In part one of this series of articles focusing on using Marketing Automation for managing events, we spoke about automating your activities related to the preparation phase of your event. We showed you many useful scenarios you can use to mail out your event invitations and what to do once you have got people registering for it.
Today, we will move one step forward and talk about how automated processes can help you and your event attendees during the event itself.
Marketing Automation for During the Event
Now, when I say automated processes in the context of your already happening event, I am talking specifically about automated emails sent just at the right time to help people navigate throughout the event.
You will probably want to set up automated emails if the event is spanning multiple days and there is a lot of information that the attendees need to absorb, such as where to pick up their badge, where the keynote will take place, or how to get my meal voucher.
Sending out automated emails to your attendees during the event will help them stay focused, organized, and enjoy the event to its full extent. People will not have to search their inboxes in order to find the information you sent them days before the event, and your colleagues helping at the conference will not have to answer the same questions multiple times a day. It is a win-win for both parties.
What Information to Provide?
Remember, as an organizer you have been working on this event for some time already, but what may seem obvious to you, may not be to your event attendees. Put yourself into their shoes: If you were at this conference as an attendee, what information would you need to get so you have a good time throughout the whole event? Also, try to think about the things that would make you frustrated and anxious.
Our own experience from big conferences and the events we have organized ourselves allowed us to put together a list of topics you might want to consider for your automated emails.
- How to get to the venue – you have probably already provided this information as a part of your automated process after the attendee’s registration. However, you cannot rely on the fact that everybody read those emails. Make it easier for your attendees and provide the venue location again. If the conference starts at 9 AM, be sure that your marketing automation system sends the email well ahead of this time so the email is in the inbox right at the moment people need it.
- Where to pick up your badge – if it is a big venue, you don’t want people to get lost right at the beginning of the event, right? Navigate them through the whole process, make people aware of all the steps they have to take in order to register themselves once they get to the venue. I have been to conferences that took different approaches to the registration process —sometimes it is as easy as giving your name at a registration desk, sometimes you need to go through a self-service process and provide your name to a computer before they call you to the appropriate registration desk to pick up your badge. Just remember that the more information you provide ahead, the less frustrated your attendees will be—this is especially important at the beginning of the event when you want to make the best impression.
- How to get online – the first thing people will want to do after they pick up the badge (or maybe even before) is to connect to Wi-Fi. Not only can you provide the login information on the back of their badge but also via email right before the event starts so they do not have to search for old emails.
- Where to get refreshments – there is nothing worse than hungry attendees, is there? If snack/beverages are part of your event, provide information on where to find the food court, food trucks, or whichever way of catering you have opted for.
- How to get to the party tonight – if you have organized an evening party, you want to remind people of its location, starting time, and how they can get there. Believe me, there is no better way of finishing the day than a social event with people having fun and sharing their professional experience with others.
- How to get a discount to get to the hotel - whether it is from the conference or from the evening social event, you want people to know that you have arranged an Uber/taxi discount for them as a thank you for coming today.
- Answer frequently asked questions – You can expect people to have various questions during the event, such as “Where can I find the slides from the presentations?”, “Will there be video recordings from the sessions?”, or “How can I get a new badge if I have lost mine?”. Our recommendation is to address these questions before they even arise.
- How to buy a ticket for the next year – if you have opened registration for the next year’s event, it is a good idea to inform people about it while still at the event. Their positive emotions about the event can help them make an immediate decision and buy a ticket for the next year too.
- Attendee survey – just before the event comes to an end, you can ask the attendees to fill out a survey answering a few questions about the event they have just attended. It can give you valuable information on how people felt about the event and what changes you should make for the next year’s edition.
How Can Kentico Help?
Kentico Marketing Automation allows you to create an automated process containing any of the emails we just mentioned above. Typically, for processes during the event, you will want to create a linear process with an email type of steps where each email follows the other.
Let’s have a look at an example of a process below.
Even though the following process is triggered whenever someone registers for a conference, it will only start the day of the conference, June 15 at 7 AM. You can see that it is a simple process that sends a series of emails with some waiting time between them. The waiting time can be defined either by a specific date or a specific amount of time for which the process will halt.
If necessary, you can make your processes a little more complex by using other steps available in the toolbar than the email steps.
Let’s have a look here:
As you can see, the process uses a conditional step that splits the process into two branches based on whether the attendee provided feedback on the event or not. If yes, the attendee will get a 20% off the price of the ticket for next year.
Be on the Lookout for the Third Blog post!
The last blog post in the series Marketing Automation for Event management will be dedicated to the activities you might want to do once your event is finally over and how Marketing Automation can help you with that. We will keep you posted!