Change Your Event Marketing Team’s Life with Automation in Event Processes

Talk to any event marketer in 2024, and they’ll likely describe their job as “multi-tasking.” From pre-event marketing and registration to the event venue and entertainment selection to attendee, sponsor, and speaker management to feedback and reporting… you get the picture!  With so many moving parts, it’s no surprise that the ibtm World 2023 Culture Creators Report claimed that 79% of event professionals believe their jobs are more stressful today than before the pandemic. The profession was even ranked the third most stressful job in the world, ahead of teachers, first responders, and surgeons, to name a few.

If you’re an event marketer whose heart is pounding more quickly after reading this, take a breath! Help is readily available through event marketing software, which can automate and streamline many of the most time-consuming event management and planning processes, enabling all your event teams and stakeholders to manage registrations, ticketing, event email marketing, reporting, and more from one place.

Simply put, event marketing software will save time, money, and, importantly, sanity!

But how can you use event marketing software to your advantage? And what are the “must have” features in a solution? In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can make the most of event marketing software in 2024 to ease the burden of end-to-end event planning and deliver unprecedented ROI on your event budget.

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Set and Track KPIs

Goal setting is one of the most essential activities during event planning. Event stakeholders should take the time upfront to have detailed discussions and align on the event's vision, objectives, and key performance indicators. If you’ve used marketing event software in the past, you’ll find it can be instrumental in these discussions, as it can provide valuable insights into what has worked previously and help guide expectations, set goals, and define metrics for tracking ROI. We advise our clients to consider the following data points when setting event goals:

  • Registrations: number of people who registered

  • Session registrations: number of people who registered for a session

  • Demographic information: Location, age, and gender data enable you to ascertain whether your event attracts the right audience and help you determine whether you need to create audience-specific goals, such as attracting more attendees from the West Coast or increasing attendee diversity.

  • Speaker engagement: number of speaker profile views.

  • Session engagement: Attendee engagement data can help you identify popular speaker(s).

  • Session feedback and ratings: content relevance, speaker performance, etc.

  • Qualified sales leads: number of event-generated customer prospects.

  • Connections: how many people attended networking events, exchanged contact information, set up a 1:1 meeting, engaged in 1:1 chat, etc.

  • Attendee surveys: attendee satisfaction data.

  • Sponsorship engagement: attendee-sponsorship visits, views, likes, actions, etc.

If you haven’t used event marketing software before, now’s the time. Today’s solutions are more advanced than ever, meaning you can say goodbye to manual data entry and Excel spreadsheets to analyze and report on your event data. With the right technology, you can automatically capture custom metrics and socialize dashboards, graphs, and other visualizations to put data and insights at your event stakeholders’ fingertips, freeing your event marketing team to do what they do best: plan events!

You’ll also be able to automatically segment and filter data for deeper insights on attendee behavior, interests, and needs, including reports on the collateral they’ve downloaded, webcasts they’ve viewed, and people with whom they’ve networked. This will make it easy for your event marketing teams to rank, categorize, and distribute leads internally, enabling your sales teams to personalize post-event outreach.

Finally, as suggested above, you can use event performance metrics to inform future event strategies. Rather than make intuitive decisions about agendas, speakers, and entertainment, for example, you’ll have immediate access to data to make intelligent adjustments and continuously increase your event’s value in ways that resonate with your audience.

Launch Cross-Channel Pre-Event Promotions

The first step to achieving your event goals is ensuring you have the right audience in attendance. At 6Connex, we advise clients to identify an “attendee persona.” Answer the questions: Which companies/job titles/geographic regions do we want to attract? You might have more than one persona, and this is okay. The goal is to have a reference point so that as you build out your event marketing campaigns, you can incorporate personalized messaging that appeals to each persona(s).

Once you’ve identified the right audience, you must convince them to take time out of their busy schedules to attend your event. Most event marketers create compelling agendas or “hooks” to solicit registrations, such as access to industry leaders, exclusive content, or hands-on training sessions, and then communicate these hooks via digital marketing channels, including email marketing, social media, paid advertising, and more. Best practices include:

  • Depending on your promotion period, send at least two to three email marketing event invitations and post the invitations to your website and partners’ websites.

  • If your event is hybrid or virtual and travel is not required, launch an email campaign the day before and even the day of the event. Last-minute campaigning to your target audience can draw additional registrations, as people may have forgotten your previous emails or their schedules may have changed, and they can now attend. Many companies find an email sent right before the live event day generates the highest registration.

  • Launch a social media campaign using LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to advertise your event. Use animations, videos, and audiograms to lean into performance algorithms and increase your posts’ impressions. Create a Facebook event and invite all your fans. Identify appropriate LinkedIn groups and post your invitation or hold a LinkedIn Live to give prospects a preview of the event agenda and discuss reasons to attend. Schedule regular tweets to build interest and momentum heading into the event. Create event #hashtags so people can find and reference them as they tweet. If your social media strategy includes an employee advocacy board, ensure the invitation is included on your board for employees to promote to their social networks.

  •  Share and socialize content ahead of the event to attract attendees to speaker sessions.

  • A/B test subject lines, messaging, imagery, promotional offers, etc., by channel to understand what works best.

