What Should Your Conference Marketing Plan Include?

There’s no question that conferences are a valuable way to connect with industry peers, gain new insights, and build your brand. Now that pandemic regulations have eased, marketers have more options for in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. In-person events have started to slowly resume, and 98% of marketers plan to host at least one in-person event this year.

Regardless of the type of event you choose, it’s important to have a comprehensive conference marketing plan. With the right strategy and tactics in place, you can ensure your event is successful and meets all of its goals.

To learn how to market a conference, let’s dive deeper into what your conference marketing plan should include. From choosing the most effective channels to setting up tracking and analytics systems, we’ll help you develop an effective conference marketing plan that will ensure success for any event you host.

Understand your event audience

First and foremost, you need to understand who your target audience is. Your event is primarily designed to attract a certain type of customer, so make sure you clearly identify who they are. Take the time to research what types of people attend conferences like yours and how they might be different from other potential attendees.

Here are four steps to understand your event audience:

Identify your target attendees

If you’re planning a conference, one of the key elements to marketing it effectively is understanding who your target attendees are. Knowing who your audience is will determine which marketing tactics you choose to ensure maximum attendance and success.

You can identify the ideal attendee for your event by considering factors such as age, industry, job title, and geographic location. Once you have identified the characteristics of this group, tailor all of your outreach with that in mind.

A customer persona is a great tool to help you visualize the ideal attendee. It entails creating a detailed profile of your target attendee based on the factors mentioned above. This will help you create marketing messages that will click with them and entice them to join your event.

One study found that 91% of consumers are more inclined to shop with businesses that show an understanding of their needs and preferences. This shows how important it is to understand what is relevant to your target attendees and how you can use that information to market your event more effectively.

Determine attendee pain points

Now that you know the type of attendee you want to reach, you can then determine the possible pain points that your target audience may have. You can do this by asking yourself questions like:

  • What are the challenges that my target attendees face?
  • What topics would be most relevant to them?
  • What will help solve their problems or make life easier for them?

Five tips for discovering attendee pain points include:

  • Talk to the leaders in your industry, as they will have a good understanding of what people need.
  • Analyze trends and research from previous events and conferences.
  • Monitor relevant social media conversations for feedback about needs or problems that could be addressed at your event.
  • Look at competitor events for ideas on topics, speakers, formats, and more, that you can use or improve upon.
  • Ask your potential attendees directly — either through surveys or focus groups.

This way, you can ensure that the topics and sessions at your conference match the needs of your audience. The more relevant the content, the more likely your attendees will be to register and show up.

Analyze Past Attendee Data

Next, you should analyze past attendee data. By understanding who has attended your events in the past, you can better target potential attendees and create content that speaks directly to their interests.

You can review data from previous registration forms and other sources that you already have. Collate the data and look for patterns. Which topics were most popular? What cities had the highest number of attendees? Knowing this information can help you shape your conference marketing plan in a more effective way.

Conduct market research

You can also gain valuable potential attendee information through market research, such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups. This will help you understand your target audience’s needs, interests, and preferences.

These are the types of market research you can consider:


Talking with people who have attended conferences in the past will give you an idea of their expectations and what they’d like to see from your event. It’s also a great way to get feedback on any changes you’re considering.

Focus groups

Focus groups are a great way for marketing professionals to understand how potential attendees feel about their conference experience. It’s a more in-depth way of understanding customer behavior.


Surveys offer insight into the wants and needs of potential attendees. The main advantage of surveys is that they can be done completely online, and you can collect a large volume of data quickly.

Aligning your conference goals & objectives

After identifying your target audience and their needs, it’s time to lay out your conference goals and objectives. This is a crucial step in any successful conference marketing plan as it will define how you measure success and guide the rest of your strategies.

Your conference goals

In order to plan a successful conference, you must have clear objectives and goals. What do you want your conference to achieve? What’s the purpose behind it?

Ask yourself these questions before you begin creating your marketing plan. Once you have identified the main goal of the event, then you can start aligning your strategy with those objectives.

When setting goals, consider both short-term targets (like increasing registrations) and long-term outcomes (such as building relationships). For example, your short-term goal may be to increase attendance at this year’s event by 10%, while a long-term goal could be to build a larger and more engaged community of attendees over the course of several years.

By clearly establishing short and long-term goals you’ll be able to track your progress and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Establish SMART objectives

Start by setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) objectives for your event that are realistic. This will both keep you on track throughout the entire process and provide tangible results for when the conference has concluded.

