Editor's note: In the lead-up to our Audience Driven Summit this October, we're excited to share this guest post from the HeySummit team that's all about event marketing—what it is, why it matters, and how you can get started. Note: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means we receive compensation if you purchase through these links.
There are a heck of a lot of marketing strategies out there. So why does event marketing stand out to online entrepreneurs? What even is event marketing?? Where do I even begin???
Don’t panic—we've got you. Let’s dive into exactly what event marketing is, what it’s good for, and how to get started.
First Things First: What Is Event Marketing?
Event marketing uses events to raise awareness, generate leads, and convert customers. Events give your customers the perfect way to directly engage with your brand, product or service.
If you’re someone who:
- Wants to grow your audience
- Wants to activate a customer population through your network
- Wants to serve an existing community
- Is keen to position yourself as a thought leader in your space
- Is passionate about a particular subject, cause, or product
- Wants to get yourself out there
🎷 Then event marketing is your jam. 🎷
What Is Event Marketing Good For?
Short answer: lead generation, cross-pollination, passive income streams, partnerships, and nurture. But you want to know why, don’t you? Let’s go.
When you launch events, you activate your online community. Or help to build one. Giving your audience a space to thrive also gives them the mic to spread the word about themselves.
Hosting an event often means recruiting speakers. And recruiting speakers means cross-pollination.
Cross-pollination is when business leaders combine their talents to extend their reach. When you recruit a speaker to your event, you give them the opportunity to speak directly to your audience and those of their fellow speakers (if you have several). In turn, you get access to their audience. It’s a win-win! Or a win-win-win if you’ve got two speakers. Or a win-win-win-win if you…well, you get the idea.
Speakers are absolute beacons of lead generation. What better way to lead people to your brand than having speakers bring their audiences straight to you?
And if all that wasn’t enough, when you bring your entrepreneurial peers together, you establish yourself as a connector and thought leader in your field.
Cross-pollination is one of the most impactful time savers in marketing, and event marketing is the most efficient way to do it.
Passive Income Streams
We’re not shy here—let’s talk money. Event marketing is a great way to generate new streams of revenue.
Most virtual events don't happen live. They’re pre-recorded or ongoing. Even if they do happen live, they’re easily recordable. That makes every virtual event you launch forever available as a stream of passive income after your initial launch date.
Running weekly recorded events, for example, creates both an active revenue stream and an entire series of passive streams.
Securing Partnerships and Sponsorships
Events are ideal for securing and working with partners and sponsors, because you’re given so many opportunities to showcase them.
In the lead-up to your event, you can showcase your sponsors and partners on your landing pages, social media posts, and website. You’ll thank and advertise your sponsors during your event, and you’ll give your partners and sponsors a spot in post-event communication with attendees.
If you have a community, whatever its size, and you’re not giving partners and sponsors the opportunity to work with you at events, you’re missing out on a whole lot of revenue and lead generation.
Customer Engagement & Nurture
Events give your audience the perfect opportunity to interact with each other and your brand. When you host weekly, biweekly, monthly, or even yearly events, you keep your community talking and growing. With HeySummit’s live chat feature, you’re free to talk directly to your audience and they’re free to chat with each other.
Let Me at It! How Do I Start?
You know how this stuff goes, embarking on a new marketing strategy takes work. But there’s no reason to make it harder than it has to be.
We cannot stress this enough:
You do not need a big team behind you to launch a virtual event.
A common misconception that puts people off event marketing stems from the idea that you need a big team behind you—you absolutely don’t. At HeySummit, we’ve seen virtual events of up to 10,000 attendees run by a team of two.
It’s absolutely possible, even commonplace, for one person to manage tens of speakers in a large virtual event catering to thousands of attendees.
Naturally, your goal, objectives, and existing audience come into play here, but event marketing is by no means out of reach for you if you don’t have a large team. All you need is the right platform. Obviously, we’re biased, but there are a few great platforms that help you plan, manage and run successful events—like SPI is doing for their upcoming summit.
Interested in hosting your first online event? Check out HeySummit with a 14-day free trial. HeySummit offers customizable landing pages, email templates, and attendee analytics to help streamline your event marketing strategy.