How to make an impact with your event marketing plan

This blog was written by Andi Fisher, Digital Marketing Executive at Elevate Communication.

Events can be a great marketing move for brands to reach audiences, develop and nurture relationships, generate content and leads, demonstrate products or services and raise brand awareness overall.  

But most of all, great events inspire. They provide opportunities to make new connections and memorable experiences. They help delegates make a change in their workplace or bring new ideas back to their team or research fields. Great events make an impact. 

In fact, 83% of delegates interviewed in September 2023 by ASN Events, some, 10 years after conference attendance, either agreed or strongly agreed that conferences can be highly impactful long after the event has been held. 

The key to creating lasting impact is a strategic marketing plan. Beyond simply filling seats, marketing is crucial in shaping perceptions, driving engagement, and sustaining momentum even after the event concludes.  

So, how do you create an engaging marketing plan that goes beyond the pre-event hype, the on-the-ground content and the ‘thank you for attending’ EDM?


Event marketing pre-event  

Ahead of your event, it’s essential to build anticipation and excitement—what we call ‘hype’. 

Underpinning all marketing content is your event’s distinct visual identity. Create collateral centered around your theme and brand to ensure audiences recognise you even at a glance. 

Highlight your event’s unique value proposition and the benefits of attending to attract attendees.  

After putting together the right message, it’s important to ensure it reaches the right audience. Market your event information, countdown the days and unveil speakers and sessions through your owned channels. While doing so, engage with your speakers, sponsors and exhibitors and ask them to post branded content on their own personal channels to increase reach.  

Don’t forget to invite your community to engage with your accounts too—LinkedIn has this feature for a reason! 

Finally, invest in earned media opportunities in the lead up to and during your event. Identify key journalists and publications in the sector that can share the hype and help your key messages reach the right audience. An important part of this includes inviting media along to cover the event in real-time to capture engaging visuals and commentary from your talent.  


Drive engagement with event marketing while on-site 

Congratulations, your event has begun! While on-site, it’s important you continue to engage with your delegates and wider community in real-time. Post live updates, key insights from keynote speakers and show your community just what your event is made of.   

Remember, tagging your speakers, sponsors and exhibitors so that they can reshare your posts will maximise reach and ultimately, awareness. 


Nurture relationships for future success 

While your event may be over for the year, the event marketing isn’t! Post-event marketing is all about the long lead. It’s about ensuring your attendees remain engaged, happy and excited to attend your next event. 

As such, it’s important to gather feedback and insights from attendees to ensure continuous improvement for future event planning. 

Keep these past attendees informed about movements for next year’s event or conference and keep it on their radar through EDMs, organic social media and your website.  

With permission, feature testimonials and employ user-generated content in your marketing strategy. After all, people love authenticity and they trust information from peers more than they trust information from brands.  

This ongoing engagement with attendees will foster long-term relationships and loyalty. 

Year on year as your event grows, so too will your brand and credibility in your industry.   

An effective marketing strategy for your event will do more than just fill seats. It will create a holistic experience that nurtures relationships and builds brand awareness and credibility, extending well beyond the conclusion of the event itself.   

Leveraging pre-conference, during conference, and post-conference marketing strategies can maximise impact, build lasting relationships, and establish a strong foundation for future success. 

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