Savvy Event Marketing Strategies

meetings Associations Now May/June 2015

Take your event marketing to the next level with these insider tips on current trends and best practices.

Are your event marketing efforts feeling stale? Want to increase the number of attendees at your next meeting and keep them engaged long after it's over? Try following these tips from Suzanne Carawan, chief marketing officer at association marketing platform HighRoad Solution.

Associations Now: What is one thing every association should know about event marketing right now?

Carawan: The expectation is that you're an intelligent marketer and you know who has never attended, who has attended in the past, and who is a die-hard event attendee. Therefore you will be able to provide a unique experience because you have stored data on an individual across the years, and your organization understands who she or he is in the context of the event. The messaging, the communication channels, the stated benefits of the event should be personalized to the individual or, at a minimum, to the persona that represents that individual.

What is one thing associations can do better in marketing events?

Associations typically put all of their budget and effort into promoting the event and very little into how they will repurpose the event's content afterward. The post-event re-engagement and engagement period is perhaps the most little-studied and misunderstood aspect.

Utilizing social media, email, and blogs to continue to market the event's content becomes a great way to generate new attendees and continue to add value to existing attendees' experience.

How would you advise associations to maximize their event marketing efforts?

With 40 percent of all emails an organization sends typically focused on event promotion, most associations are spending a tremendous amount of time pushing messages to register for an event with the hope that the individual will convert and actually register.

Instead, associations should consider automating their email marketing so that an event's information and register link are automatically sent to individuals along with the appropriate messaging based on whether they've actually registered or not.

[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "You're Invited."]