This is where events come in.
With industry giants like Apple, Google and Facebook frequently running huge events that grab the attention of the mainstream press and attracting sell-out audiences, it’s easy to think event marketing is highly effective, but only for the big guys.
The truth is, event marketing is very good at helping companies gain attention and grow business (that’s why the big guys run events), but it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Here are five concrete ways you can put on events to market your business while minimising costs.
Finding a place to put on your event is typically the most expensive part of event marketing. It can also be time consuming, contracts can be inflexible (meaning you risk losing money if it doesn’t turn out as well as expected) and in cities like London the cost per square foot or minimum spends can be very pricey!
The best way to avoid this cost is to find a partner who has some space they can let you use. Many growing companies have more office space than needed, or big meeting and boardrooms that could be used. Large corporations like legal and accounting firms might even have dedicated conference and event space.
Take a look at which bigger companies might want to get in front of your customers, and if they have a complimentary offering, approach them to see if you can run the event at their space.
For them they enjoy free marketing and exposure by letting you fill an under-utilised asset; while you get free space and minimise your overheads. It’s a great win-win!
Most people love to be put on guest lists, given a VIP pass or even invited to speak.
You should therefore draw up a shortlist of people you’d like to be at your event, and reach out to them individually to invite them as a special guest or a speaker, depending on the type of event you’re running.
Do the same with key press contacts.
The likelihood is not everyone will make it, but you should pick up a few advocates who will spread the word about your event before it takes place.
If you make a good impression on the day, they could well rave about it to their networks afterwards, too.
For you it’s a great way to get your company name in front of these influencers (and have them share it with their followers); for them it’s another exclusive event they’ve attended, reinforcing their image and reputation as an influencer.
It makes sense to ensure your event can easily be found by those who might want to go, and rather than always having to chase the crowd, event discovery platforms actually bring people to you!
Millions of people use Eventbrite to discover local events of interest to them, so having your event on the platform will help drive awareness and attendance, without it costing you a penny in additional marketing.
Assuming you’ve been successful in promoting your event, you also need to deliver a killer onsite experience that reflects well on your business or product.
Professional help can stack up pretty quickly, so why not turn to those you trust the most – your friends and family! Ask them to volunteer for the event, maybe in exchange for a few drinks after it’s ended or another (non-expensive) gesture of thanks.
They’ll know how important it is for you and do a great job, and it leaves you free to concentrate on the important tasks of networking with influencers, telling your story and listening to customers.
Many businesses run free events to try and achieve the largest audience possible.
Unfortunately, only half (or less) of those who confirm might actually turn up, and so you could be overspending on venue space, food and drinks.
To avoid this scenario, consider charging people up front, but with the promise of refunding their deposit if they turn up. This way you’ll not be out of pocket if someone can’t make it, and you’ll only get people signed up that genuinely intend to be there.
You may even want to charge full-stop, because people generally place a higher value on things they’ve had to pay for, so their perception of your event (and business) may be higher if you ask for payment to attend, and you can use that revenue to invest in a truly memorable experience.
Do you have a great idea for a new event?
Why not enter The Spark for your chance to win over £5,000 worth of free mentorship, products, services and training from top brands including Eventbrite, Moo, Generaly Assembly, Moneypenny and Britain for Events.