Hosting an event gives you the opportunity to engage with prospective clients on a more personal level and allows prospects to see the more human side of your firm.
42% of top performing finance firms–those who receive 20+ new enquiries each month–get their new enquiries from events.
(Source: Propero Partners, The State of Digital Marketing in Professional Services)
But, just planning an event on industry ‘hot topics’ doesn’t automatically mean flocks of people will sign up for tickets. It simply means you’ve built the groundwork on which you can start promoting.
In order to fill up seats and ensure your event’s success, start targeting your audience 10-12 weeks before the event with advertisements and promotional communications. This gives your prospects time to warm to your brand (if they haven’t done so already) and to fit the event into their busy schedule.
But, as well as time, you need a strategy and a budget to reach your ideal audience. Ensure your budget supports spending on advertising, data (such as targeted email lists) and any additional marketing resources. Spending on an array of different event marketing tactics will ensure you get your firm’s event in front of your ‘right-fit’ prospects.
There many different event marketing techniques which can be used, but below we’ve explored the 4 we highly recommend to effectively market your event and fill those seats:
1. Paid advertising across social media – Create targeted social media campaigns that speak to your ideal prospects. Use clear language to engage with them and to introduce them to your event.
When designing the adverts, use images which are in keeping with your brand, and display all event details; time, location, price etc. You’d be surprised how many ads don’t share the necessary information, which means firms waste money on ad clicks from prospects who are simply unsure if the date or price will suit them.
Most importantly, know where your prospects are most engaged—which social media platforms are they using? It is no use advertising on Instagram if your ideal prospects are primarily on LinkedIn and Twitter.
2. Google display network retargeting ads – Using retargeting ads, you can target anyone who has previously visited any page on your website, or a specific group of pages on your website, with certain advertisements as they browse other websites.
These ads essentially ‘follow’ these prospects across the internet for up to 30 days, reminding them about your firm.
This marketing technique is perfect for event promotion because you are retargeting prospects who are already ‘warm’ to your brand. In fact, according to Hubspot, users who are retargeted to are 70% more likely to convert, which means you stand a better chance selling tickets to your event.
Make sure you set an adequate budget to run the ads, and review your campaign whilst it’s running–you may need to tweak your campaigns to get your ‘right-fit’ audience clicking through and buying tickets.
3. Buy data – If you don’t have sufficient data on your prospective clients, purchase some from a reputable source (e.g. Experian)—it’s a quick way of ensuring you can get in front of your ideal target audience.
Target this data using an email marketing sequence, which is a series of emails sent to the data list to warm-up the prospects to your firm’s brand.
Ensure your emails engage the prospects with information about your event, and consider offering an incentive specific to the email campaign, such as a discount code or an early bird ticket offer.
4. Contact your warm leads (a more personal approach) – When organising events, firms are often quick to think about finding brand new clients—those who haven’t had any engagement with their firm. But don’t forget about the contacts you already have.
Most firms have contact information for past clients or those who never became clients. These contacts already know about your firm, likely receive your newsletters and may even follow you on social—they’re already pre-warmed to your brand and are in a perfect position to do business with you.
When promoting your event, reach out to these contacts and continue to nurture these relationships. Consider offering personalised incentives to entice them to attend the event.
Filling your event with your ideal audience–those who want or need your services–means you have to use a variety of event marketing tactics. To reach your prospects, it’s important to have multiple touch points with them. In fact, Salesforce says it takes 6 to 8 touches to generate a viable lead, while the Online Marketing Institute says it takes 7 to 13+. Although these numbers vary, the stats reveal the same outcome—more touch points mean more engagement.
If your firm is organising an event, for clients or industry leaders, we can reach your ideal audience to help you fill those seats. Get in touch, and a member of Propero’s senior team can talk you through an effective event marketing strategy.