The Ultimate Guide to Event Marketing
Discover the benefits of event marketing and how to build an event marketing strategy that engages attendees and converts valuable leads.
FREE EVENT PLANNING CHECKLIST
Everything you need to manage event marketing and promotion.
Think back to the last event you attended.
Was it a conference or trade show? An intimate seminar or startup launch party hosted online? How about a fun, socially-distanced 5K or golf outing?
These events are all very different, but to the brands or organizations who hosted them, they all had a common purpose: to entertain and engage attendees — a.k.a. potential customers.
Event marketing is a highly valuable strategy for all kinds of businesses, from technology and education to non-profit, medicine, and retail.
Not only do events benefit their hosts and sponsors, but they also enrich the lives of their attendees. Events inspire, teach, intrigue, entertain, and bring people together in a way unlike most other marketing efforts.
What is Event Marketing?
Types of Event Marketing
Benefits of event marketing, event marketing plan.
Measuring Your Event
What is event marketing?
Event marketing is planning, organizing, and executing an event for the purpose of promoting a brand, product, or service. Events can take place in-person or online, and companies can either host an event, attend as an exhibitor, or participate as a sponsor.
Event marketing refers to a variety of events. You could organize a small roundtable of seven to 10 guests, partner with another brand to sponsor a 5K, or set up an exhibit at a major trade show — or host one of these online.
You could host a multi-day event that attracts thousands of attendees, sponsors, and speakers … like INBOUND. INBOUND 2022 , for instance, will host sessions both online and in-person and attracted thousands of attendees around the world.
It doesn’t quite matter the size of or platform for your event as long as you’re bringing value to your customers, potential customers, and brand. We’ll talk more about how to build an event marketing strategy below .
In the meantime, let’s go over some of the different types of event marketing your company could host, sponsor, or attend. Note that all of these events can take place virtually , too.
Conferences are large events typically organized and hosted by one major company and sponsored by a long list of smaller brands and businesses. Conferences are valuable for both B2B and B2C brands. These events typically offer the most dynamic agendas, filled with speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities.
Trade Shows and Expositions
Trade shows or expositions (expos) are large events organized around a specific industry or type of product, such as sales technology or medical devices. Trade shows give companies a chance to show off their products and services and typically bring in the highest number of qualified leads. Whereas conferences are open to the public, trade show attendees are typically pre-qualified buyers, company representatives, and salespeople.
Seminars (often called webinars when hosted online) are valuable, education-centric events attended by a small number of people. They involve discussions, lectures, and intimate networking opportunities.
Roundtables are similar to seminars, but usually have even fewer attendees of comparable “levels”, such as CEOs, surgeons, or teachers. Both events typically last no more than one day.
Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that give companies the opportunity to sell their products in a controlled environment. They’re typically organized by e-commerce brands that don’t have a full-time brick-and-mortar storefront. Pop-up shops also allow otherwise digital brands to bring their brand to life through a physical, immersive setting for their customers.
Launch Parties and Celebrations
Launch parties or celebrations are small, personal events held at the launch of a new business, upon a big announcement, or to simply celebrate a success or milestone. Some companies put on a yearly party to host and entertain customers or clients. While these types of events shouldn’t be centered on a product or brand, a simple speech or presentation can help align the event with a company and remind attendees why they’re there.
Workshops are similar to seminars and roundtables in that they’re focused on sharing knowledge and educating attendees. But unlike seminars and roundtables, they’re typically open to the public. Workshops can be offered both virtually and in-person, and while they aren’t traditionally promotional, they’re usually centered around a topic relevant to the business … which makes a company seem more credible in their field.
Other types of event marketing include job fairs, customer-only conferences, networking sessions, VIP experiences, sponsorships, awards events, and competitions (like 5Ks or golf outings).
In a recent article on the ultimate marketing advice , multiple experts mentioned that events were the best way to connect with your audience and grow your brand. Here’s a direct quote from Kenny Nguyen of ThreeSixtyEight (who spoke at INBOUND):
...businesses will utilize event strategies more than ever before as human experiences will be how companies choose to differentiate themselves , especially those that can’t do so through technologies. The key to any great event strategy is very simple — identify the memory you want attendees to walk away with and work backward ."
Events work because they’re different than every other type of marketing. They’re immersive, entertaining, and memorable. They’re also useful for businesses in any industry
Event marketing helps companies be successful — we’ve proven this above.
But how do they do that specifically? Why should you invest in this strategy for your business? Here are some distinct benefits of event marketing.
Events marketing generates business.
Companies choose to invest in event marketing because events inherently generate new business and revenue opportunities — 95% of marketers believe that in-person events can have a major impact on achieving their company’s primary business goals.
As an event host, the registration process alone generates a list of people who are already interested in your product, industry, or at least fall in your target demographic. If you’re participating in or sponsoring an event, you can collect leads through an email list, demo offering, or by running a competition.
Event marketing provides one-on-one customer engagement.
Lots of today’s software and e-commerce businesses never get to meet their customers or clients in person. That’s where event marketing is beneficial.
A 2020 Bizzabo study found that 93% of marketers believe in-person events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form connections in an increasingly digital world.
Engaging customers and potential customers at events initiates personal interactions. These personal, one-on-one interactions build brand loyalty and help customers humanize your brand. Events also provide a reprieve from the distractions of daily work — meaning you can capture a client’s attention better than over a phone call or in-office pitch. With that attention, you have a chance to sell — or upsell — your products and services.
Event marketing builds brand awareness.
Hosting or participating in events is a key way for companies to establish and grow their brand. 64% of event marketers reported that the primary reason for hosting events is brand awareness for their company or products.
Event marketing allows you to associate a physical identity and aesthetic with an otherwise digital brand. Like with pop-up shops, events provide a truly immersive experience at which consumers and customers can get a real feel for your brand and what it looks like in person.
The best part about using events to build brand awareness? People talk about events. Consumers, customers, media, bystanders, and influencers talk about events in person, on social media, in the press … you name it, making events a fantastic way to educate and alert people of your brand and products.
Event marketing encourages product and industry education.
Regardless of what type of event your company hosts or participates in, there’s most likely an education component. That’s what makes event marketing so successful — they don’t focus solely on a brand or product.
Instead, they focus on educating and entertaining a demographic or industry … and promote products and services on the side. (In fact, this makes for great marketing across the board.)
Now, let’s talk about how you can implement your next event. Your events should have a marketing plan separate from other efforts you do for your business.
You can cross-promote (i.e. share event information on company social media and vice versa), but it’s wise to detail your event marketing as a standalone campaign strategy.
Here are some questions to help you build your next event marketing strategy .
What are your SMART goals? What’s your budget?
SMART goals stand for s pecific, m easurable, a ttainable, r elevant, and t imely. Keeping your goals SMART helps you avoid running with vague goals like “bring in leads.”
SMART goals have a dual purpose: to give you direction when planning and implementing your event and to help you decide whether or not your event was a success (and if it wasn’t, to know how to improve).
An example of a SMART event marketing goal would be to “grow our prospective leads list for our new product by 100 names by the end of the event.”
This goal is specific (prospective leads for only the new product), measurable (100 names), attainable and relevant (assuming the event is relevant and there are more than enough attendees to get 100 names), and timely (by the end of the event).
Note: Don’t limit your event to one single goal. You should also set intangible goals like “strengthen relationships” and “engage prospective customers,” but in terms of creative and fiscal decisions, use your SMART goals to guide you — and to measure on the backend.
Lastly, take some time to define your event marketing budget. This is crucial as it’ll likely be the deciding factor on everything from the venue to the entertainment to the website.
What’s your event’s theme, brand, and schedule?
To market your event, you must know what information and content to market. Before moving further, establish your event’s name, theme, brand, and purpose. Why should people attend? What will they gain? Is your event an offshoot of your company, or is it a standalone brand?
Next, figure out where and when your event will take place. These will likely be the most-asked questions by attendees.
Then, research and outline your event’s schedule, such as keynote speakers, workshop sessions, entertainment portions, and times to gather and network.
You don’t have to secure all of these before you start promoting your event, but you should at least have an idea of who will be there and what you’ll offer for attendees.
Who are you marketing to? How will you reach them?
Define your target audience. Who would benefit most from attending your event? What kinds of people would enjoy your workshops, learn from your speakers, and engage your sponsors?
Establishing your audience will help you target and invest in the proper marketing channels. Social media and your event website are given channels in today’s digitally-saturated market. If your event is local, consider print advertisements. Consider adding your event to an event listing website like Eventful , Hey Event , and 10times to reach more people.
Event marketing with email
Email is another popular and effective way to promote events. 39% of marketers found that email marketing tools were the greatest contributor to event success.
Email information is easy to collect at registration, and attendees check email, so they'll easily notice updates and confirmations.
Often times, companies will create separate email addresses and newsletters for their events as a way to keep communication and promotion separate from it others marketing efforts.
This also benefits your attendees — they probably don't want their inboxes flooded.
What’s your content creation and management plan?
Promoting your event involves a lot of information — what, when, where, why, who, and how, for starters. To properly manage all this information, you must establish a viable plan to create and control it.
Because your event details likely won’t be ready all at once, you’ll be tasked with releasing, updating, and changing information for months leading up to the event. Will you do this via newsletter? Who will be in charge of making sure the website is up-to-date? Will you invest in an event app so attendees have this information in their pocket at all times?
What’s your event marketing timeline?
To engage your audience, it’s best to promote your event throughout the weeks and months leading up to it. It helps to outline a promotion timeline so you know when and what to release. A timeline like this also helps pique your attendees' curiosity as you release new names or information at different times.
It’s also wise to organize a multi-touch promotion. Include a variety (i.e. email, social media, direct mail, phone calls, print ads, and paid ads) to reach the maximum amount of people.
Simply getting the word out there could make a massive difference in your registrations.
How will you promote and market during the event?
Marketing your event shouldn’t stop when your event begins. Dedicate some resources to promoting your event as it’s happening. Attendees may learn something new about what’s offered, and those who didn’t register will be curious about what they’re missing.
Most companies use social media to engage people while their event is happening. 73% of businesses use social media to promote specific events and features during the event, 55% use it to post photos, and 35% use it to amplify product announcements.
Consider taking Facebook or Instagram Live Video or Live Tweeting during your event .
How will you measure your event success?
In the midst of a bustling event, it’s easy to take a look around and feel good about your attendance and engagement. But is that the best way to evaluate whether your event was a success? Probably not.
Like every other marketing investment, it’s wise to set some key performance indicators (KPIs) against which to measure your event and evaluate its performance.
Here are a few common KPIs for event marketing.
Registrations and check-ins
Not everyone who registers for your event will attend. Compare your registrations to your actual attendance and consider reaching out to a few who registered but didn’t check-in. Take a look at your registration data to see when the most and fewest tickets were purchased and what kinds of tickets were purchased, if you offered a variety of ticket packages or options.
Revenue and cost-to-revenue ratio
How much money did your event bring in? If your event required a paid ticket, gross revenue is an important measure of success. How does that amount compare to what you spent on the event? This comparison will help you better understand the value of your event and the resources offered. Events are expensive, but they’re not worth going in debt for.
Did your attendees enjoy your event? What did they participate in and enjoy the most? “Satisfaction” may seem like an obscure metric, but understanding the opinions and perspective of your event attendees can help you better understand where your event was a success … and where you could improve. Consider building a survey to ask your attendees about their experience, takeaways, and to calculate a Net Promoter Score (NPS) for your event.
Here’s a direct quote from another expert who provided some marketing advice in a recent piece of ours, Mike Piddock of Glisser spoke at INBOUND:
“Events need to be assessed with hard metrics , rather than just 'gut-feel' opinions and feedback forms to rate the coffee. Measure attendee engagement , rather than simply counting who registered and who showed up, as this is a great proxy for the effectiveness of the event .”
Social media mentions/engagement
How often was your event discussed on social media? What was the general consensus around the event? Did your attendees share content that engaged non-attendees? (It’s highly likely — a 2016 study found that 98% of consumers create digital content at events, and this number has likely risen today.) In today’s digital world, social media is a great measure of event success and reach. Take a look at your event mentions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Consider using a hashtag so you can easily track posts.
Lead acquisition and customer conversion
Acquiring leads and converting customers is one of the main benefits of event marketing, so it’d make sense to measure these as KPIs of your event. Make note of how many qualified leads you gain from your event, and then track how many of those leads are converted into paying customers. This can help reveal the direct ROI of your event and see which tactics worked for lead collection and conversion.
Get Started with Event Marketing
Organizing and implementing an event is a daunting task. But approach it with a "snackable" strategy, and you’ll be planning your first event in no time.
Whether you’re aiming to entertain new clients, build your contact list, or raise money for your non-profit, event marketing may be the solution for you — and most fun for your customers.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Don't forget to share this post!
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Elevate your event planning with this comprehensive checklist from HubSpot.
Table of Contents
- 1. Set your goals and objectives.
- 2. Identify your target audience.
- 3. Create a compelling event message.
- 4. Choose the right marketing channels.
- 5. Get creative with engaging content.
6. Build a Compelling Event Website
- 7. Promote your event early and often.
8. Coordinate event co-marketing initiatives with sponsors
9. turn event attendees into advocates.
- 10. Track your results with KPIs.
- 11. Make adjustments as needed.
- 12. Follow up with attendees and iterate!
12 Steps for Creating a Great Event Marketing Plan
Event marketing can be a complex and time-consuming process, but it is essential for ensuring that your event is a success. A well-crafted marketing plan for events will help you reach your target audience, generate interest in your event, and drive ticket sales.
Curious how to create a marketing plan for an event? Here are 12 steps to help you create a success-oriented marketing plan:
1. Set your goals and objectives.
What do you hope to achieve with your event? Do you want to generate leads, increase brand awareness, or educate your audience? Once you know your goals, you can develop a marketing plan that is tailored to achieve them.
For example, if you are hosting a trade show, you might want to set a goal of generating 100 leads. If you are hosting a conference, you might want to set a goal of increasing brand awareness by 20%.
2. Identify your target audience.
Who are you trying to reach with your event? Once you know your target audience, you can tailor your marketing messages and channels to reach them.
For example, if you are hosting a conference for marketing professionals, you might target people who work in marketing roles at companies of all sizes. You could promote your event on social media, in industry publications, and through email marketing.
3. Create a compelling event message.
What makes your event unique? What value will attendees get from attending? Your event message should communicate the benefits of attending your event and answer the question: “What’s in it for me?”
Attendees should be able to understand precisely what they will receive from attending the event. Not being able to communicate the value proposition through your marketing efforts is a sign that the event content must be better organized and articulated.
Prospective registrants will want to know how they will benefit from attending the event, and the clearer their understanding, the more likely they will attend.
Don’t forget: Someone may want to register for the event, but their manager or another high-level executive must sign off on the purchase. In these instances, it makes sense to create marketing collateral that directly addresses the concerns of these decision makers to speed up the buying process.
Want to help potential registrants convince the right people to let them attend? Read “ 7 Ways To Help Participants Get Buy-in and Justify Conference Attendance .”
4. Choose the right marketing channels.
Various marketing channels are available, and the proper channels will vary depending on your target audience and budget. Some popular marketing channels include:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Paid advertising
- Public relations
- Content marketing
For example, if you host a trade show, you might use social media to promote your event to potential attendees. You could also use email marketing to reach past attendees and other industry contacts.
5. Get creative with engaging content.
A content calendar will help you plan and schedule your marketing content in advance. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you are consistently promoting your event.
Your marketing content should be engaging and informative. It should be designed to capture attention and encourage people to learn more about your event.
Sometimes it is best to show people why they’ll enjoy the event instead of telling them. Effective event marketing plans should include images and videos from previous events to help potential attendees visualize what being part of the event will be like. Using video testimonials helps to further solidify the experience within the minds of prospective registrants.
The event website is where your prospective attendees convert to actual attendees. For that reason alone, it’s arguably one of your most essential pieces of marketing collateral.
An exceptional event website is a marketing strategy in and of itself, as a positive user experience will yield higher enthusiasm for the actual event. With that in mind, invest considerable time and effort into building an event website that is well-designed in terms of appearance and user experience. The example below may serve as a helpful reference for website design.
When developing the aesthetic of your event website, make sure to let your event brand shine. Using consistent colors and fonts on all pages will unify the brand and keep the event memorable for website visitors.
7. Promote your event early and often.
The earlier you start promoting your event , the more time you will have to reach your target audience. You should promote your event regularly leading up to the event date.
Create an email marketing strategy to send several emails to keep the audience engaged. A nurture email campaign aims to gradually nudge the recipient toward the desired action (e.g., registering for the event) through emails. The timing of each message should be spread out so as not to flood the recipient’s inbox and create an unpleasant experience.
