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« Web 2.0, Social Media, and Event Promotion | Main | Getting Them to Buy Tickets Early »

A Different Way to Promote Outdoor Events

If you have an outdoor or weather dependent event you are most likely familiar with the associated anxiety of the weather forecast.  Months of planning and hard work for your event can be devastated by an unfavorable weather forecast. It could be as simple as, “chance of rain this weekend.” Those words spoken by a local weather forecaster can cost organizers thousands of dollars in potentially lost revenue.  The worst part is that the weather forecaster doesn’t even need to be correct. It could be a perfectly sunny day and yet the mere implication of bad weather can keep people away.

They’re Thinking About Weather
If you have an outdoor event; you can bet that weather is either at the top in terms of reason why someone might not attend. How many times have you asked yourself “what if it rains or the weather is bad – are we still going to go?”

The Damaging Admission
There is something you can do about the weather.  In the direct response marketing there is something called a damaging admission. You are admitting to your target market that there is an inherent flaw with your product or service.  In the case of outdoor event organizers, you’re admitting that your event might potentially be impacted by the weather. For some people making such an admission can be completely counter intuitive.

A Real World Example
A few months ago a client put a damaging admission into some of their online promotional material. They admitted on their web site and in their email campaign that there might be bad weather at their outdoor event. Initially, they were apprehensive about admitting that their event might be impacted by bad weather. Multiple weather forecasts called for rain during their event. The client was fortunate because part of their event was protected from the weather. They couldn’t ensure 100% protection from the weather, but they at least had a contingency and told people about it. In the end the rain never came and the client had the biggest crowd ever for their event.

Your Damaging Admission

Can you make a damaging admission about your event and spin it in a positive manner?  A damaging admission for an event can be integrated into your event promotion.  If you’re going to use a damaging admission as it pertains to your outdoor event and potentially bad weather, you need to have something to alleviate people’s fears. It isn’t enough to admit to a flaw and then do nothing about it.

If you have an outdoor event, think of ways to integrate a damaging weather admission into your marketing and promotion. Though it seems completely counter intuitive, I’ve seen it work very well.

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