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December 2019
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"Facebox" just banned your page, now what

During initial marketing assessments, Facebook is usually one of the first topics mentioned by new clients.

A favorite point of event organizer braggadocio is touting one's Facebook followers or page likes. It goes like this: "We have over X number of followers on our Facebook page!" In some cases over 40,000 Facebook followers.

What gets muddled in the details of marketing is who owns what. Specifically, your Facebook followers or people who like your event page.

My question to event organizers is this, "have you ever tried to download a list of people who follow your Facebook page?"

If your ever bored, take a look at Facebook's terms of service. I'm no attorney, but last time I checked, your "followers" don't belong to you. They belong to Facebook.

This information is not being shared to depress you. It's to get you to think.

Specifically, what are you going to do if your Facebook page gets taken down or is no longer available to you? When asked the previous question, most event organizers respond with, "we never thought of that!"

The question above doesn't apply to just Facebook. It includes social media platforms such as Instagram (owned by Facebook), Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, etc. Each of the service providers just listed own the platform and "your" followers, page likes, etc.

Be different and be proactive!

Make sure you're taking steps to build and collect your own permission-based datasets. Especially when it comes to event attendee data. That said, if you're going to collect data, do so ethically and with the highest of privacy standards in place.

Owning your own data set is one of the best ways to ensure the success of your event today and in the future.

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 to the 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

Opening your event tickets like Christmas presents

In 2018, I found myself in Antwerp, Belgium for a speaking engagement. During a small group coaching session, I was asked if I had heard of Tomorrowland.

My initial response was, "As in Disney's Tomorrowland? The movie and theme park area?" No, the Tomorrowland in question had nothing to do with Disney.

Tomorrowland is an International electronic dance music festival. It takes place in the town of Boom, Belgium. Ironically enough, Boom, Belgium is only about a 30-minute drive south of where I was presenting in Antwerp.

After finishing my Belgian speaking engagement, I returned to the United States and took a careful look into Tomorrowland. To say the least, it's an extraordinary event. Even if you hate electronic dance music.

During my research I discovered the following video link:

The link above is a reaction video with a woman who was able to secure highly coveted Tomorrowland tickets.

The video has been shared with all my clients and with the following question. "When people receive tickets to your event, do any of them react similarly?" Then, go post a video on YouTube about it!

To be fair, not everyone is going to react like it's Christmas morning and you just received the gift you've dreamt about for years.

If you look on YouTube you'll find tens of thousands of Tomorrowland videos. A Google video search showed 1,070 results for "Tomorrowland ticket unboxing".

Put directly, Tomorrowland is an event every serious event organizer should research. Any event organizer could learn a lot from an outdoor event that sells over 200,000 tickets in less than 43 minutes.

There are also plenty of lessons on creating an extraordinary event experience, from ticket buy through the event. Be sure to check out the video link above and take a careful look at Tomorrowland. There is at least one good money making idea waiting for you.

Additional Event Promotion Resources
Below are some additional email event marketing articles on how you can be a great email marketer for your next event ...


Are you just jealous or really hungry to learn?

With the days that have passed, I reflect on a few nuggets of event wisdom. Specifically, last month's observations at an international conference of event organizers.

If you haven't had an opportunity, please go back and read the "Can I buy you a drink?" post or email for context.

This year was the first year I did not have a trade show booth at an industry conference. Not having an exhibit allowed me to take in the conference in a whole new way.

In short, when you're not focused on trying to book business at your booth, you are far more aware of the subtleties around you.

One of my biggest conference takeaways is a question for every event organizer, "what's your approach to other event organizers who are far more successful than you?"

My reason for bringing up how event organizers react to the success of others tends to be very telling.

There are usually two distinct responses. This isn't absolute and I'm sure there are exceptions, but for the most part... those who are jealous of the success of others aren't doing as well as they could.

On the positive side, those who recognize the success of others and carefully study event success are far more likely to have successful events. It could be as simple as ethically borrowing and implementing one great idea.

