Did you know that Johnny Depp has a substantial collection of Barbie Dolls? Now let's say you ran a Barbie Doll Expo, would you have him on your invite list? Why not? And with that in mind, what other oversights or outright mistakes do you think you might be making with your event planning?
Here are 5 that come to mind:
1) Inviting "Everyone"
While it's tempting to market your event to the widest possible group, a targeted list of attendees is essential. A key advantage of data-driven event marketing is that you can create profiles of your ideal attendees from past events. This allows you to pre-screen email and traditional mail lists for your ideal invitees. Better to have fewer attendees that simply love your event (and engage and buy stuff) than have people who simply are there to fill space.
2) Overlooking Influencers. Especially Outliers.
There is a tendency amongst event marketing professionals (or super successful companies) that they simply know everyone who is anyone in their market. And that is just the problem--they can become myopic when it comes to bringing in energetic new voices--and relevant audiences--to their events.
Data-driven event marketing platforms can help you compile lists of up and coming influencers who can speak at your events and bring their audiences with them. You'd be surprised, in fact, at the names you can come up with--particularly with celebrities who may be a big fan of your industry or product.
3. Talking About Yourself.
Consider why people will want to attend your event -- then plan compelling and relevant activities to keep them active and engaged. Generally this means avoiding what might be called "outbound activities" designed purely to promote your brand and services. Instead you should create activities that invite interest based on "inbound" data that you have compiled about your audience.
If you don't have that data, look more closely at data-driven event platforms and plan an activity calendar that is driven by that data.
4. Not using vendors as marketers.
This is particularly important if you have a niche service or product. Generally what is is good for the industry is good for any one company in that industry -- so actively engage pertinent vendors in promoting your event.
5. No "plan b"
An event is live theater so to speak. Make sure, therefore, that you have "understudies" in place for all the key functions that will take place during your event. This is critically important with keynote and break-out speakers and MCs who are prone to missing flights, getting sick or simply having the same bad luck that can befall any human being.
In fact, while we might have implied that a celebrity might make a great speaker at your event, they can be fickle.
A data-driven event planning platform can help you run "plan b, c or d" scenarios so that all critical functions will be staffed no matter what happens. Because a live event is no time to play around.
* PS: There really is a world-wide Barbie Doll Expo in Canada. We're not sure who has been invited, yet.
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