When people think about event marketing, they often focus on the end goal: an enjoyable in-person event where both the host and attendees find value. At Localist, we see the value in not just events themselves, but in the event marketing content. After all, marketing your event is what gets people through the door so they can even begin to have a great time at your event.
So what is event content?
When you look at a typical online calendar, you usually see just a few details, such as a time and place. A jazz concert series, for example, might held at Central Park West at 7 p.m. on a certain date — but most people’s curiosity doesn’t end there. Is this information event content? It’s not. In fact, it’s barely scratching the surface of what your audience wants to know.
Who’s playing at the jazz concert? How have they been reviewed? Is it improv jazz or classical? Will any of your friends be going? What is Central Park West, anyway? This question goes beyond just wondering about the address…is the location outside? How can attendees get there? Who’s organizing the event? Is it possible to see photos of the performers or venues?
The answers to these questions are what’s called event content. Robust event content leads to events that are more discoverable, attended and enjoyed, because it’s information that your audience needs before deciding to attend.
We want to make your events the best that they can be. This means optimizing your event content and making sure your events are discoverable to the audiences who would benefit from them.
Event content does more than just advertise your event. It makes your event better. It gives your organization’s followers a greater understanding of what you’re about. Anyone can host an ice cream social. But what if that ice cream social featured ice cream sandwiches made by the hottest boutique gelato company in the region? And what if one lucky attendee gets a lifetime supply of said gelato? Choosing to highlight that ahead of time yields dividends on the investment you’re making in your community.
Your attendees can’t know what you don’t show them. Just having the event is the bare minimum. How you use the event, and its content, to broadcast your message to your community is where the real power is.
In addition, how your audience engages with your event content can tell you a lot about your organization’s influence in your community.
Think about a typical event that requires registration. Some percentage of people register (or buy tickets), and 90 percent of those registered actually attend. But what about all the people who didn’t buy a ticket, but were interested in the event? What about the people who would have attended if they knew the event was taking place, but didn’t, because the content wasn’t easily discoverable?
Asking your audience about their experience at your event is just scratching the surface. Watching your audience at your events, and watching how they engage with your event content online, can give you a lot of guidance on how you should invest your marketing budget in event programming in the future.
We think that’s the value of event content – that it informs both your event and your audience, and that it serves as another jumping off point for watching how your audience interacts with the event and each other.