Remember those birthday parties you had as a child? Your guest list included everyone from your classmates, neighbors to close family members, you spent weeks deciding what to wear, and you could barely wait to tear open those presents! You could only hope your guests would actually show up.

Event marketing is all about letting people know you’re hosting an event and unless you really put in effort into making your event a success (whatever event it may be), creating one with a lack of strategy will lead you nowhere. So why is it important? Events can help you reach your goals, increase demand for your product or service, and ultimately gives you the best opportunity to engage with your audience.

According to Bizzabo’s Event Marketing 2019: Benchmarks and Trends Report, many marketers believe that event marketing is the single-most effective marketing channel for achieving business goals. In addition, successful businesses are spending 1.7X the average marketing budget on live events. Another recent study revealed that Americans aged 18+ are attending more live events than ever before.

Simply put, successful events don’t happen overnight. Most of them consist of a well-thought out strategy with directed actions and planning for before, during and after.

So with 2019 bringing in tighter marketing budgets and flocks of content competing for your audience’s attention, where do you begin? Here are four event marketing ideas and strategies to start with…

  1. Create the “FOMO” Factor

“FOMO” which stands for “fear of missing out” is defined as anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website”. The general idea is to pitch a product or service in a certain manner that he or she would feel like they’re missing out if they don’t buy it quick enough. According to Millennials: Fueling the Experience Economy, 69% of millennials experience “FOMO” fueled by social pressure. So, what are some great ‘FOMO’ tactics that can help increase your ticket sales? Check out some examples below.

People fear scarcity and offering time-sensitive deals or promotions such as free registration for the first 100 registrants, can help create a sense of urgency in prospects, especially if the ticket price for your event is beyond the budget for your prospects. They won’t want to miss out on such a good deal, so they’ll be motivated to take action quicker. In addition, if you’re looking to end your event on a high note but in a more exclusive manner, promote a private after-party with a limited amount of people that can actually attend. Try mentioning that this after-party provides a last-chance networking opportunity in which you’ll be offering exclusive giveaways that weren’t offered during the event itself. Everyone wants to be part of the coolest after-party and if you promote it with a limited attendance rate, you’ll have prospects racing to sign up, especially if they’re receiving things for free!

  1. Seek Help from your Event Sponsors

B2B marketers now agree that event sponsorship can help you with much more than just money, sponsors can also help you reach out to your clientele and provide you with a larger audience outreach. Although collaborating with sponsors isn’t a unique offering, it is usually done for events, as it’s in the interest of both sides. As claims, a common misconception in the B2B world is that sponsorship is best used as a platform for B2C brands, however, while it is a successful tool for many, a number of B2B businesses are using and benefiting from sponsorship. Collaborating with the appropriate sponsor lets you tap in on their customer base which can help increase the number of attendees at your event. Furthermore, if some noteworthy companies are among your sponsors, their popularity can help boost the market value and provide you with more media coverage.

For example, if in fact some of your sponsors include high-profile companies with a large reputation and high following, you can use their social media outlets or blogs to promote your event. Take advantage of their brand value so that you can rapidly increase the number of attendees at your event. Sponsors can also help you tap into the same audience your competitors are targeting, an offer that benefits both sides, which is why you should pick your sponsorship partners with care.

3. Use an Event App

When it comes to organizing your event, you want to make sure everything is in place, which is not simple when doing it manually yourself. Event management apps can help save you time, money and stress as they help keep things organized. Marketers have a unique opportunity with an event app to connect with attendees in a more direct way. Everyone can then access and navigate the full program and view additional media sources such as presentation slides and videos. Also, going paperless with an event app provides attendees with everything they need to know about the event’s itinerary in the palm of their hands.

For marketers whose goals are increasing attendees or increasing engagement, try and offer users the ability to engage in live polls, share photos and interact with other users via one-on-one messaging. If there’s last minute changes or sessions that need to be rescheduled, you can easily update your users “on-the-go”. If you’re interested in learning about your attendees’ experiences at the event, provide them with a survey or rating option on the app. This information can ultimately help you better tailor your events and marketing campaigns for the future.

4. Capture your Audience with Emails

Email marketing continues to be one of the most successful ways to reach out to your audience and invite them to your event. According to Bizzabo’s Event Marketing 2018: Benchmarks Trends, 46% of B2B organizations believe email marketing is the most effective channel to promote an event. With your event now ready for prime time, go ahead and send your first email blast out to potential attendees.

So how can your event registration email stand out from all the rest? For large events, one of the best assets to show off is the line up of your speakers, and email campaigns offer a great opportunity to showcase who they are and what they’ll be presenting at the event. In addition, include a very clear and deliberate message that will have your reader remember your event, for example, using “Mark Your Calendars” or “Save the Date” is conveying a very bold and clear message. Try also sticking to a consistent color theme as when you go with the same color, your email creates a more appealing affect and overall, looks more aesthetic. Sticking with a consistent design and color will offer a more memorable experience for your readers as they’ll begin to associate the design with your brand.

You know your event is going to be exceptional and you’ve spent plenty of time and energy planning amazing things. If you go ahead and apply these strategies to your next event marketing plan, you’ll be in a much stronger position when trying to build momentum. As for 2019 and beyond, it’s important to remember – be bold, go social, create anticipation and have fun!