If you’ve ever been responsible for running virtual events, you know the stress and anxiety of spending too much time and money trying to find, engage, and convert potential event attendees. The best way to overcome this problem is to automate your outreach process. This will only target the people most likely to attend, which saves you time and money.
In this article, we discuss the best ways to automate your virtual events, the benefits of doing so, and why supercharging your email marketing is so valuable. By the end of it, you’ll have some great ideas for how to automate your event marketing and management.
First, let’s briefly discuss event management automation.
What Is Event Management Automation?
Event management automation is the process of using software programs and other tools to automatically plan, execute, and report on the success of your events. It allows marketers to maximize the impact of their event marketing efforts by making events easier to manage. Every aspect of an event can be automated, including ticketing, attendee management, and follow-up emails for events.
The Benefits of Event Management Automation
The many benefits of using event automation techniques include:
- Save time. When implemented well, automating an event can return a significant amount of time. You won’t have to handle tasks like answering every email, issuing tickets, or managing content sharing manually.
- Save money. Saved time means saved money. When you automate the management of your events you won’t need to hire extra staff to manage or promote your events.
- Alleviate stress. Putting on an event can be stressful, especially when you have little experience. Automating every aspect of your event keeps the process hassle-free.
- Capture personal data. When you use event automation tools, you’re able to optimize attendee management. You’ll be able to collect personal data about each attendee so you can send customized messages, offers, and follow-up emails for events to entice them to attend future events.
How To Automate Your Event Management
The best way to automate your event management is to establish a well-defined workflow that helps you engage with your event attendees. When employed strategically, you’ll be able to upsell them to higher ticket levels, enable them to help promote your event, and boost your overall brand awareness.
Start by choosing the right event management software
Your first decision when designing your automated event workflow is to select an event management platform. A robust and feature-rich software platform will help streamline your virtual events, including attendee management, event registration, event access, and production reports.
There are many event automation platforms available, including Banzai. We offer a suite of virtual event automation management tools to help event managers handle every aspect of automation. When selecting a platform, make sure it integrates with other event management tools you use so you’ll be able to automate your entire event process.
Develop your marketing automation strategy
Once you’ve chosen an event automation platform, the next step is to develop your event engagement marketing strategy. The purpose of this strategy is to sign up attendees and manage your relationship with them once events end, by sending follow-up emails for future events.
An intuitive event management tool will help you automate repetitive tasks like ticket management, email reminders for marketing events, and requesting feedback for virtual events. When crafting your strategy, you’ll need to answer questions such as:
- How frequently will you contact your audience?
- How will you ensure your communications with attendees are personalized?
- Apart from email, which marketing tactics will you use (for example, sending out swag, offering early bird ticket offers, LinkedIn posts, etc.)?
- Which platforms and tools will you need to link to your event management software?
- How will you identify potential brand ambassadors within your group of attendees?
Once you’ve answered these and other relevant questions, you’ll be able to develop your event marketing strategy and put it into action.
Keep your marketing database up to date
Once you begin to sell tickets or take reservations (if it’s a free event), you need to collect accurate and personal data about each attendee. You can gather this information when attendees register to attend or when they check in for the event itself. Analyze this data to uncover marketing insights for future virtual events.
Automatically measure event content
During your event, you can automatically track which content the audience enjoys the most so you can refine it for future sessions. The tools within platforms like Banzai also enable you to request opinions in real time to gauge people’s interest in specific content. For example, if you find your attendees like a particular presenter more than others, you can send them follow-up emails for future events where the presenter is involved.
Automate feedback collection
Once the event is over, it’s important to ask attendees for feedback so you can improve future events. Streamlining this process is as simple as setting up an automated email asking event attendees to fill out a short survey. You can then use this data to request reviews and testimonials for marketing events and to improve the content and structure of future events.
Track your event promotion tactics
As they say, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. When it comes to tracking the effectiveness of your virtual event marketing, you can automate the process with event automation software. You’ll be able to track metrics like email open rates and conversion rates automatically to discover tactics work and which ones need refining.
Email Is King
Email is a critical component of automated event management. To get the most out of your email marketing, there are several important techniques you can use to create a powerful sales funnel that does all the work for you. Major email marketing platforms allow you to personalize emails and create different segmented lists easily, with different messages to appeal to them.
You should leverage three types of automated emails when marketing events, which we’ve outlined below in chronological order.
Automated pre-event emails
These emails build awareness about your upcoming hybrid or virtual events. The goal is to convince the recipient to register or purchase a ticket. These are the most important type of email, as they help you attract attendees.
Here’s an example of an automated pre-event email campaign:
Email #1. Keep the first email focused on the details of your event. For example, give a brief description of what the event topic is, describe what the attendee will get out of attending (benefits), and finish with a clear call to action (for example, have a “Register Now” button).
Email #2. The second email should be sent to anyone from the first email list who hasn’t registered yet. The goal is to remind them of your email and nudge them toward signing up. Label this email something like, “Just in case you missed it…” or, “Only 7 days now until our event…” and then remind them of the event details and include your call to action. It’s also important to create a sense of urgency so attendees don’t put off taking action.
Email #3. The third email can focus on trying to reassure potential attendees that attending your event will be worth their time. For example, you can include testimonials from past event attendees, short video clips of past events, and/or a summary of attendee feedback.
Email #4. If potential attendees still haven’t registered, you can send a final email reminding them the event is happening and give them one last opportunity to sign up. Send email number four a few days before the event.
Emails to registered attendees
The purpose of these emails is to build buzz about the event so registered attendees stay interested and remember your event is happening.
Here’s an example of emails to send to registered attendees:
Email #1. Once someone has registered, send an automated email that thanks them for registering and provides all of the event details so they can easily add everything to their calendar (if they haven’t already). You can also offer an incentive to promote the event to their friends and colleagues like a free ebook, swag, or a discount on future events.
Email #2. About a week before the event, it’s a good idea to send a second email that reiterates the event details (i.e., date, time, topic, individual speakers) so they’re reminded of it.
Email #3. The final email to registered event attendees should be sent a few days before the live date. This is simply a final reminder of the event details to drive home that it’s going ahead.
Automated post-event emails
Once the event has finished, your attendees are a great source of new referrals and may also want to attend your future virtual events. By implementing a series of automated follow-up emails for events you’ll be able to stay in contact with attendees through attendee management and, if applicable, continue trying to move them through your sales funnel.
Here’s an example of post-event emails:
Email #1. The first email should be a simple “thank you” message. You can also ask them for any feedback and provide a link for them to write a review. If you have future events coming up, you can use this email to invite them to attend and even offer a discount if it’s a paid event.
Email #2. The second post-event email can contain a summary of the event’s content or a video of it. Use this email to remind recipients of future virtual events and offer them a discount for attending.
Email #3. The final email can offer attendees premium content related to the topic of the event, such as an exclusive ebook. This email should be sent close to the date of an upcoming event so you can promote it.
Most importantly, remember to track every aspect of your campaign. This way, you’ll know what works and what needs refinement or removal from your workflow.
Event management automation is a powerful approach to get the most out of your virtual events. When implemented correctly, you’ll save time and money, reduce the stress of planning and executing events, and boost your bottom line.
We hope this article has helped you come up with some great ideas for marketing events and how to automate your next event. Just remember to use the best platforms available, create a plan, and track everything. Do it right, and you’ll be running highly successful events in no time — without the stress!