As a creator, you know that events don’t just sell themselves, and in order to sell tickets, you need to be armed with a well-thought-out event strategy.

In this guide, the experts behind Eventbrite Boost discuss event marketing strategies you can use to create an effective event marketing timeline. We cover these basic foundations of event strategy, and offer tips for when you’re ready to take your planning to the next level:

  • What are event marketing strategies?

  • What is a B2B event strategy plan?

  • How to create event marketing strategies

  • Event strategy made easy with Eventbrite Boost

  • 13 Tips for building an event strategy

What are event marketing strategies?

Event marketing is defined by the tools, techniques, and channels you use to promote an event to an audience with the intention of enticing them to buy tickets or attend.

An event strategy plan starts with launching an event idea and includes attracting a steady pipeline of leads through channels such as email marketing, blogging, and advertising.

What is a B2B event strategy plan?

B2B (business-to-business) event marketing is selling an event to other businesses in order to get them to attend, provide sponsorship, or exhibit their products or services to your attendees. The channels you utilize to advertise to attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors may be the same, but the tone of voice and the customer needs may be different. For example, at a consumer event, the sales techniques will be tailored toward personal interests and benefits, whereas a business event will require more tangible rewards such as increased revenue, lead generation, or competitive advantage.

How to create event marketing strategies

While it’s impossible to present a perfect “catch-all” event marketing timeline template because every event is different, there are many common tactics and event marketing ideas that should help guide you when setting out your own promotional calendar.

The image below shows how your event strategy can be broken down into pre-event, event launch, day-to-day marketing, and “last call stages.

Event strategy made easy with Eventbrite Boost

If you’re new to event marketing or looking to take your event strategy to the next level, consider Eventbrite Boost, the all-in-one marketing platform designed for event creators. Whether you’re connecting people in-person or virtually, Eventbrite Boost makes it easy to reach new people, engage your fans and followers, and grow your attendance — directly from your Eventbrite account.

13 Tips for building an event strategy

Event marketing strategies are all about raising awareness for your event. You want to guide your potential attendees through their journey toward buying a ticket, from the initial awareness stage to the purchase stage. When it comes to loyal attendees or customers who are already aware of your event, you’ll want to give them opportunities to advocate for your event and share the details with their networks.

If you need some help planning the ideal event strategy, grab a copy of our event marketing strategies kit, and take a look at these tips. We’ve pulled together some ideas for enticing more potential attendees and moving them along the path to purchasing tickets.

1. Early bird discounts

After your initial event launch, you may need to engineer more reasons to encourage people to register for your event. One way to entice people to purchase tickets immediately, rather than waiting until the event gets closer, is to offer early bird discounts. Stagger your ticket sales to go up in price as the event date approaches.

The rest of your marketing activity should be geared towards building up interest and leads before your discounts expire, helping you create spikes of ticket sales.

2. Create a pre-event page

A live event page can help to capture early interest, even if all of the details aren’t yet finalized. By creating a pre-event page, you have a central location that you can drive people to and use it to capture early leads who you can follow up with later on. Plus, the page will help build up your SEO authority with Google.

3. Blogging

The next step in your in-person or online event marketing strategy is to give people a reason why your event exists in the first place. This is your mission statement, which you can use to fuel the rest of your pre-event marketing and rally people around your idea. Blog posts are a great way to promote your value proposition and attract some initial interest without the same sales-centric language that you’ll see on a landing page.

4. Social media

Using social media well is vital for online event marketing strategies. Through organic and paid posts, you can build a community of potential attendees, generate interest and momentum for your event, and promote the mission statement that you’ve written about in your blog posts. Create a hashtag for your event and encourage your followers to use it both before the event and on the big day.

Consider livestreaming all or part of your event through Facebook or Instagram Live to include fans around the world in the excitement. Don’t forget the huge range and diversity of social media available to you. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn will all remain important, depending on what kind of event you run, but you may want to use other channels, such as Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, Medium, Reddit, Quora, and other platforms relevant to your audience.

