Both rewarding and critical, the organization of an event requires a common vision and synergistic action by the various stakeholders. Like service, events take on the character of “simultaneity” of production and consumption. That said, whether you are the owner of your event or a simple service provider, event planning must follow a rational scheme that considers all the variables and possible risks.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of event planning from a marketing perspective.
Establish a marketing plan for the event
Who are the different audiences for the event? What should he offer them? At what price? What type of event to choose and for what objectives?
These questions are unavoidable before planning an event. To respond to this, a marketing plan should be put in place according to the reasoning presented below. Click here for more information.
Segmentation and targeting
Strategically, the first step is to segment the audience into homogeneous audiences in terms of expectations: co-producers, partners, guests, participants, exhibitors, service providers, media, etc. Targeting each audience follows different processes. Thus, based on your network or the services of a specialized agency, you must put in place a targeting strategy that provides for:
- The different target audiences;
- Targeting channels: exploitation of databases, digital targeting, advertising, etc.;
- Remarketing/prelaunch campaigns;
- The value offered to each segment: for example, partners will be interested in visibility, guests in networking, exhibitors in business plans opportunities, etc.
- Targeting strategy evaluation tools.
Thus, to highlight the value of the event, it is essential to provide it with a relevant and differentiated positioning.
Positioning your event means distinguishing it from others by giving it a unique identity. The crystallization of this positioning will reflect the event’s vision, mission, and objectives.
- The vision: The vision is a representation that should reflect, in a stimulating but realistic way, the future (of a market/community/industry, etc.) that the event would have helped to improve. This is the ideal to which we aspire through the organization of an event.
- The Mission: This is the reason for the event. Identifying the mission will allow stakeholders (guests, service providers, media, etc.) to understand their roles during the event and to take part in it in a relevant way.
- The objectives: They must be presented in a detailed, quantified, and budgeted way to allow an objective evaluation of the event based on the rate of achievement of its initial objectives.
These axes will be used as arguments to illustrate the interest in the event with partners, customers, or sponsors. Thus, it is important to define and formulate them thoughtfully.
The content of the event
To ensure the relevance of the programming, it is important to study, upstream, the needs of the different audiences of the event. The content of the latter must relate to the issues and activities likely to interest your audiences while considering the offer of competing events.
On a practical level, it is necessary to define the distribution in time and space of the main activities and on the sidelines of the event, as well as:
- Types of activities: conferences, exhibitions, parties, shows, dinners, etc.
- The key players in each action: speakers, speakers, service providers, security guards, etc.
- Spaces adapted according to the nature of the action: open space/dining room, restaurants.
Depending on its objectives, the organizer can provide free access, reserve for guests, or pay for all or part of the activities. In the latter case, pricing must meet several constraints, including:
- The production cost: the costs incurred by setting up the event.
- The economic model, or how the event will be financed (rental of exhibition space, sale of tickets, sponsorship, by the organizer himself, etc.);
- The objective: whether it is to make a profit through the event or to use it as a promotional tool;
- The pricing policy is divided into two major categories:
Penetration: practice a reduced or symbolic price to maximize the audience.
Skimming: policy of high prices allowing to realize substantial margins and to benefit from an elitist image.
- Loyalty plan: organizing an event is an excellent opportunity to grant privileges/price reductions to the company’s loyal customers.
- Differentiated pricing: define different prices according to audiences and variations in demand.
- The psychological price: the price that potential participants are willing to pay to attend the event.
The use of technology and mobile applications, consumption of content, centers of interest, and consumption habits differ according to age group, gender, socio-professional category, and other socio-economic factors. Demographics.
Thus, it is important to carefully choose the communication channels, traditional, digital, or a combination of both, to reach the intended audiences.
Traditional communication tools
- Audiovisual advertising (television, radio);
- Outdoor display;
- Public relations ;
- Conferences, exhibitions ;
- Written media (magazines and newspapers);
- Advertising and sponsored posts on social media;
- Purchasing keywords on search engines;
- community management;
- Mobilization of influencers;
The marketing function intervenes in a transversal way in the planning and organization of an event without being limited in the space-time of the latter.
Indeed, the event constitutes, in itself, an excellent experiential marketing instrument that also ensures ample communication and media spin-offs. Thus, due to its generally high cost, it is crucial to intensify and sustain the event’s influence by implementing a solid and insightful marketing strategy.
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