How to create a powerful marketing campaign for your events?
What is the biggest reason people attend events? Aside from sharing their work (for scientific conferences) and increasing their visibility, boosting their careers and overall knowledge on specific fields, and having a good time, the most common reason why people attend events is “networking". Meaning the majority of the event happens outside the auditoriums where the presentations and speeches are held. Also meaning that the value attendees are looking for from these experiences are more related to human interaction, which generate a diverse and intensive number of emotions.
Our emotions play a crucial factor in our communication and how we live our experiences. To market an event, these emotions should be relatable by the reading/viewing audience. For the higher percentage, event websites have something in common which is not that useful. Too many words! Obviously, event organizers wish to provide as much information to their participants as possible, which is perfectly natural, however the more information provided the harder it becomes to understand and remember.
The human brain is not designed to maintain numerous variables at a single time, in fact the number of “information points" let's say that can be remembered at a single time is around 6-7. At the end of the day, how many participants evidently come up to you and your team and ask for information that can be found not only on the event website but all around the venue as well? The purpose of these messages on your website's should be to create emotion rather than directly provide information. You don't have to explain everything, pick a number of qualities, differences or highlights your event has and focus on those.
The highest level of interest and understanding during a message or meeting or any kind of interaction is mostly in the very beginning and the very end. So, don't be afraid to repeat your message at the end of a long post, presentation or website column. First explain what you are going to explain, then explain what you aimed to explain, then explain what you explained.
The main focus of any marketing message should be to create any kind of emotion by the receiver. Direct messages might not have the lasting effect you are looking for. The information will be received, however shortly after will also be forgotten, unless you create an emotional reaction. Focusing on making your participants live/feel the emotions they will experience during the event will have a much better effect.
Don't forget, your participants' experience is the only thing they are subconsciously interested in. So, try to make your messages not about what you have to offer but what your participants can receive and experience from participating at your event.
THE CHOICE PARADOX
The human brain does not work well with a high number of comparisons. As much as we insist on having more options, there are numerous studies and experiments proving that increasing the number of options not only does not affect the outcome in a positive way, but actually prolongs the decision period. The brain freezes when it faces multiple options to choose from. Keep it simple and don't forget “less is more!"
As civilized as we are in this age and time, we shouldn't forget that writing is in our lives for around 10,000 years. This means our main source for receiving information isn't words. Before we became literate, we had a much more primitive way of understanding our surroundings, which were our senses. Our strongest sense for input is our sight. We tend to react much quicker to information we receive from this channel. Providing images related to your event would be much easier to understand. If you are organizing a specific kind of event for the first time, providing relatable images when giving information will not only help the message to be better received but remembered as well. Use images allowing your participants to better relate to the experience they will have during the event.
Of course, excluding text altogether is not possible but keep it to a minimum. Also, try to simplify everything you are trying to transfer. The harmony of the text, font, text color and background it is set on is also important. Which brings me to another point.
Familiar things tend to awake a trustworthy feeling to us because we have experienced it before. Using well known and easy to read fonts instead of something more difficult to read will have a much better effect on your participants.
Unfamiliar and uncertain experiences on the other hand tend to create bad emotions and make us anxious. Studies show that people tend to wait for longer periods of time if they know the exact time and outcome of the wait. For example: knowing their transfer from their hotel will arrive in 40 minutes is a long wait, although, most people will usually accept the situation since they know when it will arrive. Whereas if they have waited for 40 minutes without knowing when the transfer would have arrived, they will tend to get much more irritable.
Emotions are mainly what we make our decisions on, logic is only there to rationalize these decisions. Emotions are much more primitive and subconscious, which is why they tend to direct us in specific directions of decision making.
This is the driving factor you need to focus on when creating marketing messages.
Do not exaggerate any claim you provide. Trust is the key factor in all relationships.
This can range from the content of the afterparty, to the number of registered participants. If you promise something, deliver it!
When creating your messages using familiar fonts, easy to understand, commonly used words that goes well with the background they are provided on; supporting your messages with visual content. Videos, images, etc.; making your messages about your participants, not about what you are offering; providing less options to choose from (too many options are like no options. Less is more!) will increase the chances of messages reaching your participants and arising interest.