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How to bring your event to life with a team of experts

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Stephanie Chacharon
September 24, 2019

Events are essential to an effective marketing strategy. Nearly 90% of execs plan to grow their event budgets in the next year, and 30% of marketers believe that events are the most important marketing channel. Whether online (webinar, virtual summit, live stream, etc) or physical (conference, tradeshow, seminar, workshop, or breakfast/lunch/dinner), events drive brand awareness, lead generation, customer engagement, and education.

But delivering a compelling, impactful event experience requires planning, strategy, and a mix of the right skills and experience. Here’s how to build the team you need to successfully bring your event to life.

Event marketing resource types & considerations

The ideal event marketing team consists of a combination of resources, including full-time employees (FTEs), consultants/contractors/freelancers, agencies, and vendors. Consider the following when weighing what type of resources to engage:

Employee or not

Do you need an FTE or an on-demand resource (such as a consultant, agency, or vendor)? Consider how long you'll need each specific resource, how integrated each role will be with your core event team, and whether there are skills gaps on your existing team.

Consultant/freelancer vs agency

Do you want to assemble a SWAT team of experts with specific skills (project-based and on-demand) or go with an agency team (retainer model)? Do you value building relationships with specific experts or working with a team that may not provide full visibility into its members or process?

Logistics

Full-time or part time? Year-round or seasonal? Onsite or remote? Not all event marketing roles demand year-round, on-site resources. Consider what’s right for each component of your event support team. For example, a graphic designer may work remotely for 10-20 hours a week in the months leading up to the event, while it makes sense for a project marketing manager to work onsite year-round to manage the many moving pieces of an event series.

Strategy or execution

Do you need someone who can set the strategic direction or a doer to execute against that event strategy—or someone who can do both?

Experience level

In that same vein, can a bright, but relatively inexperienced resource get the job done or do you need a seasoned event pro? For example, a social media manager with a few years of experience could do a stellar job managing the event’s social presence, while a presentation coach would benefit from past hands-on experience working with speakers on a range of topics and presentation formats.

Historic or institutional knowledge vs specific skillset

Does your event require historic or institutional knowledge of the event, industry, or company? Or is it more important to have experts around specific skillsets, such as social media, event branding, event management, and so on? Is past experience with your type of event (format, size, audience) a need-to-have or nice-to-have?

Event marketing dream team

Effectively marketing an event requires a coordinated effort before, during, and after. While events vary wildly in scale and type, here’s our dream event marketing team:

Event marketing project manager

All successful events have one thing in common: incredible organization. A project manager(s) can wrangle all the many details surrounding an event, from planning (things like topic tracks & speaker CFCs, venue & registration details, branding & strategy development) and development (tracking digital and creative assets and managing things like stakeholder communications, speaker submissions, and agencies and vendors) to execution (coordinating on-site resources, managing timelines, handling last-minute changes). Whether an employee or a consultant, the ideal project manager for your event is a hyper-organized, excellent communicator and multi-tasker, who thrives on making order out of event chaos.

Event marketing strategist

You’ll want an event and marketing pro to help set your event’s marketing strategy, including identifying who your target audiences are and how to reach them and building an event brand that reflects your goals and speaks your attendees’ language. Depending on the size and reach of your event and how integrated it is with other elements of your business, this could be a FTE or an on-demand resource who sets your event marketing plan before handing it off to specialists to execute.

Graphic designer(s)

A good graphic designer (or team!) can truly set your event marketing apart. They understand your event brand and audience inside and out and create the print and digital assets you need to market your event, including website assets, ad creative, digital banners, social media assets, printed agendas, banners and signage, presentation decks, and more. Identify the full scope of your event marketing BoM and the complexity of the design before weighing whether to engage a consultant (or few) or a creative agency.

Writer & content creator(s)

From event messaging and PR promos to digital & print content, email campaigns, interview briefs, and speaker talking points, you need talented storytellers who can craft your event narrative and clearly communicate the essence of your event.

Social media manager(s)

Before, during, and after your event, you need an expert (or a team of experts) to plan, create, and post content from your brand/event account. Hashtags, platforms, creative assets, and social listening—they'll help you drum up and sustain interest leading up to your event; identify and engage with thought leaders and influencers; and create and amplify real-time event hot takes.

Presentation coach(es)

Public speaking—especially compelling, persuasive public speaker—is an art form that takes practice to master. Presentation coaches help your subject matter experts (SMEs) and speakers turn their expertise into a polished, interesting presentation that works for your event, audience, and session format (keynote, workshop, panel, etc). Ideally, a coach will also work with presenters on creating or ideating any companion content such as slides, hand outs, or activities.

Video production team

Whether conducting on-site interviews, live-streaming keynote presentations, recording sessions, or filming promo B-roll, an experienced video production team can capture your event experience and extend its reach far beyond the actual event.

Hire an on-demand event marketing expert

Our event marketing experts bring event experiences to life. Here’s how we can help:

Communications

  • Event branding – strategy, messaging, and management
  • Communications strategy
  • Storytelling
  • Speechwriting & keynotes
  • Speaker advisory & coaching
  • Speaker briefing docs, coordination, and prep
  • Writing & editing
  • Presentation content & strategy

Marketing

  • Event strategy & readiness
  • Social media & community management
  • Email marketing
  • Graphic design (digital & print)
  • Presentation design
  • Video production

Business operations

  • Program management
  • Project management
  • Event scheduling & logistics
  • Agency & vendor management
  • Budget management
  • Stakeholder management & comms
  • Reporting & analytics

To learn more, contact hello@simplicityci.com.