A counterintuitive: selling tickets because you need revenue

A few weeks ago, a series of "professionals" deemed the strategy of waiting to sell tickets to one's event as "crazy!"

On the surface, that might be a fair assessment. Yet, as you dig deeper into delayed ticket sale strategies, things become interesting.

(As a side note, if you hear something you think is crazy, impossible, or improbable: always dig deeper with intelligent questions!)

I'll admit, delaying the sale of event tickets is a bit counterintuitive. So I ask you to consider the following:

If you have to sell tickets immediately to start generating money to pay your event bills, you're compromising your total potential revenue.

You might be thinking, "that doesn't sound right!"

Smartly delaying your event ticket sales gets down to leveraging a strategic pricing model. That means, to maximize ticket revenue, you need the right mix of ticket demand and timing.

Developing a strategic pricing model is a very complex and sophisticated process. So for today, we'll take a very high altitude view. If you'd like me to delve further into the subject of strategic pricing, reply to this email.

Here's a short intro on strategic pricing strategy.

Ideally, events should already have seed money from cash in their bank account or sponsors. When you have "money in the bank," you can be more methodical and systematic with your ticket sales.

If you don't have cash on hand, you need to have a proven system that allows you to precisely forecast and generate ticket sales.

Here's an example.

Years ago, an outdoor event client believed that they had to have tickets on sale for an extended period. In the client's case, 10 to 11 months of ticket sales before their event. Most event organizers falsely assume, the longer you have tickets on sale, the more revenue you generate.

That is not the case.

Previously, without a strategic pricing strategy, the client above sold $100,000 USD of tickets to their outdoor event over 73 days.

Last year, with COVID and a meticulous pricing strategy, the same client sold $100,000 USD of tickets in 23 minutes and 18 seconds. All without a dime spent on traditional advertising, as crazy as that sounds.

My advice to you. Never put tickets on sale, "just because." Always have a sound strategy in place, and it will pay you in spades!

If you have your own ticket sales start, please share it in the comment section below.

Want to get more event ticketing info? Check out the articles below:


The Brutal & Insidious Nature of Slow Tech

Recently, while working with a client, I was reminded of the importance of efficiency as it relates to one's workplace technology.

Because of the technical aspects of the work being done, the client agreed to use a screen-sharing service. The client was at the tail end of cleaning up a lead generation campaign. With the screen-sharing service, I was able to guide the client through the final technical parts of the process.

As I watched through the screen-share, the sense of frustration set in. The client's computer kept hanging on a series of simple tasks.

Five minutes later, I asked, "how old is your computer?"

To which the client responded, "I was from before I started working here." (Over 5 years ago)

The waiting was absolutely brutal for both the client and myself.

Finally, I offered to help the client out and made all the necessary updates using my computer. Total time on my end to complete the data-based updates, less than 30 seconds, and three simple clicks of the mouse.

Unfortunately, three clicks can take five minutes or longer when you're working with ancient computer technology.

A slow computer can wreck one's productivity and is insidious. If you take five minutes a day and spread that over the course of a work year, you get over 1,100 minutes of waiting for one's computer. Or about 18 hours total.

Imagine going to work next week and waiting 18 hours for your computer to load, before starting any work.

My suggestion to you, look at upgrading your old tech. That said, there is no need to pay a premium or buy a new computer. If possible, stay away from tablets as your daily work driver.

A recent computer or laptop, even a used one that's one or two years old, with a solid-state (hard) drive, a decent processor, and memory is all most people need.

"No amount of money ever bought a second of time." -Howard Stark

Be productive where you can. An old computer is often overlooked and is one of the easiest places to regain productivity!

Want to get more event marketing advice? Check out the articles below:


The Lost Art of "Breaking Bread"

Here's a recurring theme that bears re-emphasis.

Today, I received a telephone call from a client "needing to vent." Long story condensed, two primary groups responsible for producing an outdoor event are now feuding. It's a combination of hurt feelings, opinions, and politics.

To date, almost all the useless drama has come in the form of third-party messengers, text messages, and short but heated telephone conversations.

What's worse is that the two decision-makers upon which the entire event hinges have yet to speak to one another. An executive assistant insists upon trying to convey and communicate between the two decision-makers.

My word of advice to my client, "Go and 'break bread.' Sit down and have a face-to-face in-person meeting." Regardless of best intentions, the executive assistant is simply getting in the way.

