Everyone dreams of planning an event that will pack the house and be known as “the event of the season.” Large events can sometimes have big budgets to match, which allows them to provide high-quality catering and decoration, as well as prominent keynote speakers and industry voices that pull high attendance.
Fortunately, you don’t always need the star power of a celebrity to get people interested in your event. You might just need influencers respected by your target audience.
Who exactly are influencers?
At a basic level, influencers are people who are able to influence others through their words or actions. They may have influence over 10 or 10 million people, but regardless of the reach, their audience closely listens to their opinions and makes decisions based on them.
In the past, successful influencers maximized their reach through mass media, such as print, television or radio. But with the democratization of media through the internet and social media, we have seen the birth of “micro-influencers” who have devoted followings in small niches.
How to choose the right influencer
By partnering with an influencer, you can access their existing audience to promote your event. But many event planners interested in leveraging influencer marketing often worry that it is too expensive.
Fortunately, there are influencers who are willing to work at most every level of budget. Don’t feel forced to work with influencers who demand high fees; instead, focus on micro-influencers with smaller, targeted audiences and much more reasonable budget requirements.
In many cases, you will find that these influencers are just as, if not more, effective. They have highly targeted followings that celebrity influencers might not. While their tweets or Instagram posts might not get as many impressions, each impression they do get is far more valuable. In promoting your meeting via social media, this means that each impression has a much higher chance of converting into an attendee at your event.
How do I connect with the right influencers?
Find the right micro-influencers by searching Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn hashtags relevant to your audience, event and industry. If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, then a simple Google search of “top hashtags” for your industry will give you a good starting point.
Look for social media platforms that use your chosen hashtags, post consistently and have followers who regularly engage. Once you’ve identified one or a few ideal prospects, do some research to find their personal or professional email account to establish some rapport. Be sure to outline your organization, your overall mission, and how you hope that influencer might be able to contribute.
Start this process early so that your engagement builds over time and feels organic. Even influencers with small followings can feel inundated by frequent pitches. Also, remember that any arrangement you come to with an influencer must be mutually beneficial. If your event budget allows, consider paying them to promote your event on their social media pages.
Additionally, you might also try to entice an influencer to participate in your event by offering the following incentives:
- Affiliate payment for each ticket they help you sell (verified through a unique promo code)
- Speaking time at your event to promote their products or brand
- Giving them time to promote their products or brand at your event
Alternatively, you can engage with relevant influencers that you may already have a relationship with. These conversations will lead to much faster conversions, as they already know you and are more willing to help you as a favor.