You’ve no doubt embraced the wealth of options available online for marketing your events. You and your corporate meeting planner probably use a strategy that consists of online advertising, social media marketing, and a multitude of other clever promotions designed to garner attention for your upcoming event. What you and your global meeting planner may be neglecting in the meantime are offline marketing tactics.
With the ease and reach of online marketing taking center stage, you may simply assume that traditional, offline marketing won’t deliver the same returns, or that results are simply too difficult to track without the aid of online tools. However, you’re neglecting a major opportunity to reach potential event attendees, and approach them in a more personal and engaging way when you forgo offline marketing.
What can you and your corporate meeting planner do to utilize every possible avenue for marketing your event, including offline? Here are a few of the most effective means of getting your message out in an offline capacity.
1. Old-school direct mail.
Once upon a time, this email of yesteryear was the best way to reach prior and prospective event attendees in their personal space. Today, it has fallen by the wayside, thanks to the fact that you can launch an email campaign and reach millions with the click of a button. That said, you and your global meeting planner should at least consider the benefits of adding direct mailing to your overall marketing strategy.
Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at AMI, “There are a couple of great reasons to use direct mail campaigns to market your event. For one thing, it’s a tangible way to connect with event attendees, giving them a physical, emotional, and mental interaction with your brand. It’s also a tactic that many marketers forego, which means you’re competing with a lot fewer stimuli than in the digital marketing space. In other words, you could have a more significant impact with direct mail than online marketing.”
2. Work with your global meeting planner on targeted print ads.
The print has been declared dead so many times that it’s basically the Lazarus of the advertising world. Although the popularity of print publications has waned, the industry as a whole is still going strong. The trick with getting your money’s worth from print advertising is carefully choosing the platform and placement of your ads.
You can save some money by reusing the same ads you use online for printed publications, but you have to choose local newspapers and industry magazines that appeal to your particular audience if you want to gain attention and attendees for your event. Make sure to focus on placement, as well. If your ad is buried on the back page or in the wrong section, you might not get the same notice as with premium and thoughtful placement.
3. Clever promotional items from your corporate meeting planner.
When people think of offline marketing, posting flyers is often at the top of the list. This wide-net strategy isn’t particularly effective, though, and most of your ads are likely to end up in the trash.
A better idea is for you and your global meeting planner to get creative with swag that promotes your brand and your upcoming event. Handing out freebies like refrigerator magnets, pens, totes, tees, and other desirable items is not only likely to produce more positive attention for your event but also carry your message a lot further since people are more likely to hang onto and use these items.
4. Networking at other events.
There’s no denying that it’s easier to network online, where you can connect with new people and keep in touch with the minimal time commitment. However, you also have to admit that meeting people in person tends to be a lot more engaging and memorable.
If you want to supplement your online efforts with a bit of hand-shaking, consider attending other industry events with similar demographics, where guests are likely to be interested in checking out your event, as well. Spend time at meet-and-greets getting to know people and telling them about your event and you’re sure to see a positive response.
5. Public speaking engagements.
Content marketing is a great way to endear people to your brand online, and it works because you engender goodwill by providing valuable information for free. You can basically take the same tactic offline by booking public speaking engagements. You can put your expertise on full display with a targeted audience and drum up some interest in your upcoming event at the same time.