Planning for and successfully executing a promotional event can be challenging but the opportunities to promote your brand, launch a new product, form new partnerships and connect with customers face-to-face make promotional events an attractive option for many businesses.

1. Different Types of Promotional Event

Promotional events come in a wide variety of different forms. In 2016, the Intu shopping centre in Milton Keynes successfully partnered with Dreamworks to host a variety of events for children centred around the release of ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’. The activities took place during half term and included Chinese lantern making, martial arts masterclasses and sushi-making sessions. There were also prizes for competition winners and a variety of giveaways including colouring books and badges.

To raise awareness of the changing microchipping legislation in 2016, the Dog’s Trust successfully launched the MicroChippy, a pop-up café with a dog-friendly menu and experts on hand to give owners the opportunity to have their pets scanned and any details updated if needed.

Hosting a product launch event is an excellent way to increase your brand recognition, encourage enthusiasm for your latest product, secure valuable media coverage, connect with notable industry influencers and boost your sales.

So, without any further ado, here are 7 tips to keep in mind when planning your next promotional event.

2. Know your Purpose

First and foremost, you need to know precisely what you want your event to do for your business. Do you want to secure media coverage for your latest product launch? Do you want to increase the visibility of your business locally? Are you hoping to generate incremental sales and boost your revenue? Your goals and objectives should inform every decision you make, which will ultimately help you to set your event up for success.

3. Tailor your Messaging to your Target Audience

The motivations behind hosting your event should determine the demographics of your target audience. If, for example, your event will mark the launch of your latest product, you should refine your messaging to highlight the product’s core features in distinct and memorable ways.

Before you start designing your event messaging, take some time to really think about the key takeaways you want your attendees to remember when they leave your event.

4. Show, Don’t Just Tell

It is one thing to tell your audience something, but it is another thing entirely to show them. Messaging can be reinforced by product demonstrations and marketing videos, but you could also invite keynote speakers to discuss related topics and enhance the authorial voice of your event.

5. Devise a Schedule and Stick to It

There are a lot of moving components to consider when planning an event, which is why maintaining an accurate schedule is so important. In addition to securing an appropriate venue, you might also want to hire additional services or props and you need to know that everything will be available when you need it.

Setting deadlines for securing bookings and deliveries will streamline your event coordination and provide you with enough time to devise new strategies should anything disrupt your original plans.

6. Connect with a Sponsor

Partnering with a relevant sponsor can help you to connect with new audiences and increase the reach of your event. Additionally, a sponsor could also increase your budget and allow you to leverage even more positive results from your event.

7. Promote and Document your Event

Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms can be used to promote your event. Make sure that you include any relevant location information in your social media posts to encourage your local audience to drop in. Reaching out to industry experts, the media and influential bloggers can help you to attract additional attendees and build increased intrigue.

Documenting your event has a variety of benefits. It is unlikely that everyone who is interested in your event will be able to attend and creating a personalised hashtag will keep this segment of your audience informed and up to date. Additionally, if you want to host further events in the future, having social media posts, blog posts and articles showcasing the success of your last event is likely to encourage more people to attend.

8. Follow Up

As you need to ensure that your event drives tangible value for your business, following up with your attendees can deliver a variety of benefits.

Collating a list of email addresses will allow you to send follow-up marketing materials designed to encourage your event attendees to keep in touch with your business, promote your social media platforms and even channel additional customers into your sales funnel. Alternatively, you could provide each attendee with some promotional merchandise printed with your business name, logo and website to increase the memorability of your brand and encourage further future interactions.

With so much potential, it is no surprise that so many businesses recognise the value in hosting promotional events as part of their wider marketing strategies, even in today’s digital-focused age.