This is a guest post written by Kristen Carvalho of etouches.
As an event planner, you do so much more than just plan your events. You become a marketer, a website designer, a salesman and even a food tester, so sometimes it can be hard to do everything right. Things are going to fall to the wayside and you are going to make mistakes, but the important thing is to learn from them and do it differently next time.
One area where eventprofs seem to make the biggest mistakes is their event marketing. Time and time again you will find a website that has the wrong event logo, missing information or no social media pages. Do you think that will make people want to attendee your event? The answer is no. You need to get your event promotion in check when it comes to your social media, event website and event emails. Let’s go through some of the top mistakes eventprofs are making on each channel so you know what NOT to do when planning your next event.
The Not So Social, Social Media
Social media is one of the first places that people will hear about your event. With the #eventprofs community on Twitter and more people flooding to social sites for their daily news, social media is a must for any event promotion. Yet people still don’t know how to properly market themselves on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other platforms. Here are the biggest no-nos:
- Bad Hashtag – Event hashtags are a must, but you need to do your research. First is to know the hashtag rules: make it unique, short, memorable and consistent. The worst thing you can do is make a hashtag that another event already uses. For instance, Event Tech Live in the UK and Event Tech in the US held their shows weeks apart in 2014 and used the same hashtag, which just confused attendees.
- A Dead Social Site – Great, you made a Twitter and Facebook page for your event, but where is all the content? Don’t make a site on every social platform just to say you did it. You need to actually update it on a consistent basis and not just when your event is happening. The great thing about social media is that you can create a community for your event year round by posting industry content even after your event.
- Too Much Self Promotion – Don’t you hate it when you meet up with a friend and all they can do is talk about their life and you never get a word in? That is how people will feel about your Twitter or LinkedIn profile if all you do is talk about your event. You need to also engage with your followers, post relevant content and topics that are connected to your event.
The Sloppy Event Website
What is an event today without an event website? A child’s birthday party. You really can’t host a registration based event without a website where people can go to register, get more information on location and find out who will be speaking. However, people are still forgetting to walk in their attendees’ shoes when creating their websites and are missing the mark in big areas.
- Not Cohesive – When it comes to your event website you need to make sure that your logo on your website is the same as on your social pages. Don’t let your attendees get confused about who you are and what your brand is. They won’t remember you.
- Dead Ads – You have a banner ad at the top of your page that promotes your registration sponsor, but when I go to click it, nothing happens. Constantly check your ads and links on your pages to make sure they work. Don’t have someone click on a link that leads nowhere.
- Can’t Find Basic Info – Do not have your attendees searching for your location, time, date, registration link or social site. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes that events make in terms of marketing. If you don’t have the basics clearly mapped out, who is going to know where your event is, let alone register for it?
- Long Registration – For event registration, make it simple. Don’t have too many questions or too complicated questions that have the attendees just wishing it was over. Ask the important questions only!
The Curse of the Neglected Emails
With email marketing, you really are hitting everyone in your database from assistants all the way to the executives, which means there is no room for mistakes. People are at their computer the majority of the day at work and have their email up. This is your best chance to reach your prospective audience and you don’t want to lose them because of some easily avoidable faux pas.
- Unlimited Errors – From spelling and grammar mistakes to the wrong dates or times for sessions, there is no room for mess ups in your emails. Errors will make you look sloppy and your attendees may start to think that you don’t take pride in what you do.
- Covering Too Many Topics – Don’t send out an email that is trying to do too much at once, like an email that talks about the keynote, the networking sessions, stats for the events and the exhibitors attending. You will lose your readers after the first paragraph. Keep it short and use images where you can to keep them interested.
- No CTAs – How do you create an effective email with no call to action? The answer is you can’t. You can’t expect that people are going to proactively visit your website or your registration page after they open your email. You need to have links that lead them there, links that make them want to click to find out more.
- Untargeted Emails – Please, please, please, if you are creating an email campaign to get people to register, do a query ahead of time and make sure you are only sending emails to people who actually haven’t registered. It is incredibly annoying to have already registered for an event or become an event sponsor and still be constantly bombarded with emails that are now useless to you.
The overall goal of your event is to get people to register, come and leave your event happy. In order to get them to register, you need to make sure that you are making the right moves in terms of your event promotion on social media, your website and in your emails. If you can’t remember everything from this post try to remember two things: do your research and take a second look at every piece of marketing material that you send out!
etouches is a leader in in-cloud event management software. Covering every major function in the event planning lifecycle, etouches is a top choice among event professionals. Founded in 2008, the company has more than 900 customers in 35 countries. The multilingual, multicurrency software offers registration, event website creation, survey, email marketing, scheduling, speaker/exhibitor/sponsor management, seating, project management, budgeting, venue selection, booth purchasing, social networking and mobile app creation. Headquartered in the United States in Norwalk, CT, the company has three wholly-owned subsidiaries with offices in Reading, UK; Sydney, Australia; Dubai, UAE.
KRISTEN CARVALHO joined etouches in November 2013 and is the company’s Senior Content and Social Media Manager. She is charged with setting and executing the social media and content strategies to support the marketing team efforts to increase equity and online brand awareness. By researching the latest industry trends, leading platforms and apps, she is able to find new ways to engage in conversations within the industry. Her focus is on finding new blogging partnerships, aligning all social media channels and online content, and growing the company’s visibility throughout the industry and multiple regions.
Prior to joining etouches, Kristen worked as a content and social media producer for a happiness start-up website. Kristen has a passion for social media, writing and producing lasting content that has a positive effect on people.