A few years ago, a client decided to hire a highly prestigious PR firm to help promote their event. The cost to hire said PR firm was in the tens of thousands of dollars (USD). Ultimately, not a single ticket sold to the client's event could be reconciled to the efforts of the PR firm. Zero, zip, zilch!
Could the PR firm's effort have sold some tickets? Sure! But it's a rarity for a client to hold a vendor's feet to the fire, regarding measurable results.
Today's question of the day, "are you holding your vendors accountable to a mutually agreeable result?" The question is most applicable to advertising, marketing, and PR vendors. Be fair about this process by setting expectations at the beginning. "We're hiring you to sell tickets to our event and that's what you'll be held to, ok?"
Don't start any work, sign any agreements, or pay any money, until the expectation has been set and both parties (you and the vendor) agree.
After your event ...
You need to ask the question, "how many tickets (attendees) did you sell to our event?" Answers should come in the form of hard data. And if you can't prove it with data, the "results" don't count. No free passes, or "we'll show you next time!" Again, establish the expectation upfront!
You can tell the vendor, here are the questions we're going to ask you. And then, ask the questions above.
By that same token, if you can't track an effort (marketing, advertising, or PR) to ticket sales, don't engage in that activity! Either it works, and it can be proven, or it does not. There is no wiggle room here.
You owe it to yourself, your budget, and your team to start asking the tough marketing questions. The most straightforward place to start is by having the people and companies you pay held accountable. That accountability comes in the form of proven ticket sales, nothing less!
Additional Event Marketing and Advertising Resources:
- David Ogilvy's "Secret Weapon" for Advertising Success
- Simple Event Advertising Tracking with Google Analytics
- Measuring Advertising Effectiveness
- An Important Event Web Site Statistic for Promoters and Event Planners
- Did You Buy a Snickers Bar Yet?
- Hold Your Event Marketing Accountable!
- Web User Traffic Trends to Your Event Web Site