Jackson’s Most Frequently Asked Questions: Events

How much should I spend on marketing? How do you make a post go viral? Should I buy an ad in the Super Bowl?

As marketers, we get asked a lot of questions. And a lot of times our answer is “that depends,” which we realize is probably not helpful. But there are a lot of things to consider when engaging in marketing endeavors, and no two clients are the same!

In this blog series, we intend to expound on why exactly “it depends,” and give some slightly more helpful answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Here are Parts 1-4 of this series in case you missed them or want to look at again:

This week: Event Marketing FAQs:

Q: How far in advance should you plan an event?

A: There are many variables to consider when planning an event: Is it private? Is it public? Is it a multi-day event or a single day, or even single hour? What is the goal of the event? Is it a well-known event? All of these would impact our answer because there’s no cookie-cutter approach to event planning. But we think any event planner would agree that more time to plan is better than less time to plan. The result will likely be stronger if we aren’t working in a severe time crunch. Talk to your events agency to understand a feasible timeline for your desired event or ask them what can be done in the timeframe you have available.

Q: Can you track ROI of events?

A: Yes, if we can clearly establish what you are defining as ROI, what your goal ROI is, and develop a tracking solution. While your event planner can help with the logistics day-of, you’ll want to tap into your agency’s analytics team to help with this task well in advance of the event. Tracking event marketing ROI can be a challenge certainly, but with a proper strategy in place, it can be done. In lieu of a true ROI measurement (final value – initial value, as a percent) oftentimes our clients will consider their event a success if they can measure impact in terms of impressions, earned media or leads generated.

Q: What are the best ways to boost event attendance?

A: First, build your event around the desires of your audience. It’s pretty easy to get teenage girls to a Taylor Swift concert or golfers to The Masters. But it’s a bit more challenging to get shoppers to your weekend sale or buyers to your customer conference. So, you’ve got to be sure to build an event that benefits your audience.

Second, clearly capture the benefits of the event in your communication. Are the attendees going to have fun, be the first to experience a new product, hear from experts, network with peers, save money or learn to make more money? Whatever the benefits, be sure to make them clear in your communication, hopefully creating a sense of loss for those who can’t attend.

Finally, get the word out. Don’t assume people are aware of your event. If you know who they are (as for a corporate event), email, mail, phone calls and personal visits will help ensure attendance. If you’re targeting a broader audience, consider digital targeting, geofencing and social media as key tactics. If you’ve got a little larger budget, radio, digital billboards and TV or streaming can be great additions. And don’t forget some simple, but effective old-fashioned tactics like flyers, yard signs, banners and event calendar listings.

Q: What about events post-COVID?

A: We’re glad you asked! This topic is a big one, so our Events Director Julie has addressed it in a detailed blog post that you can find here: Event Marketing Post-COVID