Here’s an event marketing plan example of how you can create SMART objectives for a conference:

  • Specific: Increase conference attendance by 20%.
  • Measurable: Track the number of attendees before and after marketing efforts.
  • Achievable: Create targeted campaigns to reach the desired audience.
  • Relevant: Find the right channels to create engagement.
  • Time-Bound: Monitor progress throughout the duration of the conference.

The objectives you set should act as a guide for the marketing plan. They will help inform your decisions about which channels and tactics to use, what messages to communicate, and how much budget to allocate.

Align marketing messages

What are you hoping to achieve with your event? Are you looking to educate attendees, create awareness of a product or service, generate leads, or increase sales? Knowing what your overall goal is will help inform the messaging in all of your promotional material.

Once you know what message needs to be conveyed, it’s important to ensure that all aspects of the plan — including emails, social media posts, and website copy — are consistent. This will allow potential attendees to easily understand the value of attending your event in a clear, concise way.

Developing a strategy

With the right strategy in place, you can maximize the success of your upcoming conference. Your overall plan should focus on promoting the event in a way that captures the attention of your target audience.

Prioritize promotion

When planning for a conference, you need to think about how you’ll promote it. A comprehensive marketing plan should include tactics to engage potential attendees and encourage them to register. You should also think about how to increase exposure for your event and make it stand out from the competition.

One of the most important steps in developing a successful promotion strategy is understanding who you are targeting. Identifying your target audience will help you determine which channels to use, what messaging to craft, and where to allocate resources. You’ll need to consider demographics such as age, location, interests, and more. This information can then be used when creating marketing campaigns.

Maximize tools at your disposal, such as event management platforms like Attendee Interactive. These platforms provide features such as automated emails, social media integrations, and data analysis, which can help you effectively reach your target audience.

Pick relevant promotion channels

When creating your conference marketing plan, you should carefully consider which channels will be the most effective for reaching your target audience. Research where your potential attendees are likely to spend their time online.

Effective event marketing strategies include relevant social media networks, blogs, and forums for your target audiences. Identify the platforms that make sense for optimal engagement and create a strategy for each one.

Pros and cons of popular channels

When deciding which channels to use for your marketing plan, consider the pros and cons of each. For instance, social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter can be effective tools for reaching a large audience quickly. However, they may not be as effective in creating deeper relationships with your potential attendees.

For more personalized interactions, you can create an email list or set up a blog to engage with your target audience. Blogging is great for building relationships and trust with potential attendees; however, it requires consistent content and may take longer to reach a large audience.

Manage your messaging strategy

Think about who you’re trying to reach and what they care about, then craft a message that resonates with them. Keep it simple and clear — don’t get bogged down in technical jargon or industry-specific terms.

To maximize impact, create a value proposition that speaks directly to your target audience. What will they gain by attending your event? Describe the benefits in a way that speaks to their interests.

Email remains one of the best ways to reach out to people and promote your event’s message. With four billion daily email users, there’s a great opportunity to spread the word about your conference.

Create a content calendar

Your conference marketing plan should also include a well-crafted content calendar that will help you plan out and structure all of your promotional efforts, from email campaigns to social media posts. Start by making a list of topics that might interest potential attendees, such as industry trends or relevant updates about the event itself.

Then create an outline for each topic with specific dates and times when they will be released on different platforms — this ensures consistent promotion and avoids any gaps in your messaging.

Leveraging social media to promote your event

Social media is a powerful tool for helping promote your event. It facilitates better engagement with potential attendees and creates a buzz in the lead up to your event.

Determine your social media strategy

To get the most out of your social media efforts, you must first decide on an effective strategy. You’ll want to consider which platforms are best suited for your goals and target audience, as well as how often you plan to post updates about the event.

Here are the most popular social media sites to promote your conference:


Facebook still dominates the social media landscape. With nearly three billion monthly active users as of April 2023, it’s an ideal platform to promote your conference.

Take advantage of the many features available such as creating a dedicated event page, running ads targeting certain demographics, and leveraging influencer marketing. You can also use Facebook analytics tools to track the performance of any content you post or advertise.


Another viable platform for conference marketing is Twitter. The platform offers the opportunity to target potential attendees with relevant content and offers. It also provides an easy way for them to share conference information with their friends and followers.

When using Twitter, you should keep in mind that tweets have a short shelf life, so make sure to post at least once a day or more, if possible. Additionally, use hashtags associated with the event whenever applicable and reach out to influencers who may be able to help promote your conference.


