Here's an air show takeaway that applies to every event ...
It came up this week, during a client call and is a great reminder. Please don't discount the suggestion because of its simplicity.
At the time we began working with them in 2013, the Memphis air show organizers were unsure about direct response marketing. As I recall, when asked about direct response marketing they responded with, "It's that stuff you see in infomercials, right?"
And it was a pretty good guess. Infomercials typically involve some sort of direct response device like a unique web address, unique telephone number or promo code.
The air show started to use simple promo codes across television, print, radio and online advertising. After the event, we designed a matrix with all the relevant promo codes and results. And presto! The show organizers discovered that 87% of all of their online ticket revenue was coming from one source.
The other sources, which was most of their cash advertising spend, only generated 13% of the online revenue.
Without the promo codes, they would have never known what was working and what wasn't.
The promo code that the Memphis Air Show used was straightforward: "Save 20% off your tickets to the Memphis Air Show. Use the promo code FLYNOW." Each media channel had its own promo code. It's important enough to repeat it: Television, print, radio, even individual radio stations had a separate and distinct promo code.
When all the promo codes were compiled into a matrix after the air show, the organizers saw precisely what worked and what didn't.
That allowed them to make intelligent decisions regarding any future air show advertising and it also gave them tremendous leverage when it came to negotiating new marketing and advertising deals. Without the matrix, they would've had no idea what worked and what didn't.
The takeaway? Make sure you're using promo codes with all of your event marketing and advertising. Even better, most online ticket service providers support promo codes. Make sure you take advantage and track your advertising results!