Why Facebook Events Hasn’t Solved Your Event Marketing Problems

Why Facebook Events Hasn’t Solved Your Event Marketing Problems

Facebook events vs event brite, events and E-mail marketingAlmost every one of the nonprofits with which we work runs multiple events each year. A few of the medical clinics and B2B companies with which we work also run at least one event each year. We’ve also worked with companies who want to host online webinars. What do all these events have in common? They need a way to effectively manage event marketing services like E-mail reminders, registration, attendee management and follow up.

For years our company has worked with Constant Contact as a partner on the E-mail side of things. They also offer an event platform we have used on occasion as well. In addition we’ve used the Facebook event marketing option and we have clients who have used event specific programs.

Choosing the right platform can make your event more successful and easier to follow up on. Know the options, your needs and your goals before making a commitment to one or the other.

Let’s Address Facebook Events First

Facebook events are a free way to promote your event. They take just a few minutes to create by uploading a picture, filling out information on the event and hitting publish. Then you can share the event with your friends and on your wall or the wall of other event organizers. Easy, free, what’s not to love, right?

Years ago when I led a community development organization, I sat in a meeting of other directors, one of whom was from the hometown of a very famous talk show host. This host came into town for an event and the community opened it as free to the public. The celebrity asked why they didn’t charge admission and turn the event into a fundraiser for a community organization. The celebrity went on to comment “Free events draw free people.”

Now that may be a little harsh, but that’s probably why it’s stuck with me all these years. It’s super easy to hit the “going” button on a free event. Whether or not you charge for your event, you will need to decide if pre-registration is needed for your event. If you want people to make more of a commitment, to leave you their contact information and to really gauge what your turnout might be, you’ll need to use more than just the free social media event tool. We encourage you to always set up a Facebook event for every event you host, but don’t make that your only event page (unless it’s for your kid’s birthday party, and then you’ll be fine).

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Email Platforms with Event Add Ons

As I said, we’ve used Constant Contact for several years, (although after the research we put into our recent report on other similiar platforms, I’m may be making a change). CC offers an event marketing platform that we’ve used for one time, non-admission related events. What I liked about their event marketing platform is it includes the options to create a landing page, a thank you and several announcements. We could also track who signed up for the event and add them to our E-mail marketing list automatically. What I did not like was those landing pages were very dated in their design and did not offer me the flexibility to make it look as professional as I would like.

If you are hosting one event a year for a relatively small group of people (200 or less), using one of these platforms with an event component would probably work very well. For organizations and companies that organize and host multiple events each year or host very large events, using a specialized event platform would be a wise investment.

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Much like E-mail marketing software, event marketing software can offer a variety of tools and options. Your event and number of attendees will dictate which platform meets your needs best. Tools like seat reservation, ticketing, name badge printing, on-site registration, hotel reservations and a host of other needs can be easily met through just one platform.

We also suggest you find a platform that will integrate with other marketing platforms you are already using. When your event is over, you’ll want to keep your organization or company top of mind with your attendees. Your event platform might not allow monthly follow ups of marketing information like your E-mail marketing platform will. A good integration allows you to track how your contacts found your company the first time, which events they attended and a lot of other data all in one location.

Big data is all the rage. Events allow you to collect some of the biggest data about your clients and offer you an opportunity to keep them engaged throughout the year. Choosing the right platform can make your registration run more easily or turn registration day into a nightmare. Choose carefully. Talk to others who have used the software and method. Do multiple run-throughs. Most of all, don’t rush into anything and don’t be afraid to change if it isn’t working.