Communication is the key to good relationships. In the business world, those relationships can bring you new customers and help you nurture loyalty from long-time customers. Event communications play a central role in building these important connections, as the right communication can drive success. Since 89% of professionals report that events are critical for reaching business objectives, mastering these communication strategies can make a tremendous difference.
As you plan all the details for a corporate event, effective communication strategies to connect with your attendees throughout the process can be challenging and easy to overlook. An event communication plan can keep you organized and on track. Here’s what you need to know.
An event communication plan is a strategic document that outlines the approach and tactics for effectively communicating with various stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of an event. It serves as a roadmap for organizing and coordinating communication efforts, ensuring that key messages are delivered to the right audience at the right time. An event communication plan aims to establish a structured framework that maximizes engagement, builds anticipation, and provides essential information related to the event.
Your communication plan for the event is your guide to organizing and tracking all your communications efforts. This differs from your overall event plan. You want to stay in touch with your attendees and lay the foundation for strong relationships. With this particular communication guide, you will focus exclusively on how you want to communicate with your attendees both before and following the event. You will articulate how you will engage people.
Businesses know that as they plan events, they want to stay connected with their target audience. With proper communication, you can promote the event and keep it fresh in their minds. This helps prevent people accidentally missing the opportunity. It also builds excitement about what will happen so that people become more inclined to spread the word to others who may be interested.
As you nurture your communication strategy, you will also make sure everyone knows what to expect before, during, and after the event. For example, they might want to know the schedule and speakers or details such as where they should park their car. Your communication will help them track all this relevant information.
Within your communication plan, we recommend you include a few important features.
As you formulate this plan, remember the importance of making your goals specific. When you create concrete goals, you will find it easier to track and measure your success.
Your communication timeline will let you know when you want to send out the different messages. Here are some general guidelines:
Overall, there are three main phases of communication as you plan your event: pre-event, during the event, and post-event. Each of these phases will have its own goals for communication and the methods you will use to get your point across. Let’s look at each phase in more detail.
During the pre-event session, you want to build excitement about attendance and draw in your audience. You want to get the details in front of as many members of your target audience as you can. You also want those details communicated clearly so that everyone knows what your event is about, what value it has to offer, and why they should attend this event in particular.
Enthusiasm and attention take center stage during this phase. Your communication should all focus on building these two elements across your communication channels.
As you plan out your pre-event communication, focus on a few important areas that you want to relay to your recipients.
Get the audience excited about who they might hear speak and present at your event. Let them know background information on the rest of your audience as well, as people look for networking opportunities. If your events often bring in many CTOs, for example, let your potential attendees know so that others in the IT career track can take note.
Let your potential attendees know what they can expect throughout the event. You can outline the timeline, helping them envision themselves at the event and all the information and networking opportunities they can seize.
Let everyone also know about your communication and event promotion methods. If you have an event hashtag, promote it to connect with everyone interested in the conference. If you will provide unique updates through social media, encourage people to follow you on the relevant channels so they do not miss anything. Similarly, encourage people to sign up for your emails so they get the latest information directly from you as you push it out via email lists.
The food and drink provided at an event also creates part of the experience. Promote the refreshments you will offer. Not only does this help for planning purposes-- such as knowing whether dinner is part of their event ticket or if they should plan on a restaurant with colleagues after the last speaker, but it can also help people get excited about your festivities.
During your pre-event communication, outline your targeted goals. Most businesses will target the following areas:
You want to get people talking about the event and excited about what’s coming. The more people talking about the event, the easier you will find it to recruit new attendees and spread your brand reach.
You also want to send out formal invitations to participants, particularly highly coveted speakers and presenters.
Reminding people about the upcoming event and teasing them with the quality content they will have access to during the conference can keep the occasion fresh on their minds. It helps people avoid missing it accidentally and encourages them to talk about it with others.
You have a few main tools at your fingertips that will help you get your message out to your audience. Here are a few tools you will want to put to work.
Your event website provides a landing page that people can access to learn specifically about your event. It will include all the important information about the event, such as the schedule, speakers, how to register, the time, the date, and the place.
Your website can be optimized to help you attract attention to the SERPs. If people want to find networking or learning opportunities in your industry, your website will help you draw this organic audience in.
With email marketing, you can reach out directly to anyone who has provided you with their email address. For example, those who have signed up for email lists on your website already likely have some interest in your business. This makes them great potential candidates for signing up for your event.
Target your email messages based on audience segmentation. Speak to the value of the event as it applies to your target demographic.
Social media can broadcast announcements about your event far and wide. Creating posts on your social page and encouraging followers to share them can quickly amplify your voice. You can also use paid advertisements on social media to get your conference information in front of your target audience. For example, on social media platforms like Facebook, you can target people based on jobs, ages, and interests, and you can use this insight to align your ads with the demographics of your target audience.