I'm curious, "what's your approach to other event organizers who are far more successful than you?" Drop me a line and let me know.

Here are some additional nuggets of event planning advice:

A crazy question with massive mileage

Years ago, I was out to dinner with the Chairman of the Board for a client.

At the time, I asked a question to our restaurant waiter that the Chairman found to be unique. The next time I met with the client's Chairman he said to me, "Eugene I've been using your crazy question when my wife and I go out and the stories have been non-stop entertainment, thank you!"

With the new year and new opportunities upon us, we find ourselves in the company of others. Allow me to share a simple question that is anything but boring. The "question" also has a fantastic ability to bring out the best and most humorous responses.

Here's my crazy question (and variation).

If with family and friends:

"What's the most interesting thing you've done since we last spoke?"

If you're out and about at a restaurant (used by the Chairman when out to dinner with his wife):

"What's the most interesting thing that's happened to you while working here?"

I immediately follow up the question with, "please share something funny or interesting, nothing depressing." This helps eliminate 99% of negative responses. Also, you'll have to gauge the personality of the person you're talking to.

In the last 15 years I've used the question(s) above hundreds of times and not a single person has refused to answer. Even better, most of the answers are surprising, inspiring, and laugh out loud hilarious.

In today's non-stop world of tech, something as simple as sharing a story can brighten someone else's day and yours. Give it a whirl and let me know how it works.

Beware event convention hucksters and charlatans

In the world of business, dollars mean the difference between success and bankruptcy. This axiom is universal and applicable to every business and event. Put bluntly, if you can't pay your bills, you are out of business.

My issue with too many (not all) people who give marketing advice and presentations at industry conventions is their use of vanity metrics, backed up with unqualified opinions.

e.g. "Look at how many people are using social media. Here are the global stats. Therefore, you must use social media!"

My rub with vanity metrics is it's a lazy way of playing the "trusted advisor" game. For too many events, social media accounts for less than 5% of their total ticket revenue. This is not my opinion, it's what the data clearly shows.

And the above critique is not limited to the social media acolytes.

I'm an equal opportunity discriminator. Either what your doing can directly be tracked to dollars or not. There is no partial credit.

Just last month, I was at an air show convention in Las Vegas. There, a panel of "experts" were espousing the dos and don'ts of event website design.

One of the panelists, an award-winning owner of a prestigious marketing agency said, "don't do (X) on your website because it annoys people."

If that same opinionated panelist took the time to look at data, they wouldn't make such ignorant statements.

Case and point. One client did the annoying (X) with little cost in terms of time and money. That same client sold nearly a thousand tickets to their event. Total cost, about $250 USD and 30 minutes of the client's time. All with zero complaints from event attendees!

"How much would you pay to sell 1,000 tickets to your next event?"

Instead of me being all angry pants on people, let me give you a simple tool for your marketing toolbox. The next time you find yourself at a convention or seminar on marketing. Ask the following question of the presenter:

"Can you share any case studies or hard data supporting your specific recommendation?"

One important note on the above. Regardless of my disapproval of most marketers and advertisers, my goal isn't to publicly embarrass anyone. So, I would encourage you to wait and ask the question above in private.

Use the question above and let me know how it turns out.

And in case you're wondering, I welcome your questions regarding any of my recommendations.

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

Trying to rescue cats that can't be found

If you can keep a secret, read on ... (If not, no worries, catch ya tomorrow!)

In my sparsely spare time, I help my lady rescue abandon and outdoor felines. It's everyone's hope that engaging in such activity would assist me in being a more compassionate human. We'll see what happens.

Today's cat rescue adventure involved driving to a local pet store to check in on the kittens my lady rescued from the city streets of Rochester. According to the rescue organization's most recent Facebook post and associated comments, the event was to be held today from 1200h-1400h.

