Last month, I released my eBook ("Meet Charlie: The World's Greatest Event Marketer") about my decade-long journey from inexperienced event coordinator to a seasoned, data-driven event marketer.
I wrote it as a resource for event marketing professionals eager to produce more strategic events that create measurable impact on their companies (and, as a result, give the events team the recognition it deserves). I have been delighted and humbled by the reception so far. Haven't read the ebook? Click here to download the full ebook — it's free! — and keep reading for a few of the lessons you'll learn.
Throw an Event That's Worth Every Penny
Events account for one of the biggest slices of our marketing spend. Sound familiar? At the average company, event costs represent 20 percent to 25 percent of the annual marketing budget. Strategic event marketers can defend every penny spent if they can tie the event to specific business objectives. As Kevin Jackson from U.K.-based The Experience is the Marketing told me, "No CEO yells out of the office door, 'Get me an event!' What they say is, 'Increase my sales, build shareholder loyalty, align my employees, launch a product.'"
An event is often the best strategy to deliver on those (often multi-faceted) goals, but only if event marketers know those business goals beforehand and can prove how event spent moves the needle.
Building a Community: One Consistent Goal
Whether you're throwing an internal event or an external one, a common goal is likely to engage attendees, whether employees, customers, prospects—or a mix of all three. With a dedicated event app, I'm able to maximize engagement before, during and after the event. One of my favorite features of the DoubleDutch app is Topic Channels. Before the event, I seed the app with discussions dedicated to specific topics. It's a great way to get the conversations flowing throughout the event, and after the event, I comb through the channels to pull out ideas for blog posts, whitepapers and even future event sessions.
A Barometer for What's Working (and What Isn't)
I also find the Performance Manager in the DoubleDutch App very useful. The dashboard gives me an invaluable, real-time look at everything that's happening during the event, whether related to content or the overall experience. During a recent event, a spike of activity during lunch tipped me off to a potentially embarrassing problem (our catering company ran out of vegetarian options) that I was able to quickly rectify. Later, I learned that attendees absolutely loved one of our breakout speakers. I'm already planning to move her to the main stage next year. And after the event, I use the Performance Manager to download reports on key event engagement metrics, just the kind of data-driven reporting that separates strategic event marketers from event planners.
Want to learn more about how you can move from a logistics-focused event manager to an invaluable strategic leader within your marketing team? Download the full eBook today!