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A "Must Follow" Event Advertising Strategy . . .

Event_advertising_marketing Over the weekend, a friend of mine told me about an advertising package a local newspaper had (pressured him into) sold him. The newspaper sales person convinced my friend to buy into an expensive advertising contract. The sales pitch focused around the notion of - "if you're advertising - you NEED repetition to connect with your audience." The signed advertising contract NOW ties my friend into an expensive long term contract. This isn't a problem if the advertising works, but if the advertising fails to deliver results . . . He'll have to pay for advertising that isn't doing squat!

How does the example above apply to your event marketing and promotion efforts?

When you buy advertising to promote your event, it's important to be savvy on how you negotiate the deal. You have the right to negotiate advertising terms. More importantly you have the obligation to say, "no thanks" if the advertising deal isn't good for you.

Yes, I have a gripe with many people who sell advertising. Here's WHY (Very Important) - It seems like they are more interested in getting you to sign a contact - instead of making sure their advertising actually works. Honestly, when's the last time an advertising company said to you, "Our advertising isn't going to help you, so this probably isn't a good use of your marketing dollars."

You need to look out for yourself! Here are some simple suggestions you can use next time you talk to an advertising sales person. The suggestions below are applicable to both online and offline advertising . . .

NEVER Pay Rate Card!
First off, NEVER pay rate card for your event advertising! Rate card is the advertiser's rate they've decided to charge to run an ad. It's similar to MSRP - Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. As the buyer, you can counter-offer the Rate Card. It's pretty simple - tell the sales person, "I'm not willing to pay X , but I will pay Y."  Obviously you'll need to finesse your negotiating message a little.

After your counter-offer, it's then up to the advertiser to accept or decline the rate you're willing to pay. The worst that they can say is "No," and that's just fine. Remember it's your event marketing budget. You're going to want to find advertising companies that are willing to get you results!

Using an Advertising Out Clause
Another very powerful event marketing strategy is negotiating a contractual "out clause." An out clause gives you the ability to try an advertising medium BEFORE you fully commit to a expensive or long term contract. There is nothing more frustrating than getting contractually tied into something that isn't directly benefiting your event marketing efforts. Even if you have to pay more for your advertising upfront, explore trying to negotiate an advertising out clause.

Online Event Advertising
Here's is an example . . . Lets say you're buying online banner advertising to promote your event. The contract term is for 90 days of advertising. When you're negotiating terms, you should ask for a 72 hour out clause to be written into the contract. This allows you to buy 3 days worth of advertising to see if it works. If the advertising doesn't work for driving traffic to your event web site or selling tickets, then you can option out of the contract. If you negotiate an out clause, you need to practice accountable advertising (tracking your results). If you can't track that your event advertising is work, why buy it?

Offline Event Advertising
You can also try to negotiate an out clause for offline advertising (television, radio, print.) With offline advertising your out clause needs to be a little long. The length of time is largely depending on how many times your advertising runs. You might need 2-3 runs of your ad before you can deem it's effectiveness. Again, you need to track the effectiveness of your event promotions.

In short, an out clause allows you to TEST and TRACK your advertising, BEFORE you tie yourself into an expensive or long term contract.

You as the buyer of advertising have ultimate say in what you pay or negotiate for advertising. Always try to negotiate the best event advertising deal possible. Don't just blindly spend money marketing your event.

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


Eugene Loj


Thanks for the comment.

Let me answer some of your questions one by one . . .

“You have a gripe with people who sell advertising?” (Tony)

Allow me to clarify my swipe at people who sell advertising.
I have NO issues toward people who sell advertising with INTEGRITY.

As stated in the article - I’m waiting for the advertising rep or account exec who tells a prospective buyer, "Our advertising isn't going to help you, so this probably isn't a good use of your marketing dollars." I’m sure high integrity sales people exist, but they’re hard to find.

However, I do have a problem with low integrity advertising reps and account execs . . . They are the people who sell advertising that is little or no benefit to the buyer.

“Do you feel the same way about car salesman, doctors, lawyers or anybody else that sells for a living and I think that would include you too." (Tony)

As long as the services being sold can honestly and truly help the buyer. And - Yes, I include myself in with other professional service providers.

“Do I get the same deal if I am going to hire your services?” (Tony)

When it comes to my services, you get a sweet deal . . . Most of my high end clients are performance or contingency based. That means if my services don’t render them a hefty minimum return, I get paid NOTHING! In short, my ass is on the line to produce tangible results!

Show me ONE media or advertising company who's willing to do performance based advertising or guarantee results.

If someone buys into a coaching problem, I offer them a satisfaction guarantee. Here’s the Satisfaction Guarantee section from my services page . . .

Satisfaction Guaranteed
This program comes with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you don’t think the information or time wasn’t worth triple what you invested, I’ll refund your money. That’s a big reason why there is an application process. I won't take everyone who applies. My desire to work with highly motivated people, hungry to learn, exceeds the need to make a quick buck.

“Do I get a deal?” (Tony)

If you qualify, yes, you get the deal above. I won’t take on a client if I can’t honestly help them.

“How about you offer one more point to your list. Have the sales rep give you a list of advertisers they have helped and make a few reference calls.” (Tony)

You bring up a valid point. I brought up similar suggestion in an April 16, 2007 post; “Money Saving Advertising Question” Here’s the link:

Below is an excerpt from the 2007 article, expounding on your point . . .

You can ask the question for almost any type of advertising: television, radio, print, billboards, online, etc. Direct the question to the person trying to sell you advertising. Ask them “Can you give me a few references of companies who advertise (or have advertised) with you selling similar products or services to my own? I would like to ask them some questions related to their ROI.” It’s a fair and honest question. If a company can’t provide you with a few advertising references why buy advertising from them? The question isn't meant to discourage businesses from advertising. It's to discourage people from getting into the wrong advertising.

Let me know if you have any more questions.


- Eugene

Tony Mariani

"Don't throw stones at people who live in glass houses".

Eugene, most media have cancellations clauses.

You have a gripe with people who sell advertising? Do you feel the same way about car salesman, doctors, lawyers or anybody else that sells for a living and I think that would include you too.

Don't pay rate card? Do I get the same deal if I am going to hire your services? Do I get a deal?

Eugene, I would agree that some sales people are in it for the "sale". How about you offer one more point to your list.

Have the sales rep give you a list of advertisers they have helped and make a few reference calls.

Eugene Loj


Thank you for the kind words!

Be sure to let us know how you make out with the event.


- Eugene

Jim Niemann

A group of us ex-locals (all retirees) are planning a reunion in our old home town of Broken Hill Australia, for the Easter weekend 2011.

After a lifetime in management we are glad to say that so far we seem to have hit on some of the ideas you suggest in your blogs.

We have built our own data base and posted to almost a thousand ex-pats early, because accommodation will be at a premium and we want to fill every bed!

Any money left over from ticket sales and sponsorship, after expenses are paid, will be donated to the local Family History Group who are all volunteers, documenting the history of our famous city.

In order to keep the interest alive for the next six months, I have created a web page: and a Facebook page.

We find your ideas are very valuable and look forward to them every day.

- Jim Niemann

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