For many of you involved with conference planning, you’re all too familiar with the term “the devil is in the details”. It’s hard enough to set up the conference or event itself but then being tasked with promoting the event can add a whole other stress level to your workload. In other words, for many of you, including myself, one of the toughest challenge to conference planning is promoting the conference or event itself. After all there’s nothing worse than having the big event day arrive and only a half filled room.
Conference and Event Planning Tip for Promoting-It’s All about Your List
First thing I ask a party and event planner about promoting their event, is who are they going to invite. First and foremost you need a good clean list that you can promote your event to. And you have to make sure that your list is the right audience. We’ve all heard the term “opt in” list. And today it’s becoming more and more common to have a double opt in list. If you currently do not have a clean opt in list then making one should be priority number one for you. Unless you have very deep pockets to do an extensive advertising campaign for your conference or event then it’s vital that you have a current database that is relevant to the conference planning you’re doing. Opt in basically means that the person on your list has requested to receive information or to be part of your overall database. The term double opt in means that the person has not only requested to receive information, they have also completed the additional step of verifying that it was indeed them that requested to be added to your list. An event planning checklist should include techniques for promoting events. And more importantly time to develop your list properly
The old days of just collecting names and e-mail addresses are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Social media can play a vital role in helping you create a clean opt in list. Unfortunately there is no quick fix or expedited track to developing a clean list. It takes time to build an opt in list as you’re basically establishing yourself as someone to be trusted on the topic you’re talking about within your industry. And that takes time.
Other telltale signs that your current list may need to be revisited are the stats that you can review from an e-mail blast that you have completed. Today, most all e-mail marketing software will provide you with statistics. Here are a few areas that you can review and evaluate your current database;
Bounces- (or more specifically hard bounces). Bounces are usually referred to as either hard or soft bounces. A soft bounced e-mail can generally mean that you are out of office or on vacation and may have an auto responder replying to any e-mails that you receive. A hard bounce, on the other hand, means that the e-mail address doesn’t exist anymore. Basically it’s in your better interest to remove your hard bounces often as you can run the risk of being flagged as a spammer if you continually send additional e-mails to hard bounced e-mail addresses.
Opt outs and reported as spam – for my guidelines, I always want my opt outs to be well under 1%. Averages for opt outs vary by industry but it’s safe to say that if you aim for 1% or lower you are in a safe range.
Open rates – while we would all like to think that 100% of our e-mails sent are opened the reality is that the majority will never be opened. A good open percentage could be anywhere from 15% to 30+ percent depending on your industry.
Conference Planning and Promoting-There Are Great Resources at Your Fingertips
Today promoting an event is a crucial component for conference planning. For any of you setting up a marketing campaign you would be best served to read up and become aware of what your e-mail marketing benchmarks should be.provides a yearly e-mail marketing benchmark guide. This guide provides very useful information on what you can expect, or rather should expect, from your e-mail marketing campaigns for your industry. If you’re not hitting your conference planning targets then it’s very likely assign that your database list needs to be reworked. While this is no easy task it is crucial that your list is relevant and geared towards topics in your industry. A quick look at your e-mail distribution stats will give you an idea of what work may or may not lie ahead for you.
- Even Pres. Obama Uses Social Media to Promote an Event (plananevent.org)
- Promoting an Event and Product Launch…Hello, Good Bye… (plananevent.org)
- Promote Your Event with a Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) (plananevent.org)
- Does Your Conference Planning Include How to Overcome Networking Jitters (plananevent.org)