Upon arriving at the pet store, we headed to the back of the store where all the rescued furballs can be found. Usually, there are a bunch of happy people and cute fur babies on display for adoption.

You can pick the cats up, cuddle, nuzzle, and see if their purr-motor works (some do not). Today there was nothing. No cats in need of rescue or helpful humans from the rescue organization.

After scratching our heads for a few moments, my lady double-checked the Facebook post and we indeed were at the right place at the right time. There were even a bunch of supportive comments on the post announcing today's event.

We proceeded to the front of the pet store to inquire on the event. That's when we spoke with Jen, a pet store employee.

In short Jen told us, "a bunch of interested people showed up and nobody from the adoption agency is here. No call, no show!" You could tell Jen was annoyed and for a good reason.

Why am I telling you the story above?

Because if something unexpected happens with your event, where are people going to find an update? Are they going to Facebook, Twitter, or your event website? Maybe you're going to send a text message or email. Perhaps it's all the above. (And it should be.)

Just imagine if someone showed up to your event and nothing was going on and nobody to be found. It's frustrating to say the least and a waste of people's time.

The above story is an example of how not effectively updating people wanting to attend your event can damage the reputation of your event and your organization.

If people lose faith in your organization, are they going to spend their hard-earned money to support your cause? Probably not.

Regardless of how big or small your event, please make sure you have a contingency and communication plan in place ready to go a moment's notice. It doesn't always have to be complicated.

With the cat rescue event above, a simple update to the organization's Facebook post would have helped.

From Woodstock to Tomorrowland (Belgium)

Recently, I encouraged subscribers to watch a YouTube video on the unboxing of event tickets. The tickets were for an event called Tomorrowland.

Even if you have zero interest in music festivals, I encourage you to take a more in-depth look into Tomorrowland (Belgium). So, I'm going to hit the "easy button" for you.

What started in 2005 with a few thousand people, has exploded into a two-weekend event that sells over 350,000 tickets in less than 45 minutes. Tomorrowland sells out almost 4 months before a single person walks in the front gate. Conservative estimates put their event ticket revenue at around 75 million Euro.

You might not be able to sell out 350,000 tickets to your event. But, imagine what it would feel like if you could sell out your event 4 months in advance! That means cash money in your bank account and the ability to focus on executing a great event.

One of the biggest reasons for Tomorrowland's incredible growth has been the organizer's focus on the attendee experience. The production quality is in a word extraordinary.

Below are two videos that give you a behind the scenes look and overall feel for Tomorrowland. Give them a click!

CNBC International – Tomorrowland Feature:

Tomorrowland Official 2019 Aftermovie (note: 23 minutes in length & contains adult language):

While watching the videos above, I encourage you to ask yourself, "what ideas can I ethically borrow for my event?" There's at least one proven idea waiting for you!

Here are some additional event planning links and suggestions:

"Goats in Trees" and "Underwater Dogs"

In 2018, I found myself in a fascinating discussion with a European event organizer.

During a marketing seminar, the topic of email marketing was broached. Specifically, the number of marketing emails you should send for your event.

So I asked, "how many emails would you feel comfortable sending?"

The gentleman's response, "around 5 to 10 emails."

To which I replied, "how about sending 20 to 30 emails?" His answer was a firm, "No."

Because the event organizer was a good sport, I decided to dig a little deeper. So I asked, "why wouldn't you want to send more than 5 to 10 emails?"

Because, in their personal opinion, they consider sending too many marketing emails "spam."

This is a prime example of applying one's personal beliefs to an entire target market. During our debate about email frequency, one of the event organizer's team members chimed in ...

The team member mentioned an event in the United Kingdom. That event sent, "an email almost every day and sold out months in advance." Am I saying you should email every day? No. There is something much more important at play.

This "email frequency" story illustrates the importance of not applying one's personal bias (team bias, or Board bias) to your target market.

