The UK events industry is worth £42.3 billion – and it’s still growing. Gone are the days of cold calls, handshakes and flyers. Today’s event marketers are reaching you when you’re walking, talking, surfing or just casually browsing your favourite job listings site. When you really think about it, in today’s always-on world, no industry professional is safe from an onslaught of speaker opportunities – and, increasingly, the suggestions are sounding more interesting.
So, how did we become so adept at reaching a desired audience? Well, we were given the tools to do so. Facebook is an obvious choice here, with its events pages and live streaming capabilities – but other social platforms have caught up quickly. Many are offering live streaming, while LinkedIn is reaching the B2B market with its pages as well. With a bit of thought and ingenuity, Instagram and even Messenger are similarly fantastic tools to highlight and re-cap the best bits of an event, increasing reach and keeping followers up to date. The tools to organically market an event have never been easier for event organisers to use.
However, there are some incredibly powerful paid tools as well. Not only are platforms like Twitter allowing us to break down audiences to an age, job title or even interest level, they’re also creating an opportunity for location targeting. Is your event exclusively for the UK? Then only target the UK. Do you have an incredibly specific event that will only be relevant to people living within five miles of a venue? No problem – Facebook allows you to set a radius of anywhere between 1 and 50 miles. If you’re crafty, you can reduce it further with a bit of trickery – targeting only people exclusively at the event with some incredibly well-placed ads. The possibilities are increasingly endless, and they have the potential for massive returns.
The best part? Those people that sign up to your event (those that you know will, because you targeted them correctly) are also often giving you the details you need to follow up with them. Incredibly important partnerships begin over e-mail, before an event even launches, meaning you are just a hello and a handshake away from sealing a new deal. Failing that, you can pick up the conversation after the event with an easy in, ensuring your lead doesn’t just disappear.
In today’s always-on world, event marketers have realised the power of social media to reach an increasingly widespread audience. Even as attendees fly in from every corner of the world, digital tools have made potential target pools smaller instead of larger, and this can only be beneficial for marketers and attendees alike. When everyone sees content that will actually be relevant to them, then the annoyance of digital advertising is removed. In that world, the events industry can only continue to grow.