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- Choosing an email provider: Ten questions
- Discover the secrets of successful surveys
- Nine tips for building opt-in lists
- Planning and designing surveys
- Seven-step newsletter launch plan
- Six tips for effective newsletters
Event Drives: our four-stage model
There's nothing like event management to make you feel unloved. You plan the perfect date, find the best venue and send out flirtacious emails asking your partners to share your passion. When the day comes, you're stood up and even the saddest songs on the radio can't express your misery.Seminar visitors can be fickle. One minute they can't wait to see what you've got to offer. The next, they're working late at the office.
This model has been developed from our experience managing hundreds of campaigns for blue chip companies. It's yours to use for free. We'll expect a card in February, though.
Bad event planning is easy - people do it all the time. They send out thousand word emails detailing every aspect of an event, which it's clear not even their proofreader has read to the end. They have a registration process that feels like a round in a TV quiz show, testing stamina, agility and psychic perception.
Bad events organisers believe their event will be great. Good events organisers know it will only be great if they make it easy for people to agree to come.
The secret of events promotion is simple: don't bore your prospects and don't make them work too hard.
Our model breaks your communications down into The Informer, The Teaser, The Reminder and The Follow-Up.
1. The Informer
Send your target audience a message telling them about your event and outlining the benefits of participation. Urge them to keep the date free but don't oversell it. Keep it brief and save the detail for later.
Prepopulate the registration form with as much as information as possible to speed up registration and ensure accuracy. If this is tricky for you to set up yourself, talk to an email marketing provider. Segment registrants so you can easily identify who has signed up and who hasn't.
If people opt out of further information at any stage, ask them why. Find out where or when your next event should take place to ensure maximum participation.
Finally, test everything. Check you don't have duplicates in your list. Test the creative on a seed list. Check the registration form and ensure that any form validation (i.e. email address format) is working as you'd expect.
2. The Teaser
Even after registration, your visitors aren't guaranteed. Busy people will be asked to attend other events, or maybe do some proper work. Make sure your event remains their priority.
Sustain the buzz by emailing regular news about the event. Don't nag: Send fresh information each time, perhaps announcing a new speaker, or offering help with hotel bookings.
Short, relevant emails build momentum. Irrelevant messages turn people off.
Use intelligence supplied by The Informer to target your messages. If you're smart, you'll be able to send different messages to people who haven't registered yet. Ask them to book now to guarantee their place or benefit from an early bird discount. Everyone who hasn't opted out is still a potential attendee.
You can also target messages based on where people are coming from and why they're attending. If visitors are coming from abroad, help them plan their flight. If they're local, send them train timetables. Exhibitors will want to know how many visitors to expect, and delegates will want to know which companies they can network with. Reinforce the reasons for coming.
Keep sending teasers during the pre-event period to sustain the buzz.
3. The Reminder
Don't let them slip away at the last minute.
For an online event, a reminder emailed an hour before it can dramatically increase participation.
If people are travelling from elsewhere in the country, a morale-boosting message the previous day will help them face the long journey. International visitors should receive a reminder the week before, and perhaps be told about weekend entertainments if they are extending their stay or arriving early. If you've done your registration research right, you'll know where delegates are coming from.
Add value by sending a travel checklist and on-site information to make the trip and event participation as smooth as possible.
Tell non-registrants who haven't opted out what the arrangements are for last minute registration. If they can just turn up, make it clear.
Keep the content of the reminder practical. It's too late if they're not sold on your idea by now so don't waste time repeating a sales pitch.
4. The Follow-up
Thank visitors for helping to make the event the success it almost certainly was. Tell them what you liked most about the event so that your message doesn't look like a soulless standard email.
Tell those who didn't make it that you're sorry they couldn't come and you hope to see them at the next event. If it's done smartly, people will think they're getting a personal email from an event organiser and will be more likely to react. You could even tell them what they missed out on, and offer them copies of slides or the programme to keep your message useful.
If you've already got the next event planned, publicise the date and location but save the details for the next Informer.
We hope our model has helped your events go with a bang. If you'd like to talk about how StoneShot's technology and consultancy services can make your event drives more effective, call us on 020 7628 4444.