Why "goats in trees"? Because while walking around and waiting for a booklet to print at an office supply store, I found a "Goats in Trees" calendar. My initial reaction was one of disbelief. "Nobody's going to buy that!" But sure enough, there it was a full-color calendar of goats in trees. Next to the goat's calendar, "underwater dogs!"

A simple Google search will show you there is an entire line of books, t-shirts, puzzles, and coffee mugs dedicated to "goats in trees." Apparently, they've been selling "goats in trees" calendars since at least 2010.

Please remember. Just because you believe or are put off by something, doesn't mean your target market feels the same way. In some cases, the people who you are trying to appeal to might have an entirely opposite belief than your own. And that's an opportunity cost for your business or event!

Additional Email Event Marketing Resources
Below are some additional email event marketing articles on how you can be a great email marketer for your next event ...

Having an event advertising alignment process

Back in 2006, I was introduced to the marketing genius of Eben Pagan. Eben's focus is on selling dating advice and business growth advice. Both of the previous topics are seemingly unrelated, yet fascinatingly intertwined.

Eben is also known for being one of the best direct response marketing experts in the world. Because of his track record of success and several strong recommendations, I joined Eben's high-end training program called Guru Mastermind. It was in a word, extraordinary.

What I learned and implemented from Eben's program has generated tens of millions of dollars in ticket sales for clients. Here's one of the strategies Eben discussed around "advertising alignment."

What's that?

It's a strategy that focuses on organizing all your advertising strategically and carefully aligning it from start to finish. The same applies to any marketing process.

Here's an example of advertising misalignment. Yesterday, there was an online banner ad for our local airport. The banner ad referenced getting away from our currently cold winter to a warm and sunny location.

After clicking on the airport ad, you are redirected to a generic page full of arrival and departure schedules. There was no lead gen, no offer, no references to anything warm and sunny!

Contrast the above with an advertisement with proper alignment. Each step in the advertising process should be mapped through. Here are two simple questions to keep you on the right path:

Does the ad copy and design relate to where a user is being directed after they click?

After they click, does the copy of the page that the user is taken to directly relate to the ad?

Is there an offer or lead generation opportunity on the landing page?

After reading this, I encourage you to go out and click on a few banner ads. Are the advertisements you click on in alignment? Take note of the discrepancies and make sure your ads are in alignment, from start to finish.

Get your event promotions aligned! Check out the links below:


Asking about too many rows of zeros

Depending on the project and timeframe, I often find myself crunching daily ticket sales reports. Typically, it's a tedious and uneventful process.

In this case, the ticket reporting for an event showed numerous sales anomalies. The event in question was about a week away. And, there were dozens of rows with zero ticket revenue. If you're sending out complimentary (comp) tickets to sponsors and supporters, this could be considered normal.

So, I triple checked the reporting and reached out to the event's ticket manager. When I broached the subject with the ticket manager, their response wasn't what you'd expect. The ticket manager angrily asked, "Eugene, who asked you to look into this?!?!"

My response, "Nobody. It just seems like there are far too many zeros." To say the least, the ticket manager wasn't happy with me.

My next call was to an executive board member to ask them, "what's going on with these comp tickets?!?!" In short, a promo code for comp tickets escaped into the public. In total, around 10,000 USD of comp tickets were issued in error.

A simple solution would have been canceling all the comp tickets. The problem was there were hundreds of legitimate comp tickets in the mix. And no easy way to differentiate the good from the bad. In the end, the client immediately turned off the promo code.

Here's another "rows of zeros" scenario ...

This year, an event comped away over 12,000 USD of high demand VIP tickets to "friends of the event organizers." Considering that the VIP tickets sold out well in advance. That's $12K+ of valuable lost event revenue.

When it comes to complimentary tickets, here are two questions to ask yourself:

1. If you're comping tickets to your event, do you have strict controls in place to make sure every comp ticket is legitimate?

2. If you're giving away complimentary tickets, especially VIP tickets, what's your opportunity cost?

Stay vigilant with your tickets, especially comp and VIP tickets!