In addition to timing, your emails should be segmented so that each message is as relevant to the recipient as possible. Filtering by job description, geographic location, and industry are good ways to ensure relevant messages are sent to the right people, leading to higher click-through rates and, thus, more registrations.
Just as attendees can take part in the event marketing plan, sponsors can also collaborate to create co-marketing strategies. Sponsors also have a strong incentive to have a high number of attendees, which will mean a larger audience for their onsite event marketing goals.
Be creative and proactive in creating co-marketing strategies that serve both you and your sponsors’ interests. A simple way to do this is to include sponsors’ logos and brand colors on marketing collateral. The below example shows how Bizzabo and CloserIQ came together to co-promote an HR event.
Remember that event promotion does not only have to be from the organizer’s side. Attendees can also advocate on your behalf by encouraging their networks to register for the event. This can happen as a result of genuine enthusiasm from attendees but creating an incentive to share the event is also an effective solution.
The TicketBoost feature in Bizzabo’s event marketing platform is one tool that helps event professionals do this. Attendees receive a retroactive discount if people register with the link they shared on their social media. This incentivized way of sharing your event organically through your attendees’ social networks easily turns your attendees into event advocates.
10. Track your results with KPIs.
All good marketing strategies consist of various channels that aim to convert the target audience. However, simply executing on different initiatives does not constitute a successful strategy.
While it may feel satisfying to have campaigns in AdWords, email, and social media happening simultaneously, these initiatives mean very little if the success is not defined or measured. For each marketing initiative, set specific KPIs to properly measure success throughout the campaign.
How many times is your event website being shared on social? What is the click-through rate for keyword biddings on AdWords? Establishing KPIs is essential to understanding the performance level of each campaign.
The ultimate KPI that any event marketer wants to measure is the total number of event registrations . More specifically, they want to know which channels lead to the most completed registrations.
To get accurate insight into this question, your platforms should be integrated so that each database can talk to one another. Being able to integrate all campaigns into the main event management platform is key to properly attributing to each registration to the correct campaign.
The resulting insights will inform future event marketing strategies by indicating the most effective channels. Software integrations make it easier to keep track of progress while keeping KPIs clean and consistent across platforms.
11. Make adjustments as needed.
As you track your results, you may need to adjust your marketing plan. This is perfectly normal. The key is to be flexible and willing to adapt as needed. For example, if you are not seeing enough traffic to your event website, you might need to change your marketing message or target a different audience.
12. Follow up with attendees and iterate!
After your event, be sure to follow up with attendees. This is a great opportunity to thank them for attending and to gather feedback on your event. You could send a thank-you email, survey, or host a post-event networking event.
Want t o follow-up like a pro? Read “ 51 Event Survey Questions You Need To Ask For the Best Insights .”
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2021 and has been updated for relevance and quality.
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Create the Perfect Event Marketing Plan in 10 Foolproof Steps
Ron Sela / Last updated: January 24, 2023
Consumers are becoming much less responsive to traditional advertising. As marketers face this challenge, studies point toward a need for a more emotionally-driven strategy, like an event marketing plan .
Another study finds that experiential events have a short-term impact but can generate longer-term changes in attitude and belief. Businesses can capitalize on these meaningful psychological changes.
This article will walk you through ten proven steps to creating an event marketing plan that will lay the groundwork for generating the intended response from your target audience.
By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive roadmap to follow that will help ensure your event is a success.
Let’s get it!
Table of Contents
What is an Event Marketing Plan?
An event marketing plan is a document outlining how you will promote and manage your upcoming events, such as tradeshows, conferences, and product launches .
An excellent event marketing plan should be comprehensive, well-researched, and organized.
It must provide a financial framework for budgeting and resource utilization, have tangible goals to track success and consider deadlines and possible contingencies in case of unanticipated changes.
5 Reasons to Invest in Event Marketing
Event marketing is incredibly powerful and effective in engaging with customers and building brand awareness. It allows companies to showcase their products and services, interact with potential buyers on a personal level, and make sales directly on-site.
Here are five reasons why investing in event marketing can be beneficial for your business:
Companies that invest in event marketing experience an increase in brand awareness.
Events provide the perfect opportunity to introduce a new product or service and create buzz about your company’s presence in the industry. Giving people a chance to experience your offer first-hand piques their interest in your offerings while strengthening their connection with your brand.
Networking Opportunities & Extended Reach
Events enable businesses of all sizes to meet like-minded professionals in their field and potential customers or partners who could lead them down new avenues for growth.
Not only does this increase connections, but also greatly expand one’s reach when competing against more established competitors within the same industry.
Events don’t have geographical limits.
They allow companies to easily expand into new markets without having to undergo costly investments in setting up physical stores or offices abroad. Furthermore, smart utilization of social media platforms can provide an exponential growth opportunity, allowing you to expand beyond boundaries at no additional expense.
Events are great opportunities to generate leads through meaningful conversations and distributed materials. You can also use events to gain further interest for follow-up conversations after the event has ended.
Higher Conversion Rates & Immediate Sales
Most consumers will wait until they’ve interacted physically before making a purchase decision. This is why events are such an attractive prospect. Surveys and other methods of measuring engagement can provide valuable insights that help generate higher ROI over time.
Increased Trust & Goodwill
In addition to creating direct opportunities through networking (as mentioned above), attending events creates trust among the individuals involved.
If you must be a leader within an industry, then being visible at popular associated events is integral. This goodwill extends beyond immediate participants; showing off positive customer feedback speaks volumes when building relationships further afield.
For all these reasons, event marketing should be an integral part of a B2B business’s marketing strategy.
Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning an Event Marketing Campaign
Hosting an event marketing campaign can be intimidating. You must take the time and resources needed to ensure that your efforts pay off.
To yield a successful outcome, watch out for these five common mistakes:
Not Planning Ahead
A key element in any effective event marketing campaign is proper planning and strategy development, which needs to take place long before the actual event date.
You must have sufficient time to promote the event, create content, order materials, run targeted advertising campaigns, and so on.
Otherwise, you’ll miss out on those potential customers who plan their schedules well in advance.
Neglecting Your Target Audience
Your target audience should be kept in mind throughout the entire process—from developing your message to selecting a venue for the event itself.
This will determine how successful your overall campaign will be in reaching them.
Remember, understanding whom you are trying to reach is essential for ensuring that all components of your event align with their interests and maximize engagement from them as much as possible.
Underestimating Social Media
Nowadays, social media plays an increasingly important role in promoting events or launching campaigns. Unfortunately, many still underestimate its power and importance within these areas.
Leverage these platforms by creating engaging content that targets those most likely attending or interested in attending your upcoming events. Hashtags or tagging influencers-related topics/events can help raise awareness about your location, theme, and other details.
Focusing Solely on the Digital World
While we live in a digital-first world, it is important to remember that not all target audiences and demographics consume content online.
Yes, your strategy should certainly leverage digital advertising avenues, but be sure that you also consider traditional methods, such as newspaper ads, radio spots, direct mailers, or billboard campaigns. Guerrilla tactics like street teams or physical flyers/posters still work.
Poorly Defining KPIs
Poorly defined KPIs make it hard to accurately assess the success of the campaign and make planning future campaigns tricky.
While defining KPIs can be challenging as they should relate to the specific objectives of your event marketing campaign, taking the time to outline them clearly will save you time in the long run.
Think about what outcome you expect from each of your channels, setting clear goals and benchmarks for each that are realistic but challenging so that when measured against the results at the end of the campaign, you’ll have a better indication of success.
Recognizing these three common pitfalls before creating your campaign can make a huge difference in the success of your efforts.
So, what’s the best way to guarantee your next event a happy ending?
10 Steps to Create Your Perfect Event Marketing Plan
There are endless opportunities to justify your event marketing efforts. But with any business endeavor, a solid plan is essential for success.
Follow these ten foolproof steps to create a successful event marketing plan that ensures your next one is a hit.
1. Define your event and its purpose
Defining your event:
What is the event? Are you thinking of a trade show, seminar, conference, fair, or workshop? Each type of event has advantages and disadvantages, so choosing the right one for your goals is important.
Defining the purpose of your event:
Your event’s purpose will help determine its format, location, target audience , and budget. Here are the most common event marketing goals with recommended online or in-person events for each one.
- To generate awareness for your brand/company.
Conference or seminar. They are longer in duration, and attendees typically come to learn about a specific topic. This makes them an excellent platform for promoting a brand or company.
- To create excitement around a new product/service.
A good choice would be a product launch party where guests can try out the new product or service. Or, you could hold a contest where people can submit creative ideas for using the product or service.
- To increase attendance at your physical location.
Consider a grand opening event or a special sale. You could also invite local celebrities, athletes, or other VIPs to attract attention to your business.
- To drive online traffic to your website.
You could host an online webinar or Google Hangout. These are popular ways to reach a larger audience without needing physical space.
- To sell tickets/products.
A trade show or fair is the best event for selling tickets or products. These are usually high-traffic events with people looking to buy, so you’ll have the opportunity to showcase your products or services.
- To build relationships with customers/clients.
Customer appreciation events are a great way to strengthen relationships with current customers or clients. You could also invite them to an exclusive event where they can give you feedback about your products or services.
These are just a few examples. Once you know the purpose of your event, you can start planning the rest.
2. Research your audience
Part of planning a successful event is knowing whom you’re targeting. Research is key to understanding what event will appeal to your target audience and achieve your desired results.
Start by creating a buyer persona for your ideal event attendees. It will help you determine their age, gender, interests, and other important factors. You can use this information to find out where they hang out online and offline.
You can also use surveys, social media, and Google Analytics to gather data about your target audience. It will give you a better idea of their needs and how you can address them them with your event.
3. Create a budget and stick to it
You must start with a clear and realistic budget. Without a budget in place, it’s all too easy to overspend on marketing materials, advertising, and other necessary costs.
Decide how much money you want to spend
Think about the size and scope of your event. A large-scale event will require more money than a smaller one. Then, consider the location of your event. If you are hosting an event in a major city, you will need to account for the cost of transportation and lodging. And don’t forget to factor in marketing materials and promotion costs.
If you’re working with a limited budget, look for ways to save money without compromising the quality of your event. For example, you can ask sponsors to cover some costs in exchange for promotion at the event.
You can use a budget template to help you keep track of your expenses. Considering all of these factors, you can develop a realistic budget for your event marketing.
Create a budget that reflects your goals and available funds
Make a list of all the marketing activities you want to undertake, including advertising, social media outreach, and print materials. Then, allocate a dollar amount to each activity based on its importance to your overall marketing plan. As soon as you know how much money you need to spend, compare it against the funds you have available. If your budget is too tight, consider scaling back your event marketing plans.
Stick to the budget!
This can be difficult, especially if unexpected costs arise. However, if you stay mindful of your spending and only make necessary purchases, you can avoid overspending and keep your event marketing plans on track.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to spend more money than you originally budgeted, be sure to get approval from the decision-makers in your company first. Don’t forget, keeping track of how you spend your marketing budget is important to adjust your plans accordingly.
4. Select the perfect venue, date, and time
Now that you know your audience and how much money you have to spend, you can begin planning the details.
Here are important pointers to remember when choosing a venue, date, and time.
- Consider the purpose of your event and what type of space will best accommodate it.
- Think about the size of your audience and how much space they will need for your planned activities.
- Location is key – make sure the venue is easily accessible for guests.
Date and Time
- Choose a date that won’t conflict with other important events or holidays.
- Make sure the time works for most people, especially those traveling out of town.
- Make sure to consider the time of year and potential weather conditions.
Final Event Details
- Choose a theme or color scheme for your event and decorate accordingly
- Send invitations well in advance and include all pertinent information
- Include a response card or RSVP website address
- Plan a menu that is both tasty and affordable
- Plan a rehearsal to go over everything with your team
5. Draft a creative brief
After you got all the logistics sorted out, you can start thinking about the technical aspects of your event marketing.
Creative briefs outline the objectives, strategies, and execution of your event marketing plan. This document will guide you and your team as you create marketing materials, advertising, event promotion, and other content for your event.
Here’s how to do it .
6. Get sponsors for your event.
As previously mentioned, one way to reduce the cost of your event is by partnering with sponsors. Sponsors can help cover the cost of your event in exchange for promotion and branding opportunities.
Define what you are looking for in a sponsor.
You should think about what you want from a sponsor and what they would get in return. It can help you identify potential sponsors that would be a good fit for your event.
Do you want a local business that can help with promotion and logistics? Or are you looking for a national brand that can provide financial support?
You would also like to consider the size and scope of the event, the target audience, and the objectives of the sponsorship . For example, a large corporation may be interested in sponsoring a major music festival to reach a wide audience, while a small local business may prefer to sponsor a smaller community event.
Research potential sponsors and compile a list.
Start by looking within your network of contacts. Ask colleagues, partners, and suppliers if their companies would be interested in sponsoring your event. You can also research companies relevant to your event’s industry or theme or companies that have sponsored similar events in the past. You can find these companies online using directories such as Google My Business and LinkedIn.
Draft a proposal letter to send to potential sponsors.
Now you craft your proposal. In your letter, give an overview of what you are looking for from a sponsor and what they would get in return. Include information about your target audience and objectives and other relevant details. If you have a sponsorship deck or media kit, include it with your proposal letter. It will give potential sponsors more information about your event and what they would get from sponsoring it.
Follow up with potential sponsors.
After sending your proposal letters, follow up with each potential sponsor to see if they are interested in sponsoring your event. If they are, work with them to finalize the sponsorship details and negotiations.
7. Set up a website and social media pages.
What are the most important website and social media platforms for marketing your event.
One of the most important platforms for B2B event marketing is LinkedIn. It is a professional networking site used by millions of business professionals worldwide. When you create an event on LinkedIn, you can target your event to specific industries, job functions, and even companies. This ensures that your event reaches the right people and increases the likelihood of attendees registering for it.
In addition to LinkedIn, other important B2B event marketing platforms include Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram . As each platform has its own audience, you should consider which platform will be most effective for promoting your specific event.
Things you should include on your event website:
- the date and location of your event
- a description of your event
- event registration information
- speaker bios and session descriptions (if applicable)
- sponsor information
- a blog or news section
- contact information
- event hashtag
If you need help creating a website for your event, many online tools and services, such as WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, can assist you.
Tips on how to keep your website and social media pages updated with current information:
- Create a content calendar to help you plan and schedule your posts in advance.
- Use a tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to help you publish your content on multiple platforms at once.
- Repurpose outdated content by updating it with current information or creating new graphics.
- Post timely updates about any changes or new information related to your event.
- Encourage attendees and speakers to share your event website and social media pages with their networks.
8. Market your event
Here are the top 5 approaches for marketing your event:
- Work with influencers in relevant industries to promote the event through their channels.
- Partner with complementary businesses to co-market the event to their respective audiences.
- Leverage social media channels to raise awareness and generate excitement around an upcoming event.
- Create engaging event-related content such as blog posts, infographics, or video footage to generate interest and drive traffic to your event website.
- Create a dedicated event website to give potential attendees all the information they need in one place and develop an Event App to increase engagement before, during, and after the event.
9. Prepare for the Big Day
Now that your plan for successfully marketing your event and selling tickets is in place, you may start preparing for the big day.
The following is a checklist of things you need to do to get ready for your event:
- Confirm the date, time, and location
- Check if the venue is accessible and has parking available
- Print or order any marketing materials needed (e.g., posters, flyers, table tents)
- Make sure all branding elements are correct and up to date
- Create an event timeline and communicate it to all necessary parties
- Plan for food and drinks (if applicable)
- Finalize guest list and send invitations out ASAP
- Give guests at least two weeks’ notice
Promotions/giveaways/raffles (if applicable)
- Plan any promotions or giveaways you’d like to do at the event
- Secure any required permits or licenses for raffles or contests
Staffing/volunteers (if applicable)
- Recruit volunteers if needed and make sure they know what their duties are
- Create a volunteer schedule
- Print or order any day-of materials needed (e.g., name badges, sign-in sheets, programs)
- Test all audio/visual equipment and make sure you have extras on hand in case of technical difficulties
- Set up any decorations needed
- Prepare for any potential emergencies that could occur (e.g., fire, severe weather, power outage)
- Have a list of emergency contacts on hand in case something does happen
10. Follow up with attendees after the event is over
A successful business-to-business event doesn’t end when the last seminar wraps up or the booths are packed up. You should follow up with participants after the event to maximize your company’s and your attendees’ return on investment.
You can do this by sending a thank-you note or email, conducting a survey, or arranging post-event networking opportunities. By staying in touch with attendees, you can ensure they have a positive experience while building long-term relationships.
This video breaks down event planning and takes you through a structured process of event planning step-by-step. It also comes with a free template.
