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The Danger of Not Having Your Event

Long_term_event_planning Two weeks ago, I found out that a client decided to “take a year off” from their event. The event had been successfully taking place for the last 14 years. What started as a small event - ballooned into a truly great event. When I heard that the event wasn’t taking place this year, my first reaction was “What? Are you kidding me?!?!” The event was loved attendees and most importantly – making money for the event organizer.

I fully understand that it’s the event organizers decision to take the year off.  It’s their event, their pocketbook, thus ultimately their decision. But I’m not quite sure if the event organizer fully understands the ramifications of their decision.

If you don’t have your recurring event, you affect the future viability of your event and ultimately your pocketbook. If you’re thinking not to have your recurring event, ask yourself, “What do I stand to lose?”

People Look Elsewhere
Here is the biggest danger of deciding to “take a year off” (or time off) from your event . . . Your patrons will find something else to do. You should NEVER expect your patrons to patiently wait around for your next event. New competing events are constantly popping up and vying for your target market’s attention. When you take time off from your event your target market WILL find something else to fill their time.

Eroding Resources
Another danger of taking time off is your customer resources take a tremendous hit. Your most important resource is your customer database or list. Every event organizer NEEDS to have a house list of prospects and customers.  With each day that passes - you lose people from your house list. People change their email addresses, move, or otherwise move on.  Don’t be surprised if you take a year off from your event and lose 75% of your house list. It’s important to remember - the person most likely to attend your next event is the person who just attended your event.

Advertising Spend
If you mothball your event, expect to do more advertising the next time you have your event. Regardless of economic times, there is no shortage of advertising. When’s the last time you watched your favorite television program without commercials? People are being flooded with new advertising every day. If you’ve taken time off from your event, expect to spend more to reintroduce your event.

There is Hope!
Is it impossible to resurrect a recurring event that’s take some time off? No! You can start up your event again. People have done so successfully in the past and so can you. Here is one thing that can make a big difference in restarting your event . . . If you have an event web site keep it running, especially if you’ve been online for some time. Don’t take your web site down! You’ll lose position in search engines. You can counter the loss of your customer database by collecting emails from your event web site. Even in off years your event web site will get visitors. Be sure to keep in touch with your list during off years. Let your list know what's going on with your event and what to expect.

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