer, you can use this to your advantage. In the first two-three days, you can ask the target audience to guess the special guest. Once it generates enough excitement, reveal the name of the individual. You can use similar techniques, to keep the target audience interested till the day of the event.

The final tip

When you use social media for marketing your events, make sure you keep track of your performance. The data you collect will give you a deeper understanding of the shortcomings in your campaign. As a result, you will be able to make the necessary changes to ensure your marketing efforts have a stronger impact.

Author
David Yakas
Managing Director
Wrapped Creations