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« Getting Them to Buy Tickets Early | Main | Max Out Your Event Promotion Budget »

The Danger of “Free Event” & “Great Event” Thinking

There is one very dangerous mindset common amongst event organizers with free events.  That mindset is thinking people are going to show up to your event just because it’s a free event. The same mindset also propagates amongst event organizers who have “inexpensive events.” In “What is the Perceived Value?” I give a brief example of two air shows illustrating the point. You should check out the article. In the article I give the example of a free air show and a paid air show. Logic dictates that people would choose the free air show. Yet, people rarely use logic in most of their decision making.  Decisions are made at a much deeper level.  As one marketer puts it “We buy with our emotions, and then justify with logic.” That’s how the human brain seems to work.  A free mindset can work as an incentive for some things, but not everything. It takes a lot more than price to win the hearts and minds of your audience. 

“We Have a Great Event”
There is also a danger in thinking “we have a great event” therefore people will automatically show up. That simply isn’t the case. There are plenty of people I know who have truly great events. They spend a tremendous amount of time planning and executing their events.  The end result is usually an under performing event.  The dangers above illustrate why you must sell your event on value, not price or your own personal beliefs. You might see something one way, but does your target market see it the same way?

Delivering Value at Your Event
I believe that people are willing to pay for something they perceive to be of high personal value, even when faced with a free option. Apply that thinking to your event.  The best way to deliver value is with highly effective marketing.  People will flock to your event if they see the value.  You can deliver that value in how you market and promote your event.

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