Big Cat Group’s MD Anthony Tattum has taken his extensive marketing knowledge and combined it with his experience in events to create an in-depth events marketing eBook. Here is a sneak peek into the first chapter – keep your eyes peeled as more will be revealed soon!

The Essential Event Marketing Guide 


The author has seen events succeed and fail for almost 20 years. Some reasons for failure are obvious. Others are more subtle: expectations too high, lack of experience, wrong line-up, weak marketing execution to name but a few.

Anthony Tattum co-owns an agency that has a unique specialism in event marketing, promoting events ranging from festivals to conferences, and often uses events as a marketing tactic to promote brands (this is known as experiential marketing).

Anthony Tattum

His career started as a nightclub promoter in the early and mid-nineties, and a festival and venue promoter in the late nineties and early 2000s.

Through the 2000s and into the 2010s the agency he co-founded, Big Cat, has continued to promote a broad spectrum of events from conferences, summits and symposia, to public exhibitions, family entertainment shows, concerts, theatre productions, festivals and other large scale outdoor events.

Big Cat is a marketing agency which drives audiences by employing a targeted selection of services including PR, advertising, creative and design, digital and experiential. Thirty-five staff work from offices in Birmingham and London on clients ranging from brands to blue chips and SMEs to charities.

The purpose of this guide is to share some insights, experiences, highs and lows, hints and tips and to provide a comprehensive guide to successful event marketing.

This series can be read from end to end in order, but more likely it can be read in any order to help you tackle the challenges you are currently facing.

Who is this for?

This eBook is for new as well as experienced event marketers, students and people looking for a career in the discipline of event marketing.

Event marketing has a dual function; firstly, event marketing is the process of using a range of marketing tactics to motivate a group of people to attend an event such as a festival, or delegates to attend a conference. The second function of event marketing is where a brand uses an event to promote a product such as a new chocolate bar, or a PR agency may organise a PR stunt. This is often called experiential marketing or can be called a Brand Experience or Brand Entertainment, but whatever the name the principle is the same.

In the instance of promoting an event, a marketing team will usually need to develop a rather complex campaign plan that can last for months. For the second definition, an event, or experience, is executed as part of a campaign.

For the purposes of this eBook, I will be analysing in great detail the first definition only and that is the use of marketing tactics to engage and motivate an audience to attend an event.

I think we can all learn from the experiences of event marketers of different sectors and event types.

HOLI ONE Colour Festival

 HOLI ONE June 2014

 Why should you read this document?

Event marketing is a complex discipline and while there is no single solution to a successful campaign, there are certain critical elements – such as data, creative concept and key messaging – that can deliver audiences more effectively. The tactical elements of an event marketing campaign are equally important but they have different purposes and should be deployed at the correct point in a campaign with the correct expectations.

Most event marketing campaigns have a very tight budget, meaning that it is not always possible to do all of the things you would like to do. This eBook highlights the optimal mix of tactics based on tight marketing spends, enabling you to make the most of even a limited budget.


It seems like stating the obvious, but knowing your audience is crucial. Having a good quality database does not necessarily mean a huge database. A purchased database you have never used before is not a good idea. The best databases are those that have been built, contacted regularly and one with which you are actively engaged.

For most events, the audience is actually quite diverse. This means that the message and channels need to be tailored to each audience group. By ‘message’ I mean tone of voice, visual imagery and calls to action.

Segmenting your audience is one of those critical success factors discussed earlier. Audience segmentation can be done in a number of ways. Broadly there are 4 methods: Geographical, Demographic, Psychographic (or Lifestyle) and Behavouristic. The most successful marketing strategies employ multidimensional segmentation which combines the traditional geo-demography with innovative motivational and attitudinal data.

You should group segments with similar likes, interests or issues, as well as by where they work/live and their demographic or SIC code – and differentiate groups in the same way. Then you can produce ‘messaging’ and a ‘look and feel’ that will engage that segment. For example, if you are marketing an event promoting apprenticeships, the key messages, tone of voice and imagery would need to be completely different to attract the two groups ‘students’ and ‘employers’ – so you would create marketing materials that resonate with each.

At Big Cat, we find it useful to create a series of Audience Personas for each of the target groups. The personas would include:

  • A name and photo of an archetypal individual from this group
  • Age
  • Personality type
  • Interests (e.g. fashion, finance, export, etc)
  • Personal or business status (e.g. HR Manager or married with 2 young children)
  • What media they read
  • Where they hang out online
  • Personal issues or challenges, or business concerns and problems

When you go on to create marketing messaging for a given audience segment you can then check this against your target audience persona and evaluate whether this would engage them. It is definitely worth testing your event concept and marketing materials on a selection of people who fit the audience profiles. If either do not resonate then it’s back to the drawing board I‘m afraid, or risk potential failure of the campaign.

In the next instalment, we continue on through Chapter 1, looking at ‘the key ingredients’ of a successful marketing campaign and how to use the right tools for the job…



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