The 5 Stages of an Event Audit: Stage Two: Marketing & Communications

Events and conferences play a pivotal role in the membership experience. If attendance is declining, it might be a symptom of something deeper.

In this five part series, we will discuss how an event audit will help your association make improvements and enhancements of your Conference, ensure that you are maximizing opportunities with partnerships, increase member engagement overall, increase your communications and marketing effectiveness, and move your association towards delivering effective ongoing programming.

Event Audits are what your association needs if you are:

  • Looking to determine the “wants” and “needs” of your community (members, prospective members, sponsors/exhibitors, and other potential stakeholders) to ensure that your delivery of a conference remains aligned with their key goals and objectives;
  • Looking to seek guidance, plans and recommendations from industry experts, as a result of the feedback obtained, on the overall experience and delivery of the Conference, taking into account the other events (and, other industry events) that are planned in your sector;
  • You are seeking advice on whether taking your conference to the next level in terms of technology and delivery (i.e. in-person vs. virtual vs. hybrid) is appropriate;
  • How to better market your Conference to prospective participants, and;
  • How to better market and deliver ROI to prospective sponsors and exhibitors.

We have covered off the first phase, Overall Data Mining & Research, here. Today, we are going to talk about Marketing & Communications.

Your review should consider current practices used by your association, your budgeted range allocated for marketing your initiatives, and relevant marketing trends for promoting events and conferences.  Here is what you will be looking for:

  • Address your event/conference pricing strategy;
    • From a marketing perspective, demonstrating the value of the dollar invested to participate in the conference
  • How your conference differs from the other events that are planned by your organization;
    • Acknowledging that there are other events that your organization hosts, and ones available to your community produced by other organizations, but demonstrating why participating in your Conference “the one conference that should be invested in” – this may include recommendations on how to “stand out” based on what we find in your competitive set and our analysis
  • Where and how your organization should strategically promote content related to the Conference
    • Such as speaker and sponsor announcements, social activity announcements, new additions and changes to the program, through your website, social media activities, blog posts and any hard-copy mailings suggested
  • Talking points for members to strategically speak to both the value of membership, and the value of participating in the Conference;
    • For example, creating an online toolkit for prospective participants to use to “sell” participating to their superiors
  • Create a folder of marketing ideas, templates, etc.

That’s it for the Marketing & Communications Phase – what’s next? Sponsorship of course!

Does your conference need a review?  Consider an Event Audit! Reach out to us by email at info@greenfield-services.ca for a customized quote.

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