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5 Steps for an Essential Event Marketing Plan

October 10, 2022 | By Chris Caudle

There are many ways to market a variety of events, from festivals, fairs and concerts to trade shows and conferences. Outlined below are the five essential steps for a successful event marketing plan.

  1. Create your event ticketing site.
  2. Develop a marketing plan and schedule.
  3. Secure local partnerships.
  4. Support a good cause.
  5. Take advantage of free social media marketing.

Step One: Create your event ticketing site.

 Make sure your event ticketing site has all relevant details, and the content is optimized for SEO.

  • Include FAQs on the event ticketing site so buyers’ concerns are addressed and they remain on your site.
  • Set all your ticket types in advance (e.g., Early Bird, Regular Price, Day of Price).
  • If there is a schedule of ticket pricing, post it in the event details to create a sense of urgency.
  • Drive all advertising and promotion directly to your ticketing site URL.

Step Two: Develop a marketing plan and schedule.

Set reminders in your calendar of tasks to complete and each team member’s responsibilities. These tasks can include:

  • Press releases
  • Discovery site(s) event listings
  • Social media organic posts and contests
  • Updating hashtags
  • Partner outreach via social and email marketing
  • Blogs and guest blogs
  • Email marketing
  • SEM: Search engine marketing (e.g., Google Ads)
  • Display advertising and retargeting
  • Facebook pixel retargeting
  • Paid social media (e.g., boosted posts, lookalike audiences)

Sample marketing schedule

Step Three: Secure local partnerships.   

  • Distribute in-store signage/posters with the QR code to your ticketing site (e.g., coffee shops, breweries, restaurants, your event partners and vendors’ places of business, etc.)
  • Encourage guest blogs on your website and social media. Be sure to have them link over to your ticketing site for ticket purchases.
  • Have your event vendors and partners create short and engaging video reels (30-60 seconds) featuring their brand and enticing potential ticket buyers to attend the event
  • Create email marketing templates that are easy for your partners to blast out to their database

Step Four: Support a good cause.

Supporting a worthy cause will help you stand out from other similar events and garner community support. Select a nonprofit or charitable organization that could benefit from your event exposure, shared proceeds and/or donations. Choose a ticketing partner that allows donations as part of the ticket-buying process.

Step Five: Take advantage of free social media marketing.

  • Make an event page on Facebook. Create and share the event page. This event page will get much more exposure than sharing a post. Make sure to add your Buy Tickets link to your event page. Add co-hosts to your event page for more exposure and content.
  • Instagram – A great place to promote events and events through features such as stories, Instagram Live, polls, IG videos/reels and posts. Instagram photo booths can automatically post pics to Instagram for your attendees.
  • Twitter – Twitter is all about quick messages and updates. It’s a great way to share breaking news on your event like the vendor list and upcoming features of the event.
  • Snapchat – Geofilters are a fun way to layer a branded illustration over photos.
  • TikTok – Set up a scenic area to inspire videos.
  • Stories/Videos – Check out the Stories features on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, as well as live video features available on TikTok, Facebook Live, and YouTube. There are great ways to capture instant attention and make followers feel like they are behind the scenes.

In conclusion, the more you plan your marketing timeline and outreach, the more you will be able to engage new marketing ideas. Find a local media partner in your area that can provide you with effective new ways to promote your event that you may have not considered. They may also provide knowledge or services for your organization’s marketing goals to help increase your event’s success.

Guest blog post by Chris Caudle, Partner Success Manager for Evvnt. Evvnt is the Seattle Times’ technology partner powering The Ticket calendar.

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