You need to think of your event marketing and promotion as a year long process. This is especially true if you have a recurring event. Don't let the thought of year round event marketing scare you. There are simple things you can do to automate your event marketing. Let's start by looking at the opportunity that most event planners are missing...
Take a look at the graph above. The graph is a 12 month web site visitor graph from the air show in Rochester, New York. As you can see, most of the traffic comes to the web site in a time frame of 15 days before and after the event. The trend above is consistent with almost every web site I've ever seen. It's important to note that 33% of total web site traffic comes in the 6 months before and after the event. Most event planners and organizers miss the opportunity to capitalize on the traffic coming to their web site. You need to look at any traffic to your web site as a year round event promotion opportunity.
One simple way to automate your event marketing is to setup a simple opt-in box on your home page. Think of target market focused ways to get people to sign up for your event email list. Make an offer to give anyone who opts into your email list exclusive content about your event or discount ticket prices. In order to get people to opt-in, you'll going to have to make them an offer that's enticing to them. When you have a compelling offer, you can automatically collect email addresses from your target market year round. Have an autoresponder setup that automatically sends information about your event to the people on your email list.
Market Your Event Before and After
As your event approaches, use your email list to market your event. A home grown list allows you to directly interact with your target market. If a person is signing up to your event email list, they've prequalified themselves as interested. Ask yourself, how many people are going to sign up to your event email list if they're not at least curious about your event? After the event, follow up with your list to get feedback on ways to improve your event. Recurring events can use the ideas above to grow their list year after year.
Remember that most people only visit your web site once. If you can collect someone's email address - you have a pre-qualified list of people interested in your event. Keep the focus of your marketing on delivering high quality content and establishing trust. Don't sales pitch people as soon as you get their email address.
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Eugene "Az" Loj (Loj pronounced Loy, like joy) has spent the last ten years in the event and air show industry. Eugene is in the final stages of launching his "Event Promotion System" online course and book. The System shows event marketers and promoters how to maximize their event marketing on the Internet and with multiple forms of traditional advertising. Learn more about Event Marketing & Event Promotions here.