Nearly 3 out of 4 people who engage with branded event marketing experiences are more likely to buy the products being promoted, according to the Event Marketing Institute. That’s great news for marketers focusing on experiential marketing campaigns. With the right process and tools, webcasts and in-person events can be one of the best ways to drive engagement and generate leads.
In practice, events don’t always go as planned. One hundred people may pre-register for your in-person presentation or webcast, but only a portion may show up. During a live event, engagement may be low, with one or two attendees asking questions, answering surveys, or downloading shared content. After the event, you find that half of the attendees didn’t share the right contact details for follow-up—or perhaps your event management and marketing automation systems aren’t connected to help you nurture the leads you were able to generate. Sound familiar?
For your next event, consider these tips to boost attendance, better engage with attendees, and keep the conversation moving well after the event.
Before the event
Set the stage by promoting your event across multiple marketing channels and convey the value attendees will get out of the event.
Promote from within
Don’t stop with external marketing channels like your website, blog, social handles, and newsletters to promote your event. Rally teams across the company to promote the event via sales emails and support follow-up emails — wherever teams interact with your target audience.
Build an irresistible event portal
Too often, an event that sounds great in an ad or newsletter loses appeal with a lackluster landing page. Devote time to building a branded, content-rich landing page that compels them to register. Don’t forget these essential elements:
- A mobile-friendly layout – Many visitors will be viewing your site on a mobile device.
- Value propositions front and center – Communicate what people will take away from your event in the banner, headlines, and event description.
- Crisp, clear details about the event – Showcase the event date, time, and location on the top of the page, followed by event highlights and guest speakers, an itinerary of activities, and important content like fact sheets and studies to inform and educate before showtime.
- Compel them to sign-up – Promote pre-registration opportunities such as early bird discounts, important event updates, meet-and-greet opportunities, early access to an eBook or report, or perhaps a transcript of the keynote or webinar after the event.
- Use QR codes for seamless registration – Dynamics 365 for Marketing generates a QR code in each registrant’s records that’s useful for printing on badges and registration forms for seamless event check-ins.
- Set up waitlists – Within Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement, you can assign a maximum capacity to each event when needed. When the number of registrations reaches that capacity, the system won’t accept any more registrations, but you can allow new registrants to add themselves to a waitlist. This is a great way to gauge interest and room capacities.
- Start engaging before the event – Send one or two guidance emails to set expectations and prepare attendees, including a reminder the day before a virtual event, like a webinar.
During the event
On event day, it’s all about engagement. Continuously give attendees something to do.
- In-person events – Be sure to equip your team with a way to capture attendees’ contact details, such as printing the personalized QR code on each attendee’s badge. Event managers can scan the QR code for fast check-in and post-event follow-up, such as nurture emails. Send a summary email to attendees at the end of the day with highlights, and content like on-demand videos of presentations, downloadable content, and a clear call to action to stay top of mind.
- Virtual events – Share links to related content in the chat feature throughout the event, including an updated landing page with a contact form, helpful resources compiled in one place, and a clear set of next steps.
After the event
Make the most of your investment by promoting event-generated content and gaining insights to fine-tune your next event.
- Find out what worked and what needs work. Analyze clicks in your emails and landing page, content downloads, and attendance across event activities.
- Package and promote event content. Review your event metrics for the most popular activities, content downloads, and topics. Then refine and repackage event content for your nurture campaigns—from blog articles authored by event speakers to eBooks to on-demand videos of the webinar, keynotes, or workshops.
- Track every lead. Share and report on leads entered into nurture streams, shared with sales for engagement, and leads moved into closed deals.
Master events with Dynamics 365
Event planning doesn’t need to be time-consuming and stressful! Dynamics 365 for Marketing features event management capabilities that can help you organize in-person events, connect with webinar providers with ease, automate many manual tasks, and master the tips shared above, such as:
- Seamless contact, registration, and attendance management features in one system
- Business processes that guide you through the essential steps of event planning
- Improved event registration experience including session registration, QR codes, and wait listing.
- Session, session track, and speaker management, including tools to manage attendee passes to grant access to specific sessions or tracks.
- Venue management for tracking buildings, rooms, and room layouts and guest logistics for registering hotels, room allocation, and reservations.
- Creating webinars and simulcasts with attendance metrics (in partnership with industry-leading webinar provider ON24).
- A fully functioning event that includes self-service attendee registration and event information drawn directly from your Dynamics 365 event-planning records, with updates automatically reflected on the event website.
Please visit Dynamics 365 for Marketing webpage to learn more and try it yourself.