How does Econsultancy get people to come to its events? With the Festival of Marketing set to be an intense, fun, insightful....erm..fest, here's some of the stuff we've done to market events and to make them successful on the day.

I should add, there's a ton of stuff I've missed off, here (not least, effectively segmenting your audience), as I've concentrated on creative.

Make sure the whole team is growing its social footprint

We use Rapportive as a plug-in to our work Gmail. This allows us to see the social profile of whoever we're emailing. In turn, all Econsultancy staff members are encouraged to tweet.

Yes, a lot of agencies do this, too, but it's important to realise that these Twitter accounts shouldn't really be on brand.

I'll explain.



 and this....

allow the occasional this... 

and, of course, on the day, you're guaranteed perhaps 100 tweets on the hashtag, that will go to a decent audience, just from your workforce.

Slick copy

You've got to make this actually good. It's hard to inspire people with copy on your promo emails and DM. The perfect copy treads that fine line between slick, cheesy and mantrasodic (not a word).

The Festival of Marketing is where marketers meet to re-engineer the marketing discipline and multiply its impact on business. It’s a week-long celebration of change, inspired by the Modern Marketing Manifesto from Econsultancy and Marketing Week, our take on the state of the discipline and the challenges every marketer should be focusing on.

You see, 'week-long', 'our take', fairly simple but with a hint of sass. You might need to get help from a creative agency on this copy, whatever it takes to get it to flow right.

Publish online and off

What breathes heritage, a track record of success and proven deliverables? Why a sturdy print publication of course!

Ahead of our first JUMP event, focusing on the joining of online and off-, we created the JUMP magazine. A number of copies were released quarterly, up to event date, creating a literally tangible feeling of debate and opinion, before the event had even opened. 

For the upcoming Festival of Marketing in October, we decided to create a newspaper, as a mixture of promo and editorial. This allows the creation of a page turning narrative, rather than a scrolling HTML experience.

Email is still an events marketer's most valuable tool, but it can't match the prestige of ink. 


Mail people directly. Directly mail people. Direct to their offices. This is pretty obvious, and fits with publishing offline. But remember....

...Make your DM different

And I don't mean tacky. Different formats of paper and card; refreshing copy; small, different but on-brand gifts for key contacts (we've sent cruet sets and old-school phone handsets that jack into your iPhone).

Knock up some inserts and leaflets, too. Here's some of our own stuff. There's also our Finance Director and some techie arms in this photo, but we don't mail these out because of the cost.


Quiz them

Gamification is getting bigger and bigger, no matter what your sector. Even the humble quiz can help you game your way to engagement, both ahead of the event, and on the day, when it becomes a draw for your event stand.

For the past couple of years, Econsultancy's FUNNEL and JUMP have used quizzes in the run-up to event day. This helps to engage as part of an email and site campaign.

We also created the Digital Talent Challenge for 2013's Marketing Week Live. Over 1500 people took the challenge, with the leaderboard enticing queues at our booth on event day.

The challenge is still live if you fancy trying your hand.

We did a similar quiz ahead of our inaugural B2B focused event, FUNNEL, in 2011, testing B2B knowledge .


Get a noteworthy venue

We're taking the Festival of Marketing to Tower Bridge, with everything in the surrounding square mile.

Brick Lane has a reputation for being a bit hipster, so we're hoping this location will raise eyebrows in a way that Soho and Westminster don't really manage anymore.

Get a good keynote

If your event is 'single track', this is especially important. If you know loads of good speakers, that's cool. When the stakes are high, an industry celebrity can make a difference to attendance, even if you have to pay for it.

Speak, don't sell

Be cool, man, Be cool. 

Get people to like you. That is all it takes. Don’t even mention your product until the last slide. Why is your talk a product demo? That’s boring.


Ben Davis

Published 19 July, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (5)


Guy Oakley, Director / Marketing Director at Interwhat & GenieConnect

Have you considered a mobile event app to support the event that you guys are doing - allow pre event planning and networking to ensure that exhibitors get the most form you events ? try and see how Abode, Nike, Cat, UBM and Reed Exhibition & GSMA have used them to make real difference at their events

almost 5 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Editor at EconsultancyStaff


I resisted commenting on event apps. I have to confess that my pre-Android 4 HTC is about to be traded for an iPhone, so I haven't even bothered trying event apps yet (shamed).

Two points though:

1. They seem to be used for q&a, which always feels like a hassle to the questioner. If you're in a big trade show, or a talk to thousands, I guess this function is more useful - and for those of us who only think of a killer question way after the event :-)

2. I'd be interested to see how content, e.g. slides is effectively delivered to the app. Seems like a good area to continue sending resources to the event attendee, perhaps for the following week (perhaps push notifications are beyond most event apps?).

almost 5 years ago


Guy Oakley, Director / Marketing Director at Interwhat & GenieConnect


Mobile Event apps have their place in the world of event participation. Both to help the attendees get more from the show but also for the event organizers to promote more areas of the show as well as gaining valuable insight into the audiences interests, what hot and what not. This all helps the shape the show for the following year. Slide sharing is possible as a PDF to download and can associated with a session or speaker. The user is able to make notes within the app as well and this can all be downloaded or emailed at a later date for consumption on a PC (unless the event organizer has one of our web portals that sync seamlessly with the app pre event, during and post event). The networking, research and planning are where the apps really come into there own, and when you look at the cost of printing show guides etc really are not that costly.

We have just released an Automated marketing solution called MarketingConnect that works with the app and web portal and allows highly personalized targeted comms with unique content based on users engagement with the app and helping them network more effectively and get the most from the event. An bit like the linked in recommendations or the Amazon "if you like this then you might like this" approach.

Event apps really are very diverse in their offering but really it is about how it is integrated into your event and then how you market it to your event attendee.

I was talking to Craig Hanna a few months ago suggesting this would be a great platform for digital cream and did send Charlie Salter a mail suggesting that perhaps a Mobile Event App would be a great addition to the already great Econsultancy events.........

If you are interested in learning more about and just how much they can do have a look at the website .... we got some cracking case studies - also go to the App store (when you get your shinny new iPhone) and have a look at the EMEA Abode Summit 2013, Mobile World Congress and many more GenieConnect apps....

Its a multi screen world out there now as the blog I wrote the other day indicates..

We can set up a demo and walk you though the hows and why's if you are interested in learning more about the event app world.

all the best


almost 5 years ago

Ben Davis

Ben Davis, Editor at EconsultancyStaff

thanks, Guy. Will check out your stuff. Appreciate the info.

almost 5 years ago


Guy Oakley, Director / Marketing Director at Interwhat & GenieConnect

happy to help - could be game changer for you !!!! as you are an E-marketing company.

Let me know if you need anything else



almost 5 years ago

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