An Expert Guide on Common Event Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them

In the dynamic world of event marketing, the landscape is continually evolving, presenting new opportunities along with a host of challenges. Whether you’re organising a local workshop, a major conference, or an international trade show, the success of your event hinges on effective marketing strategies.

Through this guide, we aim to navigate the most common hurdles that event marketers face today, helping you identify and overcome these challenges with finesse. This guide is designed to inspire and equip you with everything you need to turn potential setbacks into stepping stones for success. Read on to learn more!

What is events marketing?

Event marketing is a strategic promotional approach that involves creating and hosting events to engage directly with a target audience and achieve business goals. Events offer a platform for live interaction, delivering memorable brand experiences and valuable feedback, which makes them effective for conveying brand messages and fostering lasting relationships.

This type of marketing ranges from small workshops and webinars to large-scale conferences, allowing companies to personally interact with potential customers, partners, and influencers. It serves several purposes, including enhancing brand awareness, generating leads, driving sales, and building community.

What are the elements of an event marketing strategy?

An effective event marketing strategy is comprehensive, integrating several crucial elements that work together to ensure the success of an event. Here’s a breakdown of these key components:

Goals and objectives

The foundation of any event marketing strategy lies in its goals and objectives. These should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). By defining clear objectives, organisers can better design their event to meet these targets, ensuring all aspects of the event align with the desired outcomes.

Promotion channels

Effective promotion channels serve as the main conduits through which information about your event is conveyed to your target audience, helping to build anticipation, drive registrations, and maintain engagement before, during, and after the event. The integration of multiple promotional avenues ensures that your marketing efforts are comprehensive and effective. Here are some channels you’ll wan to consider to make the most out of your event marketing efforts:

    • Social media

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are essential tools for offering unique ways to reach different segments of your audience. They allow for the widespread sharing of event-related content and engagement with potential attendees through comments and shares, as well as help create a buzz around your event.

    • Event website

A dedicated event website or a specific landing page provides a central hub for all information related to the event. It should include details such as the event agenda, speakers, registration information, and contact details. The website is also crucial for SEO strategies and can be the focal point for all promotional activities.

    • Emails

Email marketing is crucial for reaching potential attendees and informing registered participants. Emails can be used for initial invitations, early bird offers, reminders, and post-event follow-ups. Segmenting your email list based on past event attendance, interests, and behaviour can help send targeted messages that are more likely to convert.

Relevant content

Content fuels an event’s promotional engine. This includes everything from blog posts and articles discussing the event’s theme to videos featuring highlights from past events or interviews with keynote speakers. Content should be informative, engaging, and tailored to the target audience’s interests. It can be leveraged across all channels to enhance the overall marketing strategy.

Feedback and follow-up

After the event, gathering feedback is crucial for measuring success and identifying areas for improvement. Surveys, polls, and informal conversations can all serve as feedback tools. Follow-up is equally important; this could involve sending thank-you emails, sharing access to post-event resources like recordings or slides, and promoting upcoming events. These efforts not only help maintain engagement with attendees but also build a foundation for lasting relationships.

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What makes an event marketing strategy successful?

A successful event marketing strategy involves meticulous planning and execution across three critical phases: before, during, and after the event. Each phase has specific metrics that can be monitored to gauge the effectiveness of the strategy and ensure the event achieves its intended goals. The following section discusses some of the key event metrics to consider when evaluating your event marketing strategy and efforts.

Before the event

Registration rate

The registration rate is a crucial indicator of initial interest and the effectiveness of early promotional efforts. A high registration rate often correlates with successful outreach and an appealing event proposition.

Website traffic

The volume of traffic to your event’s website or landing page can provide insights into the effectiveness of your marketing channels. High traffic indicates strong interest and effective promotion, particularly if the sources are diverse, including organic search, social media, and direct visits.

Conversion rate

Perhaps the most telling indicator before the event is the conversion rate, which measures the percentage of website visitors who complete the registration process. This metric helps assess the effectiveness of your website design, registration process, and overall appeal of your event offerings.

During the event

Attendance rate

The attendance rate is calculated by comparing the number of attendees to the number of registrants. This metric helps measure the success of the event’s draw and logistical planning, including reminders and incentives to attend.

Retention rate

The retention rate tracks how many attendees stay for the entire event. A high retention rate generally indicates that the event is engaging and meets the expectations set during the promotion phase.

