Marketing and Sales Automation for Event Planners

friends at festival

At some point in the mid 90’s my mom threw me a birthday party. I was really into gymnastics at the time, so she booked a Saturday afternoon in the gym for me and all my friends to tumble and play. When 12PM rolled around and my friends and I showed up to the gym, we were greeted with locked doors. Apparently the owners had totally forgotten about my party.
My mom racked her brain for a plan B, and all the parents scrambled to get the kids to the next destination as soon as possible. It was a total train wreck. My mom was fielding calls all afternoon from people who showed up at the gym and didn’t get the memo. Again, this was the 90’s, so she was working analog. Luckily, in today’s world, we have automation to avoid this in the first place. Using automation, you can send scheduled reminders to all your venues and vendors, and reach out to all of our guests at any time to remind them of the event or, in my case, let them know if the plan has changed. When it comes to throwing an event without a hitch, marketing and sales automation is here to help.

Automate appointments with a solution like Calendly

When you’re getting ready for a big event, scheduling can feel like a nightmare. Luckily, there are tools like Calendly that ease some of the pain. You can send clients and vendors your schedule so they can select the time that works best for them. Once they schedule something, that time will be blocked off to avoid double booking. On top of that, they can add the meeting to their own calendar so it stays on their radar.
A couple other killer features are the ability to control the number of meetings you have daily, and buffer times between meetings. No need to race across town for 4 different back-to-back meetings.
Where does ActiveCampaign come into play? Well, ActiveCampaign integrates with Calendly through Zapier. With this integration you can trigger deal changes, update contact records, create a tracked event, or start an automation as soon as someone schedules or cancels a meeting.

Automate reminders and inquiries

When it’s getting closer to your event, you might want to check in with some of your vendors to make sure there aren’t any issues. Using a date-based automation trigger, you can send campaigns out to your vendors checking on the status of things.
marketing automation for event planners
What an check-in campaign automation might look like
You can also use personalization tags to make sure the right information gets to the right people. Now you can automatically reach out to everyone you need to all at once, without accidentally leaving anyone out. Want to take it a step further? Try sending yourself a notification if a reply isn’t received within a certain amount of time so that you can call them or follow up again some other way.

With integrations, you can move contacts along in your pipelines

The DocuSign integration enables you to move your contacts along in your pipeline as soon as they sign their contracts. That way, you know exactly who is still pending, who has signed, and communicate accordingly.
Integrating with your Payment Processor can be hugely beneficial as well. When a payment is submitted you can automatically move a deal record into your new customer pipeline or trigger a new customer on-boarding automation. This will help you to communicate with these people as soon as they make their payment and direct them to any possible next steps.

Subscribe users to a list for each event

You can export your RSVP list from systems like Eventbrite and import them into your ActiveCampaign account. Using this list of RSVP’ed contacts, you can automate reminders to send to the entire list before the event. (or, send any last minute updates they might need to know)

Use the iPad forms app to track who actually attended

Using the ActiveCampaign iPad forms app, you can have attendees sign into your event. Using this information, you can update contacts that attended versus contacts that RSVP’ed and you can use this information to track your attrition rate.
It’s also worth trying different forms of outreach for different segments of contacts so you can test different types of outreach to find the best method to lower your attrition rate.

Follow up on anniversaries, birthdays, etc.

Keep working with your clients! Store the date of an event for contacts and create an automation to reach out as that date approaches. Let them know you remember their birthday or anniversary, and offer to get started working on another event for them.

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