Survey Shows Email Marketing, Social Media as Best Mediums for Event Promotions

Each year billions of dollars are spent on events by marketers hoping to engage with event attendees in a meaningful way. According to the CMO Council, about 14% of total marketing budgets went to live events last year, and other reports suggest that this number will only increase in 2016.

While many marketers and event organizers have a rough understanding of what works and what doesn’t work when organizing an event, until now, there has been a lack of consensus around event marketing best practices.

Furthermore, anecdotal evidence suggests that organizers have diverse goals when it comes to event planning. Some are hoping to use events as a lead generation tactic, while others want to drive brand awareness, while still others are hoping to use events as a way of generating revenue.

In order to better understand the event planning industry, Bizzabo a company that provides organizers with an event management platform, decided to survey nearly 500 professional event planners to see how they really plan events in 2016.

The Event Professionals of Tomorrow Report that resulted from these findings shows that there is a consensus among planners about event marketing best practices, and key goals organizers should pay attention to.

Event Marketing Practices That Really Work

According to the Event Professionals of Tomorrow Report, respondents indicated that email marketing was the most effective channel for event promotion. Eighty five percent of respondents said that they use email marketing to promote their events.

More importantly, 45% of those surveyed said that email marketing was the most successful medium for increasing event registrations.

Second on the list of marketing channels, is organic social media promotion. Eighty two percent of those surveyed said that they used social media to promote their events. Not surprisingly, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where the platforms most used by event promoters, 81% selected Facebook, 76% chose Twitter and 69% used LinkedIn for event promotion purposes.

Opportunities for Improved Event Promotion

Despite being popular among younger audiences, organizers are hesitant to use social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Only 28% of respondents used Instagram and 7% used Snapchat to promote events.

Event marketers and organizers would be wise to further utilize these social media platforms in order to attract Millennials and Generation Z to upcoming events. According to research from comScore, Snapchat is the third most popular social media platform among Millennials, their second most popular platform – Instagram.

Organizers who want to plan events with enduring popularity, must engage younger demographics by using the social media platforms that young people prefer.

In addition to reaching younger event attendees, event promoters must eventually move away from marketing channels that are proving to be ineffective. “Word of mouth” marketing is employed by 69% of survey respondents, however, organizers report that other mediums like email marketing and social media are more effective at event promotion.

Moving forward, organizers should make an effort to move away from less effective marketing channels like “word of mouth” in order to become experts in other mediums like email, and social media.

Common Ways Organizers Define Success

The Event Professionals of Tomorrow report revealed that event planners primarily measure the success of an event based on attendee feedback. Eighty four percent of respondents indicated that attendee satisfaction is the primary way organizers define success. Ticketing revenue was the second most popular factor, at 56%.

While event organizers were primarily interested in measuring success based on attendee satisfaction, organizers reported that their biggest challenge was attracting attendees to their event in the first place.

Thirty seven percent of organizers reported that attracting event attendees was their biggest challenge. Given the fact that we see many areas for improvement when it comes to event marketing, this comes as no surprise.

Conclusion: Event Technology Is a Potential Solution to Planner’s Problems

Despite the many benefits of event planning technology, the majority of planners (58%) indicate that they spend 10% or less on event planning technology.

Perhaps organizers should consider investing more in technology in order to better market their events to solve their biggest pain point – attracting attendees.

Event technology would also help organizers to better evaluate attendee satisfaction – their most commonly reported event planning goal.

Article Written By: David Epstein