With its visual orientation, Instagram can be an excellent way to reach potential attendees and build interest in your event. When creating a strategy for Instagram, consider:

  • Creating a hashtag that will help spread awareness of your conference
  • Posting visuals that showcase the speakers and activities at the event
  • Utilizing influencers to promote your conference
  • Leveraging user-generated content to build further engagement


One platform that has grown significantly in popularity over recent years is TikTok. It has gained 1.7 billion users worldwide in 2022, a 66% increase over 2020.

TikTok has captured the hearts of younger audiences, specifically those aged 18 to 24 years old. This makes it a great platform for promoting conferences if you are targeting this demographic.

Creating fun and engaging content is key to success on TikTok. This can include snippets that showcase the conference itself, or it can be something more lighthearted like a challenge for users to join and attempt.. As long as your content resonates with your target audience, you’re sure to generate interest for your event.


LinkedIn is a great platform to get the word out about your conference, particularly to a more professional audience. You can create a dedicated event page, post updates about it, and share content from speakers or sponsors if applicable. Make sure to use relevant hashtags and include visuals like images or videos whenever possible to make your posts stand out.

Use LinkedIn Groups to post updates about your upcoming conference, including key dates, speakers, and featured topics. Leverage influencers in your industry by asking them to join the group or invite their followers. Additionally, explore sponsored posts on LinkedIn that can target potential attendees who may not be familiar with your brand.

Create engaging content

One of the top conference marketing ideas is to create engaging content. When developing your content, think about the value you can provide followers with interesting facts and stories related to the event, as well as photos from previous events or behind-the-scenes peeks. Additionally, be sure to use hashtags and mentions to increase engagement and reach more people.

Maximize paid social media advertising

Paid campaigns can be tailored toward specific audiences, enabling you to target potential attendees who may not yet be aware of your event. To maximize the effectiveness of your paid campaigns, use compelling visuals, creative copy, and relevant hashtags.

Engage with attendees

Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with your event’s target audience. Before the conference, use social platforms to establish an online presence and build relationships with potential attendees. Create a hashtag to monitor conversations related to the event, use relevant influencers to reach wider audiences, and keep followers up-to-date on the latest developments.

During the conference itself, use social media as a way for attendees to interact with each other and share their experiences in real time. Encourage them to post photos or videos of sessions that they’ve attended, ask questions about what they’ve learned, and make announcements about upcoming events.

After the event, thank attendees for their participation and ask them to share their thoughts on the conference. You can also solicit feedback from those who didn’t attend, giving you invaluable insights into what works and what doesn’t for your event.

Measure the success of your marketing plan

Creating a conference marketing plan for an event doesn’t just involve coming up with an idea and then executing it. You also need to measure the success of your plan so you can make sure that you are reaching your goals.

Define your metrics

First, you need to define what success looks like for your conference marketing plan. What metrics should you track to measure the success of your efforts? Are you looking for an increase in registrations, a higher return on investment (ROI), or more engagement from attendees? Once you have identified the metrics that are important to you, create goals and track them over time.

Collect data

Next, collect information on your conference’s performance and goals. This data can include attendance, the number of speakers, types of attendees, topics discussed, and overall satisfaction with the event. To get an accurate picture of the success of your plan, collect this information before beginning any marketing efforts and again after completion.

Analyze results

Now, you can dive deeper into how successful your conference marketing plan was. Analyzing the results of your efforts will help you understand what worked and where there is room for improvement.

Start by looking at metrics such as total website visits, number of registrations, cost per registration or ticket sale, click-through rates from emails and social media posts, and so on. You can also review surveys that were conducted to gauge customer satisfaction after attending the event. This feedback can be invaluable in helping you shape future events.

Adjust your strategy

With enough information, you can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your conference marketing plan and adjust it accordingly. To ensure success, measure the effectiveness of your efforts by tracking how many people register for the event, how much revenue you generate from ticket sales and sponsorships, as well as any other data points that are relevant to you. This will help inform decisions about which strategies should be abandoned or modified going forward.

A well-planned conference marketing plan is key to success

Your conference marketing plan is central to the success of your event. Understanding your target audience, knowing your conference goals and objectives, developing a strategy, leveraging social media, and measuring the results of your efforts are all critical elements in ensuring that your conference is successful. With careful planning and an effective strategy, you can maximize the impact of your marketing plan and make sure that it’s a success.

To streamline the process of creating a marketing plan for an event, you can leverage Attendee Interactive — an end-to-end content management software platform. With Attendee Interactive, you can easily define every step of your conference marketing plan and manage the entire process from start to finish.

Learn more about Attendee Interactive and how it can help you create a comprehensive conference marketing plan today.

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