As people start to register for the event, you can pass along steps for downloading and using your mobile event app. Eighty-three percent of event organizers use event apps, and over 90% report that these apps play a crucial role in their event success, making this an important investment.
With this mobile event app, you can reach those registered for the event directly. Offer them teasers of the content to come, updates about the speaker list, and other information to help excite them about the coming event. Not only does this encourage them to spread the word, but it keeps the event fresh in their minds. They might also have opportunities to connect with other attendees before the event starts, improving their networking opportunities.
During the event, you also need to connect with your target audience. You want to offer them important information about the progression of the event and keep them engaged and interested throughout the conference. As the host, you want to ensure your attendees have the best experience possible, which will also build your brand reputation.
During the event, you want to make sure everyone remains clear on the timeline and agenda for the event. People need to know where they should be and when. You also want people to remain engaged with other participants. For example, if you run a live poll you can use your communication channels to let people know how the polling went and your results. If there are any changes on the event day, you also want to let your attendees know.
Here are a few ways you can stay engaged with your audience on the day of the event.
Start with a welcome email. Remind people of the exciting things to come on the opening day of the event. Depending on how your event is structured, you might provide insight about networking opportunities or connections, the meal menu, where to park, and other helpful information.
As your sessions kick off, keep people interested in everything going on by offering tidbits from each session. Including excerpts and takeaways keeps the conversation going. This can be particularly important if you have multiple breakout sessions with participants choosing the section they want to participate in.
Provide people with opportunities to offer feedback throughout the event. People might rate sessions, participate in polling during the day, or otherwise engage in data collection. This helps you continue to improve your event planning and keeps your participants engaged and interested.
During the event, you have a few different tools available to use. Here are some of the most popular.
Your mobile event app can also provide a valuable means of reaching your attendees during the event. With your event app, you can keep people updated about what is going on, administer surveys, post pictures that attendees have taken, and other creative means of keeping people engaged.
With your mobile event app, you can conduct live polling. This can help you collect opinions and feedback at the moment. If any issues arise during the event, you can also deliver surveys to communicate with your audience at the moment.
Your app can also help you deliver push notifications to your audience. Push notifications are a great way to make sure people do not miss their presentations and sessions.
With social media, you can engage with the audience throughout the event in a variety of means. You can post updates about the meeting or conference on your channels, including clips or pictures from different segments. This not only encourages engagement with people in your audience, but it can also serve as a promotional tool to encourage people to attend next year as they see what they are missing.
After the event, you want to capitalize on the opportunities you created during the event. This includes the leads you generated and the customer relationships you nurtured.
With your post-event communication, you want to find ways to improve and promote your events going forward and maintain strong relationships with your attendees.
In your post-event communication, you want to gain insight into the audience's experiences. You will want to thank all those who were involved in the event, including attendees, sponsors, and partners.
This is your chance to make sure everyone leaves with a positive impression of your business.
Make sure everyone knows that you value their participation and feedback. You want to nurture the relationships you started so that they continue to grow.
Begin with a thank you email that articulates your appreciation for everyone’s attendance. You might include fun or interesting tidbits from the event.
Include an attendee experience survey as well. Although you would have conducted surveys and polls during the event, you also want to get everyone's overall impression once the event finishes. Learn what works best and what needs some adjustments before the next event.
As you build your post-event communication timeline, you will have a few key tools available to help you reach your audience.
Your post-event survey can be administered via email or your event app. Ask your attendees what they thought about the overall experience, including the food, networking, and speakers. This insight will help you improve moving forward.
The email marketing follow-up provides you with further opportunities to engage your target audience. You might provide people with further resources, links or recordings from the event, or discounts and information about future events.
An engaging communication strategy keeps your audience informed, excited, and connected throughout your event. By utilizing a multi-channel approach, delivering clear and consistent messaging, and incorporating interactive content, you can create a memorable and immersive experience for your attendees. Personalization and timely event updates ensure your audience feels valued and well-informed, while social media engagement helps foster a sense of community. Remember to continue communicating even after the event, expressing gratitude, and providing post-event resources. With a well-executed communication strategy, you can effectively engage your audience, maximize attendee satisfaction, and create a successful event that leaves a lasting impression.
Hubilo empowers event organizers with its comprehensive suite of communication tools and features to develop and execute an effective event communication plan and strategy. With integrated email marketing, automated reminders, and personalized messaging capabilities, Hubilo helps you reach your audience seamlessly and keep them engaged throughout the event lifecycle. The platform's audience segmentation feature allows you to target specific attendee segments with tailored content, ensuring relevant and impactful communication. Hubilo's customizable event websites and mobile apps also serve as a central hub for attendees to access event information and engage with interactive features. To experience the power of Hubilo's communication tools and unlock the potential of seamless event management, request a demo today. Our team will guide you through the platform's capabilities, showcasing how it can enhance your event communication and overall experience.
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