Creating a comprehensive event marketing plan is essential to the success of your event. Surely, event planning is taxing with all the details you need to remember and meetings to attend. But it could be the difference between a successful event and one that falls flat. So, take the time to craft a well-thought-out plan using the tips and advice laid out in this guide. It will upgrade your event and give you the confidence to know you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.
Here are other questions about creating an event marketing plan that will be beneficial for your preparations.
An event breakdown is a helpful tool that can be used to organize and plan upcoming events. It can help you to identify all the tasks that need to be completed to make the event a success, as well as what resources will be required and when they will be needed. Segmenting an event into smaller pieces can also help make it less daunting and more manageable.
An event website is a website that is used to promote and organize an event. The website typically contains information about the event, such as the date, time, location, speakers, and registration information. The website may also include a forum or blog for attendees to interact with one another.
The best event marketing strategy will vary depending on the event you are hosting and your target audience. You can, however, follow a few general tips to make your event a success include: – Starting your marketing early – Creating a strong branding strategy – Utilizing social media – Offering incentives – Creating a comprehensive marketing plan – partnering with other businesses or organizations.
Event marketing services help businesses promote and organize their events. They can provide branding, marketing, and advertising services to help create awareness for the event and drum up interest among potential attendees. They can also provide logistical support such as registration management, speaker coordination, and venue scouting.
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About Ron Sela
Ron is a marketing advisor to technology-driven businesses. He has 15 years of digital marketing experience and an MBA from the University of Florida. Ron helps companies grow their revenue by developing and executing integrated marketing plans that align with their business goals. He has a proven track record of success in helping companies achieve their growth objectives.
How to start an event planning business
If you’re looking to snag one of the 116,700+ (on average) jobs available to meeting, convention, and event managers out there, here’s what you’ll need to get started.
Step 1: Determine if it’s a good fit.
Like most jobs, your skill set and personality will largely determine your success in this field. And while you don’t need to check off all the qualities on this list, here are some things to consider before you start an event management business :
- You can keep the big picture in mind while still taking care of all the little details.
- Whether it’s Sunday brunch or the company holiday party, you’re everyone’s go-to person for all group events.
- Working within a budget and strict timeline makes you feel creatively stimulated, not stunted.
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Step 2: Research certifications.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that demand for event managers will grow an additional 11% by the time we reach 2026. With such a positive industry outlook, it’s good to find new ways to stand out amongst the competition as new event planners enter the market in coming years.
Certifications are fantastic ways to add credibility to your business , regardless of your experience level. Besides proving you’re dedicated to further your education in the field, these credentials show that respected institutions can vouch for your abilities (and your business).
Some of the top certifications event managers pursue include:
- Certified Special Events Professional
- Certified Event Planning Specialist
- Certified Quality Event Planner
There are lots more options to choose from, but these serve as a great jumping off point. However, if you aren’t able to acquire one right now, you can still get your business off the ground without it.
It’s worth noting that beyond certifications, there are no strict college degree requirements (although it seems most event planners do have some sort of bachelor’s education under their belts when starting out).
Step 3: Fill out an event management business plan.
Any cursory Google search for the phrase event management business plan will inevitably lead you to some free wedding and event planning business plan templates .
However, you’ll find that the one we’ve created (below) provides a not too much, not too little approach you won’t find in any other guides.
Each point has been carefully selected so that you can create the event management business plan of your dreams without getting overwhelmed or missing out on details you definitely need to include. As long as you check off the items we listed, you’ll have a solid business plan ready to go in no time.
Step 4: Handle all the necessary paperwork.
To start an event management business, you’ll need each of the following:
- An event management business plan (use the free template we made below)
- Approval for a tax business structure that suits your financial needs
- General business liability insurance
These documents cover all the basics. But as you gain more experience, you might want to add on things like home-based insurance or upgrade to a new tax entity once you enter into the appropriate bracket.
We won’t get into these more advanced concepts for this beginner guide, but make sure to revisit these categories before you’re officially open for business.
Step 5: Figure out finances.
To be clear, you definitely can start an event management business with no money ! However, whether your funding is from your own bank account or someone else’s, small businesses in the events industry should consider starting out with these budget line items:
- Office space and essentials. You can use the computer, printer, and supplies you already have, assuming you do have (or can at least borrow) those things now. But keep in mind: if you’d like to write off your in-home office space on your federal taxes, your room must be secluded and have its own door.
- Advertising. At the very least make sure you have a small batch of business cards and a portfolio website ready to go. If you have some cash to spare, consider getting into paid social media ads or printed marketing materials like mailers.
- Software. The good news is there are plenty of great free event management software programs available these days, so you might not even have to budget for this one!
And that’s basically it! Depending on your niche or preferences, it would be good to also use this startup costs guide created by the Small Business Association to see if there’s anything else specific to you that might be missing.
Step 6: Choose a team.
Vendors, chefs, marketing agencies, software providers, event staff, and personal or office assistants all make wonderful additions to your event management business.
You can start out on your own (which, according to small business statistics , most people do) or you can go through the process of finding, interviewing, and hiring employees.
Depending on the amount of new business you plan to take on, you may or may not need to ever hire someone to help you part-time. At the very least though, you should start compiling a list of people who fit into this network so you can collaborate, get referrals, and perhaps even sub-contract them in the future.
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What is your vision for an event planning business?
Once you’ve completed all of these steps, it’s time to review the big picture. As you figure out your plan, budget, and staffing options, your idea of what you want for your business might change. And that’s totally okay!
Learning how to be flexible is a skill all small business owners must learn. Just make sure you adjust now so you can carry your vision with you for future decision making.
How to write a personal event planning business plan
1. create an executive summary.
- Objectives. Write down your realistic and measurable business goals .
- Mission. Check out these inspiring company mission statements for ideas.
- Keys to Success. Also known as why you think your business will succeed and how you will make sure it does.
2. Make a company summary
- Company Ownership. If it’s just you, consider doing a sole proprietorship .
- Start-up Summary . Think of it like a company overview . Include your business’s back story, location, and anything else you’d basically put on your website’s About section.
- Company Locations and Facilities. Include the address you’ll put on your taxes and any long term rentals like kitchen prep spaces or coworking offices.
3. Identify your products and services
- Services. Event management services can really vary so use this section to outline what you do and what you don’t do.
- Prices. The average yearly event planner’s salary comes out to about $50,000 so plan accordingly.
- Competitive Comparison. Who are your immediate competitors? What do they have that you don’t? Record this research and look for imaginative ways to stand out. Be very honest with your assessment of how your business stacks up against them and what you should do to improve your chances of success.
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4. create a marketing analysis summary.
- Marketing Segmentation. Targeting means finding what area, demographic, or behavioral patterns your high ROI prospects all have in common, just like you’d do for any customer-focused corporate event.
- Target Market Segmentation Strategy. Now that you know who you audience it is, it’s time to research and define all the ways you plan to gain their business.
5. Do a strategy and implementation summary
- Sales Strategy. Here are the two best advanced event business pricing strategies to choose from.
- Sales Forecast. It’s a bit complicated, but figuring out how much money you think your business will make over the next six months to a year (or more) makes studying a sales forecasting guide well worth the effort.
- Milestones . Whether your goal is the total number of sales or income from sales (or something else entirely), you’ll want to formally establish what milestones you’d like to hit by when. Just leave wiggle room for the unexpected and adjust expectations as you go.
6. Write a management summary
- Organizational Structure. For event management teams, clearly defined roles are more important for teamwork than pretty much anything else.
- Personnel Plan. Here are some things to know about hiring staff for an event specifically that will also apply to your company as a whole.
7. Create your financial plan
- Important Assumptions. Business plan assumptions can be fairly complex. For now, just focus on listing your anticipated fixed and variable event planning expenses , marketing costs, and what taxes you’ll have to pay on your earned income.
- Break-Even Analysis . How much did you invest? And how much will you need to earn (after taxes, equipment costs, etc. are subtracted) in order to equal your initial investment? Keep this number handy – it’ll help you decide whether or not to take on more projects, motivate you to upsell whenever possible, and give you a realistic for success.
- Projected Profit and Loss. The IRS might want to see your profit and loss statements at some point, so make a point to regularly record your expenses and sales in one organized document.
- Projected Cash Flow. This free (and very helpful) small business book says to calculate it one month at a time for more accurate figures.
- Projected Balance Sheet. If you’ll be acting as your own bookkeeper, check out this balance sheet template to speed up the process.
- Business Ratios. Even if you’re not a math person, you can definitely handle this last (but very important) event management business plan step. There are lots of business ratios to choose from, but if you want the quickstart version go with these 3 most important balance sheet ratios for professional services firms .
Now you know how to start an event management business!
How do you become an event planner? You plan. Plan your business, plan your client’s events, and plan for a successful future.
There are lots of details involved but if you follow the ideas laid out in this guide, you’ll have yourself a healthy event management business plan along with some great strategies for reaching your goals!
For more on starting your own company , check out these tips for financing your event business , current event statistics worth considering, and event trends you should know for 2019.
Event Marketing: Everything You Need to Know
Maximize your marketing strategies to sell out your event, leveraging event data for customer engagement that aligns with your business goals.
Event marketing can help you engage your customers and get your brand noticed. Today’s consumer faces countless pitches and advertisements ever day, so when it comes to running an event, you need to catch the buyer’s eye. In this guide, we’ll talk you through everything you need to get started.
In this event marketing guide, you’ll discover:
What is event marketing.
- Why event marketing is important
- The benefits of event marketing
- Common problems that event marketing can solve
- Types of event marketing
- How to drive demand to your events
- ROI of a successful event marketing program
- Plan, implement, and optimize your event marketing program
- Frequently asked questions
Event marketing describes the process of developing a themed exhibit, display, or presentation to promote a product, service, cause, or organization. It leverages in-person engagement to connect with customers.
Events can occur online or offline. You can participate in, sponsor or host an event yourself. Using events as a marketing channel gives potential customers a unique, firsthand interaction with your company, giving them a true sense of its focus, perspective and personality.
Why is event marketing important?
Now more than ever, it’s important for businesses to stand out from the crowd, and event marketing is a great place to start.
Not only does event marketing give you new channels and methods to connect with future and returning customers, the customer data you collect from other sources can allow you to get to know them prior to the event, so they can be treated as individuals rather than just part of the crowd.
And it works. 73% of event planners believe that personalization and data-driven marketing is a priority for their events. Whether you are hosting a small webinar, a large-scale international trade show, or an executive-level private function, event marketing should be an integral part of your demand generation mix.
“Not all events are created equal. Companies must consider live events an extension of their brand and content marketing and build events that really engage. For me, that means thinking about the customer experience you REALLY want to portray. A 6x6 static stand is unlikely to meet that need!”
EVP North America, Econsultancy
The benefits of event marketing.
Event marketing can benefit your business in a variety of ways:
- Build brand presence before, during or after an event
- Generate leads
- Raise brand value
- Create new opportunities
- Promote a specific product or feature
- Increase customer engagement, satisfaction, and retention
Planning events can also give your partners and sponsors a tactical and visible engagement point to enforce their own return on investment (ROI).
Buyers now go about making purchasing decisions at their own rate, after careful consideration. As a marketer, you must be ready to seize every opportunity to start a relationship, generate goodwill, and earn the trust of prospective customers.
While there are less time-consuming and costly methods of marketing out there, incorporating event marketing into your overall strategy can pay dividends when connecting with buyers on a meaningful level.
Common problems that event marketing can solve.
Beyond giving you the ability to engage with buyers in real time, event marketing offers a host of other unique benefits that can solve several common problems.
One of the biggest reasons for a business to participate in an event is to establish and grow its brand. Event marketing allows your company to interact with potential buyers and express itself in real time.
Through events, you can create the perfect venue to share your ideas, thoughts, and name – in the exact manner you want to present them.
Another important reason businesses choose to participate in an event is to generate leads. One of the best ways to do this is to become part of an event that will attract your target demographic.
Choosing the right event allows your company to interact with a group of prospects that already have an interest in who you are and what you do.
The engagement provided by events is uniquely powerful, providing an invaluable opportunity for positive personal interaction that builds loyalty.
Since companies can realize the biggest ROI on their marketing dollars by retaining and growing existing customers, staying connected is key.
At events, you have the chance to upsell to a captive audience by introducing them to products and services that they may not know about. They may then realize that your offering can address their needs.
Most people attend events to network and learn. Both are powerful draws in their own ways. No matter what type of event you are at, it is critical to impart knowledge that the audience will value and that sets your company apart.
By securing quality, high-profile speakers, you can draw a crowd and provide them with unique insights that are relevant to them.
This can advance your reputation as a thought leader in the industry and establish a critical connection between your brand and prospective buyers.
You’re not alone. Even though events command the highest share of marketing budgets and 75% of marketers consider in-person events effective , marketers admit they don’t know how to calculate the true ROI of an event.
To crunch those numbers, you need to connect your event metrics with your company and sales goals beforehand.
Learn more about how to measure the ROI of your event performance in our recent blog post "How to Measure Event Marketing Performance and ROI."
Types of event marketing..
To create a holistic event marketing program, be sure to include both offline and online events to reach as many potential customers as possible.
- Online events. Online events connect presenters and participants through a web-based interface. Online events are often less costly than in-person events and can enable you to easily reach a geographically dispersed audience. Covid-19 brought online events mainstream. Within the first six months of the pandemic, one virtual events platform reported 1000% growth, according to Forbes . Common types of online events include webinars, virtual events, livestreaming events and hybrid events. Let’s take a look at these in turn.
- Webinars. Webinars revolve around online presentations, discussions, or workshops. They can happen in real time or on demand, and typically last from 30 to 60 minutes. Real-time webinars can be interactive on many levels. For example, participants might interact with one another through group discussions on web conferencing software. They also might ask questions and discuss topics directly with presenters.
- Virtual events. Virtual events enable individuals in different locations to participate in a more realistic virtual environment. For example, participants might visit a virtual booth where they can collect materials, meet the staff, ask questions, and even pick up some virtual swag. These programs tend to happen in real-time for all participants. Alongside the interactive features, they often combine networking and educational sessions.
- Livestreaming events. These are live events streamed directly to viewers. You can conduct these with a simple webcam or employ a full production crew for higher quality broadcasting. Applications like Livestream, Ustream, and Google Meet, offer a live service that allows you to stream, record, and engage your audience with chat and social media functionality. Events from employee Q&A sessions to major award ceremonies, have all integrated or relied entirely on livestreaming since the pandemic.
- Hybrid events. While many events have moved back to a physical format, many have adopted some online features to create hybrid events. This allows greater attendance and flexibility, while maintaining the buzz of an in-person event. Hybrid events are likely to involve livestreaming and virtual participation. They use certain platforms and technology to provide a seamless integration between virtual and in-person audiences. Sometimes, hybrid events connect different groups meeting in-person around the world into a larger virtual community.
- Physical events. Offline events require physical attendance, and interactions take place in person. While they often need more investment than virtual events, offline events allow face-to-face relationship building and lead nurturing. Don’t underestimate the impact a handshake or a personal meeting can make on a prospect or customer. Some common physical events include:
- Trade shows. Trade shows are physical gatherings of individuals and businesses from a particular, or collection of, industries and professions. These events normally feature booths and event spaces that are filled with products or literature that relate to the products and services offered by those attending. A business may sponsor or participate in a trade show to show off a product or simply to network and strengthen its presence in a market. It also provides a good opportunity to network and also learn more about competitors in the market.
- Conferences. Conferences are often company-specific marketing events that gather attendees for the purpose of delivering information such as a user summit. These events tend to be on the larger side and are held by companies for training or educational purposes. There are normally opportunities for networking time, as well as keynote presentations from important people within the business or external professionals.
- Seminars. The term seminar is usually used to describe smaller meetings, road shows, or field events. Some seminars are set up similar to a classroom lecture, where an expert shares information with the audience in a traditional format. Others are styled as road shows, where marketers take their company’s message out to the public or to employees or partners.
- Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. These are typically smaller, more targeted events. They can be both customer and prospect-focused. These events are usually very intimate, with eight to ten people, or can be larger, with 50 or more attendees. Smaller functions tend to be high level and provide executives a private setting for networking. On a larger scale, breakfasts, lunches and dinners can include thought leadership presentations as part of the event.
Learn more about what event marketing can offer in our Definitive Guide to Event Marketing.
How to drive demand to your events.
Hosting your own event is an incredible opportunity to market your brand. But you need to fill up that guestlist to get the best return on your investment.Here are a few ideas for an event marketing campaign.
This technique takes advantage of your clicks and website traffic to trace potential leads and serve them relevant adverts about your brand. For example, you could add a remarketing tag (often via a digital marketing agency) to your event marketing landing page. Anyone who clicks will later see a Google, Facebook or other advert promoting your event. It’s a great way to capture a relevant audience.