Want to get more information on advance ticket sales for your next event? Check out the articles below:

Often neglected voicemail marketing

When marketing is discussed, you often hear about online and traditional (offline) opportunities.

Rarely, if ever, is leveraging voicemail discussed. And to avoid any confusion, we're not talking about robocalling random people and leaving annoying voicemail messages.

Today's focus is on using your own voicemail message as a marketing tool. It goes beyond how most use voicemail.

Usually voicemail messages go something like this:

"Hey, thanks for calling Captain Awesome's event. Please leave your name, telephone number, and we'll call you back!"

The above message is a missed opportunity!

Simply put, "are you using your voicemail message as a marketing tool?" Leveraging your voicemail message can be done in several ways. At a minimum, you should give a short yet compelling reason for a caller to visit your dedicated event website.

Voicemail messages can also be used as a customer service tool.

When asked, clients often tell me that most of the incoming voicemails they receive are related to customer service issues. Especially as you approach those critical days before your event.

That said, is there something simple you can quickly convey in your voicemail to automate your customer service process?

Sometimes it's the simplest of marketing tools that are often neglected and under-leveraged. Don't let your voicemail be one of them!

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

Kicking ad agency "kickbacks" to the curb

Over the years, I've been involved in several media buying negotiations for clients. In almost every instance the people trying to sell advertising to clients want to (figuratively & probably literally) strangle me.

Why? Because most of my work is performance-based. If clients don't make any money, I don't get paid.

Furthermore, I openly advocate that clients adopt the savvy mindset of, "only paying for results." And results-based media buys make most ad agencies and those trying to sell you advertising, very uncomfortable.

In a time that predated my existence, many ad agencies received a "kickback" for spending your money on advertising. The practice has been going on since at least the 1950s and probably well before that.

Here's a simplified explanation. If you contracted with a media buyer or ad agency to buy advertising for your event and they purchased USD 50K of online, television, print ads, etc. That company/person buying your media would be paid by the advertiser about 15% of your USD 50K ad spend. Regardless of that advertising selling a single ticket to your event!

If you utilize an agency or media buyer for your event, I encourage you to carefully read through your contract. Specifically look for agreement verbiage related to rebates, fees, commissions, or mark ups.

You can eliminate any "fees" by doing your own media buys. It's not that difficult if you know two essential items ... CPL & CPS.

Most business owners and event organizers have no idea how much it costs in advertising to generate a lead or a sale. You need to have your Cost Per Lead (CPL) and Cost Per Sale (CPS) numbers down cold. Knowing those numbers dictates what you can afford to spend on advertising and marketing.

Years ago, a friend of mine Orest Hrywnak gave an informal interview about media buying to clients. Before his passing, Orest spent 30 years in the radio business selling advertising. During the interview with Orest, he pointed out that it is nearly impossible to negotiate against someone who knows their adverting/marketing math.

When you know your advertising/marketing math, you are in full control to receive the best advertising and marketing deals possible. Plus, you keep that 15% of the money you spend on advertising in your pocket!

Get more event advertising negotiation insights:

Being stuck in a "we're so cool" industry mindset

In December, I attended a paid industry seminar on using Social Media to drive event ticket sales. Two of the presenters were clients, so I was there in a support capacity. It was great to see that the overall presentation focused on tracking advertising and marketing efforts to ticket sales.

During a case study presentation by a young lady from the United Kingdom, something hilarious occurred. The presenter's case study featured a marketing campaign with over 500 tracked online advertisements. Her campaign is one of the most sophisticated event promotion campaigns I've ever seen. Bravo!

Here's the funny part. The presenter mentioned that more ticket sales were generated from "today is the last day to buy" Facebook posts than from performer feature posts. Put in other words, the Facebook posts that were straight forward sales messages outperformed all others.

