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Top 7 Event Marketing Strategies and Ideas

Experiential Marketing

When it comes to event marketing, you don’t have to start from scratch. Meaning, you can— and should— look at other companies to see what approaches they’ve taken in the past that can inspire your next event marketing campaign.

Are you interested in learning more about event marketing? Keep reading to discover the best 7 strategies you can employ for your brand that will make you more attuned to your target audience, and therefore, drive up visibility and sales. 

What is Event Marketing?

Event marketing is the experiential marketing of a brand, service, or product through memorable experiences or promotional events like webinars. 

Simply put, this approach to marketing is characterized as experience-based and in-person, taking place at locations such as fairs, exhibitions, conferences, presentations, sporting events, cultural festivals or parades, and even in virtual events. 

Essentially, whatever occasion a brand can find to communicate with a high-volume of potential consumers face-to-face (or computer camera-to-computer camera) is an opportunity for event marketing.

Why Are Event Marketing Strategies Important?

The reason event marketing strategies are important is, of course, because as a company, there is so much to gain from events, including increasing sales, maximizing brand exposure, and reaching your target audience. So much of being a successful brand is finding ways to cut through the noise, rise above competitors, and be the brand your customers go to first. All of this becomes more attainable when you look to experiential and event marketing.

Event marketing is also an excellent way to establish authority and expertise in your field, earning the trust of your consumers that will go a long way as far as company success and longevity.

In fact, a report by the Content Marketing Institute revealed that 75% of content marketers found in-person events to be the most effective content marketing strategy.

Who is the Target Audience of Event Marketing?

Of course, whether the event you choose to promote your brand is a seminar, a startup launch party, a 5K, or a golf-outing will depend on the specific demographic you’re trying to reach. 

When you’re considering event marketing, you should be considering who you’re trying to connect with, or in other words, who your target audience is. 

A target audience refers to the group of attendees that will be specifically interested in your brand. An event’s success, then, depends on how well the marketing is geared towards a specific group. 

Take the example of Zara. Zara activated at the Gay Pride Parade in 2021 to show the company’s support for the LGBTQ+ community, which in turn, leads to better brand-to-consumer relationships with that specific demographic. But it’s not just the queer community that Zara had the opportunity to connect with; their event marketing also reached a general younger demographic which is perfect for Zara’s visibility and favorability over other retail brands.

Marketing Strategy Ideas For Your Next Event

Here we’ll dive deeper into the specific strategies you should consider using for your next event! Take a look at the 7 best strategies 

1. Add a culinary component

Food is the ultimate attention grabber. If anyone knows about the benefits of incorporating a culinary component to your event marketing campaign, it’s our experiential marketing agency. 

Food Truck Promotions specializes in using gourmet, custom food and custom packaging to make experiential promotions more memorable and personable.

Let’s say your intention is to drive more people in-store or to give consumers the opportunity to sample your new product; whatever it is, offering a free cup of coffee or pastry can be the pull your consumers need. 

2. Implement a photo-op or social media call to action

When we went on a mobile tour with Alpha Foods, we saw the success of implementing a photo-op and social media call to action first-hand. This is how we thought to structure the activation flow: 

As guests waited for their plant-based food, they had the opportunity to sign up and enter for a chance to win a fully stocked Alpha Foods freezer. All they had to do was scan the QR code and sign up.

But that’s not all. Customers had the chance to snap a pic with the Alpha Foods branded photo frame and post it online using the #AlphaOnTour hashtag. This extra interactive element made all the difference, helping drive brand awareness of Alpha Foods in the digital landscape and taking the product sampling activation to another level.

Another example of this was our event marketing campaign with Instagram. We activated during Latin Week 2021, using the buzz around this event to create traction for Instagram’s new posting feature: reels. 

3. Offer prizes or giveaways

Who doesn’t like hearing the word ‘free?’ One of the best ways to gain traction and build excitement around your event is by offering anything complimentary. This could mean free samples of your product, free food, drinks, merch, and more.

Whatever you decide, the opportunity to take home and enjoy something special is more than enough to create positive associations with your brand name. 

4. Pre-promote your event

Promote your event beforehand, using online calendar listings, your social channels, email marketing, your website, press releases, influencers, and more!

There are many avenues you can take to get the word out about your eventbut it’s up to you to share the features of your event promotion in a way that entices you. Use creative and colorful language, images, and more to get people as engaged as possible. 

Think to yourself: what’s special or noteworthy about my event? And make that as clear as possible to your target demographic pre-event.

Though post-event marketing has no bearing on how well the actual event goes, it’s a great way to still share the experience your brand created with people who may have missed out. Create a Tik Tok or IG reel that makes people feel like they were there!

5. Hire influential speakers

Guest and keynote speakers can make a tremendous impact on your event. Even if your speaker is not necessarily well-known, if they’re informed and engaging, they can bring a lot of value to your promotion by simply adding another layer of communication with your consumers. 

Interpersonal connection is extremely important for positive brand associations, and creating a dialogue or Q&A with a guest speaker can be a significant source of positive reinforcement. 

6. Partner with influencers

In the digital age, there’s few things more powerful in terms of event marketing than influencers. Make room in your budget to partner with an influencer who can attend and capture engaging content at your event. In other words, hire influential people to both capture and, in a way, recreate your event so that it can be experienced not just by actual event attendees, but

This kind of social coverage can go a long way, and definitely pays out if you approach it correctly. Do your research and find not only influencers with an appropriate following for your budget, but also ones that fall into a specific niche that applies to your brand or event.

It also may be worthwhile to create longterm partnerships with influencers who focus on different social media platforms, from Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, and Youtube. That way, you’re getting your brand name across as many social channels as possible. 

7. Location, location, location

Location is of the utmost importance when it comes to event marketing. Choose locations strategically, based off where you think you’ll have the greatest reach with your target audience.

At Food Truck Promotions, we use a technology called Placer AI to pick brand activation locations based off real data. Though everything is kept anonymous, we can see everything from how populated an area is at a certain time to what the interests of that demographic are. Using this knowledge, we can make the best call for your event.

Apply These Event Marketing Strategies to Expand Your Brand!

Event marketing is highly effective for achieving business goals, boosting revenue, and making strong connections with prospects and customers. However, with that being said, you have to know what strategies to use to able to leverage the advantages of this marketing approach. 

We hope that the 7 main pieces of advice discussed in this blog have been helpful and inspiring. Partner with us when you apply these strategies to your next event marketing campaign!

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