optimize the marketing funnel for event marketing

How to Optimize the Marketing Funnel to Your Event Marketing Strategy

Discover how to optimize your event marketing strategy by leveraging the marketing funnel. Learn tactics for each stage of the funnel to attract attendees, avoid common mistakes, and measure your event marketing success
Hubilo
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June 5, 2023

95% of marketers believe that in-person events can help achieve business goals. Organizing an event is exciting, but attracting attendees and achieving your desired outcomes can be challenging. That's why it's essential to have a well-thought-out event marketing strategy in place. But even with a solid plan, it's possible to miss opportunities and not get the results you want. That's where optimizing your marketing funnel comes in.

By understanding the needs and behavior of potential customers at each stage, you can tailor your event marketing tactics to move them toward attending your event. In this blog, we will explore how to optimize the marketing funnel to your event marketing strategy, including tactics for each stage of the funnel. We will also discuss common mistakes to avoid and how to measure the effectiveness of your event marketing funnel.

Read more about optimizing your marketing funnel with events to maximize your event marketing results and increase attendance.

What is a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel is a model that describes the various stages a customer goes through on their journey, from being aware of a product or service to becoming a paying customer. It is also known as a sales funnel, as sales teams often use it to guide their interactions with potential customers.

The marketing funnel typically has four main stages:

  • Awareness: This is when a potential customer first becomes aware of your product or service. They may have seen an advertisement, stumbled across your website, or heard about you from someone else.
  • Interest: Once a potential customer is aware of your product or service, they may take a closer look. They may visit your website, read reviews, or compare you to competitors.
  • Decision: At this stage, the potential customer has decided that they want to buy your product or service. They may need more information or want to see a demo before purchasing.
  • Action: Finally, the potential customer takes action and makes a purchase.

Marketing teams use the marketing funnel to guide their efforts at each stage, from creating awareness to closing the sale. By understanding where potential customers are in the funnel, they can create targeted messaging and campaigns that move them closer to making a purchase.

webinar sales funnel

Events and the funnelΒ 

Events can be key in all marketing funnel stages, from building awareness to closing a sale. A study has shown that 79% of US marketers generate sales using event marketing. This study also demonstrated that 70% of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event. Here are some examples of how events can fit into each stage:

  • Awareness: Events can be a great way to introduce your brand to potential customers who may still need to learn about you. By hosting or sponsoring events that align with your brand and values, you can get in front of new audiences and generate buzz. For example, a sports apparel company may sponsor a local 5K race to reach fitness enthusiasts who may be interested in their products.
  • Interest: Events can also pique the interest of potential customers who are already aware of your brand. By hosting educational events or product demos, you can provide more in-depth information and allow potential customers to experience your products or services firsthand. For example, a software company may host a webinar to showcase its new features and answer questions from interested prospects.
  • Decision: Events can be a powerful tool for helping potential customers decide whether to buy from you. By offering a free trial or event demos, you can give potential customers the final push they need to purchase. For example, a skincare company may provide free mini-facials at a pop-up shop to allow potential customers to try their products and see their results.
  • Action: Finally, events can be used to celebrate and reward customers who have already purchased. By hosting exclusive events or offering special discounts to loyal customers, you can show them how much you appreciate their business and encourage them to return for more. For example, a restaurant may offer a VIP tasting event for their most frequent diners to showcase new menu items and thank them for their loyalty.
event marketing funnel

Why more event managers should consider the marketing funnel

According to Event Marketer, 85% of consumers are likely to purchase after participating in events and experiences. The same study also shared that events and experiences are a key part of integrated marketing campaigns at 84% of brands. More event managers should consider the marketing funnel because it can help them create more effective events that generate better results. By understanding the different stages of the funnel, event managers can create experiences tailored to attendees' needs and interests at each stage.Β 

Download Hubilo's Comprehensive Guide to Harnessing the Power of Webinars Across the Sales Funnel

Here are some reasons why event managers should consider the marketing funnel:

  • Better targeting: By understanding where attendees are in the funnel, event managers can create more targeted messaging and experiences that resonate with them. For example, if attendees are in the awareness stage, event managers can focus on creating experiences that introduce the brand and generate interest. If attendees are in the decision stage, event managers can focus on creating experiences that help them make a final decision and close the sale.
  • Improved engagement: 73% of B2B marketers say events are better than other tactics for customer engagement. By aligning event experiences with the needs and interests of attendees at each stage, event managers can create more engaging experiences that keep attendees interested and involved. For example, if attendees are in the interest stage, event managers can create educational sessions or product demos that provide more information and answer questions. If attendees are in the decision stage, event managers can create opportunities for attendees to try the product or service and ask questions to help them make a final decision.
  • Increased ROI: By aligning events with the marketing funnel, event managers can create more effective events that generate better results. By focusing on moving attendees through the funnel, event managers can create experiences that ultimately lead to more sales or conversions. This can help event managers demonstrate the ROI of their events and justify future investments.

The marketing funnel can help event managers create more targeted, engaging, and compelling events that generate better results. It's a valuable framework for understanding attendee needs and interests at different stages of the buying journey and tailoring experiences to meet those needs.

Build an event marketing strategy: How to apply event marketing tactics at each stage of the funnel

Applying event marketing tactics at each funnel stage is important to build an effective event marketing strategy. Here's a breakdown of how to do that:

Pre-Funnel

Before diving into the funnel stages, it's important to set goals, determine the budget, and determine the event timing. This will help guide your event marketing strategy and ensure you're targeting the right audience at the right time.

Awareness stage

  • Market research: Conduct market research to understand your target audience and their needs, preferences, and pain points.
  • Content promotion: Develop content, such as blog posts, infographics, and social media posts, to generate awareness about your event and build interest.
  • Map consumer journeys: Map out the consumer journey to understand how your target audience interacts with your brand and how they might discover your event.
  • Create an event website or landing page: Create a website or landing page that highlights your event's unique value proposition and encourages visitors to register.
  • Keep your blog optimized and fresh: Keep your blog updated with fresh content to attract organic traffic and engage visitors.
  • Share content across social: Share your content across social media platforms to expand your reach and engage with potential attendees.
  • Apply ongoing email marketing: Use email marketing to inform your target audience about your event and encourage them to register.
event marketing and promotion ideas

Consideration stage

  • Engage speakers, sponsors, etc.: Engage with speakers, sponsors, and partners to build credibility and add value to your event.
  • Dive deeper with content: Develop more detailed content, such as whitepapers, case studies, and webinars, to educate and inform potential attendees.
  • Build trust with user-generated content: Share user-generated content, such as testimonials and reviews, to build trust and credibility with potential attendees.

Purchase stage

  • Remove friction: Make it easy for attendees to register by minimizing the number of steps in the registration process and ensuring the checkout process is simple and straightforward.
  • Give a sneak peek of previous events: Provide a sneak peek of previous events to give potential attendees a taste of what they can expect.
  • Inspire urgency: Use scarcity tactics, such as limited-time discounts or early bird pricing, to inspire urgency and encourage attendees to register.
  • Remarketing: Use remarketing ads to retarget potential attendees who have shown interest but have yet to register.

Continuous engagement stage

  • Build community: Create a community around your event to foster engagement and keep attendees excited and involved.
  • Surveys: Conduct post-event surveys to gather feedback and insights from attendees to improve future events.
  • Harness data: Use data from previous events to inform future marketing strategies and improve the attendee experience.

By applying event marketing tactics at each stage of the funnel, you can create a comprehensive event marketing strategy that drives attendance, builds engagement, and generates ROI for your event.

Event types for each stage of the funnel

Events can play a crucial role in each stage of the marketing funnel. Here are some examples of events that can be used to support each stage:

Events for top of the funnel marketing

At this stage, the goal is to generate awareness and interest in your brand and event. Events that can help achieve this include:

Networking

Host networking events to connect with potential attendees and build relationships.

networking events

Speaker Opportunities

Invite industry experts to speak at your event, giving attendees valuable insights and encouraging them to attend.

