Best Event Marketing Tactics to Use in 2020

You figured out the dates, you reserved the venue, you even have commitments from your line-up…

NOW you’re left with the most difficult and most important task of all: selling out your event. What event marketing tactics should you focus on? Which channels will give you the best return on your marketing efforts? Where are the hidden opportunities?

In this post, we reveal the best event marketing tactics you can apply in 2020. The data comes from the Intellitix State of Live Report, which you can download below.

Ready to level-up your event marketing? Let’s dig into the stats!

Where Will You Reach The Most Fans?

It has become a cornerstone of all event marketing, and the latest data shows that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon: social media is still king.

Why? You only need to take a look at the top 3 ways fans hear about your event:

A graph showing event discovery stats to use for event marketing

(Source: Intellitix State of Live Report.)

When considering marketing channels that fall completely under your control (unlike for example word of mouth), social media is more than twice as effective as email, the 2nd best channel. And compared to all others, marketing your event on social media can be as much as 6 times more effective than pursuing other trendy and hyped-up channels (more on these later).

This may be one scenario where it actually pays to put all your eggs in one basket.

Which social media platforms will your fans spend the most time on? The winners are heavily audiovisual, personal, story-driven platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat

A graph showing social media preferences to use for event marketing

(Source: Intellitix State of Live Report.)

There’s one thing all three of these platforms have in common: the users tend to not be anonymous, and their network is composed of people they know in real life. Events are inherently social, with almost 1/3rd of fans attending in groups of 4 friends or more. Therefore, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat will be your best choices for spreading the word.

Focus the overwhelming majority of your efforts and resources on these 3 platforms. Not only do your fans spend most of their time here — these 3 platforms are also perfect for amplifying buzz through word of mouth. And who doesn’t like a 2-for-1 deal?

Only once you’ve become a master social media marketer should you try to add other channels. But in event marketing, not all channels are created equal. In fact, some might be downright bad. Which ones might be a bad investment?

What Tactics Might Be a Waste of Your Time?

Something new is always abuzz in event marketing, and all competitive marketers scramble to stay ahead of the game. But be careful — not all that is trendy is supported by data.

Our report revealed one troubling finding: virtually all event producers whose budgets have been slashed are looking to influencer marketing as the next big opportunity to make their marketing dollars work.

This could be a costly mistake!

Influencer marketing ranked especially low when we looked at how fans learn about your event: it came in 7th place out of 10.

If you’re one of the event producers looking for influencers to come to the rescue, be careful. Unless you’re certain that influencers work especially well in your specific niche, it’s best to stick to the proven channels.

A few other tempting channels you should avoid include promoting your event through blogs (including programmatic ads), and you should steer clear of live streams as well — it’s simply not where fans are most likely to learn about your event. Instead, perfect the execution of your data-backed tactics before you start to experiment with others.

Which Hidden Opportunities Should You Test Out?

Already optimized your Social Media strategy? Ready to expand your marketing arsenal beyond the basics? There 2 big opportunities you could take advantage of.

1. Event marketers still seriously underutilize email marketing.

With email being the 3rd best channel after social media and word of mouth, ignoring it means you are probably leaving money on the table.

Yet when it comes to this channel, event marketers are still divided into skeptics and believers.

A graph showing statistics on the effectiveness of email marketing to use for event marketing

The Skeptics: Shockingly, roughly 1/3rd of our respondents reported not using any email marketing automation at all. Out of this group, only 10% believe that email is fairly or extremely effective.

The Believers: Compare the above group to the 2/3rds that use marketing automation. From this group, 64% believe email is either fairly effective or extremely effective as a channel.

That means those who use email marketing are 6 times more likely to see their efforts as fruitful compared to those who do not. If you fall within the skeptic camp, adding email marketing to your mix could result in great ROI — especially since email is very cheap compared to, for example, bidding on social media ads.

2. TikTok: the new channel to keep tabs on?

While it’s still too early to tell, some data suggests that TikTok may be the next big channel for event marketers. Here’s why:

The biggest age demographic to attend your event will be 18 to 25 year-olds.

A graph showing fan age demographics to use for event marketing

(Source: Intellitix State of Live Report.)

The core user base of platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram is slowly aging, as happens with the regular cycle of social media platform adoption.

Meanwhile, TikTok is gaining rapid traction according to recent statistics. It boasts 500 million active worldwide users. But what’s even more important is that 41% of TikTok’s user base is between 16 and 24 years old — a core demographic for event marketers.

We do not recommend you reallocate all your event marketing budget to TikTok, but running a few experiments or at least keeping tabs and maintaining a presence is probably in your best interest.

What Data Do You Need To Succeed?

It’s always good to keep tabs on industry trends and the latest research. But there’s something even better: keeping even closer tabs on your own fans and previous event attendees.

When asked how likely they are to attend the same event more than once, around 50% of fans responded that they are very likely to come back again. This is a huge opportunity, as it costs a lot less to get a returning customer than to acquire a new one. So your biggest return on investment will come from understanding why fans share their experiences on social, what keeps them coming back, and what ultimately makes word of mouth spread.

Need a little extra help in getting this part of the equation down? In addition to putting out yearly reports, Intellitix specializes in helping event organizers collect the right data about their events and fans. By deploying RFID solutions like ours at your event, you can:

  • Gather demographic and behavioral data about your fans
  • Monitor engagement with specific brands or activities
  • Respond to real-time data to ensure great experiences
  • Understand your most valuable fans
  • Make data-driven decisions about how to promote your next event

If that sounds like how you want to level-up your ever marketing game, you should reach out to our team. In the meantime and until you have gathered your own custom data, you can grab the aggregate data from our State of Live report here. Happy event marketing!

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