Engagement

Active participation in sessions, use of event apps, social media interaction, and live feedback all measure engagement. High engagement during the event is a strong indicator of its relevance and success in capturing and holding the audience’s interest.

After the event

Satisfaction rate

Post-event surveys and feedback forms help measure participant satisfaction. This metric reflects the event’s success in meeting or exceeding attendees’ expectations and is crucial for planning future events.

Referral rate

The referral rate measures how likely attendees are to recommend the event to others. A high referral rate is indicative of a successful event that resonated well with attendees, enhancing future marketing efforts through word-of-mouth.

ROI

Calculating the ROI involves assessing the total costs against the gains from the event, which may include direct sales, leads generated, strategic partnerships formed, and long-term brand value enhancement. A positive ROI indicates that the event not only covered its costs but also contributed profit and value to the organisation.

7 Event marketing strategy challenges you should know

Event marketing involves navigating various challenges that can impact the success and smooth operation of an event. Here are some common challenges along with strategic solutions to help ensure your event marketing efforts are effective:

Event marketing challenge 1: Increasing costs

As event marketing logistical complexity grows, so do the associated costs—including venue hire, technology, staffing, and marketing expenses. Rising costs can strain budgets and limit the scope of an event, especially when unexpected expenses arise.

The solution

Utilise sponsorships and partnerships to defray costs and add value. You can also consider exploring digital or hybrid formats as cost-effective alternatives to fully in-person events, reducing physical logistical expenses.

Event marketing challenge 2: Budgeting and ROI

Accurately forecasting budgets and calculating the return on investment (ROI) can be difficult due to variable costs and sometimes intangible benefits. Event planners must justify the financial investment by proving that the event can meet or exceed the expected financial and engagement targets.

The solution

Use precise tracking tools and analytics to monitor expenditures and outcomes. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) related to financial goals and attendee engagement to measure success and adjust strategies accordingly.

Event marketing challenge 3: Tight timelines

Event planning often involves tight schedules, which can lead to rushed decisions and potential oversights. Managing every detail within a constrained timeline demands efficiency and can significantly impact the event’s quality.

The solution

Adopt robust project management practices such as utilising timelines and checklists to organise tasks effectively. Include buffer times for unforeseen issues to prevent last-minute chaos.

Event marketing challenge 4: Finding the right venue

Selecting a venue that meets all event requirements—such as location, capacity, accessibility, and technical capabilities—can be challenging. The venue sets the tone for the event and can influence the attendees’ experiences significantly.

The solution

Begin your search early and assess multiple venues against a detailed checklist of your event’s needs. Virtual tours and reviews can aid in making a well-informed choice.

Event marketing challenge 5: Not prioritising networking activities

Networking is a key value proposition for many events, but it is often sidelined in planning. Failing to facilitate adequate networking opportunities can detract from the attendee experience and perceived event value.

The solution

Create structured opportunities for networking within the event schedule, including dedicated spaces and times specifically for this purpose. Use technology like mobile event apps to enhance and personalise networking experiences for attendees.

Event marketing challenge 6: Keeping content relevant

In a rapidly evolving market landscape, maintaining event marketing content that is engaging, current, and valuable to attendees is challenging. Content must resonate with the audience to maintain interest and drive engagement.

The solution

Regularly research audience preferences and industry trends. Engage potential attendees early through social media and surveys to tailor content that meets their expectations and needs.

Event marketing challenge 7: Sustainability

Environmental concerns are increasingly prominent, and events can generate significant waste and carbon footprints. Meeting sustainability expectations without compromising on quality or attendee experience is a growing challenge.

The solution

Implement sustainable practices like digital communications, recycling programs, and choosing green vendors. These efforts not only reduce environmental impact but also enhance the event’s reputation among eco-conscious participants.

Strategising Event Marketing Strategies Towards Success with The Ortus Club

Navigating the complexities of event marketing requires a deep understanding of the challenges involved and the implementation of robust strategies to overcome them. By addressing the key issues mentioned above, event marketers can enhance the overall effectiveness and impact of their events.

Event marketing has become increasingly essential, and The Ortus Club events provide an excellent opportunity for businesses to network and build relationships with potential customers and partners. At the Ortus Club, we specialise in making intimate, interactive, informative, and engaging virtual roundtable events. We continue our vision of holding executive virtual roundtable discussions all over the globe to accommodate the growing importance of knowledge-sharing in times of uncertainty. 

Message us today to learn more about scaling your B2B marketing to a global audience. Reach out today, and one of our client directors will get in contact with you as soon as possible!