To the best of my knowledge, there isn't a single serious issue that clients have ever resolved using text messages, email, or telephone calls. (Not to say it's never happened).

There is no guarantee that a face-to-face meeting will save the event described above. That said, I guarantee that meeting anyone in person will outperform telephone conversations, text messages, or email. It's important to remember that most humans can't read body language or tone via some digital message.

If you find yourself wrestling with a bout of useless event drama on a critical decision, please consider the breaking bread option.

Want to get more event planning advice? Be sure to check out the links below:


Sorry, Facebook cannot be your only event update channel

Today was a fascinating "kick in the head" kind of day. It was a day where government X was supposed to give updates on a set of federal regulations. The information was scheduled to be shared via an online meeting. The particulars of the information impacts thousands of individuals and businesses. Including, the guy writing this email.

About five minutes before the scheduled meeting start time, I logged in and entered my password. After that, meeting attendees are met with a "waiting for organizer to start the session" message.

At the 10-minute mark, I decided to call into the backup audio line. Then, more waiting and no action. Finally, after about 15 minutes, I started to make some telephone calls.

By now, you've probably guessed that the meeting was cancelled. And you are correct.

When I finally spoke with one of the organizers about the meeting, their response was, "we posted to Facebook that the meeting was postponed." Mind you; the post was published 13 minutes after the meeting's scheduled start time. And the post was made on a completely unrelated Facebook page.

Why am I bringing the above to your attention?

Should your event be postponed or canceled, you need to use multiple modalities to update your attendees, in short order! These modalities include but are not limited to your event webpage, all your event's social media channels, and contact lists. Depending on the size of your event, you might want to include local media outlets.

Here's one last crucial point. If something changes about your event. Please make sure that you let your attendees know first.

Attendees (especially ticket holders) finding out issues regarding your event from other sources diminishes trust and credibility with your customers moving forward.

Here are some additional social media resources you can use to market your event:


Is it time to take your event outside?

A year later, there is a decent amount of COVID data for us to consider. One data point of near-universal agreement is that COVID transmission outdoors is very low. Consider this recent headline from the United Kingdom.

"Beach trips safe and 'have never been linked to Covid outbreaks', says government adviser."

Source:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-beach-holidays-safe-sage-uk-b1803367.html

Recently, I surveyed a few North American outdoor event organizers. With attendance of over 150,000 people across multiple 2020 events, there were zero contract traces back to any of the events. That said, when you get 150,000 people together, someone is going to have COVID.

As the world recovers, I believe that outdoor events will be some of the first to recover.

So my question for you today:

Would you be able to move your indoor event outside?

In some cases, there could be massive logistical considerations, and moving outside would not work.

Mash the reply button and let me know if moving your event outside is even feasible. And if not, feel free to share.

Get more outdoor event ideas, advice, and strategies here:


"Check our Facebook page for updates"

During these difficult times, several local restaurant owners have either shut down or severely restricted in-person dining.

While listening to the local news on the radio today, a restaurant owner indicated they are temporarily closing their restaurant due to COVID.

At the end of the short interview, the owner encouraged radio listeners to "check our Facebook page" for updates on reopening. On its face, the owner's statement above seems perfectly reasonable.

Any guesses on how you could significantly increase marketing impact?

Yes, Facebook is a great marketing tool. But merely posting to Facebook (without a comprehensive plan) is not a marketing strategy.

More importantly, Facebook suffers from a tremendous amount of messaging noise. If it's not a continuous feed of posts about family and friends, or politics, it's an advertisement for a website you recently visited.

If you're going to keep your loyal fans and customers up to date, send them to your website.

Because when they're on your website, you control 100% of the message with zero distractions! Last but not least, you own the data.

Click below and dive on in a short 5-Part Social Media Series:

  1. Putting Your Social Media Mindset Ahead of Theirs

  2. Focusing Too Much on Likes & Followers

  3. Trying to Engage on Too Many Social Media Platforms

  4. Avoiding Paid Social Media Advertising

  5. Not Measuring the Results of Your Hard Work

A quick event website search engine hack

Back in 2016, a client kept receiving numerous online questions and telephone calls about a night event. People were inquiring how to purchase tickets for the event at night. There was one problem, the night event happened in 2015, and there was no night event happening in 2016.