Long form written content is another great way to capture your audience’s imagination, build brand awareness and appear expert in your field. Remember to research your topic and competitors, engage industry experts and share your articles widely. Don’t forget those all-important event CTAs at the end of the piece. Once you have a suite of articles or blogposts, you can use them as part of a wider content marketing campaign.
Social media campaigns are a great way to boost your event sign ups. Create great graphics and engaging posts to entice your audience to click your links and attend your event. You can create targeting campaigns using in-platform keyword lists, topics and geolocation details. If you want to gain more followers and people who follow and engage with your competitors, you can do so through apps like Tweepi.
Want to find other ways to market your event? Check out our complete digital marketing guide.
Roi of a successful event marketing program..
While measuring the ROI of a successful event marketing program is more complicated than other channels, the data you can collect is invaluable. Event marketing is:
- Vital. In fact, over 40% of marketers believe that live events are their number one marketing channel.
- Growing. The number of companies organizing 20 or more events per year has increased by 17% from 2017 to 2018 .
- Great for creating connections. A survey conducted by Bizzabo discovered that 95% of respondents believed that live events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form in-person connections in an increasingly digital world.
How to plan, implement, and optimize your event marketing program.
Once you determine your goals, you can start the creative process to develop an event that will engage your audience, launch promotions, and generate sales.
Step 1: Set realistic and targeted goals up front.
When it comes to event marketing, return on investment (ROI) is not just something you consider after the fact. You must plan for ROI from the outset and continue measuring it after the event, if you want an accurate picture of whether your event has been a success financially.
Keep in mind that your goals should not be limited to only registration and attendance models. The best goals will impact your sales pipeline and revenue.
Step 2: Incorporate a strong theme and be creative, whether in person or online.
You’re at the event, but now what? In a sea of vendors, how do you make your presence known? Consider using games or interactive tools as a way to pique the interest of attendees.
Swag giveaways are also a great way to entice someone to visit your booth. This matters with virtual events too. Keep in mind your look, how you present your collateral, and what sort of contests you might want to incorporate.
Step 3: Segment and create multiple touches in your promotion.
No matter what sort of promotion you are using, segmentation is vital to getting the right attendees registered for your event.
Make sure you spend time on data quality to ensure that the lists can be reused in the future. Being active on social networks before, during, and after your event is crucial for success, as is determining the appropriate amount of email promotion .
Don’t forget, because events are in real-time, attendees often use social networks to engage with other participants in a live environment. Connect with attendees through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on to generate some buzz for future events.
Step 4: Make sure you have the right event technology in place.
Virtual event platforms enable an interactive gathering on the web, allowing participants to be part of a trade show, meeting, conference, or any other event without ever leaving their office.
When it comes to webinars, each platform has their own value. Determine what is most important to you – price, ease of use, customer service – and go from there. A marketing automation system is crucial here so you can keep your efforts scalable, trackable, and measurable.
Step 5: Base measurement around ROI.
When it comes to measuring event marketing ROI, you have three metrics to choose from.
- Basic progression measurement. By measuring the progression statuses of your attendees, you can determine metrics such as invited, registered, attended, and no show.
- Leads by category. This metric tracks where leads are in your revenue cycle and lead category, or in other words, which leads are most worth pursuing.
- Pipeline measurements. This metric tracks how many opportunities were created, how much pipeline was generated, how many were closed/won and for how much, bookings, and cost per opportunity (CPO).
Frequently asked questions about event marketing.
What is the definition of event marketing.
Event marketing is the advertising of a brand, product or service as part of a wider event. For example, a brand’s representatives might attend an expo or conference to promote themselves directly to the public and talk them through certain products or services.
Event marketing shouldn’t be confused with event management, which is the process of planning, marketing and conducting events.
What is an example of event marketing?
Many businesses market their products/services at events like trade shows, conferences or exhibitions. These are all examples of where event marketing may take place.
Event marketing often involves concessions, stalls or stands and in-person interaction with a representative.
Why do companies use event marketing?
Companies use event marketing to promote themselves to a highly relevant audience. Industry events are often a great opportunity to meet business decisionmakers. Event marketing can build a high level of brand awareness and can help facilitate sales.
Learn more about how to get event marketing to work for you in Go from Meh to Yah! 10 Success Secrets for More Effective Events.
How to Win (and Lose) at Event Marketing
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Event Marketing Guide: Strategies, Ideas & Examples
There are seemingly a million ways to approach event marketing. In fact, depending on your role in your organization, event marketing can take quite a few forms. What’s undeniable? When it comes to events, whether they be in-person, virtual, or hybrid, promotion is key.
Through the use of technology, data, and analytics, event marketing is actually very easy to implement across events and at scale. This event marketing guide will explain what event marketing is, how to create a winning strategy, and how to carry that strategy out to improve your events program. Here is a lowdown of everything you will learn in this definitive guide:
What is Event Marketing?
Types of event marketing, the event marketing process, event marketing plan, event marketing best practices.
"Event marketing" is a pretty broad term. So, what is event marketing? It can have different meanings, but by and large, event marketing can mean one of two things: marketing tactics used to promote events or the strategic use of events as a marketing tactic to promote an organization, mission, etc. In either scenario, whether promoting your events or leveraging events within your marketing strategy, events are powerful.
For many organizations, events represent a large share of their overall marketing spend. In fact, many companies allocate anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of their budgets to brand experiences, with the predominant portion going to events.
Many marketers believe that, after a website, events are the most effective channel in their “marketing stack,” given the power of in-person and virtual experiences and the ability to forge one-on-one connections. That’s why event marketing is critical.
If the event marketing you do involves planning a calendar of events that will support your marketing plan, then your strategy and planning process will be more complicated and nuanced. For others, it’s a promotional plan for a specific event that can be broken down into a more manageable plan.
- Email Marketing
- Event-based strategy
- Event website
- Social media marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
Events are costly, which is why determining your event strategy is important. Your budget, goals, and more will determine what events you plan and the type of promotion you run with. The event marketing process begins by acknowledging that there is an event that can help your organization achieve a goal.
Events can add to the sales pipeline, help improve morale, promote a product, and more. Really, the event marketing process comes down to the goal of the event. By identifying what you hope to achieve, you can plan your promotion and objectives based on that goal.
Event strategies are wedded to the event marketing process. Timing can impact the event marketing process, so be aware of the environment and industry. For instance, marketing your event during COVID-19 was different than any other situation.
Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
Your event deserves to have a killer promotion plan. But it’s not always easy to know where to start. Your marketing plan should begin right when event planning begins. The two go hand in hand. After all, without a great promotion strategy, no one will know about your event.
So, how do you do it? We’ve created a basic event marketing plan template below to help you get started.
Know Your Event
The first step in your event planning is understanding your event and its purpose. From there, you can focus in on the details such as event name, theme, tagline, and color scheme. This event breakdown will serve as the blueprint for your event marketing plan.
Know Your Event Basics
- Event Purpose
- Event Type (In-person, Virtual, or Hybrid)
- Color Scheme
Your Event Website Is Critical
There are few events that can get away with not having an event website. If you’re not sure if you need a marketing website or a registration website for your event, think of it this way. Your event website will be the primary touchpoint you have with potential attendees. It needs to contain key information and convince attendees to register.
Event technology can also help you personalize the entire event planning process. You can create a branded event registration website that’s designed to identify who is visiting your website. This lets you modify the registration process based on attendee type. With more sophisticated software, you can even create dynamic registration paths and pricing based on preset criteria.
Types of Websites
First, what type of website will you be building? Event websites can be broken into two types, registration websites, and marketing websites. While there are many other types of websites that exist in the world, those are the two to choose between when creating a website for an event.
How complex is your event? If it’s a one-day seminar, this is the type of website you’ll want to create. Registration websites are perfect for events that don’t last long, are held in one location or virtually, and require very little information to explain. Generally, there will be one page of information and a call to action that takes the user to register.
A marketing website is perfect for more complex events. Often, this type of event lasts multiple days, takes place at different locations or virtually, has multiple registration paths, or takes more than one webpage to explain. The marketing website allows you to set up multiple pages to give attendees all the information they need. These events tend to be more costly for the attendee, which means the marketing website needs to explain why the cost and time out of the office are worth it.
Your Event Website Should Include:
- Time and Date
- Call to Action
- Rich content
Create an Email Marketing Plan That Doesn’t Irritate Potential Attendees
Email marketing is a key part of all promotion plans. If you aren’t using an email marketing tool, find one quickly! They make it easier to design and automate emails. When planning, don’t overdo it. If you create a great, attention-grabbing subject line you’ll get those opens, but if you spam attendees they’ll unsubscribe.
Event Email Marketing
The right event email marketing can ensure you get the largest and most relevant audience for your event – but your efforts shouldn’t stop there. You want to build a buzz around your event and get your registrants engaged and talking before, during, and after your meeting or conference.
The effectiveness of email marketing is proven, and your leadership team is sold on the ROI of email promotion. But how do you use email to drive attendance to your event?
Top 5 Email Marketing Tips for Events
- Use online email marketing software to easily review, manage, segment, and update your contact lists. Targeted campaigns will significantly drive registration.
- Segment your email audiences. Rather than sending the same promotional materials to your entire audience, thoughtfully segment your audiences and create email content that's relevant to each specific audience.
- Create your emails to be consistent with your event website to ensure brand cohesion.
- Maximize registration and audience engagement by pre-scheduling emails, automating updates, sending confirmation and thank you emails, and sending email updates that apply to specific audiences and their interests.
- Review reporting (your marketing software will help you do this easily) to analyze open and click-thru rates to see what’s working and what’s not, and to uncover additional marketing opportunities.
- Comply with privacy regulations by allowing your recipients to opt out of email communications.
Bonus Tip: Test, tweak, and track your emails to get the most out of your campaigns . With the right event management software tools and a dash of innovation, you can work wonders for your event marketing.
You Can’t Avoid Using Social Media
In terms of free promotion, social media is one of the best tools. If you have a presence on all platforms, then you’ll want to promote on all of them. However, if your demographic trends towards using Instagram, don’t feel the need to promote your event on every platform.
Where Will You Promote?
Social media basics.
- How often a week will you post
- Any vendors or speakers to tag
Fun fact: The average smartphone user looks at their phone 300+ times a day. That's a lot of social media use. Social media is an easy and free way to market your event, so in reality, it’s a no-brainer. Here are my five recommendations for using social media to promote your event.
Use These 5 Social Media Tactics to Promote Your Next Event
Create an event hashtag and stick with it. Hashtags are an easy way to track your event across all social platforms for you and your attendees. Use the same hashtag in every post and encourage your co-planners and attendees to do the same.
When coming up with your hashtag, make it relevant, easy, short, and memorable. If you have a catchy hashtag, you eliminate the hassle of constantly reminding your attendees what it is. A good tip is to make the hashtag the name of the event, which means you need to be strategic when you decide on your event name and theme .
For Cvent CONNECT, we use the hashtag #CventCONNECT. Seems simple, right? It is, but it does more than what meets the eye. By naming our event Cvent CONNECT , we remind our attendees that this is a networking event with industry peers. Every time they type the event name or hashtag, it triggers a reminder that that’s what the event is all about – connecting!
Contests are an easy way to get your attendees tweeting, Instagramming, or Facebook posting. Put your creativity to work and see what contest fits best with your event. One idea is to use your event hashtag and integrate it with a contest for the most social activity prior to your event. Then, the winner could receive a grand prize during the event. Another idea is to hold a photo contest to see who can receive the most likes or comments on a pre-event picture.
Recently we combined our attendees and social platform into one and designed a social media ambassador program at Cvent CONNECT. During the registration process, we included a section where our attendees could express interest in becoming one of our social media ambassadors. Once we had a pool of applicants, we selected the top candidates and went from there. It was simple and effective.
Our ambassadors engaged the other attendees and their own followers to promote our events before, during, and after. This made life easier for the communications team while simultaneously showing a more personal side to our brand. We also incorporated a competition among the ambassadors for the most engaging content, which helped get the content flowing.
This is simple, post, and post a lot. You need to stay on your followers’ minds and be relevant. Social media is all about your followers and what they can get out of your posts. If you never post or if you post irrelevant things, then expect to be unfollowed. To avoid this, post creative and personable content. Give your followers what they’re looking for .
Interaction with Followers
Interaction is key . You want to be a personable brand that makes your consumers feel comfortable. This is true for your events, too. If you want people to come, you need to engage with them before the event even starts.
Once you’ve promoted your hashtag, follow it! Type it into the search bar on your social platforms and start replying to anyone using it. By using your hashtag as a tracker, you’ll find people expressing questions, concerns, and praises.
Respond to them then and there. Social media makes it easy to fix problems immediately. If your attendee finds a problem with your event’s online registration, they might tweet at you. If you aren’t on top of your social handles, you could miss their comment and ultimately miss an attendee.
Paid Digital Promotion
It’s easy to use primarily free modes of promotion for your event, but paid promotion is still extremely effective. It all comes down to how much money you have in the budget. If your event has a large budget and is targeting a wider demographic, paid ads might be a great option.
A Few Basic Questions
- What is your budget?
- How many impressions do you hope to get?
- Print, digital, commercials?
- Consider other forms of promotion – direct mail, calls, etc.?
Don’t Forget About Sponsors
Not only are you marketing to attendees, but you need to be able to market to potential sponsors. After all, they’ll be key to defraying costs and gaining more interest. Work out clear sponsorship packages that can be conveyed easily, but also be ready to be flexible. Almost any sponsor is a good sponsor!
Defining Event Marketing Success
How do event marketers define success? According to a recent study by Cvent, the metrics for event marketing success encompass financial results, event attendance, lead generation, overall awareness, and post-event analysis, all aligned with the company’s overall business goals. Event marketing objectives help guide strategy and create a baseline to determine event ROI.
Alignment with Company Goals
The reason for an event should be tied to the goals of the company. Each event needs to show what it has achieved towards that goal. But remember, different events call for different goals, whether they be in-person, virtual, or hybrid events. Event marketers need to focus on aligning their activities with the marketing department and the company’s overarching objectives.
Measuring the total attendee draw is a natural gauge for event success. Higher attendee numbers have a trickle-down effect as they can translate into more leads and greater event buzz.
The media metric has several component parts encompassing social media traffic and new followers generated; clicks and website visits; viewership for broadcast events such as sports and entertainment; and press coverage, both quantitative and qualitative.
These surveys can provide an accurate and timely read on the experiences and satisfaction levels of event attendees. The survey can also touch on other helpful areas such as likelihood to purchase.
Revenue and Lead Generation
Event attendees show buying signals through their actions at events. By tracking your attendees on-site and integrating their behavior back into CRM systems, event marketers can track the monetary impact of their programs.
Past Event Learnings
Event marketers are eager to understand and act upon insights from attendees at past events to continuously refine and improve their marketing at future events. The ROI calculated from an event can be helpful in budget-setting for future events.
To get a true calculation of event ROI, you need to take a deep dive into both the costs and benefits of running an event. Far more than simply adding up the direct costs to produce an event and the direct revenue it delivers, it’s important to understand the full spectrum of costs and benefits. To help you through this calculation, we’ve outlined the eight essential drivers of event ROI.
Event expenses can account for 25% or more of a company’s B2B marketing budget and internal meetings can add another 3-5%. The total cost to make events happen requires a closer analysis of expenses at a granular level. Three different costs should be examined.
These are costs most familiar to event planners. They are the costs of hosting an event. Examples of direct costs include venue costs, food and beverage, travel, entertainment, and rental equipment. Hopefully, you are reconciling your budgets and have a good handle on direct costs.
Indirect costs offer a more complete view of the investments to run an event. They include salaries and overhead of the teams involved in staging an event as well as other shared expenses. Indirect costs are calculated using accounting processes such as activity-based costing, which assign attributed costs to products, services, and events. To understand the indirect cost of your event, work with your finance team.
Events have an opportunity cost. Your organization chooses to deploy its resources to an event as opposed to digital marketing, or some other activity. These alternative sources of value comprise opportunity costs. To understand this cost, you need to know the benefits the other activities would yield as compared to your events.
Events can impact the top line and bottom line of an organization. Similar to expenses, it’s important to know how to measure the different types of benefits.
Direct revenue is the money made directly as a result of hosting an event. Examples include ticket sales, sponsorship dollars, registration fees, onsite product sales and advertising revenue. Direct revenue varies based on the size and scope of the event. This is the money you are hopefully calculating today to show the value of your event.
Organizations market and promote their products at events which drive future revenue. Onsite product demos and account planning conversations help fill the sales pipeline, fuel new sales, and increase customer renewals. As those new opportunities result in new business, the dollars can be attributed to the event as attributed revenue.
Event Branding & Brand Equity
When an event is branded well , it takes on a life of its own while maintaining the essence or brand values of the organization behind it. Event marketing departments achieve this with a combination of digital branding ( event apps , event website, email marketing) and onsite branding (exhibition stand, banners, badging, set and stage design, etc). Those that do it exceptionally well add creativity, tone of voice, plus a trusted delegate experience to achieve a must-attend event.
Some benefits, such as brand equity, are more intangible and cannot be measured through hard dollars. Brand equity doesn’t deliver immediate monetary rewards, but event attendance has an impact on brand attitudes.
Consumers like well-known and admired companies, which leads to doing business with that company. Brand equity can help propel Customer Lifetime Value, the long-term profit contribution from a customer. Your events should leave a positive impact on your attendees, driving positive brand equity.
Knowledge exchange is the accelerated learning that occurs during events. This interaction between customers, prospects and the company can help shape product development, increase learning, fine-tune marketing, and speed receptivity to sales. Your events must create an environment to share knowledge, which leads to brand equity and attributed revenue!
Ticketing and Pricing
The process you use for ticketing and pricing can have a big impact on your event’s ROI. You can’t just focus on the costs and adding a profit margin; you must consider the perceived value of all parties. There are several pricing strategies you could use to match that value. All of these decisions can be difficult to navigate, so check out this Event Ticketing and Pricing Guide .
Event Technology and Online Event Marketing Software
Event marketing software makes event marketing easier. The more comprehensive your marketing tool is, the easier it is to integrate with other systems you already use. For starters, look for a tool that allows you to create customized and automated emails. This will alleviate manual email promotions and allow you to allocate your time to more pressing issues (like driving registration).
With event management software , you can be sure that you have the data you need to prove the success of your event marketing strategy. The best way to implement these technologies is a comprehensive event management platform .
Choosing Your Event Technology
With all the changes in the events industry over the past few years, you need technology that can support your events today. Virtual and hybrid events are here to stay, but navigating which tools are the most beneficial is tricky. There are new requirements for success, such as reliance on integration, automation, and event scoring. Fortunately, we have insights and best practices ready for you in this eBook .
One Event Management Platform
With one event management platform, it’ll be easier for you and your team to learn and use technology. Additionally, when all the data is collected and stored in one place using event management software, you’ll get better visibility into the event and your processes. Finally, having data all in one place makes it easy to make sense of your numbers and make decisions in the future.
- Understand the goals and budget of the event
- Create a plan to meet event goals
- Set goals so that you can measure success
- Schedule promotion in advance based on important event dates
- Use discounts and sponsorships to increase attendance
- Use event marketing software to decrease time spent on manual tasks
Virtual Event Marketing
In addition to traditional event marketing, there is more to be done when it comes to marketing virtual events . The silver lining of virtual events is that the barriers to entry with an in-person event are eliminated or lessened. Travel is nonexistent, and the cost is very often reduced. With these barriers gone, your virtual event has the potential to attract more attendees than your in-person event ever has.
However, you still need to make sure you're marketing your event well. Social promotion is still key for these events, and working with sponsors and partners is important to expand your reach.
As always, your registration website should be informative and should showcase your brand. Virtual event marketing takes the right technology for the job, so have a virtual event platform in place before you try to take on virtual or hybrid events. The virtual Attendee Hub is one solution that gives you the ability to create a fully branded experience, virtually.
Event Marketing Is An Essential Part of Event Planning
Events can drive organizational success. Whether in-person, virtual , or hybrid, they empower connections and educate attendees. Event marketing is essential to persuade attendees and increase registrations, and it's made easier with event management software.
Without promotion, no one would know that an event is happening. Through the use of event technology, promotion is easier than ever. As you plan your next event, take the time to outline an event marketing plan.
Looking for more resources to help you craft an effective event marketing strategy? Check out our eBook, The New Event Marketing Opportunity , to learn about how marketing for events has changed and how it will continue to change, best practices for event marketers in the new hybrid world , different marketing strategies for different types of events, and more!
Julie Haddix is the Senior Director, Industry Solutions for Cvent, Inc. She has worked for Cvent for over 13 years and helped to build the company’s Enterprise sales and marketing divisions, including its approach to Strategic Meetings Management. Julie has also been a part of the planning team for Cvent CONNECT, Cvent’s annual user conference, leading the event marketing and content development efforts. In her current role, she oversees strategic content direction for the event marketing and management platform. Julie graduated from the McIntire School of Business at the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Commerce and concentrations in Marketing and Management. She lives in Westchester County, NY with her husband and 2-year-old son.
14 steps for successful pr event planning, your guide to planning inspiring meetings in greater palm springs, where inspiration and creativity come to life - hilton head island.
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Event Planning Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 5,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their event planning businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an event planning business plan step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your own event planning business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
Source of Funding for Event Planning Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of secure funding for an event planning business are bank loans, personal funding, credit cards, and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
Another common form of secure funding for an event planning business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. Venture capitalists will not fund an event planning business.
Finish Your Business Plan Today!
How to write a business plan for event planning.
When you write a business plan, you should include the following 10 key aspects:
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of event planning business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an event planning business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of businesses.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the event planning business industry. Discuss the type of business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target audience. Provide a snapshot of your marketing strategy and plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of business you are operating.
For example, you might operate one of the following types:
- Corporate Events : this type of event planning business caters to businesses, charities, nonprofit organizations, and the like to plan fundraisers, receptions, conventions, trade shows, competitions, award ceremonies, product launches, and other types of meetings.
- Social Events : this type of event planning business targets middle- to upper-income individuals and families to plan events such as weddings, birthdays, reunions, and other types of celebrations.
- Niche Events : some event planners specialize in just one of the above event types.
In addition to explaining the type of event planning business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new contracts, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your business structure here.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the industry educates you. It helps you understand the target market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards events that adhere to social distancing guidelines, it would be helpful to ensure your plan details what approach you would take (suggested venues, creative solutions for inclusion, etc.).
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section:
- How big is the event planning industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your business. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section must detail the clientele you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: private and corporate clients, high-income households, medium-income households, engaged couples, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of event planning company you operate and the event services you offer. Clearly, businesses would want a different atmosphere, pricing, and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than engaged couples.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, including a discussion of the age groups, genders, locations, and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most event planning companies primarily serve customers living in the same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target market. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do to attract customers and retain your existing customers.
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Direct competitors are other planners and businesses that offer event planning services.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. This includes caterers, venues, and customers planning events on their own. You need to mention such competition to show you understand that not everyone who throws a party hires an event planner each time.
With regards to direct competition, you want to detail the other businesses with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be other businesses that offer event planning services very close to your site.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What planning services do they offer (wedding planning, baby showers, birthday parties, social events, etc.)?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior event management options (e.g., more cuisine types, better venue options, etc.)?
- Will you provide event options that your competitors don’t offer?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to book your services (e.g., utilizing event planning software, etc.)?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
In the product section, you should reiterate the type of business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products/services you will be offering. For example, in addition to designing the event, locating the venue, arranging vendors, coordinating personnel, and supervising the event, will you offer services such as catering, decor, and entertainment?
In this section, document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.
Place refers to the location of your event management business, conference centers, and/or venues in which you own and/or have a relationship. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success.
The final part of your event planning business marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your site. The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Social media marketing
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
- Partnerships with local organizations (e.g., getting on the list of recommended vendors with local venues)
- Local radio advertising
- Banner ads at local venues
While the earlier sections of your event planner business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your event planning business such as interviewing clients, making arrangements, keeping the store/studio clean, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 100th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in total sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch in a new market.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience as event planners or in the industry. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in event planning and/or successfully running small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you plan one event per week or several events? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your business, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let’s say a company approached you with a massive $100,000 event contract, that would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $50,000 now for supplies, equipment rentals, employee salaries, etc. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During those 180 days, you could run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key startup costs needed in starting or growing your business:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- The total cost of equipment and furnishings like decor, sound systems, etc.
- Cost of maintaining an adequate amount of supplies
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Event Planning Summary
Putting together your own event planner business plan is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the event planning sample template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the business, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful event planning business.
Event Planning Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my event planning business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Event Planning Business Plan.
What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?
The goal is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of event planning business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an event planning business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of event planning businesses.
Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Event Planning business plan?
OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You
Since 1999, Growthink has developed business plans for thousands of companies who have gone on to achieve tremendous success. Click here to see how Growthink’s business plan consulting services can create your business plan for you.
Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates
Free Event Marketing Templates: Event Marketing Plans, Strategy Documents, and Checklists
By Joe Weller | April 23, 2023 (updated April 28, 2023)
We've compiled the best event marketing templates for structuring timelines and driving attendance to an event.
Included on this page, you’ll find an event marketing plan template ; an event marketing strategy template , which includes a marketing mix table and marketing channels; and a six-week virtual event marketing plan template . Plus, learn how to write an event marketing plan .
Event Marketing Plan Template
Download a Sample Event Marketing Plan Template for Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | PowerPoint | Google Docs | Google Slides | Google Sheets
Download a Blank Event Marketing Plan Template for Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | PowerPoint | Google Docs | Google Slides | Google Sheets
Use this template to chart your 12-week marketing plan across four phases. The color-coded promotion categories — from email and social media platform marketing to market research — help keep your marketing plan organized and easy to read. The sample template shows you what a completed event marketing plan looks like. Fill in the blank template cells to display your event marketing plan's start and end weeks for pre-launch activities, social media post durations, and more.
Use this event plan and budget template to manage tasks, forecast a budget, and communicate vital details to your event team, vendors, and other stakeholders.
Event Marketing Strategy Template
Download an Event Marketing Strategy Template for Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Google Docs
Describe objectives, competitive advantage, unique value proposition, and more with this event marketing strategy template. Use this template to list marketing channels and costs for search engine optimization (SEO), digital partnerships, social media, and email marketing. This template includes a five-part marketing mix table with a cost column so that you can keep your marketing strategy within budget.
Plan and manage the schedule, budget, venue, vendors, attendance, and more for your event with this collection of free event planning templates .
Event Marketing Timeline Template
Download an Event Marketing Timeline Template for Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | PowerPoint | Google Docs | Google Sheets
Track and make necessary changes to event planning tasks or schedules with this marketing timeline template. Use this template to list, categorize, and track weekly promotions for your marketing strategy so that you can successfully drive attendance to your event. With this template, you can create a comprehensive marketing plan that covers all aspects of your promotional efforts, including pre- and post-event tasks, in advance. Fill in the timeline cells for the weeks that correspond with each specific campaign type.
Virtual Event Marketing Plan Template
Download a Virtual Event Marketing Plan Template for Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | PowerPoint | Google Docs | Google Slides | Google Sheets
This virtual event marketing plan template provides a simple three-phase, six-week structure to help you promote your virtual conference, webinar, webcast, or other virtual event. Use chart columns, rows, and colors to track and distinguish promotions easily. To track the progress of your campaign, use color coding to fill in the cells that correspond to the weeks when you need to work on each marketing task. This virtual event marketing plan template allows you to stay on track so you can reach your target audience and drive event participation in a competitive online space.
Event Marketing Checklist Template
Download an Event Marketing Checklist Template for Microsoft Word | Google Docs
Download, customize, and complete this event marketing checklist template to ensure that all your marketing materials are in place for your event. Use this template to mark the completion of various marketing tasks, such as defining event goals, creating a marketing budget, defining the ideal attendee profile, or creating an optimized event website. You can customize the template by adding or subtracting items and changing the order to indicate task priority.
Why Should You Use an Event Marketing Plan Template?
An event marketing plan template enables you to guide your pre- to post-event marketing activities. You can outline the preparation and promotions necessary to increase awareness, reach your target audience, drive attendance, and stay on budget. The plan helps you capture attention and detail a promotional timeline with all necessary steps.
What Is Included in an Event Marketing Plan Template?
Most event marketing plan templates feature a 12-week timeline from pre-event promotions to post-event updates. A virtual event marketing plan usually requires a streamlined six-week timeline.
An event marketing plan template includes marketing promotions and tasks that are organized into categories and then listed and tracked across the timeline. To make tracking simpler, the timeline is divided into phases.
An event marketing plan typically includes the following sections:
- Timeline: Use the timeline to organize the timing for tasks, such as issuing ticket sales discounts, email marketing, and posting on social media. Most templates use a 12-week timeline.
- Phases: A 12-week timeline usually includes four distinct three-week phases. Place activities within the phase that makes the most sense for your marketing plan.
- Promotion Types: This template column lists marketing campaigns by type, such as email, social media, local and national marketing, partner sponsorships, and more.
How Do You Write an Event Marketing Plan?
The first step in writing an event marketing plan is to define and outline your marketing goals and budget. Set the framework for the online content needed to promote your event. Identify the target audience, and select the best social media platforms to reach them. A successful marketing plan can increase event awareness and engage your target audience.
Follow these steps for creating a successful event marketing plan:
- Define Your Event Marketing Goals: Gather your marketing team to establish the marketing goals for a specific event.
- Set Your Event Marketing Budget: Discuss and decide on a marketing budget with your team.
- Define Your Target Audience: Research and identify your target audience's demographic details. When you understand who your target audience is, you can tailor your marketing efforts to better reach that audience and increase their likelihood of attending your event.
- Select the Ideal Social Media Platforms and Content: Find the social media platforms that your target audience frequents the most. Determine what online content is most effective for reaching them.
- Select and Time Your Communication Methods: Consider using email marketing, a mobile app, or an event-specific website to promote your event. Once you choose your communication channels, commit to a specific timing and frequency for your outreach efforts.
- Complete an Event Marketing Plan Template: After you create your event marketing plan, download an event marketing plan template. Complete it and share it with your marketing team.
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Successful marketing project starts with a plan.
Track event details and to-dos.
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Event Marketing and Promotion Plan Template
What’s an event without guests or attendees? Other than a pricey venue rental, not much.
That’s why having a promotion strategy to get people in the door is a must for success—no matter what kind of event you’re planning.
Luckily, you can put a solid event marketing plan together in just a few straightforward steps. We’ll review what an event marketing plan is and key components that will help you drive ticket sales and attendance.
We’ll also share a free event marketing plan template with examples to help you build a promotion timeline quickly and easily. If you’re looking for event project management software to help you run your next event more seamlessly, we’ve got you covered.
What is an event marketing plan?
An event marketing plan lays out a strategy and timeline for event promotion. Think of it as your roadmap for all the tools, tactics, and channels you’ll use to get word out about your event so you can hit sales and attendance goals.
So how does event marketing work? It starts with a firm understanding of your target audience and where they hang out so you can promote your event effectively across multiple channels (e.g., social media, email, radio, print). It also factors in the types of content you’ll produce to raise awareness and ultimately guide prospects to attend your event.
How to create an event marketing plan
One big question that always comes up is how far in advance you should promote your event. The exact timing really depends on the size and type of event you’ll be hosting. For example, you might promote an annual business conference 6-12 months in advance, while a monthly seminar series would have a much shorter promotion window.
Here’s an example of how you might structure your promotion timeline for a sales or networking event:
- Pre-launch (12-16 weeks prior): Define event goals, create your event website, establish a content strategy, develop your sponsorship program, and write press releases
- Launch (8-12 weeks prior): Promote the event on social media, leverage event sponsors, and launch email marketing and paid digital campaigns
- Post-event (1-2 weeks post): Share event updates, content, and highlights via email, social media, and your blog and/or event website
Whatever timing you decide on, just know the earlier you promote your event, the more time you’ll have to maximize your reach and adjust your strategy, if needed, to hit your goals.
A lot of groundwork goes into launching and promoting an event, so let’s take a look at the basic steps you’ll want to consider when creating your own event marketing plan.
Define event goals
You should always have a way to measure success for any event you throw. While ticket sales and attendee numbers will likely be your main target, you may also want to use your event to launch a new product, drive leads, or increase customer retention. Be sure to take all of these key metrics into account when formulating a promotional strategy and budget to ensure your event marketing plan aligns with your big-picture goals.
Create an event website or landing page
An event website or landing page is essential because it’s where people learn about your event and ultimately sign up to attend. It should establish your event brand and provide key program ad registration details. Make sure your site is easy to navigate with a clear call-to-action and optimized for mobile so a large portion of your audience doesn’t slip through the cracks.
Develop a blog and content strategy
Good content enables you to connect with your target audience and create ongoing excitement around your event without being too salesy. Make it easy for people to see the benefits of attending by sharing a clear vision of your event’s mission and value proposition, and think about what kind of content will work best for each marketing channel. Want to extend your content reach? Consider partnering with industry leaders to write guest posts.
