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« The BIGGEST Secret to a Successful Event | Main | A Persuasive Design Example for Promoting Your Event »

Horrid Event Advertising Mistake: Confusing Art with Results

by Eugene Loj

There are a number of people out there who are going to take issue with my next statement, but here goes … Most graphic design for promoting an event is a complete waste of time and money. You’re probably thinking, “are you serious?!?!?” (Make sure you read on, because you're probably going to agree with my previous statement.) Yes, I am seriors and here’s why … too many graphic designers confuse creating art and getting business results when it comes to their design.


Please understand, I’m not saying that your event web site or collateral materials should be without any design. What I’m saying is that any graphic design used on promotional materials for your event, should be PERSUASIVE and RESULTS ORIENTED.

That means that every word and graphic element EARNS it place on your event marketing and promotions. A “gorgeous” or “beautiful” advertisement is irrelevant if it doesn’t get measurable results ... e.g. driving a tidalwave of advance ticket sales or driving a ton of people to your event web site.

Below are two great examples of PERSUASIVE design in action. The images below are from the from the Las Vegas Rock-n-Rock Marathon web site. They combine great design and verbiage with a specific (and measurable) outcome ... "READ MORE".

Persuasive Design Example #1
Vegas_Marathon_Sold_Out_Cropped

Persuasive Design Example #2
Vegas_Marathon_Urgency_Graphic_Cropped

Images Source: http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/las-vegas/event-details.

Falling for Drop Dead Gorgeous
Over the last 10+ years, I’ve seen event organizers fall in love with a visually stunning design. Unfortunately, for all the fantastic design work … results were almost impossible to quantify. Is this all the graphic designers fault? No! But the simple fact of the matter is great design shouldn’t deviate from the fundamentals of classic salesmanship and marketing ... Your advertising must get you  measureable results. Let’s look at a case study …

The Digital Billboard
Last year, a client designed a digital billboard to promote their event. Visually the design looked decent.  Their digital billboard design resulted in an extra 5 visitors a day to their event web site.  Was 5 extra visitors worth the cost?!?! That could be debated.  Consider this … The digital billboard cost was between $1,000 per day or $6,000 for the month. The billboard company states in their promotional materials that you receive approximately 1,600+ spots per day. One could argue against using digital billboards, but I don’t blame the billboard company. Simply put, the billboard wasn’t persuasive enough to get people to take action.

Leverage the Fundamentals of Direct Response Advertising
What can you do? Make sure that every promotion and marketing piece for your event is results oriented. Here’s how you can do that … Find a graphic design who understands and uses the fundamentals of direct response advertising in everything they create. Here’s a video link by the late David Ogilvy to bring you up to speed on direct response marketing, David Ogilvy's "Secret Weapon" for Advertising Success(LINK). Ogilvy was considered by many to be "The Father of Advertising." Yet, most advertising agencies and graphic designers completely ignore his fundamental strategies. Please don’t make the same mistake.

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