You know the #1 fear that all of my clients have?
What if nobody comes to my event?
And while last week, I talked about how you can get booties in the chairs, I also know that people who WANT to get more speaking experience, who WANT to get up in front of a group of people and share their genius, and who WANT to fill the room with amazing potential clients...well, they need a plan.
So today, I'm going to share my own marketing plan for live event ease.
Because you know what really sucks? Marketing an event, selling tickets, AND trying to plan it at the same time.
1. Set a Date: Set a date to a) start selling tickets to your pre-sale email list b) sell tickets to the public and c) close ticket sales (usually two or three week after the cart opens, depending on the event).
A BIG mistake that event organizers make is that they keep ticket sales open, hoping that people show up last minute (which sometimes they do). If someone really wants to come to your event, they'll email you after the cart is closed and they'll get a ticket from you. But it's not worth the headache and the stress to hope people will show up last minute (not to mention, it throws a wrench in your planning).
Plus, if you're planning on selling more tickets later on (say, if it's a larger event like a conference or multi-day workshop) you can always re-open sales after your first run and have had time to prep a bigger launch.
2. Social Media: Write down a set of 3 - 5 Instagram posts, daily Facebook posts, (pre-launch can be up to a week or two before tickets actually go on sale). The call to action is always "Sign up on my list to get early access to VIP tickets" or something. Creating the buzz around when tickets go on sale means people will be waiting to buy, and funneling them to your email list is always a great way to go in the long run...even if they don't buy right away.
3. Blog: Write a blog post per week (2-3 posts should do it) about the strategies that you're going to teach at the event. If you're a wellness blogger, talk about how to create a weekly shopping list. If you're a marketing expert, talk about the biggest pitfalls to marketing. Be sure to send these posts to your list with a little PS (or Pre-S, which I've seen a few bloggers and marketers do and it's super smart), saying "FYI Tickets for my next event are going on sale next week and we're going to talk about this exact subject. Mark your calendars so that you can get first dibs".
4. Facebook Event: Create a Facebook event for your workshop. Invite people to it and ask your friends to commit to at least saying they'll attend, so that it gets organically shared across their social media accounts as well.
1. Social Media: I post daily on my active social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram...only choose two if you're already feeling overwhelmed) with a specific call to action about ticket sales, as well as an update about how many spots are left (this LIGHTS FIRES let me tell you...say that only 10 tickets are left makes people HUNGRY).
2. Emails: I usually send one email to the early-bird list that I've set up (the people I culled during my pre-launch), one email to my main list (usually 24 hours after the early birds signed up), and then another email to each list (if I haven't combined them by then) in the middle of the launch and then right before the cart closes.
If you're having a big event, you may want to send more emails, but for smaller workshops and things, I focus on a holistic approach (email, social, and reaching out directly).
3. Send a "You're My Favorite" email to your personal community: One of the best things I do is asking people who I KNOW believe in me and my work to help do some of the heavy lifting of marketing for me. I send them an image and some pre-fabbed social media posts, then ask them to post once or twice if they remember about the event.
This is worked SO well in the past, and has helped me reach even larger communities. And since it's pretty quick for them and on brand, I've never had push back.
Your mileage may vary with this one, as some friends with large communities may think this is off-brand for them. That's okay; just make sure to not take it personally.
1. Social: I keep posting behind the scenes updates of the planning process maybe once or twice a week, to keep people excited and engaged about the event. This keeps the event in people's heads and if they see the hype continue, they're more likely to be prepped for the next time you launch an event.
2. Re-evaluate and relaunch: For larger events, another strategy may be to close ticket sales for a while and then do another launch. I have only seen this a handful of times and usually the second launch is at a higher price point, but if you've used the interim to grow your following and gain a different audience, it may be possible to re-open the cart. This is probably better for larger events with bigger lead times that may have the potential for multiple launches.
Okay your turn. Have you ever launched an event? What is one event marketing tip that worked well for you? Tell me in the comments below!