How could that happen? It’s good ole Google!

Next time you have a moment, make sure to do the following.

Pay the Google search engine a visit and type in "site:yourdomainname.com" (with no quotes) and with your domain name replacing the words "yourdomainname.com" After that’s in the search engine box, hit enter or the search button.

The "site:" command is a search operator to Google meant to return a specific result. In this case, a list of pages from your website indexed in Google’s search engine.

Why is this important?

Because the chances are that you have old web site pages in Google that aren’t helpful to a website visitor. In some cases, those old pages could be detrimental.

How so?

Suppose you have old information about your event that is no longer relative to your current event. Just this week, a client found hundreds of old pages in Google. A few years ago, an event organizer found over one thousand pages in Google.

Run the command above and let me know what you find. Chances are, you’ll find a lot of old pages with irrelevant content. If so, let your website developer know and get them cleaned up. That said, make sure you don’t block essential pages on your website.

By cleaning up your Google listings, you’ll get the right information to the right people while reducing customer service issues due to old outdated info.

Want to get more event search engine optimization advice? Check out the articles below:


A note on events canceled - long ago

Here's a relatively quick tidbit for today ...

During a recent review of event websites, there was a noticeable trend in websites with prominent event cancellation notices. Obviously, if your event has been canceled, you want people to know. You might also want to consider keeping the event cancellation notice for a week or two after your scheduled event.

That said, if your event was canceled weeks or months ago, please take off the cancellation notice.

During a review of dozens of event websites, numerous sites still had their 2020 cancellation notices in place. Those same sites neglected to put a year with their previous cancellation notice. How is that bad? Because those same event organizers are planning on having an event in 2021.

In other words, how are people supposed to know if the next planned event is canceled or not? Without an associated year, this is unclear.

Your best bet is to focus on your next event. If you're unsure of your next event, given the circumstances, just tell people. Here's an overly simplistic example, "Thanks for your interest; we're not sure when XYZ event is going to happen. Once we know something, we'll let you know. Check back here for details! (DATE)"

Stay positive and keep trucking forward. Just be sure not to confuse people in the process.

Want more event promotion info? Check out the links below:

 


"Is your event customer data backed up? Are you absolutely sure?"

During a client data mining project, the following gem came to light.

A client was conducting a customer loyalty assessment. In short, how many customers return to an annual event over five years.

If you have never run a loyalty assessment, I strongly encourage you to do so!

During the data mining process, the client organized their customer data year by year. One of the cross-checks to verify the integrity of data involves gross revenue. You add up all the individual customer transactions and compare them with the reported gross income.

By now, you might be thinking, "come on, Eugene, you mean to tell me events don't have a firm grasp on their own customer data?"

Unfortunately, they do not. And what's worse is it's a chronic problem.

In the case above, almost $500,000 USD of customer data went missing. Yet, every year the client insisted that their data was properly backed up. In this case, it was nowhere to be found.

My goal isn't to rag on clients here. It is to emphasize the point that your customer data is precious and needs to be securely guarded with vigilance.

Fortunately, there is a silver lining to the story. Thanks to NDAs and such, I had a secure backup of the client's missing data and provided them with a copy.

So, I ask you – "Is all your customer data really backed up? And are you absolutely sure?"

Here are some additional articles on event marketing and promotion:

 


"Good cause" fundraising rarely works

In the fall of 2020, an event organizer reached out to their 10K+ Facebook followers and database of over 30,000 supporters. At the time, the idea was, "since we're not having an event, let's try to raise scholarship funds online." That previous thought seems perfectly logical.

During a "normal" year, youth programs and scholarships are almost wholly funded by an annual event. Obviously, with a global pandemic, that was not possible.

After a few days of the online scholarship drive, the event organizer had raised a few hundred dollars. Unfortunately, the final result wasn't much better and horribly short of the scholarship fund.

What you've just read happens far too often. You might have had a similar experience.

With just a few exceptions, an event that's financially well managed is the best fundraiser for any cause.

Think of your event as a conduit to raising funds.

Asking people to give to a good cause rarely works. Juxtapose that against an event that people can't stop talking about and will provide you with their hard-earned money.

If you want to give mountains of money to a good cause, a phenomenal event is the way to go.

Want to get more event promotion advice? Check out the articles below: