How to stay in full control of your event marketing

As we mentioned in our five biggest frustrations blog post, a lack of control over your event marketing is one of the most significant sources of problems and headaches during the event organisation.

Every question, search, update, etc. you need to take care of personally and/or manually has the potential to result in a severe loss of time or resources.

At InviteDesk we like to avoid problems, headaches, losing time, and wasting resources. So we put together a brief overview of how you can keep full control over your event marketing efforts.

1. Controlling your collaboration

Well-oiled event marketing requires a synergy between marketing and sales teams. We’ve covered this topic in-depth in another blog post, but it comes down to this:

Where marketers have the skills to set up, communicate, and execute the event itself, your salespeople should play an important role during the invitation process. After all, they have already established valuable relationships and know of potential business opportunitieswhich your event could facilitate.

As Marketing and Sales need to be able to work both autonomously and together, you’ll want to be in control of these two areas:

  1. Visibility: Every person involved should have access to all the information he or she needs and, at the same time, be excluded from irrelevant or restricted data. If everything is centralised and up-to-date for everyone, the number of questions in your mailbox or Slack channel will decrease drastically.
  2. Accountability: Your marketing event chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If a team member can’t deliver (not providing the right guests, sending out emails too late, failing to present replacements for declines, etc.) they either need to get extra support or step up their game. Identifying substandard efforts is vital to remain productive as a team!

It doesn’t matter how much control marketing retains or transfers to sales exactly. Both parties need to be aligned at all times to guarantee a smooth event marketing process.

2. Controlling your communication

Event marketing communication is not just about informing the guest that there’s an event taking place to which they’re invited to. It’s following up on their questions, informing them of changes, surveying on lunch choices, reminding them to sign up for certain sessions or accept the calendar invite with practical information (and keeping said invite up to date), inquire them on their reason for declining, ask what they thought about the event afterwards… And spreading that information internally as well.

And then we haven’t even talked about ticketing yet. Every guest needs the right amount of tickets, containing the right information (including last-minute changes), delivered at the right address(es), at the right time.

To keep track of these things manually and rely on every team member to take care of communications individually is time-consuming and prone to producing errors. You need to be in control of the accuracy of the content, the quality, and the tone of voice as much as possible. In other words, invest in templates and tools that allow you to create messages for your team members which they then can use confidently, knowing what they send out is accurate and up to date.

At the same time, you want these means of communication to be flexible enough so you can easily inject new invites into your stream of communication without them missing a heartbeat.

3. Controlling your automation

As you’ve might have noticed, gaining control means relying on tech and various methods of automation. Clicking one checkbox beats changing every Excel entry and having the right emails go out to the right guests automatically is much more reliable than expecting every salesperson to take care of this individually.

But event marketing specific automation needs to go beyond the basics in order to assure full control.

Your guest list automation, for example, should be able to propose and even invite new guests, should others decline. Manually looking for replacements is a hassle. A proactive waiting list can regulate your event capacity automatically. You’ll know how many people are invited, who’s invited, what’s their status, who declined.

And all of this happens without sacrificing attendance quality, as you were able to organise your preferred guests into tiers beforehand. Your sales representative can’t just replace a high-tier guest with his or her cousin, for example. You want your event filled with the right guests at all costs.

Another aspect is acquiring the right data from your communications automatically. Signups for breakout sessions, test-drives, workshops etc. shouldn’t require you to adjust a guests’ preferences manually…

… But at the same time, you still want the option to do it manually. You never know what might occur. Events are volatile affairs, and last-minute adjustments are to be expected. The best automation tools are the ones that let you take manual control immediately when it’s required, without causing major issues in the automation process.

The problem with outsourcing

Yes, event marketing is something that can be outsourced, but not without a couple of key conditions that have to be met.  So make sure to discuss these when searching for a partner that takes care of your event’s communication.

The importance of having access to real-time information and a central overview of your events simply can not be underestimated. Making phone calls to adjust templates takes time, asking for updates and relaying information internally is a hassle that you want to avoid if you can. Every additional touchpoint is another potential delay or cause of error. So if you do decide to work together with 3rd party agencies, transparency, flexibility and real-time data can not be a trade-off.

Another issue is the handling of guest data. Preferably, you’ll want to integrate data acquired from your event marketing into other platforms like, for example, a CRM. It’s good to know how engaged or how often certain customers are attending your events. When working with external agencies, make sure that importing the data into your CRM isn’t an afterthought. Plus, GDPR and other privacy regulations might require you to take some additional precautions as well.

InviteDesk is a high-end automation tool tailored to provide state-of-the-art event marketing. It offers the transparency and niche options which other marketing automation tools often lack, while delivering them at a fraction of the costs. You can use InviteDesk either as a standalone solution or have it integrate with your existing tools (e.a. Hubspot or Marketo) Please reach out to us if you have any questions or are interested in a brief demo of its possibilities.

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