1. Have a Game PlanThe first step is to identify your goals and needs. For inaugural events, such as Celebrity Fan Fest, increasing event awareness and ticket sales are primary goals. As mentioned in our previous blog post, brand positioning is key to any successful campaign communications strategy. Clearly positioning your brand builds an audience, enhances credibility and distinguishes your event amongst competitors.
2. Find Your Target AudienceResearch helps to identify your target audience. Attend a similar event in your area or utilize social media to find other successful functions that relate to yours. Find out what worked for them, review feedback from attendees, capitalize on what went right and how your event can offer an equal or better experience. For example, popular Facebook group “Rate Your Comic Con” offers an open forum for attendees from all over the world to share their takeaways from conventions they’ve frequented. In the case of Celebrity Fan Fest, the platform offered insight on the latest trends and offerings similar events were exhibiting.
3. ExecutionOnce you establish your event goals and target audience, review the necessary tactics to execute your plan. An effective event communications strategy includes various tactics such as press releases, media outreach, social copy and creative. Keep in mind that each announcement should be newsworthy. Will your announcement entice interest from your target audience, particularly media? Consistency in your messaging is extremely crucial to build momentum and drive ticket sales. In addition, consider which medium your target audience most commonly uses. For instance, Noisy Trumpet took advantage of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and hyper-local podcasts to market Celebrity Fan Fest. If proven successful, your target audience could then become your brand advocates.
4. EngageAs your event gains attention, it’s important to interact with your audience. Listen and respond to attendee feedback, especially on social platforms. Potential attendees will do their research online, reviewing content and commentary to determine whether the event is worth attending. Be cognizant of social media influence; the more you interact with your audience the better. Answering frequently asked questions and acknowledging your audience’s opinions will demonstrate how invested you are in providing a positive customer experience. Keep in mind that such interaction should not be limited to pre-event promotions. Communication should continue during and after the event. For example, Celebrity Fan Fest used social platforms to inform attendees of schedule changes, talent updates and thanked them for their support. This is a great way to secure their interest and attention for your next event.
5. Day of LogisticsAfter planning, promotion and outreach, the day of your event has come. Whether you’re an organizer, staff or volunteer, everyone’s role is vital to the event’s success. Familiarize yourself with the venue layout, carry copies of the event schedule and have point of contacts that can help answer any questions that may arise. This includes:
- Venue representatives
- Website administrators
- Social media editors
- Talent representatives (if spokespeople onsite)
- Media contacts