5 Costly Event Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Event marketing is a cornerstone for any business or enterprise that hosts events, regardless of size. Successful corporate event planning offers many potential benefits, including:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Building brand affinity
  • Establishing and developing relationships
  • Increasing leads
  • Promoting products and/or improving sales
  • Increasing the customer database
  • Brand credibility and thought leadership
  • Increasing ROI

These benefits are why event marketing success is crucial for business growth. However, event marketing can be a tricky business because of the many elements to be taken into consideration. With so much going on, small things can slip through the cracks and create a cascading event that ultimately derails the success of your event. Moreover, in corporate events, there are no second chances.

Success in event marketing lies in the ability to mitigate disasters before they occur. Identifying preventable catastrophes ensures you deliver a great experience. Where event marketing is concerned, it's always better to be over-prepared and know the most comment mistakes to avoid.

Mistake No. 1: Not Communicating with Other Departments

Poor communication is one of the most common mistakes in event marketing. Corporate event planning is complex and challenging. There are a lot of considerations to ensure success. While the marketing team must be responsible for many event-related tasks, every department must be involved in the event management process.

Internal collaboration between departments is key to an event’s success. If departments share the same vision and understand each other’s role during the event, achieving success is easier.

There are many ways to encourage collaboration between departments, including clarifying designated roles, using a shared calendar to communicate deadlines, and holding meetings to update everyone concerned on the event planning progress and get feedback on potential issues.

Mistake No. 2: Not Timing the Pre-Event Buzz Appropriately

In event marketing, timing is everything. Promoting the event too early forces marketers to work hard at maintaining audience interest. The same is true with starting too late. Late event promotion reduces lead time, resulting in a decrease in audience attendance. So, pay close attention to the timing of your event.

Create ample lead time with promotions to ensure your event’s promotional campaign has a thoughtful cadence. The official invite to the event should occur four to six weeks before the event. Prior to that, promote the event with teaser material to pique audience interest.

Once the official event RSVP is sent, follow up with event promotions every two weeks. Send final reminders a few days before the event date. This allows you to ensure audiences are well-informed, thereby optimizing event attendance rates.

Mistake No. 3: Not Leveraging the Resources of Sponsors and Partnerships

The right sponsors, vendors, speakers and exhibitors are crucial to the success of any event. The right partnerships can be invaluable to your event marketing strategy, too. Each of these resources has their own customer network of high-quality consumers. In turn, these customer networks can be leveraged as new marketing opportunities for your event.

To reach these potential event attendees, you must provide value to your sponsors, speakers and exhibitors. Once they see the value in sharing customer networks, they will be more than happy to share their own customer network with you.

One way to provide value to your event partners is through partnership event marketing. Offer to create an event landing page for your sponsors and exhibitors on their website. By featuring their business on an event landing page, you give them the opportunity to promote their business to your audience.

This also allows you to market your event to their existing customers, providing you with the opportunity to entice their customer network to attend your event.

Mistake No. 4: Over-Promising and Under-Delivering

Ideally, marketers ensure their event has enough promotional hype to over-deliver on expectations. But building too much hype and not being able to deliver can result in a PR nightmare for marketers and the business they represent. Over-promising an event can also leave attendees disappointed; a disappointed customer is less likely to participate in future events.

An excellent way for marketers to create high demand and avoid over-promising is to use the scarcity principle, which plays on people’s fear of missing out. Prospective attendees are more willing to purchase tickets if they’re under the impression that tickets will soon be unavailable.

Marketers can leverage the concept of scarcity by using limited-time offers, ticket quantity limitations and one-time-only promotions. Adding countdown on the event landing page and using email marketing can increase demand and bolster ticket sales as well.

Likewise, marketers should add a disclaimer to the event landing page and purchasing agreement. This ensures your event is legally protected if last-minute changes occur due to unforeseen circumstances.

Mistake No. 5: Ignoring Post-Event Marketing

Too often, event marketers focus solely on creating event buzz and forget to implement a post-event marketing campaign. Post-event marketing is equally (if not more so) important than pre-event marketing. When done right, post-event marketing can convert leads into sales.

The key to finding success in post-event marketing is to use a variety of marketing mediums to stay in touch with event attendees.  A multi-channel approach to post-event engagement can include:

  • A post-event survey
  • Follow-up networking events
  • Repurposing event content to showcase event highlights
  • Thank-you emails
  • Extended event-only offers (e.g., product launch discounts, service promotions)

Using these post-event marketing strategies allows your business to nurture potential customers into loyal brand advocates. Post-event marketing also gives marketers the opportunity to measure the success of the event. In turn, this helps ensure the next event can be marketed with the assurance of greater success.

Winning at Event Marketing

Planning a successful event can be a herculean task, particularly when event marketing is concerned. Creating a memorable event experience doesn’t happen by accident; it takes planning, collaboration and efficient delivery. Don’t let all your marketing efforts go to waste.

By understanding the event marketing mistakes outlined here, you will be equipped with the know-how to execute a successful marketing campaign that drives audience engagement, increases attendance rates and delivers better ROI.

Mahmoud Majed

Mahmoud Majed

Mahmoud Majed is managing director at Level Production in Dubai. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


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