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:


What are your alternative event revenue sources?

In 1736, this well-known polymath said the following:

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" -Benjamin Franklin

Ben said the quote above regarding the fires in Philadelphia (USA) some 285 years ago.

Fast forward to 2021, and too many events are in serious trouble. The reasons are far-reaching. If you're local, provincial, or federal government won't allow you to have an event, there's not much you can do.

With that said, here's a simple question for today:

"If you can't hold an event, how is your organization generating revenue?"

Yes, every event should have a substantial cash reserve. In some cases, depending on where you are in the world, there is government assistance.

But if all your options for assistance are exhausted, where does that leave you and your event?

Alternative revenue sources are your "ounce of prevention!"

If you don't have alternative revenue options, now is a great time to start! There is a multitude of avenues, from collecting donations to online paid events. Those revenue options should be explored now and in place for the next global catastrophe.

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


The Queen's Gambit of Drugs, Alcohol, and Chess

If you have a Netflix account, I recommend watching "The Queen's Gambit." The Queen's Gambit is a look into the world of competitive chess combined with the struggles of drugs and alcohol. The series was just awarded two Golden Globes—one award for Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie and another award for Best Limited TV Series.

What's even more fascinating is the series creators' ability to turn chess, a game that's not easy to understand, into compelling entertainment for non-chess players.

After the series premiered in 2020, there was a notable increase in people's interest in chess. Then yesterday, you add in a few awards, and the Internet goes abuzz about chess, yet again.

"Netflix wins big at Golden Globes as 'Queen's Gambit' keeps fueling chess sales: Monday Wake-Up Call"

Source: https://adage.com/article/news/netflix-wins-big-golden-globes-queens-gambit-keeps-fueling-chess-sales-monday-wake-call/2317636

"What does a TV series about chess have to do with my event?"

Quite a lot. The Queen's Gambit highlights the power of compelling storytelling. Specifically, how to take something foreign to most people (chess) and get them hooked. This is similar to the process of getting new attendees to your event.

Is there a story you can tell, as part of your advertising and marketing process, that gets people to say, "I want to see/do that"?

Even better, is there a story your event attendees can tell their family and friends that makes it difficult for people not to attend your event?

If you can provide a compelling story that goes along with the questions above, it's almost impossible not to succeed with your event.

Related Event Marketing Advice:


"Check our Facebook page for updates"

Here's a bite-size nugget for today ...

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.

Playing the Game Differently
If you want to leverage social media, you have to play the game differently. What follows are the most common social media marketing mistakes to avoid and simple corrections you can use. The suggestions apply to any social media platform.

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

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: