As marketers, we’re constantly planning our own and attending other’s events. Planning events can often seem like planning for the arrival of a newborn. There’s hospital arrangements to make, supplies to buy, people’s schedules to consider, travel arrangements… The list goes on and on.

And it doesn’t stop once the event takes place. Just like when a baby is finally born, after nine months of obsessive planning, there are a whole new set of plans to make and unforeseen issues to deal with. It’s easy to get lost in the details and forget, oh yeah, you have to raise a child at the end of it all.

Those details can be all consuming in event planning as well. You’re already busy arranging location details, speakers, materials and travel arrangements. Sometimes actually compiling a guest list is the last thing on your mind.

Planning events inside your marketing automation software organizes each step in the process.  It also consolidates each component (emails, landing pages, triggers, online forms) into one section of the software. This way, you can design a path event attendees will follow and associate the steps to one another.

You can even host multiple sessions all umbrellaed under one event. Let’s say you’re hosting a series of lunch and learns across the country- the content is all the same, only the days and cities are different. Inside your first email announcing your event, email recipients can select with event session they’d like to attend. From that point on, the MA software will store their session information and only send out information associated with that city.

For example, here is a typical path event attendees will follow from their initial invitation, to after they’ve attended your event and raved about it to friends and coworkers:

  1. Step One: Invite leads from your CRM with an initial email, including CTAs throughout the invite that take recipients to an online registration form
  2. Step Two: Allow guests to choose which session they’d like to attend (if hosting multiple sessions across different locations)
  3. Step Three: Send out triggered confirmation emails upon registration, including login information for online-based events, like webinars
  4. Step Four: Automatically send scheduled follow up emails providing additional information leading up to the event
  5. Step Five: Send scheduled post-event emails, thanking attendees, providing session recordings and links to a post-event survey

Sure, you could plan an event with each piece separated in the system and no communication across sections, but why give yourself the extra work?

Be sure your marketing automation software can connect to third-party software, like WebEx or GoToWebinar, when hosting online events. Once attendees register for your webinar or other online event, they’ll receive the required login information in the triggered confirmation email – they’re all ready to go! Just don’t forget to send out a reminder email one to two days before the online event.

Let’s face it, almost twice as many people register for events, both online and live, than actually attend. It’s time consuming to cross reference registrants with attendees while organizing post event correspondences.

Instead, implement a feature that allows guests to sign in during the event. Inside your marketing automation software’s Events feature, pull up a list of registrants (usually distinguished by their email address) on a laptop or tablet. Then, have attendees mark themselves as “attended”. Since the information is all stored in your MA system, just send a “Thank you for attending” email to the email addresses marked and a “Sorry we missed you” email to non-attendees.