The Role of Influencers in Event Marketing

Article Written By: Sarah Mitchell | Photo Credit: Marcia Salido | Event: Scottsdale Fashion Week 2023

Picture this: you’re 2 months out from your next major event. You’ve covered all the basics to promote your event, but it still feels like you’re lacking the personal touch to reach an even BIGGER audience. The answer? Influencer marketing. Before we dive in, let’s take a moment to understand why influencer marketing has become such a beast when it comes to marketing events. Social media influencers, bloggers, vloggers, and content creators have built a loyal following, and their opinions and recommendations are highly regarded by their audiences. The communities they have built are extremely unique and untouchable, allowing someone like YOU to get your message out to the masses.

Influencers in Event Marketing: Success Stories

Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival: The Chandler Chamber Ostrich Festival is a beloved family-friendly festival that draws in a crowd of over 100,000 people over the course of two weekends. This year, we decided to experiment with influencer marketing. We collaborated with macro-influencer @Oliviaannkaiser, who has over 355,000 Instagram followers from Love Island Season 3. Her posts about the festival not only tapped into an audience that we don’t typically target, she also brought the event to the attention of thousands who may have never heard of it before. Though she wasn’t one of our typical family mommy-bloggers, she was able to make a unique digital impact on her younger, festival-going demographic.

Chocolate Affaire: The city of Glendale’s Chocolate Affaire is a community event that features an assortment of chocolate vendors and live entertainment. Think, “chocolate heaven!” For this event, we focused on micro-influencers branded around being foodies. Ever heard of @AzNomNoms? If you’re located outside of Phoenix, Arizona, you probably haven’t… this is why this user was the perfect partner for our event. @AZNomNoms has over 17,000 followers and has a strong local presence neighboring the location of our event. We ultimately found success in working with @AZNomNoms because she was local, has maintained a strong sense of personal community, and held apparent trust from her followers. Working with multiple micro-influencers for our event kept us within budget and allowed us to reach a diverse range of online communities.

Scottsdale Fashion Week: For Scottsdale Fashion Week, we wanted to leverage both macro and micro-influencers to promote our 4-day fashion series. It’s pretty obvious to note that this event calls for brand partnerships that revolve around fashion, lifestyle, and beauty. A couple of the influencers who helped promote our fashion series were @Chl0ebean, an alopecia lifestyle and beauty influencer, and @Carmen_kocourek, from Love Island season 5, both of whom have over 100,000 followers on Instagram. Each of these influencers has a keen interest in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries. There is a huge hype around events like Scottsdale Fashion Week, which require the support of online celebrities to really make the night sell and dazzle. These two influencers specifically show their followers a lot about their personal lives and their day-to-day outings. Their followers may want to be the “It-girl,” or maybe they see a part of themselves in the influencer’s strengths and flaws; either way, their followers look to these women as their friends, giving them the inside scoop of the hottest fashion event this season. Bringing these authentic and esteemed influencers out to SFW made their followers feel as if they were also at the event, and even more, that they could be there too. This sensation makes partnering up with influencers of this caliber a huge asset in promoting events and boosting ticket sales.

To Sum It Up…

Identify the Right Influencers: Take your time to research and identify influencers who reflect your event’s goals and values. They should feel like an extension of you, passionate about getting behind an event that they want to invite their friends to.

Set Clear Expectations: Communication is key. Clearly define the influencer’s role and expectations, from the type and frequency of content to any specific messages or hashtags you’d like them to use.

Measure and Analyze: After the event, analyze the impact of the influencer campaign. Track engagement, reach, and ticket sales to gauge the effectiveness of the collaboration. Keeping track of metrics in influencer marketing is key for future collaborations and understanding how to approach promotions for other events.

Influencer marketing is not just a trend; it’s a strategy that is here to stay for a while, whether we like it or not. It’s important to recognize the potential these creators have in amplifying your event marketing efforts. In the ever-changing landscape of event marketing, influencers have become invaluable allies. Embrace this powerful tool, and let it take your event marketing to new heights.