September 10, 2016
Being asked how inbound marketing can boost attendance numbers for business events? Maybe someone is questioning the investment of resources or doubting the value of inbound. There are several responses to give when challenged on taking this approach to increasing turn out at a conference, networking event or webinar.
51% of event organizers have not been able to increase their attendance numbers. — State of Event Marketing
Whether the business event is brand new or already established on that industry’s calendar, registration promotion should be a priority. To amp up attendance numbers, think first about the value your event has for an individual attendee.
According to the State of Event Marketing survey, “47% of event organizers do not have a well-defined buyer persona).” Yet inbound focuses on defining target audience segments. The marketer should do this for each business event separately to insure that resources are being invested in targeting the right population to increase attendance numbers.
84% feel that attending events is an important part of their job. — State of Event Marketing
Business event attendance is an expected part of the job for many roles across industries. Yet when it comes to organizing the event, few event organizers stop to determine who would actually benefit from attending their conference or trade show. With the buyer personas in mind, and a deep understanding of their challenges, the marketing team can better plan content marketing to appeal to different potential attendees.
For instance, the inbound marketer touting a conference addressing the SaaS market might appeal to the C-suite audience with content related to the keynote speaker or thought leadership panels. Yet for the IT team members, a focus on panels detailing technology attributes and advantages could be a greater draw.
Inbound content marketing also takes a focused, data driven approach to driving traffic to the event’s registration page. The event might be promoted in a newsletter, short video interview with a keynote speaker, blog articles highlighting the nuggets of wisdom from some of the scheduled presenters, as well as via social channels and email.
79% go to professional events specifically to learn something. — State of Event Marketing
Contrary to the interruptive practices of outbound, inbound marketing aims to employ awesome content that appeals to prospective leads by adding value and building trust. Carry this sentiment through to the landing page for the event signup. Inbound best practices for conversion can make a difference here too. For example:
59% of marketers have no way to measure or track the ROI of their events. — State of Event Marketing
Even after the event is over, the work is not done. Now is the time to pore over the metrics to determine success against key performance indicators. Ticket sales are an obvious indicator of success (when weighed against all costs), but other considerations might be:
47% of marketers plan to increase spending on their events. — State of Event Marketing
Practicing inbound marketing means organizers will continue to communicate with registrants to cultivate their enthusiasm for the event. Also, when the event is over, the marketing team might reach out:
Focusing only on how inbound marketing can boost attendee numbers for business events is a tactical mistake. Think bigger. Inbound marketing makes sure the resources going into promoting an event are spent targeting the right people. With inbound best practices, the organizers will see more attendees in the seats, but also a greater number of people who value being at the event.
Hubspot. (2014). The State of Event Marketing. https://offers.hubspot.com/the-state-of-event-marketing
Maya, T. (n.d.). 9 Eventprofs Share their Most Important Event KPIs. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/blog/important-event-kpis-ds00/
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