5. Partner outreach

Event marketing partnerships can be crucial to your event’s success, so you need to start reaching out to potential collaborators, complementary brands, and media partners before your event has officially launched. That way your partners can help you spread the word from the very beginning and get their audiences interested in your event.

6. Thought leadership and guest posts

Blogging on your site is important, but in general, those blogs only reach the audience you already have. In order to reach other potential attendees, utilize guest posts or create pieces of thought leadership that others will be happy to share.

What this looks like exactly will heavily depend on your event. For conferences and B2B events, it’s relatively straightforward to create an industry report or offer a white paper that combines top tips from all of your speakers.

For consumer events, you can create interesting visual assets, write about the latest trends, or produce a series of YouTube videos that capture the attention of potential attendees.

7. Paid promotion

Whether it’s social media advertising, Google Adwords, or retargeting, you can boost your reach on social platforms with paid campaigns.

With any of these options, you can turn them on and off at will, so you can spend more on your campaigns when you’re promoting special offers or during your event launch. This will help reinforce and amplify all your other marketing activities for maximum reach and impact.

8. Email

Email is a great way to reach the contacts and customers you already have, so it will be central to your event strategy. Your first major email blast to your contacts and any pre-registered attendees should coincide with your event launch to help generate excitement and initial ticket sales.

If you’re new to Eventbrite and could use some guidance when it comes to email, check out these help center articles:

9. Event press releases

Press coverage can help amplify your event beyond your own network and can increase ticket sales. It will also help build your future brand strategy and increase links to your website, which means more potential traffic for future events.

Here are a few tips on writing a good press release:

  • Copy the press release into the body of your email. Traditionally, press releases were sent as email attachments, but journalists today prefer to be able to read the release as part of the email. This saves them time and will increase your story’s visibility.

  • Add an introduction line. Personalize the introduction for every journalist and their publication. This will make them more likely to scroll down and read your press release.

  • List the basic details of your event. Keep things simple to help the journalist pluck out the key information easily.

  • Come up with a compelling hook. Why is your event new, exciting, a first, or a novelty? Who is attending? Do you have an interesting backstory?

10. Final marketing blast

In the days right before your event, it’s important to do a final marketing push as part of your event strategy. This will probably be in the form of blogs, social media updates, and email blasts with a more urgent, sales-focused message. You’ve spent weeks or months building up a relationship, so your messaging can now include direct calls to action that will hopefully convert interested parties into ticket sales.

If networking is involved in your event, it’s a good idea to utilize the concept of “social proof” at this stage and show the world who is already going to be at the event. This will help convince potential attendees who haven’t bought their tickets yet that they should be there, too.

11. Attendee referrals

Many organizers focus solely on bringing in new attendees and forget that they have a strong network of potential advocates they can already tap into.

Why not reach out to your existing attendees and incentivize them to promote the event on your behalf? Word of mouth is consistently shown to be one of the most powerful and effective marketing tactics available. You can even offer attendees referral fees if they become an affiliate, which is easy to track and manage with Eventbrite.

12. Influencer outreach

If you’re looking to get a few last-minute speakers or get the word out in an impactful way, then influencers could be your best shot. It’s generally advisable to contact them at the start of your event marketing campaign, but you can always re-engage and see if they’re interested or available.

Even if your chosen influencers can’t attend, they may appreciate an invitation and repay your generosity by telling their network about the event.

13. Phone

Employing telesales teams is expensive and only effective if you’ve got a great inbound marketing program to support them with lots of fresh, warm leads.

However, if you’ve noticed that a few of your targeted attendees or some of those pre-registered leads have still not bought a ticket, it costs nothing to give them a call yourself. Picking up the phone can be time-intensive, but it’s also an effective way of securing a few more sales.

Ask if there’s anything you can help with or if they have any questions about the event. It doesn’t have to be a hard sell, but it’s much harder to ignore a phone call than an email or a Tweet on your timeline.

Need an event marketing strategy template?

Taking the time to come up with a detailed event strategy will help you stay organized and execute your marketing plan efficiently, which will ultimately lead to a more successful event. To streamline your entire event marketing strategy and get help from our event marketing experts, check out Eventbrite Boost.
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