How To Draw A Limitless Audience

Every marketing committee has the moment when they review the post-event ROI and it isn’t a return at all, but a loss. Events are a huge investment, and whether you wander into them with experience or none, your goal needs to be return on investment. What’s the trick you ask? After producing everything from networking gatherings to the top-ranked city fashion week, Portland Fashion Week, I can tell you — it’s integrating digital.

While all your effort and money go into producing the event, at the end of the day it’s not just the physical attendees you need to think about. The digital aftermath of your event is the tsunami wave that makes the difference in getting a return on that investment.

With every decision you need to keep two things in mind: the user experience of someone at the event in person and the digital experience of someone experiencing it through images, video and written word.

My event digital checklist:

  1. The most important part of an event is how you sell tickets and accept reservations. While third-party email marketing software is offering great solutions, it misses the most important piece — discovery. You need people to be able to stumble upon your event and that means you need both an Eventbrite listing and a Facebook event page. Both offer the ability for discovery of your event, as well as the practical needs of ticket registration and sharing.
  2. Create a hashtag so people at your event can give you great UGC (user-generated content), and don’t forget to tell them what the hashtag is! Use table cards or signs to ensure your guests know the hashtag.
  3. Always take great pictures and share them through social media and even an email follow-up. This helps take people on the fence about attending and convert them into attendees for next time. This also offers network benefits from people sharing they were there (everyone loves a great photo of themselves, so invest in a good photographer as it’s worth every penny).
  4. Don’t forget video. It’s true that if a picture is worth a thousand words, then video is worth a million (and a live stream is worth a billion!). While video can be intimidating, the easiest entry point is an Instagram or Facebook story-style video that can be taken from your cell phone. Save the dollars for professional photos and save by sharing iPhone-style videos.

Jessica Kane

Jessica Kane is a four-time founder that believes good is the enemy of great. She is Chief Operating Officer for SpaceCoast LIVING and SpaceCoast Business Magazine and CEO of Sanz.