Email Marketing for Event Planning
By Rebecca Swayze May 27, 2010
As savvy business owners, you hold events to raise funds, close deals, nurture relationships and educate colleagues and prospects. You realize the importance of real life interaction, but do you communicate the details effectively once you decide to host the event? In a recent study by evocos, a British Event Management company, 17% of respondents polled confessed that they do not use email marketing when planning events. If you work in event management but don’t utilize email to communicate with prospects and attendees, your business is missing a valuable tool that could extend your reach and cut costs, as over 80% of those surveyed by evocos learned.
As savvy business owners, you hold events to raise funds, close deals, nurture relationships and educate colleagues and prospects. You realize the importance of real life interaction, but do you communicate the details effectively once you decide to host the event?
If you work in event management but don’t utilize email to communicate with prospects and attendees, your business is missing a valuable tool that could extend your reach and cut costs, as over 80% of those surveyed by evocos learned.
Before the Event: Announce the Shindig and Sell, Sell Sell
Whether you’re hosting a cocktail party, a tradeshow or a week-long convention, email is a logical choice for spreading the word about upcoming events.
If the particular event is something your company has hosted before, include pictures of the soiree and really talk it up.
Testimonials also add tremendous value; when someone sees firsthand what a great time your attendees had last year, they certainly won’t want to miss out.
If you already have a list of dedicated clients, you have the perfect audience.
They will be receptive and feel privileged to be the first to hear about your next happening. As such, your follow up message content must be viral and sharable.
Make sure to encourage subscribers to forward your email to their friends.
Don’t have a group of subscribers yet?
Ensure that you have adequate information about the event on your website, and include a web form on the page so that interested website visitors can sign up for details.
Use social media networks to spread the word about your event, and link to a hosted web form so that interested parties can add themselves to your email list.
As RSVPs start to trickle in, you can even manage your list of event attendees right in your AWeber account.
If You are Charging for Tickets:You’ll want to include ticket prices in your email, what the event entails and a link to a website where those who are interested can buy tickets. Once tickets are purchased, you can have guests added to a different list within your account via email parser.
If Your Event is Free: You’ll want to share all pertinent information about the happening, and a link to a hosted web form where they can RSVP for the event so that they are added to a separate list within your account.
When the date of the big day draws closer, send event-goers a message that addresses frequently asked questions and include directions to the facility. Nothing shows that you are more accommodating than including maps and parking information.
The more prepared your guests are, the more willing they will be to return to another event in the future.
During the Event: Keep People in the Loop
If your affair spans over the course of a few days, utilize email as a way to communicate with your guests.
Establish beforehand how many emails you will send, so as not to overwhelm them. Think of every single question someone could possibly have and aim to address them with your emails.
A morning digest is a good way to keep attendees informed without being overbearing. Include announcements of changes to presentation times or any other changes to the agenda, and share meal times or last minute updates.
After the Event: Follow Up
After your event is over, you will want to maintain your relationships with attendees.
If you have presentation materials that go along with a demonstration, provide PowerPoint slides by email so that those guests who don’t have access to a laptop or a printer can retrieve them when they get home.
You should also make use of your guests’ experiences and feedback.
To do this, survey your list and ask questions about how they heard about the event and how useful they found the material covered.
You could even solicit feedback using a rating scale – a few links inserted in a logical order in your message that allow your readers to rate their experience at your event.
If you hold several events each year, keeping your subscribers informed via email after they’ve attended an initial event is a great way to grow your upcoming event attendance.
What Do You Think?
Do you use email to communicate with prospects about business happenings and special events?
According to a June 2009 study, The Center for Exhibition Industry Research and marketing firm George P. Johnson found that of all digital marketing tactics, email marketing is the most widely used by exhibition production and corporate brand managers – 95% and 87% to be exact.
What has your experience been? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts below.