Promote the event on social media
Social media’s a great way to promote and build community around your event. As with any social media campaign, begin with your audience in mind, and create compelling and entertaining content that people can’t help but share. Focus on the social channels that align with your audience best, and don’t forget to create an event hashtag so it’s easy for people to find, follow, and share your event.
Set up paid digital campaigns
Your top social channels are a natural place to start when it comes to paid advertising. But you may also want to invest in retargeting ads, pay-per-click campaigns, and display ads on other relevant websites. While paid ads put your event in front of a lot more people, you’ll need to monitor performance and update your promo strategy to ensure you get the biggest bang for your advertising buck.
Build email marketing campaigns
Email can be a powerful tool in your event marketing arsenal because it enables you to build a 1:1 relationship with people. In fact, most marketers (40%) surveyed by Bizzabo say email is the single most effective channel for promoting an event. So why not put it to work for you? Tap into your database to announce the event to existing customers and subscribers, and set up an email campaign to nurture prospects and registrants before and after the event.
Leverage event sponsors
Event outreach helps you cast a wider net and boost attendance. So get to work securing sponsorships as soon as your event launches to build momentum early. Then collaborate with sponsors on marketing strategies, and make sure they have the resources they need to amplify your event. After all, they have a stake in your event’s success too.
Write a press release for the event
Even in the age of information overload and digital media, a press release can still be a valuable tool for letting people know about your event. The right press release—pitched to relevant media outlets with clear and unique event information—can drive a significant amount of attention to your event.
Use our free event marketing plan and timeline template
We created a free event marketing plan template to help you promote your next big event. It’s a perfect base to build on if you want to get a quick start on planning.
What the template is:
A high-level event promotion timeline that outlines when different campaign elements will be executed so you can keep track of event marketing efforts.
What the template is not:
A detailed breakdown of every marketing task you need to complete for each channel. (If you’re looking for something like that, check out our marketing templates . You’ll find a lot of great resources for planning marketing campaigns there!)
You can use this template to:
- Easily schedule your event marketing timeline with simple drag and drop functionality
- Color code and filter your timeline to view marketing efforts by phase
- Create new tasks and milestones for your event
Let’s look at some other helpful ways to use this event marketing and promotion template.
Event marketing timeline examples
Here are two examples of how you can use our event marketing template to plan and manage promotion timelines for your event.
A gantt chart enables you to schedule marketing activities for your event in a simple, visual timeline that’s easy to update and track as work progresses. It gives you a high-level view of your event’s major promotion strategies, while enabling you to collaborate on and share your plan with your team and stakeholders.
TeamGantt isn’t just for gantt charts. Transform your event marketing plan into a calendar instantly with our Calendar view. It’s perfect for seeing how event promotion timelines stack up on any given day, week, or month!
Create an event marketing plan with TeamGantt
Ready to start promoting your next event? Use our event marketing and promotion plan template in TeamGantt, and save time on timeline setup!
Customizing the template is quick and easy, thanks to TeamGantt’s drag and drop simplicity. And since everything’s online, your whole team can collaborate on activities in real time.
Sign up for a free TeamGantt account today , and get access to event planning templates—plus many more helpful project templates—in our library .
8 Steps to Create a Great Marketing Plan for Your Event
Last updated: February 14th, 2020
You put a great amount of effort into organizing an event, but that doesn't mean you don't still get worried. How can you encourage people to show up? And how you can make sure your attendees get the most out of your event once they arrive?
This is where event promotion comes in.
While there's a lot involved in event promotion, you don't need to be overwhelmed! Here, we provide a straightforward guide to compiling your marketing strategies and making good use of recent technology. This will help you increase event attendance and attendee satisfaction while saving your own time and effort.
Use the following steps to create your event marketing plan.
Step 1: Set the Goals and Budget for Your Event
Your event's goals are what your event marketing plan is based on, so you must set them before moving onto the next steps.
Ask yourself, do you want your event to achieve a tangible goal such as attracting 700 attendees? Or are you aiming for an intangible goal such as strengthening relationships with your association members or business partners through the event? Once you've decided your goal, make sure your team is on the same page and pursuing the same goal.
Big or small, you need to be aware of the budget allocated to your marketing efforts, too. While constraints will set limits on certain things, they'll also show you where you can afford to get creative in your marketing plan.
Step 2: Set Event Content Creation and Management Tactics
With your goals in mind, prepare your marketing content, starting with the event schedule and speaker list. You may also want to highlight key messages, such as the benefits of attending the event, keynote speeches, testimonials or a video from a previous event.
Ensure you have a sound content management plan before you move ahead to the next step and create an event website, event app, and start spreading the word. This will help you avoid a ton of manual tasks and wasted time. Of course, not all your event information will be available right away, which means you may have to manually and repeatedly update event websites, event registration pages, and many other materials such as an event app.
Some recent tools like the Event Website Builder automate time-consuming tasks, reduce human error, and ensure professional-looking results thanks to sleek templates. For example, you can transform complicated spreadsheets into color-coded multitrack agendas that can be easily inserted into your event websites and mobile web pages. Best of all, any updates in your dashboard will automatically sync with your websites as well as the Whova event app .
Speaker webpages are also quicker to design as speakers are empowered to submit their own details through the Speaker Info Collector. You can also collect exhibitor information, including brochures and maps, through an online portal to make your exhibitor webpages.
If you host the same conference every year, or multiple similar events in different locations, you may want to reuse event content like agendas, name badge designs, surveys, sponsor information, and floorplans. Check if your software can help you easily reload and edit past event content .
Step 3: Leverage Your Event Speakers and Attendees
You, your speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors share the same goals: You all want to attract more attendees to the event and increase your brand visibility. Use this common goal as part of your event marketing strategy to motivate these event participants to help promote your event.
Whova seamlessly integrates with social media to inspire your speakers to post on social media and promote their session — and your event — ahead of time. Thanks to ready-made text and striking headshot images, all they have to do is click a button to share. Because many speakers are thought-leaders with large networks, this is a great way to get the word out. You can also ask your exhibitors to spread the word about your event on social media.
Attendees are motivated to promote your event on social media, too. The Leaderboard Contest recognizes the most active members of the Whova Community, encouraging attendees to exchange thousands of messages. They can then share their ranking on social media with a ready-to-post message, generating a marketing buzz before and during your event.
With Whova's Social Media Scheduler , you can conveniently schedule your own social media posts for multiple places in advance. This helps you promote your event on as many different networks as possible without leaving the Whova dashboard.
The Social Media Scheduler doesn't only help you create a buzz on social media — it also shows you the engagement with your posts. This allows you to monitor the success of your event promotion so you can adjust course as needed to attract more attendees.
Step 4: Promote Your Event in the Right Places
To properly identify your target market, you need to define it through attendee demographics such as age, gender, and industry. You should also consider psychographics such as usage of technology, interests, and motivation to attend your events.
One way to do this is to analyze attendee data collected from previous events. Alternatively, once you've run a campaign, you can check your event website traffic to understand your audience as well as the impact of your event promotion.
You don't have to learn Google Analytics — some tools like Whova's agenda webpage builder also show real-time analytics without requiring any technical skills. These analytics gives you rich insights into webpage traffic, including which sessions and speakers seem the most popular, where your web visitors are located, and what devices they're using. This can help you adjust your event marketing plan as needed, better prepare for your event, and understand how it's growing.
Event listing websites such as Eventful , Hey Event , and 10times are also good places to promote your event.
Step 5: Summarize Your Communication Tactics
Marketing an event is all about engaging audiences, so you really have to set your communication tactics straight.
Consider how to effectively inform people about your event. While there are great e-mailing systems like Mailchimp , it can also be effective to combine both email and push notifications via an event app . In fact, you can reach open rates of 70% and up, compared to the event industry average of 20%. With Whova, you can send messages through both channels with one click. ( Request more information about the Whova's announcement system)
Step 6: Develop Personalization Tactics
It's important to tailor your messages in a way that attracts people's interests. If your event invitation will go out to previous attendees, you can mention this to engage them and add statistics, videos, or pictures from a previous event. Add the highlights of your upcoming event, like keynote speakers, opportunities to learn and connect with people, and discounts for early-bird tickets.
If you use an event management software , see if it provides useful templates for emails and announcements that are targeted to event audiences. Sending announcements to different groups of attendees is a great way to personalize your event marketing strategy.
Some tools also allow you to increase the visibility of your speakers and exhibitors through your event website and with ad banners, company profiles, and coupons and giveaways on your trade show app . With a personalized event app, you can even create a customized experience and information for different event participants, such as speakers and exhibitors.
Step 7: Establish Last-minute Promotion and Engagement Tactics
In our experience, many successful events have provided a place for their attendees to virtually interact with one another ahead of time. This helps create a buzz and increases word of mouth among attendees.
One example is the Community Board , one of Whova's most-loved features among attendees and organizers. Many events have seen more than 1,500 posts within the Community, where event participants ask organizers questions, plan meet-ups, schedule carpools, create custom discussion topics, share photos of their experience, find lost items, and more.
The Photo and Caption Contests also motivate attendees to engage in your event. All these activities on your event app are showcased in the Activity Stream on your event website, inspiring more people to attend your event.
Request a demo if these features sound interesting to you.
Step 8: Set Your Performance Evaluation Metrics
In your event marketing plan, write out what exact metrics you'll use to evaluate your event's performance, such as the number of attendees, networking activities, or social media posts. Many tools help you collect this data.
Once your event is over, create a report to show your team and stakeholders your event's success, as well as for promotion in a newsletter or PR purposes. The data and insights you gain will help you make the next event you plan even better. For example, you can use them to attract new sponsors, improve certain logistical aspects of your event, and, of course, further increase attendees. The Whova app includes a post-event report to ensure that you understand exactly how well your event went.
Start Your Event Marketing Plan!
Successful marketing for events relies on carefully laid plans. By taking into consideration your event goals, content management, promotion efforts, engagement activities, and the technology you use, you will be sure to create a great marketing plan for your event.
- 8 Event Management and Planning Software That Will Save You Time
- Not a Tech Geek? Create and Manage Event Agenda on Web & Mobile Without Any Tech Skills
- How to Create Attendee Name Badges in 5 Minutes
Tools for Event Organizers
Name badge, check-in, surveys, waiver forms, certificates, website, ...
Learn from experienced virtual event organizers.
Get certified as Whova Virtual Event Planning Professional.
Researched by Consultants from Top-Tier Management Companies
- Marketing Plan
One Page Pitch
Top 10 Event Management Business Plan Templates with Examples and Samples (Editable Word Doc, Excel and PDF Included)
Imagine, for a moment, the glitz and glamour of the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. It was a stunning display of culture and technology that captured the world's attention. But what most of us didn't see was the extensive planning and coordination that went into creating this global spectacle. Behind the scenes, a team of dedicated event management professionals meticulously crafted every moment, ensuring that every detail, from the grandest fireworks display to the tiniest costume accessory, was executed flawlessly.
The 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony is a shining example of what the world of event management is all about. It's an industry where dreams become reality, creativity meets precision, and the magic of any event, big or small, takes center stage. If you've ever dreamed of turning your passion for planning and organizing into a thriving business, you're in the right place.
We have created the ultimate Event Management Business Plan Template with 64 meticulously designed slides for you. This template is your roadmap to turning your event management dreams into a flourishing business reality. It includes everything you need to develop a solid business plan template , from market analysis and financial projections to marketing strategies and operational plans.
Let's roll up our sleeves and embark on this exciting journey to create memorable experiences and make your mark in the world of events!
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Company Overview
- Industry Analysis
- Customer Analysis
- Competitive Landscape
- SWOT Analysis
- Operational Plan
- Financial Plan
- Management Summary
1. Executive Summary
The executive summary gives a concise yet engaging overview of your event planning business plan. It provides a snapshot of the crucial components of your plan and should be written last, summarizing key elements such as:
1.1 The Quick Pitch: It includes factors like:
- Market Overview: This section provides statistical insights into the event planning market, highlighting its size, trends, and potential.
- Opportunity: Detail the opportunities in the event planning industry, such as emerging technologies, the rise of virtual events, and integration possibilities.
- Technology Integration: Discuss how technology plays a pivotal role in your business, covering aspects like event management software and digital tools.
- Virtual Events: Explain your strategy for catering to the virtual event trend, outlining the benefits and services you offer in this domain.
1.2 The Entity: Include essential information about your business entity, such as its name, date of incorporation, initial investment, physical location, web address, target market, and founder's name.
Here is a visual representing all this and more:
(Want to make your dream event a reality? Access this Event Management Business Plan Template to get started!)
2. Company Overview
Describe your event planning business's specific niche, whether it caters to corporate events, social gatherings or specializes in unique niche events. Clearly outline your target clientele for each category. Also, share the history of your business, explaining when and why it was established, as well as key milestones achieved.
Additionally, ensure your company overview has the following elements:
2.1 Mission and Vision: Outline your long-term objectives and core values that guide your operations.
2.2 Goals and Objectives: Elaborate on your business goals, both short-term and long-term, and present your strategies for achieving them. Clearly define measurable milestones.
2.3 Start-up Summary: Provide a comprehensive summary of the initial costs required to launch your business, including capital investment, equipment purchases, and operational expenses.
2.4 Market Gap and Business Statement: Explain how your business identifies and addresses gaps in the market, emphasizing your unique value proposition. Define your business's core purpose.
2.5 Products and Services Offered: List the range of event planning services and products you offer, including any additional services like catering, decor, entertainment, or technology integration.
2.6 Key Success Factors: Identify and elaborate on the critical factors contributing to your business's success, such as exceptional customer service, innovative offerings, strategic partnerships, and market knowledge.
Take a look at this graphic to know more:
(Excited to kickstart your event planning journey but need a one-pager ? Download our comprehensive business plan template now!)
3. Industry Analysis
The industry analysis section provides a comprehensive overview of the event planning industry, emphasizing the importance of market research.
Key components to include are:
3.1 Market Analysis: Present an in-depth analysis of the event planning market, covering its size, projected growth, and potential opportunities and challenges.
3.2 Market Trends: Discuss current event industry trends, including the prevalence of hybrid events, safety measures, sustainability practices, personalization, etc.
3.3 Major Challenges: Identify and analyze the significant challenges your business encounters, such as rising operational costs, stiff competition, safety, etc.
3.4 Growth Drivers: Highlight the key factors driving growth in the industry, such as technological advancements, corporate event market size, and more.
3.5 Geographical Analysis: Conduct a geographical analysis to determine how local demographics impact your target market and explore opportunities for growth within specific regions.
Observe this sample to help present your event industry analysis like a pro:
4. Customer Analysis
Customer analysis is a crucial component of your business strategy, as it lays the foundation for understanding your audience and tailoring your offerings to meet their needs effectively.
In this section, we will delve into the key elements of customer analysis, including:
4.1 Target Market
Represent the specific group of individuals or entities you want to serve and consider factors like age, gender, location, income level, and any other relevant demographic data.
4.2 Buyer Persona
These personas are fictional depictions of your ideal customers with names, photos, motivations, and pain points. They humanize your target audience and enable you to personalize your marketing strategies. Thus, create detailed buyer personas for each customer segment for effective marketing.
4.3 Market Sizing
Estimate the size of your target market for business planning and growth. This involves analyzing national market data and local population figures to determine the potential reach of your business.
Get a visual grasp of this concept with the following representation:
5. Competitive Landscape
Delve deeper into your analysis of the competitive environment within the event planning industry. Identify and evaluate direct and indirect competitors to understand your competitive positioning comprehensively.
And don’t forget to include elements like:
5.1 Major Players
Recognize and analyze the major players who significantly impact the market. These prominent competitors often have well-established brands, extensive client networks, and a range of services.
5.2 Attribute-Based Comparison
Performing an attribute-based comparison between your event planning business and direct competitors is essential. This involves a detailed assessment of specific attributes, such as:
- Pricing: Analyze how your pricing strategy compares to that of your competitors. Are you offering competitive rates or premium services?
- Service Offerings: Compare the range of services you provide with those of your competitors. Highlight any unique or specialized services that set you apart.
- Customer Satisfaction: Collect feedback from past clients and compare your customer satisfaction ratings with those of competitors.
- Innovation: Assess your ability to adapt to industry trends and technological advancements compared to your competitors.
Take a visual look at the concept here, but before that, also look at Must-have Event Management Company Profile Templates .
6. SWOT Analysis
The SWOT Analysis is a pivotal component of your business plan, offering a comprehensive examination of your event planning company's internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats.
So, make sure you journal it properly, as done in this visual sample by SlideTeam:
7. Marketing Plan
The Marketing Plan section is pivotal for promoting your event management business and reaching your target audience with ease. It also helps grow your business by combining the traditional four Ps: Product, Promotion, Price, and Place.
