The Negative Impact of Executing Your Event

In October, a client was able to pull together a socially distant outdoor event. Even more impressive was the short time-frame involved. From event approval to show weekend, was less than 30 days. All while keeping event attendees and staff safe given the global health pandemic.

"But wait, there's more!"

As if health concerns weren't enough. You can throw in the hurdle of dealing with a hurricane for good measure. Thus, forcing the client to cancel one day of their three-day event.

As with every event, there's something new to learn. In the case of the event above, an important reminder.
Here it is:

"If you're busy intently focusing on event customer service and executing an event, it's tough (if not impossible) to focus on selling tickets."

The above statement is easy to say and agree with. It's also exceptionally challenging to find a healthy balance between event execution and revenue generation.

So here are some questions to ask you and your team for today:

-What is your plan to deliver a great event experience?

-What are your contingencies plane to ensure a great event experience?

-How are you going to sell tickets to your event while executing your event?

-Do you have the staff or a partner that can balance out customer service and revenue generation?

Too many event organizers don't have a plan or the staff to accommodate event execution and revenue generation. Please make sure you're not one of them!

To my great delight, the "hurricane client" above planned and executed critical event contingencies. Even better, they made sure their attendees were safe and elated with the event experience without leaving money on the table.

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


Beware all sources of event promotion advice, including this one!

Here's a recent client marketing calamity. Significant marketing issues were discovered during an on-boarding process for a new client.

Over a period of eight years, client "X" invested over one hundred thousand dollars in marketing and advertising services. The client's investment generated over a million dollars in event ticket revenue. Even better, the client built a house marketing list of almost 40,000 prospects and customers from around the world.

Then, the client's Board of Directors decided to take marketing guidance from another source.

What happened? The new marketing "expert" insisted on double opt-in in the client's existing marketing list. The "expert" insisted that the client's marketing list wasn't in compliance with Internet marketing laws (CAN-SPAM, CASL, GDPR, etc.). Short version, the client's marketing list of 40,000 was whittled down to less than 10,000.

Where's the rub?

The "expert" who insisted on double opting in the client's email list, NEVER bothered to check if the client previously obtained express consent and/or double opted-in their marketing list. Most of the client's list was already in compliance! (A majority of the people on the client's marketing list had already given express marketing consent and already double opted-in.)

As the youths say, "epic fail!"

Why the above sentiment?

Because in almost every client project spanning the last 11 years, way too much time and money have been used to "un-bork" client advertising and marketing decisions.

So we're crystal clear, I'm NOT blaming clients. Before working with them, my clients paid professional marketers, ad agencies, and consultants to help them market their events. And most logical people would think, if you're paying a professional firm significant sums of money, they'll give you expert advice. Rarely is that the case.

If I'm going to rail on an issue, I'll provide a strong recommendation. And here you have it.

It is imperative to be a healthy skeptic regarding any marketing and advertising advice given to you. Especially information where you invest your hard-earned money.

Yes, I'm even willing to put my advice "under a microscope!" This includes any suggestion you might receive from daily emails, training, books, and products.

Don't hire another person who cannot quantify their marketing or advertising results to dollar signs in bank accounts. You're welcome to use the line, "we are only willing to pay for results!"

Additionally, conduct a thorough reference check for every marketing professional, paid, or unpaid. This reference check should be conducted via telephone with at least three references. While on the phone with references, inquire about results.

It's your hard-earned money. Please make sure you're doing your due diligence. Unfortunately, most event organizers are not!


The 125+ million USD online event

In case you missed the news reports ...

In mid-April, the "One World: Together at Home" virtual concert raised over $125 million USD. Online event proceeds are earmarked to help global healthcare workers and those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

If you haven't already, take a moment to visit Google News and read through a few articles.

Granted, you probably don't have a ton of music superstars on your speed dial. But, the "Together at Home" event is an excellent example of how event organizers are breaking the traditional event mold. If you can't hold your event live, technology allows you to take your event online.

Is it possible for every event to go virtual? Probably not. With that said, here's a suggestion.

Keep a watchful eye in the weeks and months ahead. And ask yourself, is their an idea or strategy that you can ethically borrow for your event?

As I've mentioned previously, event organizers are going to figure out how to weather this unprecedented storm. You're going to want to pay close attention to results and how those results were generated.

Want to get more advice on planning and promoting a great event? Check out the articles below:


Blunt Perspectives from the Masters of Marketing & Advertising

In his book, Ogilvy on Advertising, David Ogilvy divulges some of his most significant marketing and advertising secrets. He also had very blunt thoughts on the subject of advertising.

As Ogilvy put it ...

"I do not regard advertising as an entertainment or an art form, but as a medium of information. When I write an advertisement, I don't want you to tell me that you find it creative. I want you to find it so interesting that you buy the product."

