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The Importance of Market Research in Planning Your Event

by Eugene Loj

Really knowing a target market is the foundation of getting people to your event. Event organizers frequently call me in a last minute panic . . . They can’t understand why people AREN’T buying tickets for their event. After going through a bunch of probing questions, my response is almost always the same - “You’re having problems selling tickets to your event, because people aren’t interested in what you have to offer.” It sucks having to tell people this – especially when they’ve worked so hard planning their event.

Event_planning_market_research

Truth be told, it doesn’t matter how much work goes into planning your event. If people aren’t interested in what you have to offer, they’re not going to show up! If you want to pack your event, focus on finding a passionate marketplace that will automatically (or as close to automatically) attend your event. 

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How (NOT) to Sell Tickets To Your Event

When it comes to pricing tickets for your event, there are a number of different strategies. Knowing how NOT to sell tickets to your event is as important as knowing how to sell tickets. What follows are two real world mistakes you want to avoid when selling tickets for your event . . .

How_to_sell_tickets_to_your_event

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Social Media, Your Event Marketing, and "Insider Info" . . .

Social_media_event_marketingDuring a recent coaching call someone asked, "Can I use social media sites to broadcast Insider Information regarding my event?" The simple answer is, "Yeah, absolutely!" But, the more important question is, "Do you want to?" Consider the following . . .
 
Insider Info, Social Media, and Email Marketing
To me "Insider Information" is exactly as it reads "Insider" - hence it should be kept confidential.  Better yet, think of "Insider Info" as a secret. As you know, most people want to know a secret. You can use that "Wanna Know a Secret?" frame to your advantage . . . especially when it comes to list building.

If you were to broadcast "Insider Info" on your Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter accounts - is the info really privileged anymore?
Personally I don't think so. Because emails are a one-on-one communication form, things are inherently confidential.

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Reviewing Your Event Marketing Strategy

After your event comes to a close, do you carefully review the effectiveness of your advertising?

Event_marketing_advertising_strategy

We Spend $250,000 a Year on Advertising!
A few years ago, a west coast event organizer confided to me that they didn’t know their most effective form of advertising. All they could do was guess.  That same organizer blindly spends almost $250,000 each year advertising their event - summing up their strategy with "that’s what we always done.” Seriously?!?!? Here’s the really scary part . . . most event organizers can’t identify their most effective form of advertising. At best it’s a complete guess. As a result, countless advertising dollars are lost forever.

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Two Amazingly Powerful Event Survey Questions

Event_Feedback_Survey_QuestionsUsing the right questions in an event survey is an extremely powerful way to position your event with a target audience.  Yet very few event promoters and organizers use surveys. Event surveying can be done both before and after your event. As with any survey, the focus should be solely on your target market.

Below are my two absolute favorite survey questions for event planning purposes. Don’t disregard the potential for great feedback because of their simplicity.

It's far easier to pack an event when you know what your audience wants and you go out of your way to give it to them.  Few things are as powerful as surveys in terms of honing in your target market's wants, needs, and desires.

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An Extremely Dangerous Event Planning Mistake

This is a really important post, so please carefully consider the information that follows . . . 

Bad_Event_Ideas One HUGE mistake made by event organizers and event planners is holding an event that’s “never been done before.” The previous statement should always be followed up with the following question, “WHY has that kind of event never been done before?”

When it comes to planning events, being overly ambitious or even too creative can be very dangerous to your pocketbook.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
My suggestion to you is don't try and reinvent the wheel - especially if you're new to event planning or event promotions. Look towards events that are easy money makers as opposed to being a cool event.

In my experience cool / fringe events are the most difficult events to get people to attend. That’s why I love doing air show and beer festival event marketing. There is already “a starving crowd” for air shows and beers festivals. The deck is already stacked in my favor.

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Last Minute Event Marketing and Promotion Strategy

Last_minute_event_marketing_idea Every few weeks I get a telephone call from a frantic event marketer looking for last minute event marketing strategies. The situations can be pretty heart-wrenching. Usually there isn’t much that can be done . . . But that doesn’t mean that I won’t try and help.

One of the first questions I ask is, “do you have an email list?” Very few people respond with, “yes.” A house email list is about the closest thing to an event marketing silver bullet, especially when your event is right around the corner. If you don't have a list or a ton of advertising cash reserve, your last minute options are fairly limited.

Go to Your House Email
Your email list is one of the most lucrative places for ticket sales when you're down to the wire. Unfortunately, too many event promoters and organizers DON’T email their house list ENOUGH prior to their event. You can’t just send one email asking people to buy before your big event.

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Shocking Event Web Site Stat - Most People Only Visit Once

Event_marketing_shocker A common misconception of event planners and organizers is that people are religiously visiting their event web site. As a result, event organizers continuously update their sites with new content . . . in some cases it becomes an obsession.

In my humble opinion, their efforts and resources are being wasted. Don’t get me wrong, updating your web site with relevant and timely content is very important. Keep in mind - event web sites aren’t like news web site.

People don’t come back multiple times a day to check for updates on an event web site. Consider the following . . .

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Get Great Ideas from an Event Marketing Field Trip

How much time do you spend looking to other events or industries for marketing ideas? Borrowing ideas from other events and industries is one of the quickest ways to add dollar signs to your bottom line.

Event_marketing_field_trip

 

If you don’t spend much time looking outside your own event looking for marketing ideas, you need to start today.

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Does Your Event Web Site Display Properly?

Event_marketing_browsers On Wednesday a friend called me up and asked me to check over their event web site. Over the last week they spent several hours updating their new web site and wanted a fresh set of eyes to look their web site over.

At first glance things looked pretty good.  Then they asked me to “Look at some of the other pages.” That’s when we discovered a BIG problem . . . there was no navigation bar on my screen.

On my friend’s computer the navigation bar was showing up. So I asked him, “What browser are you using?” He said “Internet Explorer.” I was using Mozilla Firefox.  The reason no web navigation was showing up on my computer screen was a browser compatibility issue. 

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