How to create an event marketing plan

When you’ve poured your heart and soul into creating a stellar event, it’s only right that you do it justice with a carefully devised promotion strategy.

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about creating an impactful event marketing plan. Let’s start with the basics:

What is a marketing plan for an event?

An event marketing plan is a document (or documents) that outlines the strategy behind, and the timeline for your promotional activity. It provides a central place for you to store all of your logic, planning and practical information, making it so much more likely that you’ll meet your marketing goals and stay within your budget. 

What are the components of an event marketing plan?

The core components of an event marketing plan are:

  • Goals: you’ll need goals for your marketing activity and for the event itself.

  • Target audience: you’ll need to know who exactly it is you should be appealing to with your promotional activity.

  • Content and channel strategy: you’ll need to decide which channels you are going to use (e.g. social media, radio, your own website), and what kind of content will be most effective (e.g. videos, articles, social media posts).

  • Monitoring and success measurement: you’ll need to have ways of measuring how successful marketing has been, otherwise you’ll have no idea what your return on investment is (ROI). 

The 7 key stages of creating your content marketing plan

  1. Identify your target audience 

    Identifying your target audience is a vital first step in any event marketing strategy. Fail to do so and you could end up wasting precious resources – there’s no point marketing to people who would never have been interested in your event in the first place.

    Check out our guide to identifying a target audience for an event here.

  2. Set clear goals and objectives for your event

    The next stage in creating a marketing plan for your event is to define a set of measurable goals. These will help you to hone your marketing activity – for example, if one of your event objectives is to sell 50% more early bird tickets than at your last event, you’ll want to gear your promotional activity towards making sales for that specific ticket type. 

    We have an article on how to define key performance indicators (KPIs) for an event, which is definitely worth checking out if you’re unfamiliar with goal-setting. 

  3. Create a marketing budget

    Now that you’ve got an idea of what you want to achieve with your event marketing, it’s time to set a realistic budget, which will take up a proportion of your overall event budget. As a starting point, it can help to look at what similar events are doing marketing-wise when devising your budget. This will give you an idea of what exactly you’re competing against, and help you gauge a minimum level of marketing activity needed.

  4. Define a ticketing strategy 

    Devising a logical ticketing strategy is an important part of any event marketing plan. This can be informed by research carried out around your target audience – are they more likely to buy tickets well in advance, or does evidence show they’re more last-minute purchasers? Are you expecting to get many group bookings? What price-point are similar events selling tickets at?

    Gathering this information and using it to inform your ticket strategy will mean you’re better equipped when it comes to planning out your event marketing timeline and promotional content.

    Head here to discover how Ticket Tailor can help you streamline the ticketing process through seamless integration with all your marketing tools.

  5. Choose your marketing channels

    There are tons of channels to choose from when it comes to marketing an event, from social media through to radio, TV and other PR opportunities. To decide which channels are best for you, it’ll be important to do plenty of research. Again, try looking into competitors first to get an idea of how similar events to yours have promoted themselves. It’s also important to get familiar with which channels resonate with your target audience. Are they most active on Instagram? Or are they likely to be reachable through more traditional methods, like a print article in a local magazine?

    Once you’ve done your research, solidify your choices by writing about each channel you’re going to use. In your plan, cover off:

    • Why you’re using each channel – e.g. Instagram is good for visual content, which is proven to resonate well with your audience).

    • How much you intend to spend on each channel – e.g. 20% of marketing budget to go towards Facebook advertising, 15% towards print PR etc.

    • How much content you plan to push out on each channel – e.g. one article in X magazine, daily social posts on Instagram, X number of Facebook ads. 

  6. Set measurable goals for each channel 

    Setting measurable goals for each channel will help you to keep your marketing efforts – and spending – on track. Some examples of goals might be:

    • Get X number of followers on Instagram

    • Make X% of sales conversions through advertising activity

    • Sell X number of tickets through a dedicated website landing page

  7. Devise your timeline and plan content production

    Now it’s time to start planning out the actual production of your marketing content. This is where you can get creative – you’ll be able to draw on all of the information you’ve pulled together so far in coming up with ideas, whether that’s topics for articles, themes for video content, or even just copy for social posts.

    Draw on the relative experts within your team through hosting idea sessions, and make sure to seek the advice of creatives when it comes to what’s viable production-wise. 

    Once you’ve pulled together your core ideas, it’ll be time to map them out in a timeline that reflects your ticket strategy and target audience research.

Coming up with a solid event marketing plan doesn’t have to be daunting if you tackle the task in manageable chunks. We hope this article has given you a good starting point – just remember, where there’s time, money and effort involved, preparation really is everything. Let the planning commence.