HOW TO WRITE A KILLER EVENT MARKETING PLAN
Most event marketers get to the point of having to map out their Event Marketing activities, specially when most marketing budgets are being shifted to Digital Marketing activities, making them more accountable for their Event Marketing executions.
The best way to ensure all your company stakeholders understand the importance of your event marketing activities, value its budget allocation and easily be informed about the event marketing progress; is by having an Official Event Marketing Plan that is created, managed, updated and shared within your organisation and agencies.
To ensure you get the best from your Event Marketing campaigns, you need to write an Event Marketing Plan specifying the exact type of work and results you are after. This is especially important for maximising your event results when campaign budgets, resources and time are limited.
WHY YOU NEED AN EVENT MARKETING PLAN!
- Focus. If you are going to launch your first event or having a regular event, it’s fundamental that your business has a Event Marketing plan. A great event marketing plan helps you understand the Audiences you’re targeting, design your event communications with the right appeal, at the right time and the right marketing channel. This will ensure your campaigns are communicated in the most effective way.
- Clarity. A well written Event Marketing Plan, will ensure expectations from all parties and stakeholders are clear and reduce any misinterpretations on your Event Marketing activities are supposed to achieve within your business.
- Planning. Building your event marketing plan will help you answer key business questions about how to promote your event offline and online, build and retain loyal attendees using offline, digital and social media channels. This way, your event marketing plan is your reference point to guide your event consolidation strategy and tactical executions. Our Event Marketing Plan Template will offer you a proven structure to plan, define and measure results the most optimal way.
- Track Progress. Most large scale Event Marketing Plans are executed by different people within an organisation, including content agencies, creative agencies, media agencies, seo consultants, social media managers, community managers, graphic designers, web designers, pr agencies, etc. Tracking progress of all the different activities becomes key. That’s why having your Event Marketing Plan on the cloud (i.e Google Sheets) where anyone can update their progress and add comments is fundamental.
- Stakeholder Engagement. A key benefit of having a killer Event Marketing Plan template is to make the reading of your marketing plan pages as clear as possible by other team members and stakeholders and at the same time helps you monitor your event marketing activities, progress and success.
- Raise your salary package. A well written and presented Event Marketing Plan should not only help you achieve a successful event but also offers you the fuel to have compelling story for a salary package negotiation. In other words, you hit your Event Marketing KPI’s (Key performance Indicators), then you can present your desire for a promotion or salary package increase.
BENEFITS OF AN EVENT MARKETING PLAN
Some of the top benefits of a well written Event Marketing Plan includes
- Deliver successful Event Marketing campaigns. Remember that “success” means different things for different business. Depending on your own key Event Marketing objectives.
- Campaign timings and budgets are locked in. Having your Event Marketing Plan completed and approved by the different key stakeholders ensure your campaign timings and budgets are locked in.
- Understands your event, business goals and target market.
- Help you identify your ideal event attendees and develop an event marketing strategy to make your event stand out over similar others, increase your event customer awareness, increase preference and trial and ultimately drive people to buy your event tickets, increase repeat purchases and loyalty.
- Save time when explaining, briefing agencies and/or presenting results to your C level team members. Our Event Marketing Plan Template has been professionally designed by Certified Marketers to help you present and track your event marketing objectives, strategies and tactical executions.
Hi eDigital team. Yes we are happy with the template and we started using it for our next event. It has saved us so much time specially using it to communicate our strategy and tactical execution to other stakeholders. Thank you. Peter
UPDATING YOUR EVENT MARKETING PLAN
Surely your vent will evolve and your Event Marketing Plan will have to adapt and get an update. As soon as you bring learnings and insights from your past event results and metrics, sales data, marketing data, employees stories and customers feedback, competitor review and observation and evaluation of your industry event environment.
ASSIGNING RESPONSIBILITIES TO YOUR EVENT MARKETING ACTIVITIES
Your event marketing team should be actively involved in the production and tracking of all the elements committed in your Event Marketing Plan. Assigning responsibilities in advance will clear up any questions to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Having a proper Event Marketing Plan will help you:
- Have consensus about your event marketing goals with your team
- Focus on key strategic event marketing objectives.
- Pinpoint resources needed to executive activities that aim to achieve your event goals.
- Track your event progress
- Present results to your team members and
- Build your event presence across your industry, increase preference and retain your past attendees.
A successful Event Marketing Plan should outline:
- Your key event Marketing Communication Objectives,
- Your defined event Audiences to target,
- The key Campaigns you will be executing,
- Your Budget allocation to these campaigns,
- All the requirements and resources needed to succeed and
- The key metrics you will be using to measure that success.
If you do not have a Event Marketing Plan mapped out, it is likely that:
- Obstacles will come up throughout your overall event marketing activities, and can have a detrimental impact on the overall success of your event.
Get the latest 2017 complete and recently updated Event Marketing Plan Template (Google Excel Sheet format – you will need a gmail account) for immediate cross-collaboration between your teams! help you plan and develop successful event marketing campaigns from simple and basic strategies to advance executions.