Ogilvy's friend, Rosser Reeves, the guy who coined the phrase "Unique Selling Proposition (or USP) unapologetically drives home Ogilvy's point:

"I'm not saying that charming, witty and warm copy won't sell. I'm just saying that I've seen thousands of charming, witty campaigns that didn't. Let's say you are a manufacturer. Your advertising isn't working and your sales are going down and everything depends on it. Your future depends on it. Your family's future depends on it. Other people's families depend on it, and you walk in this office and talk to me, and sit in that chair. Now what do you want from me? Fine writing? Do you want masterpieces? Do you want glowing things that can be framed by copywriters, or do you want to see the god damn sales curve stop moving down and start moving up?"

Both Reeves and Ogilvy are considered by many to be some of the most successful advertisers in human history. Not because of their great looking advertisements, but because of their results. Even more impressive was Ogilvy's ability to track every ad dollar spent to client bank accounts, all before the Internet!

Your event advertising should be anything but an expenditure. The best course of action is to treat your advertising and marketing as an investment. If you do that, you should always expect a return on that investment.

In today's day and age, it is nearly impossible not to be able to track your advertising effectiveness. If an advertisement is not working, you change it or stop using it.

Here's my Ogilvy question for you:

Do you want to be known as the event with beautiful, award-winning advertising, or do you want to be known as the air show with record revenues and attendance?

David Ogilvy's advertising philosophies should carry with any advertising agencies or marketing vendors you might hire. Let a prospective firm know upfront to track the effectiveness of all your event advertising campaigns.

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


Learn up to 2x faster in self-isolation

If you find yourself in self-isolation or mandatory quarantine, here's a way to turbo-boost your learning ...

Before the Coronavirus hit, I was fortunate enough to begin my mornings in the gym. In addition to trying to work out my dainty chicken legs, I also attempted to maximize my learning.

Knowledge absorption was accomplished by loading up my smartphone with audio interviews, podcasts, and videos featuring various subject matter experts. In total, hundreds of hours of content.

While working out, I was listening and taking copious notes. And occasionally annoying the next person waiting for a fitness machine. While working out, a man once asked me, "who the heck are you texting so furiously?!" I told him, "I'm writing a book." His reaction was priceless.

To date, there are over 3,000 notes on my smartphone and a couple of unreleased books. All accomplished in half the time of most people. Not because I'm smart, but because I was learning at twice the speed.

Here's how you can also learn at warp speed ...

Look up audio or video "speed changer" in your smartphone app store. There are specialized apps that will speed up anything you're listening to or watching without changing the pitch.

This suggestion also applies to YouTube. Next time you're on YouTube, take note of the little cog on your computer or the three dots (menu) on the YouTube app. When you click on the menu, notice the option called "Playback speed." Pick the speed of your choice, and you're off to the races!

Hopefully, the suggestion above will help you sharpen your knowledge saw much faster, while self-isolating.

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

 


Precision Event Promotion Using the 3% Rule

Accepting that only 3% (or less) of your local population is predisposed to attend your event is a good thing. How so? If you and your event team focus on those most interested, you will significantly boost the effectiveness of all your advertising. Think of the 3% rule as a precision targeting method.

A critical component of targeting is channel selection. You need to identify which marketing channels provide you with maximum impact for delivering your advertisements. Clients have run the same ad on two different channels with massive differences in response rates. Make sure you select only the best marketing channels.

How can you target those most interested in attending your event? Fortunately, it has never been easier. Facebook's advertising platform makes demographic targeting easy.

One of the greatest target marketing secrets can be found in your previous customer database. Your customer database embodies the 3% rule. The person most likely to buy from you is a previous customer. It can also save you a ton of money on marketing. According to Lee Resources Inc., "Attracting new customers will cost your company 5 times more than keeping an existing customer."

And here's a shocker: Most events don't have a well-thought-out program for retaining and reactivating previous customers. Sending email is not enough.

Recently, one client discovered over 50,000 previous customers hiding in a neglected database file. These customers were the result of an initial advertising expenditure of $400,000+ that took place over ten years. Over those years, the client spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on “mass” advertising just to reacquire their previous customers.

Following this discovery, the client is now leveraging their entire customer database to develop marketing campaigns that specifically target previous customers. As a result, the client increased their year-over-year online ticket revenue by 38%.

An important note on re-engaging previous customers via email … be very careful! One email to the wrong person could cost you as much as $16,000 (or more!) in fines. Yes, that's per email. Make sure to look into the federal CAN-SPAM, CASL, and GDPR regulations. Additionally, please consult with an attorney who has extensive experience in Internet law before emailing previous customers.

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


Success modeling and your event

Here is a tremendously powerful technique I learned from Dr. Wyatt Woodsmall in the late 2000s. It is known as success modeling.

