Conferences, festivals, Lunch and Learns, shows, training sessions, workshops... there are so many events that you organize a year!
Organizing an event is a task that requires a lot of thinking, preparation, and, mostly, time. I can imagine you already spent hours and hours sending invitations and talking to registered participants. With all the emails exchanged, you are probably short of time for focusing on the event itself and its successful execution. So what now? Automate!
Automate Your Events Throughout the Whole Event
Luckily for you, Kentico Marketing Automation allows you to send out email invitations, manage registrations, segment people in your processes, talk to the attendees during the event, and keep in touch with them after the event. And all this fully automatically.
This blogpost represents the first part of a series of three articles helping you set up you scenarios for:
1. Before the event
2. During the event
3. After the event
Let me show you today what processes we can set up for before the event—to invite people for the event, convert them into registered attendees, and make sure that those that registered really show up.
Prepare Your Processes Before the Invitation Mail-out
I guess the first thing you want to do as someone responsible for organizing an event is to send out invitations. After all, it is nonsense to organize an event without attendees, right? :)
I would recommend that you prepare your automated processes prior to the invitation mail-out. Not only will managing registrations be much easier for you this way but also the communication with event attendees will be faster, smoother, and personalized.
The following are some scenarios, and their possible modifications, that will help you invite people for the event and manage their registrations.
Before the Event: Managing Event Invitations
Note: The following scenarios assume that the event registration happens through a registration form placed somewhere on your website, typically a separate landing page created specifically for the event.
The following process allows you to send an event email invitation to a group of people you want to target with your event, in our case a conference about coffee. Note that there are all different types of steps in the process—email steps, wait steps, or conditional steps. The conditional steps play a very important role in the process as they split the process into branches based on whether the person in the process registered for the event or not.
GOAL OF THE PROCESS: Make people register for the event
MODIFICATION 1: Send more emails
You can extend and/or change the process depending on what your scenario is, for example, you might want to send more emails convincing people why they should attend the event. Be careful, you do not want to be too pushy or, on the other hand, give up too soon.
MODIFICATION 2: Replace the status step
You might also want to change the last step and instead of labeling the person with the status “Not interested”, you can replace it with a step that will add the person into a specific contact group so you have all people not attending your event in one place (use the “Change group” step).
TIP: Make sure that the labels for each step are all unique so it is easier for you to say, based on marketing automation reports, which of the contacts finished in what step. E.g., if you have two Wait steps in the process, name them differently, as you can see in the process above.
Before the Event: Reaching Out to Registered Participants
Great news... You have people registering for your event! But naturally, your job does not finish there. Setting up an automated process will help you make sure those that filled out the registration form (and potentially paid) really show up at your event.
The following workflow process starts for a contact, automatically, whenever they submit the registration form on the event landing page. What you might notice is that the system puts all registered participants into one contact group. It is because we want to have them in one place so we can potentially export their contact details or use them in other marketing activities.
In this particular scenario, we are working with the idea that the event happens on June 15, and the registrations will close a couple of days prior to the event. Therefore, you may notice that after the registration, the process only sends one email “Thank you for your registration”. The process then waits until a specific date to start sending out informational emails about how great the event is going to be and providing more information on the venue and speakers.
GOAL OF THE PROCESS: Make sure people that registered appear at the event
MODIFICATION 1: Change the contact’s status/group after registration
Remember! Some people may need more time to make up their minds about attending the event. It may happen that you labeled them as “Not interested”, or put them in a contact group for non-registered participants, but they changed their mind a few days later and registered for the event. In that case, you need to make sure that those people are correctly labeled or placed in the correct contact group if they registered for the event in the end.
MODIFICATION 2: Close the registrations later
To make sure that you have got as many registered attendees as possible, you might want to close the registrations only on the day of the conference (June 15).
In that case, we recommend adding one extra conditional step, First win, that splits the process based on the date when people submitted the registration form. The First win step reviews conditions from the top—the first condition that is met wins and the process continues in its branch. If none of the designed conditions is met, then the process moves the contact to the step connected with the red source point.
There are three possible branches when it comes to our scenario:
- Those that registered before June 9 will go through the process as you know it from the previous scenario.
- People that registered between June 9 and June 14 will only receive the email “Coffee Dance is tomorrow” as we want to make sure they only receive one email summarizing all the info they need
- People registering on the day of the conference, June 15, will not receive an email and the Event Manager will get in touch with them manually.
TIP: It may be more comfortable for you to place email steps in one row and all others of a different nature (Wait steps, conditional steps...) ABOVE (or BELOW them). This way, it will be very clear for you to see the number of emails you actually send to the participants.
The next blog post in this series will show you what processes you can create to keep in touch with the event attendees during the event, and what to keep in mind when creating them.