Every minute of every day there are 211 million pieces of online content being created. With that in mind, it would be quite wrong to imagine that, on the strength of your offering alone, you would be enticing people to leave the comfort of their home and walk into your establishment. ‘If you build it, they will come’ may have held sway in the 1990s but today things have changed.
The time is gone, the song is over
"Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!"
Time is of the essence. There is absolutely no use in creating a Facebook page a week before your event and expecting a huge turnout. This just doesn’t happen. In order for your campaign to work, you need to give it time to build. How long that lead time is and just how heavy you have to go with the campaign will depend on the scope of your project.
If it is a seminar in a small meeting room then you will be looking at a different approach than if it were a week-long event in a large banqueting hall. And, don’t think it is purely a matter of filling all the seats – it is more a question of who you want to be in there filling them. Begin months rather than days ahead of the event.
The key to a seamless campaign is to synchronise a multi-channel approach in your communication tactics. This includes your online, social media, e-newsletters, press, PR, print and marketing materials such as posters, billboards and adverts. Using charts such as Gantt charts to keep your planning in check will also keep you up to the minute with all the different strands to your campaign.
If you communicate with your audience in a consistent manner then you invariably increase your credibility.
Critical success factors and sales
Ticketing your event comes with its own rules laid down by nature. Whether you are selling tickets for your event or they are being given away free of charge, never rely on that amount of tickets to correlate to the number of people who will show up at the event. There will always be no-shows! However, research has shown that free events bring between 50 and 60% of no-shows while paid-for events will be lower at between 10 and 30%. Either way, set yourself a realistic goal rather than one based on ticket consumption.
Funnels, channels, checkout and conversions
If your goal is to actually sell tickets then you must keep a constant watch on all channels and see which are doing better than the others and managing to get customers to complete a purchase.
Not only can this data help you understand the behaviour of your target audience but, if you are on a budget, you may want to split test your message to see which one converts into a more successful outcome.
Read more about split testing on our complete guide:
- The importance of A/B Split / multivariate testing
- Multivariate testing: what you could run it on?
- Split testing tools for landing pages
Be your audience, think like them
Each medium has its own target audience. You have to ask: Who are you trying to attract? And what social media tools would they use? If, for instance, you are promoting a theatrical event with famous performers, then social media offers a plethora of fantastic opportunities to engage with their fan base – use this early on in the process and get them on board.
Always use a consistent voice to communicate with your potential audience. Use a spirit that is consistent with the media you are promoting and always work with imagery that is suited to that audience.
Spread the word
You will be making your communication consistent no matter what channel you are using but make sure you know how your audience actually behave on those channels – they tend to act differently depending on the channels you are using.
If you are using Twitter or Instagram to drum up attention for your event, then make sure you use a #hashtag that is totally relevant to your event and, if possible, something that is slightly unusual. Apart from anything else, using the #hashtag helps you monitor how people are engaging, or not, with your campaign.
Don’t forget that Twitter only has the 140-character limit, so, less is more! Try and keep your #hashtag short, simple and relevant!
Consistency, Coordination and Creativity
It would be great if there was some magic formula to achieve great digital presence – but there isn’t. The trick is to express the individuality of your event/brand and you do that by defining its particular personality.
Remember the three Cs:
Although Edinburgh Festival Fringe only runs for 25 days each year throughout the month of August, the marketing department keep their social media accounts live and active throughout the year. This way they keep their followers interested. Information of upcoming events, non-related content, regular photographs of Edinburgh landmarks with witty captions all add to the heart of the brand and inspire old and new visitors alike.
Poland’s Open’er Music Festival allowed its personality to shine through prior to the event itself by inviting those attending to create their own introductory messages to be shared with other visitors. Not only did this create a collective event, but it also meant an even greater audience for the festival as attendees shared their biographies on social media and with friends.
It has been reported that 74% of all smartphone users have their location-based services always set to ‘On’. This means that you, with your marketing management hat on, will be able to use this to your advantage and respond to your audience in real time, managing the multitudes much more effectively.
Creativity cannot be stressed enough. It allows you the freedom to design your presence on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, in fact all the social media outlets. The more creative you are, the more successful you will be at attracting attention to your product. Always remember to include your audience and make them feel part of your campaign, encourage them to share their thoughts, opinions or even feedbackonline.
One thing to forever bear in mind: we may be in 2016 in this wonderful age of technology and have all these marvellous innovations to use but it all boils down to the most trusted form of marketing, and that is Word-Of-Mouth! So don’t be afraid to shout out about your event!
Consider This has worked with an array of clients on their event management, from social media to print production, check out couple of examples here:
We were delighted to become part of the team for the UK & Ireland Tour of Wicked The Musical to produce all their print, outdoor media and mailing requirements ahead of their tour.Read More
We produced all their print, outdoor media such as leaflets, posters, billboards, mailers and carried out direct mail fulfilment across the UK.