Do you run an event planning company and you are in the process of organizing an event? Do you need a sample event marketing plan template? Then below is a guide on how to write a marketing plan for an event; with only one goal in mind, “To over flood the venue with attendees.” One of the most important steps to take when preparing for an upcoming event is to write a marketing plan.
A marketing plan gives direction and serves as a systematic guide of everything involved in planning and coordinating an upcoming event. It discusses the who, what, when, where, why, and how of your marketing campaign. The structure and content of your event’s marketing plan will depend on the type of event you are staging. But the following are typical components of an event marketing plan:
Writing a Marketing Plan for an Event – Sample Template
Table of Content
- 1. Executive summary or mission statement
- 2. Target market
- 3. The event
- 4. Objectives
- 5. Marketing strategy
- 6. Action plan and evaluation
- a. Be a good marketer and salesperson
- b. Creativity
- c. Be a networker – Establish connections
- d. Create an event planning website
- e. Ask your contacts for referrals
- f. Create your business cards and give them to people you meet at events
1. Executive summary or mission statement
The executive summary or mission statement is a brief overview of the main points of your marketing plan. In other words, it’s a summary of what you plan to do (the event), what you plan to achieve by staging the event, and how you plan to do it. This part of your marketing plan should also describe the nature of the event as well as the people expected to attend and participate in the event.
The mission statement serves as the basis for the other contents of the marketing plan. It summarizes everything into one or two pages. And since it is usually the first page to be read, it must be compelling enough to prompt the reader to read the whole plan.
2. Target market
In an event planning business plan, this part discusses the customers that a business caters to. But in an event marketing plan, it defines the people who will attend your event. So, you need to identify and define the categories of people you expect to attend your upcoming event; unemployed graduates, CEOs, small business owners, and so on.
Using the word, “everyone” is silly, because it’s unrealistic. You sure don’t have what it takes to accommodate everyone in your city if they all choose to attend. So, your best bet is to be as specific as possible. Not only will this help you decide the apt preparations to make, but it will also help you know where to focus your attention and efforts.
You can define your target market using either demographics (age, gender, employment status, marital status, location, occupation, etc) or interests (sports, politics, business, literature, etc). Target the right people, or else you will get little or no responses, and your promotional activities will be wasted.
3. The event
Having defined the people you expect at the upcoming event, you will also need to define what these people expect from such an event and what your event promises to offer them. You must give a detailed description of your event and the activities, services, value, pricing, and promotion that would be involved.
Whether you are staging a seminar, a show, a dinner, an anniversary, or a fundraiser, you need to identify what will most likely attract people to the event. In addition, you must explain what those present at the event will gain from it, as well as what makes the event unique; be it the venue, activities involved, size, entertainment, food, or whatever. That is, list the unique selling points of the event.
This is the part where you discuss what you hope to achieve by staging the event (your objectives) and how you will achieve these objectives. Remember that your objectives must be SMART—that is, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. You will refer back to these objectives at the end of your event to figure out if the event was successful or not.
5. Marketing strategy
This part discusses how you will reach out to your target market. It is the most important part of your event marketing plan, since the success or failure of your event hinges largely on how well you plan and implement your marketing strategy.
Your marketing strategy will discuss how will use the four P’s of marketing–product, price, place, and promotion—to achieve your objectives. Will you advertise your event in local newspapers, blogs, magazines, radio, or TV? Will you print and distribute flyers and handbills? Will you sell tickets online or offline? Do you have enough budget to implement your marketing plans? These are important questions you need to answer when mapping out your marketing strategy.
However, you must bear in mind that certain factors may threaten the success of your marketing campaign, such as competition. Someone else may be staging a similar event around the same time. In such case, you must find out what they are planning to offer, and see how you can do better.
6. Action plan and evaluation
This is the last part of your event marketing plan. It involves assigning responsibilities and keeping track of activities and budgets. So, the action plan will specify what will be done, when, and by who. This part of your plan will also explain how you will evaluate your overall success—based on whether you achieved your objectives or not.
10 Marketing ideas for Running a Successful Event Management Company
a. Be a good marketer and salesperson
How can you represent clients if you cannot present yourself in a professional way? Knowing how to become an event planner also entails projecting yourself as a leader in the industry. Your portfolio should not only contain impressive clients but should be presented in an impressive format as well. Hire a good web developer and spread your online presence as more clients look in the internet for possible event managers.
Event planners must be creative and edgy and most of all pacesetters. No event should be a photocopy of something that was done before. Clients like their events to be the talk of the town. Your notebook is your friend. It must always be with you to write down ideas.
Never forget Murphy’s Law: what can go wrong, will go wrong. So Event planners are people who are quick thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators and most importantly, people who can control their tempers because clients can be annoying. So, you must learn how to be cool, calm, collected and smile a lot. That way, you will be smiling to the bank weekly.
c. Be a networker – Establish connections
Many established event planners consider their network and contacts as their secret weapon to winning a deal. Who are the manpower service providers? The catering services, pastry chef, photographers and videographers; even the venue and other tit bits are responsibilities of event planners.
Having a brilliant concept will not leave the clients gaping with awe if you do not know where to pull all your materials and people. Do you still want to become an event planner? Then know your contacts.
d. Create an event planning website
Creating yourself a website is also an important aspect when starting an event planning service. The internet is the best way to promote your business as millions of people go online these days. Perform internet marketing strategies such as search engine optimization, email list-building or link-building for people to see your website.
e. Ask your contacts for referrals
Photographers and caterers know a lot about the nature of the special events occurring in the area; they have access to the people who throw parties and if you can negotiate a good referral fee for them, they can recommend you to their clients. It’s all about networking and meeting people. You should also get family and friends to refer you to prospective clients.
f. Create your business cards and give them to people you meet at events
That way, they will have your contacts.