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Event Marketing and Search Engines

My involvement on both sides of the air show industry, performing and producing, has taught me a great deal about event marketing. Specifically how user search for a given event online.  Traditional advertising and brand awareness definitely come into play.  But for users who lack brand awareness or aren't in a local advertising market, the ability to search and locate information online is a critical.

Make Finding Information About Your Event Easy
One particular event this year illustrated the frustration users can endure.  A few days before leaving for the event, I went online to try and find out who else would be performing at the air show.  My first stop was the search engines.  I tried standards search terms and some abstract search terms.  In the end I couldn't find any information on the event.  My total time searching had been about 30 minutes and no information to be found.  It was a very frustrating experience. They had a web site, unfortunately you couldn't find it in the search engines.

Is Your Site Easy to Find in Search Engines?
One of the first places any users looks to find information about your event is search engines.  The following advice is predicated on you having a web site for your event. At the top level people will typically search for the type of event (air show) and location (Rochester).  Secondary search terms include your event's main attraction (Snowbirds, Thunderbirds, Canadian Harvards) and event performers (Sean Tucker). I believe the same methodology can be applied to most event marketing. Never work from the assumption that because you have a web site you are easy to find.

Look At Your Log Files
If you have a web site that has been up for at least one subsequent event, analyze your server log files
. This is the single best place to find keywords people are using to locate you online. Concentrate on finding the top search phrases and keywords and optimize for those terms.  At the same time don't discount relevant search terms that might not be in your log files.  Always be on the lookout for good keywords.

Not every event is branded or advertised outside local markets.  People looking to attend your event are looking for information online.  Make sure information for your event is easy to find.  Optimizing for search engines is one of your best forms of low cost or free advertising.

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