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The Art of the Event
Steps for Event Marketing Success

By Richard Aaron, MFA, CMP, CSEP
President, BizBash NYC

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” Edgar Degas

They say Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so is the overall marketing picture you hope to create to assure the best image of success for your organization’s events. Making contact with the possible audience’s eyes, ears and imagination as you target them through several marketing streams is the secret recipe for you success. So much is available beyond print with the expanding horizons of social media, digital and visual mediums to add into your tool kit.

At the June conference, I will explore ideas covering creative design of events and marketing, these sessions will empower you to engage all of your stakeholders, partnerships and sponsors in your program design to assure their engagement. Innovative collaborations add to the planning process as you push the boundaries for mutually beneficial development of the message. Think how to reach to all the generations from Boomer to X, Y, and now even Gen Z. Reaching to design a very fine tuned campaign media mix will assure you are painting the perfect picture to attract their attention for a true marketing masterpiece.

1.Add Broadway technique to your vision’s creative plan

P.T Barnum, the famous American circus showman and a personal hero said, “Think Big” and he was so correct! Add to the media mix by creating a cell phone 7 second Vine or speaker videos as a marketing tool to build maximum interest, I was a speaker at a recent event and was requested to send both a 30 second and Vine video to promote my appearance there. The Association then pushed this to potential attendees to spark interest in my appearance at their meeting. The result was a flood of positive feedback and record attendance because it built so much buzz for the Event. This is an example of engaging a younger social media driven audience with pre-planned buzz! Plan contests, include a picture of a super gift bag, and add book signings, digital treasure hunts, an opening day parade or other ideas to kick off the day’s activity. In our BizBash NY at Expo last fall I had 12 Rockette dancers open the trade show floor with a kick line that set off a flurry of social media to get the show’s buzz moving. Let the sky be the limit and “Think Big” to build engaging ideas bringing the wow factor for the day before, during and after is the event day.

2. Super charge your creativity by engaging your Team.

Start your planning with an audit of your Stakeholders and key partners to gather insights and creative inspiration after you set the theme. Share all theme concepts in development and then ask for everyone’s creative ideas in an early brainstorming session. Include all giveaway and branding companies here too since they may inspire the plan. Freshen up your trade show web site and marketing plan by taking the time upfront to evaluate how these different ideas could extend into your overall campaign development. Next, conduct a needs assessment outreach survey to get feedback through crowdsourcing with a group of targeted past attendees and sponsors on topics you wish to reexamine. This has become the best practices operating tactic for idea generation that will illuminate your copy plan.

3. Innovate content by telling a new story
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol
Remember clear bold idea design always gets the best response.
Painter Edgar Degar illuminated his canvas by sketching successive ideas for his vision in advance. We need to do the same. Your canvas is the new marketing plan, with the bush strokes the clear messaging and fresh visuals all built to add engagement. Explore ideas with the new concept of FOMO (fear of missing out) as a tactic. Does your thinking incorporate what am I going to miss out on and set it fully into play in the minds of your audience? A high percentage of potential attendees use your content as a key part of their justification to attend. Best practices suggest your content needs to deliver a strong FOMO, message in your copy.

Develop the content as early as 6 months before the event to drive it. Shape the value proposition and share it through stories in your marketing to build interest. Remember that your attendees are all overwhelmed, over stimulated and need to add that surprise and delight element fully operating to entice them to the event. Get them to feel the triggers by incorporating those videos to engage them. This storytelling tactic is personal so it will grab attention and build a stronger interest. Video media is exploding so rethink your media mix to create dynamic engagement through the many human assets you have in your circle.

You can now step back and appreciate your new budding master plan as an evolving masterpiece. Be inspired and empowered to access the collective creativity within you and your whole extended team to fully access all that is around you. Remember, “An ounce of inspiration creates a river of dreams” Think big - dream big and big success will be yours!

I look forward to meeting you in June! In Charlottetown, PEI!!