Create an event program

Last update: 2023-09-22
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Learn how to create a trade show event program that is based on a pre-built program in Marketo.

 Transcript

You’ve decided that you want to run an event as part of your marketing activities, and now, you’re ready to create one and manage it from Marketo. In our example, we’ll be showing you how to import, clone, and customize a pre-built event program for a trade show that includes all invitation, reminder, and follow-up emails and assets, used in the event process. Use tags and period costs as part of setting up your event. Update program tokens to help ensure consistency and reduce build time for your event programs. Learn about email and smart campaigns when working with events in Marketo. Use smart campaigns to communicate through invites, reminders, and follow-up. Build a smart campaign that sets a person’s status to Influenced if they click a link in your trade show follow-up email.

First, let’s log into your Marketo account, and navigate to marketing activities.

We want to be able to use a pre-built program that includes all invitation, reminder, and follow-up emails and assets used in the event process. So we’ll start by importing one from the program library. Click the New dropdown, and select Import Program. In the Subscription dropdown, select Marketo Program Library, and in the Import Program dropdown, select the BP-TS-YYYY-MM-DD Tradeshow Tokenized Event Program and click Next. In step two, we’ll choose the campaign folder for this program and click Next. In step three, we’ll review the program details and click Import. With your program template imported, let’s clone it, so we can customize it to our own branding and marketing purposes. Locate the imported program in the left side panel inside the folders you designated. Right click the program template and select Clone. For workspace, select the workspace that will be using this webinar. For clone two, select a campaign folder, and in folder, choose the folder where your marketing initiatives are organized. For our example, we’ll choose the folder, My Marketing Initiatives 2017. For Name, we’ll call this BP-TS-2017-05-01 Sample Trade Show.

For Description, we’ll say, “Tradeshow to invite and follow-up with attendees from the sample show in San Francisco on May 1st, 2017.” Then click Create.

With our clone template selected, we’ll head over to the Setup tab at the top. If you use tags in your reporting, you could add these in here. In this example, we’ll use the Industry tag to say our event is targeting people in the healthcare industry. Click the industry tag, drag it to the settings area. In the dropdown menu, locate and select Healthcare. Then click Save. We also want to track program costs, which will be used to measure the return on investment of our program. To do this, we’ll drag the Period Cost tag to the settings area. You’ll be prompted to select the program month and enter the program cost. Then click Save. If your program spans multiple months, then you will need to add additional Program Cost tags separately for each month. You may also have multiple Cost tags in a single month. If there isn’t a dollar amount associated with the program, add a Cost tag and set the value to 0. This is necessary if you want the program ROI, or return on investment, to be analyzed against other programs.

Next, navigate to the My Tokens tab on your program. My Tokens are custom variables that can be used in program assets to ensure consistency and reduce build time. These can be used in flow steps, web hooks, emails, and landing pages. In this example, we’ll update three important tokens. From the My Tokens tab, double click my.Event Date. Edit the value of the token to the date of your event and click Save. Then double click my.Event Time. Edit the value to update the time of your event and click Save. Last, let’s edit my.Event Title, and update the title of your event. Click Save.

Our imported program includes two folders for organizing our content: one for campaigns and one for assets. The assets folder has two additional subfolders containing emails and reports. In the Assets folder, click to expand the contents of the Emails folder. Here, we see there’s two emails set up in our imported program for invitation and follow-up.

To access the email designer for customizing your content, select any email in the Emails’ asset subfolder, then click Edit Draft on the top right. The templates used in creating the design for these emails are simple text with a logo header image and can be customized to your brand and content. If you want to create a more designer like email, you’ll want to create a new email and select a template you want to work with. To learn more about designing an email, head over to the building a scheduled email video module, where we’ll cover all this information in detail.

For events, there are three main communication phases in the program: invites, reminders, and follow-up. With our BP-TS-2017-05-01 Sample Trade Show program selected, select the 01 Send Invitation smart campaign in the Campaigns folder. Navigate to the Smart List tab, where you’ll use filters to craft your audience list. We’ll type the word industry in the search field, drag over the filter, then specify a value of Healthcare.

Next, click on the Flow tab. This smart campaign sends out an invitation to your event with links that drive recipients to attend the trade show where your company will be hosting a booth. There are two flow steps in this smart campaign. The first, sends out the invitation email. The second, changes the program status of those recipients to invited.

Finally, navigate to the Schedule tab. We want to send this first invite one week prior to the event. Click on Run Once under the campaign tabs, and either, select the campaign to Run now or schedule to Run later. Then click the run button.

Once the event has taken place, you should receive your attendee list from the trade show event. You will import the attendee list into your program with a status of Visited Booth. To do this, navigate to the Members tab of your program and select Import Members from the toolbar. Follow the prompts to download your list and map the fields.

In the last step, make sure you select Visited Booth for the Member Status and start the Import. Next, schedule the smart campaign, 02 Send Follow-up Email, to send the post trade show email. Be sure to schedule this email to go out shortly after you get the list of attendees from the trade show.

The final step is to activate the 03 influenced by Follow-up Email campaign. This campaign smart list uses a trigger to identify anyone who received your trade show follow-up email and clicked a link in it as long as they have not unsubscribed. When this happens, the flow step sets their Program Status to Tradeshow Influenced. To make this active, click the Schedule tab and click Activate. Now, your event program is complete. Your invite and follow-up invite will go out on schedule. And after you upload the list of attendees to your database, your follow-up email be sent out. Finally, anyone who clicked a link in the follow-up email will have their program status set to Success. Because you’ve used tokens in the setup, you can reuse all of your work by cloning the entire program and updating just the tokens, which contain information specific to each event. -

Additional resources

See the product guide for more information on how to create an event program:

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