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5 marketing tips for association events

Posted on April 12th, 2018 in Association Events, Driving Attendance, Event Marketing

If you’ve ever run an event for an association, or you’re in the midst of planning one, you may have noticed some unique marketing challenges that other events don’t face. Whether it’s a conference, a regular meeting or a networking event, marketing for an association event is about selling and showing the benefits of membership.

Start early

Marketing for association events should start much earlier than for standard events. Because of the amount of time taken off work, and associated travel expenses, companies that you target need to have advance notice to be able to send employees. Each company has a limited budget for this sort of exercise, so getting in ahead of other events that might interest them is vital.

As a general guide, you should be marketing an annual event more than a year ahead of time. Even though this seems like it might clash with the upcoming event, you can often double up on exposure to get the best of both worlds.

Offer Early Bird offers

Offering a discount to those who are willing to commit to earlybird tickets is a great way to get the ball rolling on ticket sales. Once you have a few people locked in, you can expect a bit of exposure on social media and through word-of-mouth advertising. As people see and hear that their peers are going, they’re more likely to go themselves.

Use a variety of marketing strategies

While social media marketing is growing in popularity and efficiency, it’s important not to focus solely on this alone. It’s definitely a great way to reach younger audiences and to target your marketing at specific groups, but it still cuts out those who respond better to traditional marketing methods.

Offline advertising – in trade publications, for example – is a great way to supplement your online marketing activities, meaning you’ll reach more people and have a greater chance of a positive response.

Involve speakers in your marketing

When you’re marketing online, it’s a great idea to have other people involved in the event spreading the word. When you sign up speakers, encourage them to post on blogs and social media so that people who are interested in them know what they’re up to.

You can get involved in this by creating Q&A blogs on your own site or recording video chats to post on YouTube and Facebook. These are likely to be shared by the subjects and viewed by their followers.

Target emerging professionals

Getting new people to come to your event is a great way to increase ticket sales. Many won’t know of your event yet, so making sure you use a variety of advertising is the best way to reach them.

When targeting younger people, consider what your have at your event that they’re most likely to be interested in. If you’re struggling, you may have to think about including something to widen the appeal. By focusing part of your strategy on newcomers, you can ensure an injection of fresh blood, and possible lifelong members.

There are a variety of ways to market an association event, and the more often you do it, the better you’ll get. Highlighting the benefits of your event is a great way to make marketing easy, and once you have a message, a target audience and a channel to advertise on, you’ll find the pieces fall into place.

Partner with the leading exhibition and conference organiser to uncover your event’s potential

Successful events start with a conversation! Exhibitions and Trade Fairs (ETF) is a full service organiser with over thirty five years experience in trade and consumer exhibitions, conferences and events. Our goal is to provide exhibitors, sponsors, visitors and the industries they represent with an effective opportunity to meet to do business, network and learn. Have an obligation-free chat with our team today by sending an online enquiry or by calling us at +61 2 9556 7999.