If this all sounds like a lot of work, it’s because it is! Sending personalized messages across multiple marketing channels and continuously adjusting to optimize performance is no small undertaking. And with so much activity, it’s easy to overlook activities. Perhaps an email reminder isn’t sent, or an offer code for sponsors is sent to an attendee list instead.   

Fortunately, technology like event email marketing automation can do all the heavy lifting and ensure you avoid these mistakes. The right solutions can pre-schedule and personalize your digital outreach across all channels, including email and social media campaigns, digital advertising, text messages, and chatbots. In just a few clicks, your teams can build marketing outreach sequences based on prospect behavior, such as sending reminder emails to individuals who have opened an email but have yet to register.

The technology will also allow you to test and iterate. For example, different subject lines and messages in targeted email event marketing can be used to measure effectiveness. Some of the most sophisticated solutions will even use AI to help marketers instantly create unique subject lines and email content and automatically plug this content into your marketing workflows.

As your event approaches, you can build “reminder” workflows in the event email marketing automation tool, ensuring attendees have the information they need regarding accommodations, QR codes, check-in procedures, instructions for downloading event apps, and more.  In our experience, when you communicate meaningful, personalized information to your event attendees, you create a favorable “bias” toward your event experience before the first keynote.   

Finally, a robust solution will also allow you to set “triggers,” so new social media posts are published each time you update your event. It’s a great way to ensure your audience can access the most up-to-the-minute event details and helps build momentum as your agenda grows.

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Automate Registration

Let’s face it: event registration can be a hassle for event planners and attendees, and manually capturing attendee information and processing payments is time-consuming and error-prone. However, with the rise of event marketing software and QR code technology, event planning teams are now finding it easy to automate event registration processes.

Event marketing software will give you a single registration platform for physical and virtual attendees and enable your event planning teams to create registration forms easily using pre-built templates and drag-and-drop fields. Talk about hitting the “easy button!”

And your event planners aren’t the only ones to benefit. Attendees can also enjoy a seamless registration process. Many event automation solutions now offer “smart form” technology, where registration forms react to if-then conditions and employ conditional logic so that attendees only respond to questions based on answers they’ve already supplied.

Even better, some event marketing automation platforms offer QR code technology, where attendees receive a registration link in the form of a QR code. Scanning the QR code with their smartphone will automatically populate the registration form with the attendee’s contact information. Keep in mind that QR code technology has in-event benefits, too. By providing attendees a digital badge in the form of a QR code, it’s easy for you and your sponsors and exhibitors to scan the codes at booths, attendee sessions, etc. so that you are tracking all attendee behavior in a like-to-like fashion.   

Once the registration process is complete, the real fun can begin! Most marketing automation event software allows event planners to create automated event registration workflows, where the data collected in the registration form automatically populates other critical tools and apps, such as email marketing tools and reservation and booking apps. For example, a registration can trigger a personalized follow-up email or text message, and registration data can automatically be added to targeted campaigns running before and during your event.   

Engage Attendees

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how easy it is for event planners to leverage event marketing automation software to increase event engagement. For example, rather than manually coordinating networking opportunities or roving the exhibit hall to solicit participation in a product demonstration, event planners can use registration information to their advantage by partnering with an event technology provider that has the necessary AI to automatically recommend activities, content, contacts, etc., to each attendee both before and throughout the event, sending push notifications and personalizing the event experience.  

Remember that the best events offer attendees more than a speaker-laden agenda. They deliver interactive, personalized activities that keep attendees coming back. By using event technology to increase engagement and interactivity, you can significantly impact the user experience and amplify the event’s overall event “vibe” and memorability—all without human intervention.

Collect Attendee Feedback

Gathering and analyzing post-event feedback is crucial to measuring your event's success, understanding attendees' experiences, and identifying areas for improvement for future events. Remember that the automated reporting available in the event marketing automation tools described above may capture attendees' activities but not necessarily their feelings about the event.

Therefore, lean on your marketing event automation technology to run live polls and surveys during your event. Most solutions will have an easy-to-use app allowing you to request real-time feedback. Not only does this increase audience engagement, but it empowers you to adjust your event if necessary to optimize the experience. Do attendees want more time in the exhibit hall? You can update the agenda. There needs to be more sound volume in the keynote session. Your venue’s IT team can troubleshoot before the next presentation. There’s no better event marketing automation tool to ensure you’re giving your attendees what they want. And the good news: it couldn’t be easier for your team to gather the information.         

Once your event has concluded, the benefits of your event marketing software will live on. A couple of days after the event date, you can use the technology to host a brief survey to assess attendees’ overall experience. Our recommendations are to keep the survey friendly and concise and to be sure to create a separate survey for event sponsors or exhibitors. Best practice: include the survey in your thank you email! Again, the event marketing technology will work for you, aggregating, organizing, analyzing, and visualizing the data so that you can discover trends, prove event value, and identify ways to enhance your next event—without an Excel spreadsheet in sight!

Leverage Marketing Automation in Your Next Event. 

These days, the best event is an automated event! By leveraging event marketing automation software, you’ll free your team from the administrative and logistical burdens of event planning and empower them to do what they love most: create unique, memorable event experiences that build brand awareness and accelerate marketing and sales pipelines. It will simply help your business get better results!

Contact 6Connex today to learn how our marketing event company paves the way to seamless, stress-free event planning for some of the world’s biggest brands.         

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