The feedback from our event marketing team has been very positive. We have added some customisations to the template that fits the way we create strategy and manage our event marketing campaigns. Thank you. Kylie
GOOGLE SHEET TEMPLATE BENEFITS
- Being this template located on Google Sheets, you team members will be able to view, add and collaborate on this document at your office or from anywhere.
- Forget about emailing the latest version of your Event Marketing Plan to your team. Just send them a link to it! Easy!
- Can be transferred to Microsoft excel if needed.
ABOUT OUR EVENT MARKETING PLAN TEMPLATE
FREE BONUS: You also get “The Ultimate Guide to Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns” (a 9 page PDF Guide – See a screenshot)
Once payment is completed, you will be sent to a secure page where you will be able to download the template. If there is any issues, you can always contact us 🙂
BEFORE WRITING AN EVENT MARKETING PLAN
Before you embark in the process of spending time writing a event Marketing Plan, you should:
- Ensure you know the exact audience (most profitable customer segment) you want to reach out.
- Ensure your campaigns align to your event vision and visual strategy.
- When completing this event marketing plan template, you will be asked to write your key marketing objectives and how you are going to achieve your objectives. This event marketing plan template will help you set realistic and measurable objectives, includes budgets and action plans, and allocate responsibilities.
- Remember that your Digital Marketing activity to promote your event is important but it is also part of your overall event marketing strategy and needs to sync with your offline, event and other marketing media and customer engagement activities. It should not be a stand alone plan.
- Involve all stakeholders who deal with event attendees including sales and customer service and support.
- Make sure your provide a brief summary for people who have no time to read it all.
- Do not forget measurement and make clear how your event marketing plan is going to measure success.
EVENT MARKETING PLAN – TEMPLATE SECTIONS
Whether you want to build your own Event Marketing Plan from scratch or you want to get our Event Marketing Plan, the following are the sections you should include:
BRIEF EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
A brief executive summary of your event marketing plan should be done last and should be an overview about your event marketing plan to other readers. Use language that it will be easy all stakeholders to understand. Remember: many C level executives will only read your Executive Summary so make sure your key information and insights are added here.
Here at eDigital we use the SOSTAC model to help our clients build their Event Marketing Plan.
The SOSTAC model includes:
You will write down: where is your event now? How you understand your event marketplace and how is influencing your attendees needs and wants. Is there any insights that might affect the way your design your vent and plan your event marketing activities?
- Our top attendees. Who are your attendees: write down who is that 20% of attendees bringing your 80% of revenue. Define them by Demographics and Psychographics and what media channels they consume and why. Also, it is important to have defined the exact needs at every attendee buying cycle phase (see graph below). So you know what type of content, experience and stories to use to move your current and potential attendees in the cycle.
- Our Market. What the market is needing. Is there any trends? Is there any new similar events that are growing within the industry that our attendees might be also looking to register to?
- Our Competitors. What are the top 3 competitors, their unique unique selling propositions and how they are using Marketing channels to connect with potential and their current attendees?. What different set of unique activities you will be delivering that will provide a unique mix of value to your most profitable attendees segment that no other competitor can copy-cat.
- Influencers and potential partners. What other organisations and top industry leaders are influencing our attendees buying decisions. For example: search engines, comparison sites, specialists websites, magazines, top bloggers, industry leaders, celebrities, etc.
- External Macro Influencers. Social: have attendees attitudes changed that might affect our event ticket sales targets?
- Legal: do we comply with privacy and online trading laws?
- Environment: Will our event marketing activities ethical and sustainable?
- Political: is there any government support we can use for our event marketing Activities?
- Technology / marketing automation: Is there any specific technology we should review that will help us more effectively achieve our event marketing objectives.
- Our capabilities and weaknesses. You write down your top 3 capabilities and weaknesses.
Our Event Marketing Plan template includes a SWOT analysis using the TOW’s format to ensure you come up with a formula to: make the most of your strengths, circumvent your weaknesses, capitalise on your opportunities and manage your threats.
EVENT MARKETING OBJECTIVES
- Short Term Objectives Your next event marketing objectives- Your strategies and tactics will focus on this.
- Medium Term & Long Term Objectives Top level objectives to help communicate the changes needed and event transformation in the long term.
Ensure you write each objective using the SMART formula: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Clearly targeting your “most profitable” attendees segment will help you focus your Event Marketing to your event attendees more likely to bring higher Return on Investment (ROI).
EVENT MARKETING STRATEGY
Here you will list what you will be doing to achieve your event marketing objectives (top level).
- Targeting and Segmentation: here you will prioritise your top 2/3 attendeees segments you will be shooting all your event marketing efforts.
- Positioning: Your potential and past event attendees will not be able to remember all the cool things you can offer. You will need to pick one positioning statement and stick to it so people can remember you and differentiate you from other similar events.