One of the best things that you can do for your event is to model your marketing and strategies on other successful events. You'd be surprised how willing other event organizers are to share some of their proven secrets.

In 2008, I called up an event organizer in Buffalo, New York. I heard that he sold out 7,000 tickets to his fundraising event in very little time. He was gracious enough to give me 30 minutes of his time and shared the fantastic details. What he shared with me was an information goldmine.

When I asked if he consulted for a fee to other event organizers, he said that he was happy to share the information with anyone interested at no charge. You would be amazed at how many good people there are willing to share their event and event success secrets, but it's up to you to be proactive and ask.

Some of the biggest client success stories are a result of this type of modeling. Go out and find an event success story and quantify it.

If you're going to get in contact with another event or event organizer, be prepared to listen carefully and not over-judge their ideas. Way too many event organizers will arm themselves with logic about why they can't do something potentially beneficial for their event.

I hear it all the time. "We can't do that because [insert excuse here]." You might not hear what you want to hear. Be prepared to ask questions instead of focusing on the answers you want. Some of the best event organizers I've studied do things that others would consider to be highly counter-intuitive.

If you want a really successful event, you're going to need to lay down some of the preconceived notions you might have. What you hear might not make immediate sense. You have to decide what works best for your event, but at least consider trying something different.

Here are two modeling questions you can use:

- What is your most potent event marketing strategy?

- What are your biggest event marketing lessons (mistakes)?

It is also essential to validate the information. There are a lot of very audacious claims made in the event industry, whether it be attendance or revenue numbers. If possible, try to vet the data or make sure that the information you're getting is accurate.

There are successful event organizers out there willing to help you. Make it a point to try to speak to at least one a week. Taking 15 or 30 minutes out of your week to do this could revolutionize the way you run your event.


Bucking the system, regardless of circumstance

Right now, there are ambitious event organizers who are figuring out how to hold their next successful event. This includes changing how events are executed. Maybe even going from a live in-person event to online or virtual.

My recommendation is to keep a watchful eye on these ambitious and innovative event organizers. To be crystal clear here, I'm in no way suggesting anyone compromise the personal safety or health of themselves or others ... just to hold an event.

People are going to figure out how to hold successful events despite the circumstances. And those are the people you want to pay careful attention to.

As with all things you might read, see, or hear about a successful event ... be a healthy skeptic!

If it sounds too good to be true, do your due diligence. That includes verifying and quantifying! Someone is going to figure it out and you're going to want to know, "how did they do that?!?!"

Want to get more advice on planning and promoting a great event? Check out the articles below:


Why the Pros go "BIG" to advertise

Last year, a friend was frustrated while fiddling with his mobile device. He was frantically tapping at his smartphone. When I asked him what he was doing, his response, "I'm trying to manage my Facebook advertising campaign."

This recommendation is straightforward. If you're managing any sort of online advertising or marketing, use a desktop computer (or laptop with an external monitor) and a mouse. The advantages of using a large monitor and mouse, go well beyond convenience.

Because mobile devices have such small screens, most mobile advertising management applications lack the features found on traditional desktop operating systems (Mac OS, Linux, and Windows).

In short, there simply isn't the screen real estate to display all the features. Which was the case with my mobile phone using friend from above.

A friend who manages up to $30,000 USD of online advertising uses multiple monitors and a desktop computer. At times my friend oversees up to half a million dollars of online advertising monthly. When that much money is on the line, he couldn't imagine trying to manage client campaigns from his smartphone or a table.

Depending on the size of your event, not everyone can justify purchasing multiple monitors. At a minimum, please make sure you manage any advertising and marketing projects with the largest monitor possible, or at least a laptop and a mouse.

When dollars are on the line, be sure to go big (smartly)!

Want more info on promoting your event?
Check out the articles below:

 


Digging a "mine" right below your feet

Recently, a fellow business owner said the following:

"That's unbelievable! Where are you getting all that customer data from?"

My response, "right from the customer." My intention was not to be cheeky or curt. It was a straight-up response that's important to every event organizer. There is a mine of untapped customer and event data, right below your feet, RIGHT NOW!

Few if any event organizers are leveraging their existing datasets. Not a single event organizer that I'm away of is fully leveraging their customer data. The lack of data leveraging leaves mountains of potential ticket revenue and attendance on the table.

Additionally, the longer you go without putting your customer data into use, the more "digital dust" accumulates. Especially in today's digital age, digital data changes at breakneck speed. Years ago, a client lost almost 50% of their previous customer data due to neglect.

Here's a little Insider secret on data ...

Clients that have seen astronomical growth in ticket revenue took a deep dive into their existing datasets. They mined their data smartly and increased revenue, profitability, and improved the customer event experience.

With the world pausing most events, now is a great time deep dive into your data. Let me know what you find!

Here are some additional articles on planning a successful event: