How To Make Your Event Seem As Amazing Online As It Does In Real-Life

Social Media Week

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“Getting people in the room increases conversion. We know this.”

Ben Hindman, the CEO and Co-Founder of Splash, has spent years understanding the importance of events for customer acquisition. Before founding Splash, an experience marketing platform that maximizes event impact, Hindman ran events for Thrillist. He’s begun to see businesses using events in an interesting way, keeping cost per acquisition (CPA) low while maximizing impressions.

In Hindman’s view, “Pizza is your new CPA.”

Most often, events strategies do not get nearly as much recognition as a viable marketing channel, which Hindman sees as a mistake. People achieve an elevated consciousness just from being in the room, placing them at the ‘top of the funnel’ when it comes to driving leads, launching new products, and, of course, driving sales.

Nike, Lululemon, Coach, and Sephora are all thinking about events at the center of their marketing channels, which Hindman knows from working with them on Splash.

It’s important not to think about an event as a single opportunity to engage with customers—be they other businesses or consumers—because it’s all about getting people to come back the second time.

“Events are not a one-night-stand,” Hindman explained. “Events are a first date.”

Similarly, Hindman stressed the importance of planning out your interactions and your sequence long in advance of each advance. At each touch point with guests, focus on the action they will ideally take after reading your email (or social media post), whether its driving them to the pre-event page or getting them to share the event with friends.

Reminder emails, for example, are more effective as an announcement than a pure reminder. Save an exciting component of the event for an announcement the day before, increasing people’s last-minute excitement and making sure they show up.

Looking ahead, Hindman expects to see more and more of “the branded meetup,” community events that loyalists to a brand will host on their own in support of the brand. Brands will need to understand how to incentivize and track these types of events, as well as what tools to provide to loyalists to make sure the event is on-brand. These types of events may be even more powerful, as they reach new customers through the lens of someone that person already trusts.

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Kate Canfield

MBA Student, Columbia Business School


Kate is an MBA student at Columbia Business School focused on technology, entrepreneurship and international business. Before grad school, she directed business development for a New York City startup and managed a team of consultants on revenue-driving strategies for new ventures. She has supervised product-development across multiple projects as a nonfiction editor at St. Martin’s Press and has reported on events and conferences on a range of topics in NYC since 2011. She holds a B.A. cum Laude in economics from Amherst College.

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