- Content Strategy: What type of stories you will be sharing or activities that your prime prospect would love to participate in order to create buzz.
- Online Presence: how many websites, what social media channels you will own, what guest contributions you will activate.
- Event Acquisition Strategy: What would be your top 2-3 drivers of leads?
- Event Conversion Strategy: Define tools and optimisation methodology to ensure you are consistently reducing the gap between enquiries/visits and successful event ticket sales. Here you might define that you want to optimise key landing pages on a specific time frame and use a/b testing methodology in favour on multi-variable testing.
- Event Retention Strategy: This is likely to be the most important section of your whole and entire marketing plan! Yes, most event marketers spend too much time and energy trying to secure new attendees versus investing in getting past attendees to buy more events, more premium tickets (ie. VIP), more quantities (ie. group purchases) or more new events over time. In this section, you will note and tick off your top Retention strategies. This might include VIP programs, extra services to frequent attendees, money cant buy activities, monthly e-newsletter, free training, customer loyalty programs, etc.
- Multichannel Integration Strategy: How your different marketing channels will work together to amplify your event benefits and key messages.
- Data Strategy: how you will be using data to take event marketing decisions and how you will be updating and securing this customer data.
- Social Media Strategy: define which social media channels your brand will focus on and how you will use social media websites and apps to attract new event attendees and engage with existing ones.
- Online Affiliates Strategy: Which online affiliate network you will be using and what commission/payment structure you will be offering. Define technicalities and challenges in relation to tracking and monitoring.
- SEO Strategy: write down changes and/or additions to your event website to increase rankings on top search engines: Google. Identify your “low hanging fruit” keywords you would like to optimise your website and online content for search engines.
- SEM Strategy: What is your Adwords and Bing paid campaigns to promote your event for key searches, its objectives and optimisation strategies.
- Growth Strategy: (aka word of mouth – WOM Strategy): It is fundamentally important for your event to define Growth Strategies (growth hacking) to incentivise existing attendees to bring more new attendees to your event. Here you will list what a “referral program” will look like and schedule activities to increase referrals. Image every new event tickert buyer refers on average two new event ticket buyers a day. You will have here a “growth hacking” machine! To do this, you have to have a formalised referral strategy. In this section you will determine when your brand will ask customers for referrals, and what reward you will be offering.
- Influencer Marketing Strategy: Who are your top 5 influencers that your team should review and negotiate deals with as part of your event marketing strategy. What type of content they should be creating?
- Potential Partners Strategy. In this section, you will write down any agreements, partnerships or join ventures you have or you are planning to help reach new attendees or better monetise existing event customers. You might find complementary brands – services or products – that could be quite lucrative to partner with as they might have an established customer base that you could tap into at a very affordable prices. Think about what other activities and events your ideal attendees also participate on, you might find very interesting partnerships you should test out. Document such potential partnerships in this section of your event marketing plan and then reach out to try to secure them.
The template has saved us so much time and it has been indeed easy to follow through, we are really happy using it. Rachel
EVENT MARKETING TACTICS
Your event marketing tactics will confirm what exact executions that will go live.
Event marketing campaigns you will be launching to reach your customers at specific purchase phases: awareness, comparison, preference, trial, purchase, evaluation, recommendation, education, rewards, For example for the purchase phase you might want to promote event marketing campaigns that include: key promotions (ie. early bird, group discounts), special deals for VIP only and offers. Timely offers will help your customer base to grow quicker and incentivise past customers to buy again from you. Offers can include packages (e.g., accessing different event activities) and/or premium seat offers.
REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES NEEDED
Last phase during the execution of your event marketing plan is to ensure you are measuring progress, tweak your Event Marketing template accordingly and have your success metrics ready to be compared with your initial baseline.
On this section you will list all the expenses you will incur and provide an indication of your expected results will be in terms of new customers, sales. The idea of a financial projection is to define which promotional expenses and other marketing executions you expect will give your organisation the highest return on investment (ROI). This section should also sets you on the task of writing down your set of goals (e.g., your goals for your referral program) for which your company should strive.
- Save time building your own template and get our Event Marketing Plan template today!
- Need a hand with your next Event Marketing Plan? Contact us today!
- eDigital can also run workshops and training sessions for your team to ensure you have a sound event marketing plan.
THE BEST EVENT MARKETING PLAN TEMPLATE
was designed by…
MAU. is the Global Head of Digital Marketing Strategy at eDigital 🏆 One of Australia’s Top 10 Most Visited Marketing Websites. MAU. is Sydney based Top Linkedin Australian Marketing Influencer (over 5k connections) who trains marketing and agency teams with Best Digital Marketing Practice via Strategy Workshops, Campaign Management, templates & Training Sessions. MAU. enjoys photography & teaching Digital Marketing. Certified Facebook/Adwords Digital Marketer – Social Media Specialist – Sydney SEO Consultant – StartUp Investor – International Speaker. Contact MAU. or follow him on Instagram – Facebook. Subscribed to his e-newsletter
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