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5 Reasons Why PPC Event Campaigns Require a Different Approach

5 Reasons Why PPC Event Campaigns Require a Different Approach

Those familiar with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising know the power it has to attract targeted traffic to a website using predefined targeting e.g. keywords, audiences or job titles.

This notion of an advertising strategy that places a brand or product in front of desired target audiences across search, social, display and video is widely appealing for all marketers – and especially for organisers faced with the challenges of generating exhibitor and sponsor leads, delivering registrations, awards entries or ticket sales, and generating new, quality data insights.

But the very nature of events means running a traditional PPC campaign isn’t as effective. Here are five reasons why PPC event campaigns require a different approach.


1) Event PPC Campaigns Have an End Date

For most PPC campaigns, there isn’t an end date – meaning a campaign can go on as long as it’s funded.

But for event organisers, it only makes sense to run a PPC campaign until the event is over. It’s a waste of money to still have PPC ads promoting the event once it is complete.

This finality of an end date is critical when it comes to budgeting event PPC campaigns effectively. You don’t want to burn through your entire ad budget when there are still weeks to go. And at the same time, you don’t want to reach the start of your event and still have a majority of your budget left to spend.


2) Event PPC Campaigns Have a Different Budget Spend Timeline

For many organisers, registration surges a few weeks out from the event. This timeframe is when there is a higher probability to reach those most likely to attend the event – and it makes sense to align the ad budget spending timeline accordingly.

From our experience, about 50 to 60 percent of a total PPC ad budget is spent during the final two to three weeks leading up to the event. To ensure enough funding remains during this period, conduct an analysis in the early stage of the campaign to determine which elements are delivering results and which aren’t, and then eliminate low-to-non performing components. An approach like this keeps a majority of the budget left in the tank to keep the ads running during the last few weeks when attendees are likely to register or buy.


3) Late Registrants are Most Likely to Attend

In traditional PPC, running ads continuously makes sense since they can be used to attract an audience at any potential stage in the buying process.

However, when it comes to events, through data analysis we have done – those who register in the last two weeks of a campaign are likely the highest quality attendees who show up to the event.  

Because late registrants are more likely to attend an event, it makes sense to structure an event PPC campaign so that the majority of the budget is available at this stage.


4) Retargeting to Drive In-Person Attendance

Unfortunately, for many events, especially those free to attend, a large portion – sometimes upwards of 50 percent – of registered attendees don’t show up in person.

To prevent dramatic attendance drop-offs, event PPC campaigns should include retargeting campaigns. For example, once attendees register to attend an event, they’ll see retargeting ads as they visit additional websites that continue to promote the event. Retargeting ads keep your event top-of-mind leading all the way up to the event

With retargeting, we’ve discovered attendance PPC benchmarks are much higher than standard PPC campaigns.  Our PPC campaigns delivers higher attendee figures 66% on an average of 51% on site conversion.


5) Aligning Offers with Specific Time Periods

Traditional PPC campaigns often include special incentives or offers to encourage response. Event PPC is similar in that regard; however, coordinating with the right timing can be a bit trickier.

Organisers need to pay careful attention to event PPC ad content to ensure offers correctly align with early bird deadlines or other discount expirations. As events tend to have multiple timeframes for special offers, event PPC campaigns need closer oversight and planning to ensure ad content is correct with those specific time periods.

With careful attention to event-specific elements, like end dates, budget spend timelines and event registration trends, organisers can expect to reach around 30 percent of attendance with a successful event PPC campaign.


Talk to the Tag Digital team to learn other best practices for maximising your event PPC.