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What Is Event Marketing?

What Is Event Marketing?

While the term “event marketing” can refer to the basic advertising and promotion of a 5K run, golf tournament, fundraising ball, or other events, the larger goals often go beyond that. 

Event marketing is often a tool businesses use to help create or maintain a brand or image, build customer loyalty or introduce new products or services into the marketplace. In addition to marketing your event, makes sure you market your sponsors to create a successful event marketing strategy.

The Purpose

It’s important to know why an event exists if you are marketing one. Simply buying ads, putting up flyers, sending out press releases, and otherwise promoting the event may not meet the goals of the organizers.

Discuss the purpose of the event not only with the organizers but with the sponsors, as well. Sponsors often underwrite the bulk of an event or are responsible for a considerable portion of it. If they don’t get the benefits they seek, they won’t sponsor it next year. 

Event marketing is so important to some businesses, they own and operate events to help increase sales, visibility, product sampling, and for other reasons. Understanding the goals of sponsors will help you create on-site and off-site marketing strategies that help you market the event and its sponsors.

On-Site Marketing

Once you have drawn people to your event and the big day is here, you are not done with event marketing. On the day or evening of your event, you will need to market your sponsors.

During your planning of the event, you’ll need to work with the person or group running the tournament, race, dinner, or auction. Work together to determine ways to increase sponsor exposure. 

For example, put sponsor logos on participants, staff, and officials' shirts. Determine the best place for signage. Look for product sampling opportunities, such as including samples in welcome bags, offering coupons, or setting up a booth. 

If your event will be televised, learn where the cameras will be placed so you can put signage behind players or other areas that TV audiences will see frequently.

Visit several other events similar to yours to learn how they market theirs and what they do on-site to promote their sponsors. You can get a wealth of ideas from watching how established events are marketed.

Off-Site Marketing

To promote the event and increase attendance, use a mix of advertising, public relations, and promotions. Create a media list of newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, and websites that cater to the type of participant you want at your event. 

Collect media kits to verify they serve the audience you want. Include your sponsors’ logos in printed materials so they get the maximum benefit from event marketing.

Post-Event Marketing

It’s important to continue the success of your event by following up with post-event marketing. This includes press releases to the local media with numbers of participants, results, amount of funds raised, and any human-interest stories. 

Always include the names of sponsors and any donations they made. Send thank-you letters to participants and sponsors, and include the date for next year’s event so they can schedule it on their calendars.

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