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.

This…

 

 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. 

Do DM

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.