Additionally, it includes factors like:
7.1 Social Media Implementation Strategy and Promotional Strategies
Detail your social media implementation strategy, outlining how to leverage platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to engage with potential clients.
Additionally, describe your promotional strategies, including:
- Sponsored posts and advertisements.
- Collaborations with influencers in the event industry.
- Engaging content creation to showcase your expertise.
- Running targeted online campaigns to reach your desired audience.
7.2 Pricing Strategy
Elaborate on your pricing strategy, which should align with your target market and competitive positioning. Explain how your pricing compares to competitors, emphasizing unique value propositions or pricing structures.
7.3 Sales Funnel
Outline your sales funnel, illustrating your potential client's journey from initial awareness to purchase. Highlight key touchpoints, lead generation strategies, and conversion tactics.
The following image portrays this idea:
8. Operational Plan
Outline the processes and milestones to help you achieve your short and long-term business objectives. Also, provide a detailed roadmap for how your event planning business will operate with the following attributes:
8.1 Business Milestones
Define specific milestones you aim to achieve, such as reaching a certain number of clients, expanding to new markets, or launching new service offerings. Include target dates for these milestones.
8.2 Business Model Canvas
Present your business model canvas and its key components, including customer segments, channels, value propositions, customer relationships, cost structure, and more.
To help you visualize this concept, here's a sample:
9. Financial Plan
The Financial Plan is a critical section that projects the financial performance of your event planning business over the next five years. It offers insights into the following:
9.1 Financial Assumptions : Explicitly state the assumptions upon which your financial projections are based, such as growth rates, pricing strategies, and market trends.
9.2 Revenue Model and Sales Forecast : Detail your revenue model, including how you generate income, such as event planning fees, commissions, or additional services. Provide a sales forecast that outlines your expected revenue over the projection period.
9.3 Break-even Analysis : Demarcate the point at which your revenue equals your expenditure. This helps identify the minimum level of sales needed to cover costs.
9.4 Projected Profit & Loss Account : Present a projected profit and loss statement showcasing your expected revenue, expenses, and net income over the five years.
9.5 Projected Cash Flow Statement : Outline your projected cash flow statement, highlighting how cash moves in and out of your business. This helps ensure you have sufficient liquidity to cover expenses.
9.6 Projected Balance Sheet : Provide a projected balance sheet, offering a snapshot of your assets, liabilities, and equity at different points in time.
9.7 Scenario Analysis : Evaluate how changes in various factors, such as market conditions or pricing strategies, could impact your financial projections.
9.8 DCF Valuation Analysis : Consider performing a discounted cash flow (DCF) valuation analysis to estimate the present value of future cash flows, aiding in investment decision-making.
Looking for a better understanding of financials? Here is a slide visual to help you out:
10. Management Summary
Highlight the strengths and expertise of your event planning business's key team members. This section plays a vital role in demonstrating your company's ability to succeed and grow. So, make sure it is well laid out with elements like:
10.1 Team Structure : Describe the organizational structure of your team, including key roles and responsibilities. Emphasize the skills and experience that make your team well-suited for the event planning industry.
10.2 Professional Summary : Provide professional summaries for each key team member, emphasizing their relevant experience, qualifications, and contributions to the business.
10.3 Roles and Responsibilities : Detail each team member's specific roles and responsibilities, illustrating how their expertise contributes to the success of your event planning business.
Here's a visual representation to clarify this:
After an in-depth exploration of this Event Business Plan Template, you're well-equipped to embark on your event planning journey. It's time to download, bring your vision to life, and shine in the world of events.
Your adventure begins here. Let the magic of event management commence!
P.S. Don't forget to grab more design options with 80 slides for your next big event by clicking here !
FAQs on Event Management Business Plan
1. what is an event management business plan.
An event management business plan is a comprehensive document outlining the strategy and details for launching and running an event planning or management company. It typically includes key components such as the company's mission and vision, market analysis, target audience identification, services offered, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and operational plans. This plan serves as a roadmap for entrepreneurs and potential investors, guiding them in understanding the business's goals, competitive landscape, and potential challenges. A well-crafted event management business plan is essential for securing financing, attracting clients, and effectively managing the business for success in the event planning industry.
2. How do you write an event management business plan?
Follow these steps to write an event management business plan:
- Begin with an executive summary outlining your business concept and goals.
- Describe your event management company, its mission, and vision.
- Identify your target audience and competitors by conducting market research.
- Define your services, including event planning, coordination, and any specialized offerings.
- Create a marketing strategy to reach potential clients.
- Develop a pricing structure and revenue projections.
- Outline your team's qualifications and roles.
- Detail your operational plan, including logistics and vendor relationships.
- Address financial aspects like startup costs, funding sources, and financial projections.
- Include a risk analysis and contingency plan.
- Conclude with a concise summary of the plan's key points.
3. Is event management a profitable business?
Yes, event management can be a profitable business. It involves planning and executing various events, such as weddings, corporate gatherings, and conferences. With effective marketing, good client relationships, and exceptional organizational skills, event managers can generate substantial income. The profitability depends on factors like experience, reputation, and market demand, making it a potentially lucrative venture.
4. What are the 7 stages in an event management planning?
Event management planning typically involves the following seven stages:
- Conceptualization: Define the event's purpose, objectives, and target audience.
- Research and Planning: Gather information, set goals, and create a detailed plan, including budget and timeline.
- Venue Selection: Choose a suitable location based on event requirements and logistics.
- Supplier Coordination: Secure vendors for catering, decor, audiovisual, and other services.
- Promotion and Marketing: Develop a marketing strategy to promote the event and reach the intended audience.
- Execution: Manage logistics, coordinate activities, and ensure everything runs smoothly on the event day.
- Post-Event Evaluation: Assess the event's success, gather feedback, and analyze the results for future improvements.
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Event Planning Company Business Plan
Event planning business plan.
You’ve come to the right place to create your event planning business plan.
We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their event planning companies
Below is an event planning business plan sample to help you create each section of your Event Planning business plan.
Special Occasions Event Planning is a startup event planning business located in Des Moines, Iowa. The Company is founded by Jennifer Brown, an experienced event planner who has been planning themed weddings and birthday parties as the manager of a local event venue for the past ten years. Now that Jennifer has gained valuable experience managing an event venue and planning special events of various sizes and styles, she is ready to start her own event planning company, Special Occasions Event Planning. Jennifer is confident that her event planning skills, combined with her understanding of business management, will enable her to run a profitable event planning company of her own. Jennifer is recruiting a team of highly qualified professionals to help manage the day-to-day complexities of running an event planning business – sales and marketing, supply sourcing and procurement, customer relationship management, budgeting, financial reporting, and vendor relationship management.
Special Occasions Event Planning will provide customized event planning services for special occasions big and small. Special Occasions will specialize in themed birthday parties, but will provide planning services for other types of events such as weddings, parties, and corporate gatherings upon request. The Company will be the ultimate choice for unique and memorable themed birthday parties for clients of all ages.
The following are the event planning products and services that Special Occasions Event Planning will provide:
- Venue Sourcing
- Tables & Chairs
- Dinnerware & Utensils
- Caterer Coordination
- Party Favors
- Set-up/Clean up
Special Occasions Event Planning will target individuals, families, and social groups in Des Moines, Iowa. The Company will target people looking to plan a one-of-a-kind birthday party for their child, significant other, friend, or other relative. No matter the customer, Special Occasions Event Planning will deliver the best communication, service, and attention to detail.
Special Occasions Event Planning will be owned and operated by Jennifer Brown. Jennifer is a graduate of Iowa University with a degree in Business Management. She has over ten years of experience working as an event planner for another local venue. Jennifer will be the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and the Head Event Planner. She will lead the more complex events and oversee the event planning staff.
Jennifer has recruited an experienced administrative assistant, Patricia Smith, to help manage the day-to-day business operations. Patricia has been an administrative assistant in the event planning industry for more than 15 years. Jennifer relies on Patricia’s organization, attention to detail, and punctuality when organizing her schedule, managing clients, and maintaining her files.
Jennifer and Patricia have recruited an experienced marketing director, John Jones, to become a member of the Special Occasions Event Planning management team. John is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Jennifer and Patricia rely on John’s expertise to execute the Company’s marketing plan and advertising strategies.
Special Occasions Event Planning will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:
- Skilled team of event planners who will ensure every client receives exceptional customer service and that all reasonable requests are met.
- Special Occasions Event Planning’s leadership team has established relationships with local venues, vendors, and entertainers, thus providing customers with a wide selection of options to choose from when planning their special event.
- The Company specializes in the themed birthday party niche and is well-versed in the latest trends in the industry.
Special Occasions Event Planning is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its event planning business. The funding will be dedicated towards securing an office space and purchasing equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff and marketing expenses. The breakout of the funding is below:
- Office lease and renovation: $80,000
- Office equipment, supplies, and materials: $20,000
- Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, utilities): $90,000
- Marketing costs: $10,000
- Working capital: $10,000
The following graph below outlines the pro forma financial projections for Special Occasions Event Planning.
Who is special occasions event planning .
Special Occasions Event Planning is a newly established event planning company based in Des Moines, Iowa. Special Occasions will be the first choice for unique themed birthday parties for people of all ages in Des Moines and the surrounding communities. The company will provide customized event planning services for parties large and small.
Special Occasions Event Planning will be able to provide all the essentials for any special event from highly rated caterers to the hottest entertainment due to the Company’s existing relationships with industry professionals and vendors. The Company’s team of highly qualified event planning professionals will manage the entire planning process from ideation to execution. Special Occasions even provides clean-up services. Clients can opt for full-service event planning services or purchase specific aspects (such as decor or catering) a la carte.
Special Occasions Event Planning History
Special Occasions Event Planning is owned and operated by Jennifer Brown, an experienced event planner who has been planning themed weddings and birthday parties as the manager of a local event venue for the past ten years. Now that Jennifer has experienced managing an event venue and planning special events of various sizes and styles, she is ready to start her own event planning company. Jennifer is confident that her event planning skills, combined with her understanding of business management, will enable her to run a profitable event planning company of her own. Jennifer is recruiting a team of highly qualified professionals to help manage the day-to-day complexities of running an event planning business – sales and marketing, supply sourcing and procurement, customer relationship management, budgeting, financial reporting, and vendor relationship management.
Since incorporation, Special Occasions Event Planning has achieved the following milestones:
- Registered Special Occasions Event Planning, LLC to transact business in the state of Iowa.
- Has signed a contract to lease the office space.
- Reached out to numerous contacts to include local venues, catering companies, entertainers, and decor suppliers to spread the word about her new business opportunities.
- Began recruiting a staff of accountants, event planners, sales and marketing associates, and office staff to work at Special Occasions Event Planning Services.
Special Occasions Event Planning Services
The Party and Event Planning industry in the United States is valued at approximately $4B, with 70,000 businesses in operation, and over 82,000 employees. The market for event planning services is expected to grow over the next several years due to an aging baby boomer population, many of whom have children and grandchildren who will have weddings, birthday parties, graduations, anniversaries, and other special events in the coming years. Additionally, the corporate event planning segment is expected to grow due to more companies pursuing team building opportunities and hosting events that can serve as marketing for the business.
The event planning market is split into two broad segments: corporate and social. Corporate events such as holiday parties, meetings, trade shows, conventions, fundraisers, and receptions are just some of the events included in this segment. Corporate customers include companies, non-profit organizations, and charities. The social segment includes a wide range of special occasions such as weddings, bridal showers, birthday parties, anniversary parties, reunions, and more. The largest and most lucrative category in the social event planning segment is wedding planning.
Industry operators can specialize in one or two niches such as wedding planners or corporate planners. Alternatively, industry operators can provide planning services for a wide range of events. Industry operators that specialize in a specific niche and even narrow their niche to a specific type of event, such as “kids’ parties” or “fashion shows” may have more success because they can become an expert in one area and target a highly specific customer segment. Industry operators who provide a broad range of services to a variety of customers can be successful if they provide high levels of organization, customer service, and unique or highly customized services.
Demographic profile of target market.
Special Occasions Event Planning will target individuals, families, and social groups in Des Moines, Iowa. The Company will target people looking to plan a one-of-a-kind birthday party for their child, significant other, friend, or other relative. Special Occasions Event Planning will also target young adults looking to plan a memorable, themed 21st birthday party. No matter the customer, Special Occasions Event Planning will deliver the best communication, service, and attention to detail.
The precise demographics for Des Moines, Iowa are:
Special Occasions will primarily target the following customer profiles:
- Individuals with disposable income
- Families with children and disposable income
Direct and indirect competitors.
Special Occasions Event Planning will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.
Emily’s Event Planning
Established in 2017, Emily’s Event Planning is now a well-known event planner in the Des Moines, Iowa area. The company provides event planning services for large corporate events, weddings, and birthday parties. Emily’s Event Planning is most well-known for its picturesque venue choices. The company has relationships with some of the most in-demand venues in the area. Emily’s Event Planning provides an all-inclusive event planning and management service with packages that include venue rental, decor, entertainment, food, and clean-up services.
While Emily’s Event Planning has an established reputation in the market for quality event planning services, it has a list of predefined event packages and does not customize its services or take unique requests from customers.
Fancy Event Planner
Fancy Event Planner has been operating in the state of Iowa since 1982. This company is a small business run by a husband and wife team that specializes in event planning and catering services for weddings, birthday parties, and other special occasions. Fancy Event Planner provides decor, venue coordination, and food service for events of up to 100 guests. The company specializes in providing gourmet dinners, desserts, and appetizers. Additionally, Fancy Event Planner provides hand crafted decor and floral arrangements for weddings and parties. Fancy Event Planner is for customers looking for an elegant presentation in a traditional setting.
Fancy Event Planner has a limited selection of services and does not offer entertainment, set-up/clean-up, lighting/sound, or liquor accommodations.
Wonderfully Perfect Event Planning Services
Wonderfully Perfect Event Planning Services is a new Des Moines, Iowa-based event planner that provides superior service to its customers. The company is managed by an experienced entrepreneur who has been working in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. She opened Wonderfully Perfect Event Planning Services in 2019 when she discovered a lack of options for themed party planning in the area. The company provides customized planning services for any event and will strive to ensure all customer requests are met to ensure a perfect event experience every time.
The company does not have established relationships with vendors, venues, or entertainment in the area and as such, trails behind Special Occasions Event Planning in this area.
Special Occasions Event Planning will be able to offer the following advantages over the competition:
- Skilled team of experienced event planners who are able to provide customized planning services and fulfill any reasonable request.
- Special Occasions Event Planning’s management team has long-standing relationships with industry professionals and is able to provide customers with a wide selection of options when it comes to venues, entertainment, and catering.
- The Company specializes in themed birthday parties and keeps up on the latest trends in the industry.
Brand & value proposition.
Special Occasions Event Planning will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:
- Special Occasions Event Planning provides full-services event planning from ideation to execution.
- The Company’s wide selection of options allows each customer to create their dream event.
The promotions strategy for Special Occasions Event Planning is as follows:
Social Media Marketing
The Company’s marketing director will create accounts on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. He will ensure Special Occasions maintains an active social media presence with regular daily updates and fun content to get customers excited about using the Company’s event planning services.
Professional Associations and Networking
Special Occasions Event Planning will become a member of professional associations such as the Event Planners’ Association, American Party Planning Society, and the Iowa Special Event Association. The leadership team will focus their networking efforts on expanding the Company’s vendor and client network.
Special Occasions Event Planning will invest in professionally designed print ads to display in programs or flyers at industry networking events. The Company will also send direct mailers to local businesses with employees who are in the target market.
Special Occasions Event Planning will utilize its in-house marketing director that designed the print ads to also design the Company’s website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the services that Special Occasions is able to provide. The website will also list information on the Company’s events and promotions.
The marketing director will also manage the Company’s website presence with SEO marketing tactics so that when someone types in a search engine “Des Moines Event Planner” or “Event Planner near me”, Special Occasions Event Planning will be listed at the top of the search results.
The pricing of Special Occasions Event Planning will be premium due to the high level of customization and hands-on planning services involved. Customers will feel they receive great value when purchasing the Company’s services.
The following will be the operations plan for Special Occasions Event Planning.
- Jennifer Brown will be the CEO and Head Event Planner. She will lead the more complex events and oversee the event planning staff. Jennifer has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
- Patricia Smith – Administrative Assistant who will manage the budgeting, vendor relationships, and logistics.
- Sam Johnson – Accountant/Bookkeeper who will provide all accounting, tax payments, and monthly financial reporting.
- John Jones – Marketing Director who will oversee all marketing strategies for the Company and manage the website, social media, and outreach.
- Michelle Garcia – Customer Success Officer who will oversee customer relationships.
Special Occasions Event Planning will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.
11/1/2022 – Finalize contract to lease the office space.