Award Ceremonies

Host an award ceremony to recognize industry leaders and generate buzz around your event.

Read and Learn: How to Add Energy, Impact, and Results at Every Stage of Your Webinar

Events for middle of the funnel marketing

At this stage, potential attendees have shown some interest in your brand or event and are considering attending. Events that can help encourage them to take action include:

Exhibit at trade shows

Exhibit at trade shows to showcase your brand and connect with potential attendees.

Event Sponsorships

Sponsor relevant events to increase your brand visibility and establish your authority in the industry.

event sponsorships

VIP Events

Host exclusive events for VIPs, such as key customers or industry influencers, to build relationships and generate interest.

Events for bottom of the funnel marketing

At this stage, potential attendees are close to deciding on attending your event. Events that can help push them over the edge include:

VIP Events

Host exclusive events for high-value prospects to build relationships and encourage attendance.Β 

User Conferences

Host a conference for your existing customers to deepen relationships and encourage them to become advocates for your brand.

user conferences

Roadshows

Take your event on the road, visiting different cities to reach a wider audience and generate excitement around your event.

By using events to support each stage of the funnel, you can create a cohesive event marketing strategy that moves potential attendees towards attendance and maximizes ROI for your event.

Frequently asked questions about optimizing the marketing funnel to your event marketing strategy

What is the marketing funnel, and how does it apply to event marketing?

The marketing funnel is a framework that describes the different stages a potential customer goes through before making a purchase. In event marketing, the funnel can guide potential attendees from awareness of the event to making a purchase or attending.

Why is it important to optimize the marketing funnel in event marketing?

Optimizing the marketing funnel can help improve the effectiveness of your event marketing efforts. By understanding the needs and behavior of potential attendees at each stage of the funnel, you can tailor your marketing messages and tactics to move them toward attending your event.

How can I apply event marketing tactics at each stage of the funnel?

To apply event marketing tactics at each stage of the funnel, you can focus on activities that align with the needs and goals of potential attendees. For example, at the top of the funnel, you might focus on generating awareness through market research, content promotion, and social media. At the bottom of the funnel, you might focus on removing barriers to attendance and creating urgency through targeted messaging and remarketing.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when optimizing the marketing funnel for event marketing?

One common mistake is needing to understand the needs and behavior of potential attendees at each stage of the funnel. Another mistake is focusing too much on the bottom of the funnel and neglecting the earlier stages. It's also important to track and analyze your results at each stage to identify areas for improvement and adjust your tactics accordingly.

How can I measure the effectiveness of my event marketing funnel?

To measure the effectiveness of your event marketing funnel, you can track metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, email open rates, and ticket sales. By monitoring these metrics at each stage of the funnel, you can identify areas of improvement and adjust your tactics to optimize your results.

Key takeaways for optimizing your marketing funnel with events

Optimizing your marketing funnel with events can help improve the effectiveness of your event marketing efforts, increase attendance, and maximize ROI. By understanding the needs and behavior of potential attendees at each stage of the funnel, you can tailor your event marketing tactics to move them towards attending your event.

Event technology platforms like Hubilo can be a valuable tools for optimizing your event marketing funnel. With features like event websites, email marketing, social media integration, and analytics, Hubilo can help you streamline your event marketing efforts and track your results at each funnel stage.

Request a demo today to see how Hubilo can help you optimize your event marketing funnel. With Hubilo, you can create engaging and memorable events that drive results for your business.

Author
Hubilo

Hubilo is the webinar platform built for marketers that helps you 2X your pipeline. Founded in 2015, Hubilo's powerful engagement features, dedicated client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K virtual events & webinars, creating hundreds of millions of minutes of high-engagement experiences and counting. Headquartered in Bengaluru and San Francisco, Hubilo's 200+ employees are dedicated to enabling webinars & virtual events that convert.

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