11/15/2022 – Finalize employment contracts for the Special Occasions Event Planning management team.
12/1/2022 – Begin renovations on the office and purchase office equipment and supplies.
12/15/2022 – Begin networking at industry events and implement the marketing plan.
1/15/2023 – Begin recruiting and training office staff and event planners.
2/15/2023 – Special Occasions Event Planning officially opens for business.
Key revenue & costs.
The revenue drivers for Special Occasions Event Planning are the fees charged to customers in exchange for the Company’s event planning services. Customers will be able to purchase full-service, customizable packages or select specific aspects (such as entertainment or catering) a la carte.
The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff an event planning business. The expenses will be the payroll cost, utilities, party supplies, and marketing materials.
Funding Requirements and Use of Funds
The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.
- Average number of events per month: 4
- Average fees per month: $20,000
- Overhead costs per year: $360,000
Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, event planning company business plan faqs, what is an event planning company business plan.
An e vent planning company business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your event planning company business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your event planning company business plan using our Event Planning Company Business Plan Template here .
What are the Main Types of Event Planning Companies?
There are a number of different kinds of event planning companies , some examples include: Corporate Events, Social Events, and Niche Events Planning.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Event Planning Company Business Plan?
Event planning companies are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding. This is true for an event business plan or an event management business plan.
What are the Steps To Start an Event Planning Business?
Starting an event planning business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop An Event Planning Company Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed event planning company business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your event planning business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your event planning business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Event Planning Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your event planning business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your event planning business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Event Planning Company Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your event planning business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your event planning business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful event planning business:
- How to Start an Event Planning Business
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Easy Step-by-Step Guide to the Marketing Planning Process
An effective marketing planning process ensures your efforts are focused, your objectives are clear, and your campaigns are both creative and results-driven. It acts as a roadmap that keeps your marketing activities on track.
In this guide, we will walk you through the marketing planning process, breaking down its steps, highlighting its benefits with templates for practical use and showing you how to create a well-coordinated, strategic marketing plan.
What is a Marketing Planning Process?
Marketing planning process steps, benefits of a marketing planning process, who are involved in the marketing planning process, when to use the marketing planning process, how to improve your marketing planning process using creately.
The marketing planning process is a systematic series of steps that businesses and marketing teams follow to create a strategic plan for their marketing activities.
This process involves setting clear objectives, analyzing the market and competition, defining target audiences, selecting marketing strategies and tactics, creating a budget, and establishing timelines for execution. It makes sure that marketing efforts are well-organized, goal-oriented, and aligned with the company’s overall business objectives.
Regular assessment and adjustments are also part of the process to maximize the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Here’s how to create a marketing plan with 6 effective steps .
Marketing planning toolkit
The marketing planning toolkit is a complete collection of tools, templates, and resources that you can use to streamline and improve your marketing planning processes. It serves as a centralized hub for essential materials that help with the development, execution, and evaluation of marketing strategies. This toolkit is designed to simplify planning, collaboration, and analysis, catering to the diverse needs of marketing teams.
The marketing planning process typically involves several key steps, which are as follows:
Set clear objectives
Start by defining specific and measurable marketing objectives. These objectives should align with the broader business goals and provide a clear direction for your marketing efforts.
Know your Market
Conduct a thorough analysis of the market, including an analysis of your competition , industry trends, and customer behavior. Understanding the market landscape is essential for crafting effective strategies.
Identify your target audience
Define your ideal customers or target audience segments. Understand their demographics, preferences, and pain points to tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
Learn how to find your idea customer with our guide on target audience analysis .
Develop your strategy
Identify the overarching marketing strategies that will help you achieve your objectives. This may include product positioning, pricing strategies, distribution channels, and promotional tactics.
Create a detailed action plan that outlines the specific marketing activities and campaigns you’ll implement. This step should include timelines, budgets, and responsibilities for each task.
Allocate a budget
Allocate financial resources to various marketing activities in a way that ensures cost-effectiveness and supports the achievement of objectives.
Implement your plan
Execute the planned marketing activities, such as content creation, advertising, social media campaigns, and more. Make sure that these activities are aligned with the strategy and tactics outlined in the plan.
Monitor and measure results
Continuously track and measure the performance of your marketing efforts. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to evaluate the success of your campaigns.
Adjust and optimize
Based on the data and insights gathered from monitoring, be prepared to make necessary adjustments to your marketing strategies and tactics to improve performance and better achieve your objectives.
An effective marketing planning process offers several key benefits to businesses and marketing professionals, such as:
Clarity and focus : An effective marketing planning process gives a clear purpose and direction for marketing efforts making sure that everyone involved understands what is expected of them.
Alignment with business objectives : Marketing plans are designed to align closely with the broader business goals, making sure that marketing efforts contribute directly to the company’s success.
Efficient resource allocation : It helps in allocating resources, such as time and budget, more efficiently, reducing the risk of wasted efforts or overspending on ineffective strategies.
Risk mitigation : By conducting market research and careful planning, it minimizes the risk of investing in campaigns or strategies that may not resonate with the target audience or market conditions.
Measurable results : Marketing plans include clear objectives and metrics for success, making it easier to measure the impact of marketing activities and make data-driven decisions.
Consistency and coherence : It helps make sure that marketing efforts are consistent across various channels and messages, creating a unified brand image.
Increased collaboration : The planning process involves various team members and stakeholders, fostering collaboration and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
Competitive advantage : A well-planned marketing strategy can give a business a competitive edge by identifying and capitalizing on unique selling points and market opportunities.
The marketing planning process typically involves various individuals and roles within an organization.
- Marketing team : Responsible for developing and executing marketing strategies.
- Senior management : Provides guidance and approval for the overall marketing strategy.
- Sales team : Collaborates to ensure alignment with sales objectives.
- Product managers : Offer insights into product positioning.
- Market research analysts : Provide data-driven insights.
- Creative teams : Contribute to content and materials.
- Finance department : Manages budget and resource allocation.
- External agencies : Collaborate on strategy and execution.
- Legal and compliance teams : Ensure adherence to regulations.
- IT and technology teams : Implement marketing technology.
- Customer service and support : Offer customer feedback insights.
- Suppliers and partners : Involved in collaborations or partnerships.
The marketing planning process is essential whenever a business wants to introduce a new product, expand its market reach, rebrand, or improve its competitive position. It’s also crucial during times of significant change, such as mergers, market shifts, or when there’s a need to address declining sales.
Moreover, it’s beneficial for startups looking to establish a market presence or for established companies aiming to refresh their strategies. Essentially, whenever there’s a need for a clear, structured approach to achieve marketing goals or when there’s uncertainty in the market, the marketing planning process becomes an invaluable tool for guiding successful marketing initiatives.
Creately serves as a versatile, collaborative space where marketing professionals can visually brainstorm, plan, and execute their marketing strategies efficiently, making the marketing planning process more dynamic and accessible.
Start by setting up a virtual workspace on Creately. Create boards that represent different aspects of your marketing plan, such as market analysis, user personas, objectives, strategies, and tactics.
Invite your marketing team to the workspace and encourage them to brainstorm ideas visually . Use digital sticky notes, brainstorming templates from the in-app templates library, and text to capture insights, objectives, and strategies. This collaborative approach allows for a diverse range of ideas.
Embed market research findings, competitor analyses, and relevant data into your workspace. Or attach documents, reports, etc. under the notes section of relevant shapes. This provides a shared resource for the team to reference during planning.
Use Creately’s visual mapping tools to outline the customer journey, sales funnel, or any visual representation that helps convey your strategies and tactics more effectively. Additionally you can also find templates for these from the in-app template library or the templates community on the site.
Assign tasks and responsibilities with shape data. You can use Kanban boards and task cards to create tasks and assign them to team members and track their progress.
Creately allows real-time collaboration with real-time multi-user editing, comments, Microsoft Teams integration, etc. so team members can work together, even remotely. It’s perfect for cross-functional teams working on marketing planning.
Presentation and sharing
Once your marketing plan is ready, you can export it for presentations or sharing with stakeholders. Creately offers various export options to ensure your marketing plan reaches the right audience effectively.
An effective marketing planning process is your key to successful marketing strategies. By setting goals, understanding your market, and creating a well-structured plan, you’ve laid the groundwork for marketing success. With the right approach, your marketing efforts will not only be creative but also well-aimed at achieving your business goals.
Join over thousands of organizations that use Creately to brainstorm, plan, analyze, and execute their projects successfully.
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Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Creately, online diagramming and collaboration tool. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.
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Event Management Business Plan
- Services/ Consulting , Entertainment Industry , Startup , Business Plan , Browse by Categories , Browse by Industry , Services/ Consulting Business Plan , Entertainment Industry Financial Model
The Event Management business plan guides your business from inception to a multi-year strategy, addressing key challenges and presenting your vision to potential investors. Our template provides a comprehensive structure, aligning your business idea and management objectives, serving as a vital reference for achieving operational targets and milestones.
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Table of Contents
Embarking on the journey of establishing an event management business is a thrilling endeavor, and a well-crafted business plan is fundamental to its success. A comprehensive business plan serves as a strategic guide, providing crucial insights and attracting potential investors . This article introduces an Event Management Business Plan Template , a valuable resource to assist you in developing a plan that addresses key elements essential for the growth and prosperity of your event management venture.
Utilizing the Event Management Business Plan Template
Our Event Management Business Plan Template offers a clear and practical framework for formulating a business plan tailored to your event coordination and planning enterprise. Whether you are initiating a new event management business or seeking to enhance an existing one, this template furnishes a valuable structure to ensure the inclusion of all vital components in your plan.
For clients seeking to personalize their business plans, we extend our expertise for seamless customization. Elevate your vision with our assistance, ensuring a tailored approach to meet your specific needs and aspirations.
Let’s delve into the fundamental elements encompassed in this template.
Embarking on the journey of event management requires a well-crafted business plan. In our Event Management Business Plan Template, we provide a comprehensive company summary that introduces your event management venture, outlining key details such as your unique selling proposition, target market, and business goals. This section serves as the foundation for your strategic direction.
Identifying challenges in the event management industry is crucial. Our template addresses common hurdles faced by event planners, ensuring your business plan includes a detailed problem statement. By acknowledging industry challenges, you can tailor solutions that set your event management business apart.
Crafting a successful event management business plan involves proposing effective solutions to industry challenges. Our template guides you in presenting innovative approaches, from streamlining the planning process to incorporating technology trends. This section ensures your plan is solution-oriented and ready for implementation.
In the dynamic event management industry, professionals coordinate a spectrum of events, including corporate functions, virtual experiences, and social gatherings. This thriving sector, embracing wedding planners and diverse event planning businesses, caters to a broad clientele. Armed with strategic event budgets and leveraging social media platforms, the industry adapts to evolving trends, including the rise of hybrid events. Event design and efficient event management software play pivotal roles, ensuring seamless execution and the achievement of event goals. As the industry continually evolves to meet the demands of special events, its future remains vibrant and resilient.
Identifying your target audience and market trends is pivotal. Our business plan template guides you through a comprehensive market analysis, ensuring you tailor your services to meet the evolving demands of your clients. This section provides a roadmap for effective marketing strategies.
Assessing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats is a fundamental step. Our template facilitates a detailed SWOT analysis, helping you make informed decisions and fortify your event management business against potential challenges.
Understanding your competitors is essential for standing out in the market. The competitive analysis section in our template guides you through identifying key competitors, analyzing their strategies, and determining your unique selling proposition.
In our dynamic marketing strategy, we deploy an integrated approach to reach diverse event segments, from corporate events to virtual conferences and social gatherings. With a team of expert event managers, we showcase our proficiency in delivering seamless experiences. Harnessing the power of social media platforms, we engage potential clients and customers, highlighting our virtual event capabilities and innovative hybrid event solutions. Our budget-friendly approach to social events, coupled with the strategic integration of cutting-edge event management software, positions us as a reliable choice in the industry. By nurturing potential clients through informative marketing materials and setting strategic event goals, we solidify our commitment to delivering successful and impactful events. Our participation in event management platforms enhances our market presence and fosters valuable industry connections, ensuring a dynamic and influential position in the competitive event management landscape.
Setting and achieving milestones is crucial for tracking your business’s growth. Our template helps you define realistic milestones, from client acquisition goals to successful event execution, fostering continuous improvement.
Efficient day-to-day operations are the backbone of a successful event management business. Our template assists in detailing your operational plan, covering aspects like event logistics, vendor coordination, and client satisfaction strategies.
A robust financial plan is vital for the fiscal health of your event management business. Our template guides you through creating detailed financial projections, including budgeting, cash flow management, and growth prospects.
Introducing your skilled and dedicated team is key to building trust with clients and investors. Our template ensures your business plan highlights the expertise and contributions of your team members.
What is the purpose of an event management business plan, and how does it guide the company’s strategic direction?
An event management business plan serves as a roadmap, outlining the company’s goals, target audience, and unique selling proposition. It guides strategic decisions, ensuring a focused and effective approach to business growth.
Can I customize the event management business plan template to align with the specific needs and nuances of my event management business concept?
Absolutely. Our template is designed for easy customization, allowing you to tailor it to the unique aspects of your event management business, ensuring relevance and accuracy.
What components are encompassed in the event management business plan template to provide a comprehensive overview of the business?
The template covers essential components, including a detailed company summary, problem statement, solution proposal, industry and market analysis, SWOT and competitive analysis, marketing and operational plans, financial projections, milestones, and an introduction to your team.
How will using this template contribute to the development and success of my event management business, and in what ways does it assist in addressing industry challenges?
This template provides a structured approach to planning, and addressing industry challenges by offering innovative solutions. It ensures a comprehensive understanding of your business, fostering development and success.
What financial details should I incorporate into the event management business plan to present a thorough understanding of the company’s fiscal health and growth prospects?
Include detailed financial projections such as budgeting, cash flow management, and growth prospects. This provides investors and stakeholders with a thorough understanding of your event management business’s financial health.
In the dynamic landscape of event management, success hinges on a nuanced understanding of various event types, from corporate events and virtual gatherings to social events and hybrid experiences. A skilled event manager, armed with the right event planning business strategy and event management software, orchestrates seamless events, be it weddings or special occasions. The meticulous event planning process, coupled with captivating event design and strategic use of social media platforms, attracts potential clients and customers. With detailed event budgets and marketing materials, event organizers can navigate the industry, setting and achieving event goals. In this vibrant space, an event management platform emerges as the linchpin, connecting event industry professionals, potential clients, and a myriad of special events, ensuring a thriving and dynamic future for the world of events.
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Access our collection of user-friendly templates for business planning, finance, sales, marketing, and management, designed to assist you in developing strategies for either launching a new business venture or expanding an existing one.
You can use the templates below as a starting point to create your startup business plan or map out how you will expand your existing business. Then meet with a SCORE mentor to get expert business planning advice and feedback on your business plan.
If writing a full business plan seems overwhelming, start with a one-page Business Model Canvas. Developed by Founder and CEO of Strategyzer, Alexander Osterwalder, it can be used to easily document your business concept.
Download this template to fill out the nine squares focusing on the different building blocks of any business:
- Value Proposition
- Customer Segments
- Customer Relationships
- Key Activities
- Key Resources
- Key Partners
- Cost Structure
- Revenue Streams
For help completing the Business Model Canvas Template, contact a SCORE business mentor for guidance
From creating a startup budget to managing cash flow for a growing business, keeping tabs on your business’s finances is essential to success. The templates below will help you monitor and manage your business’s financial situation, create financial projections and seek financing to start or grow your business.
This interactive calculator allows you to provide inputs and see a full estimated repayment schedule to plan your capital needs and cash flow.
Marketing helps your business build brand awareness, attract customers and create customer loyalty. Use these templates to forecast sales, develop your marketing strategy and map out your marketing budget and plan.
How healthy is your business? Are you missing out on potential growth opportunities or ignoring areas of weakness? Do you need to hire employees to reach your goals? The following templates will help you assess the state of your business and accomplish important management tasks.
Whether you are starting your business or established and looking to grow, our Business Healthcheck Tool will provide practical information and guidance.
Learn how having a SCORE mentor can be a valuable asset for your business. A SCORE mentor can provide guidance and support in various areas of business, including finance, marketing, and strategy. They can help you navigate challenges and make important decisions based on their expertise and experience. By seeking out a SCORE mentor, you can gain the guidance and support you need to help grow your business and achieve success.
SCORE offers free business mentoring to anyone that wants to start, currently owns, or is planning to close or sell a small business. To initiate the process, input your zip code in the designated area below. Then, complete the mentoring request form on the following page, including as much information as possible about your business. This information is used to match you with a mentor in your area. After submitting the request, you will receive an email from your mentor to arrange your first mentoring session.
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
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