Immediately after that information was shared with the room ... one of the revered award-winning industry-leading experts, replied out loud with, "really?!?!" Then came the very measured British reply of, "really." And she simply moved on with her presentation.

The industry mindset is "everything we do is cool. We just need to tell more people about it and they'll think it's cool too." That isn't the case and the tracked data shows otherwise.

Here's today's takeaway. Sometimes the best way to sell tickets to your event is to give people a reason to buy right now. Most event organizers are afraid to ask, because they think it's "too salesy."

Be different and you will profit.

Here are some additional articles on planning a successful event:

"Can I buy you a drink?"

Last month, I attended a marketing session on social media and using data analytics to drive ticket sales. Overall there were several great points.

During the session, one of the presenters shared their gross ticket revenue numbers and marketing strategies. The figure was around 7 million USD in event ticket sales. It was an astronomical number. And 10x-20x what most event organizers do in the field.

Fast forward to this morning. One of the people who attended yesterday's marketing session proceeded to give me feedback on their experience.

The person's main point of feedback to me on the presentation went something like this. "I can't believe that our conference organizers brought in a person who generated 7 million dollars of ticket sales as a presenter. We don't do anywhere near that number!" Clearly, they weren't happy and a bit jealous.

During the presentation, the person sharing their 7 million dollar success story was more than generous with information.

In my mind, if any event organizer came to me with $7 million dollars of ticket sales results. The question I would ask would be, "can I buy you a drink?" Imagine what one could discover!

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

For all the technological terror, this works better

About ten years ago, an event client conducted an onsite informal marketing survey. Event attendees were asked a question in exchange for a can of soda (pop).

The survey consisted of a straightforward question, "how did you hear about the event?" Participants were given a series of multiple-choice answers to choose from. Choices included: Facebook, billboards, radio, television, etc.

When all the attendee answers were tallied, the top response to "how did you hear about the event?" was "from a friend."

Fast forward to the present day. The same question above gets asked to another set of event attendees, with a similar choice of multiple choice answers. Interestingly enough, the top option selected was "from a friend."

Now, two separate informal surveys don't constitute anything near statistical significance. But it does get one thinking.

For all the technological marvels that have arisen in the past ten years, one person telling another person is still a powerful way to market one's event.

When the findings are presented to the event organizers, they're gobsmacked. "There's no way that could be true!"

If you haven't already, is there a way you can take advantage of "word of mouth" advertising to promote your event? It costs you nothing and relies on one of the most potent forms of human persuasion. One person telling another of their experience.

Additional Event Promotion and Marketing Advice Links:

A ginormous online advertising mistake

This morning, I found myself scrolling through Facebook for market research. I was attempting to have a re-targeted Facebook ad display for an event in Ohio. Surprisingly, the advertisement I was looking for popped up in less than 30 seconds.

A closer look at the event's Facebook ad showed a few dozen likes and about 7 comments. The focus of the ad was to promote discount ticket sales.

Next up in my research was clicking on the advertisement. Where would the click lead me? Right into the jaws of an egregious online advertising mistake. After clicking on the ad, the Facebook user is taken to the event's homepage.

"Well how is that bad?"

Where the user was taken, after the click, was a disconnect from the advertisement. It's something that often happens with online advertisements and kills advertising effectiveness.

As an example, if you're advertising discount tickets to your event, then drive people directly to your event's ticket page (not your homepage). This might seem silly, but this simple concept still gets missed.

Today's takeaway is simple. If you're going to advertising online, make sure your advertisements are in alignment from start to finish!

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

Taking advantage of the event tease

One of the biggest mistakes I see with many event marketing campaigns is the desire to tell people everything at once.

With rare exception, a "tell all at once" approach rarely pay dividends. Especially with ticket sales.

In 2015, I started working with a client that had pushed most of their info out to the public, 10 months before their event. The net result was a little over one hundred USD of first-day online ticket sales.

If you're not taking advantage of it, curiosity is a fascinating human condition to integrate into your marketing campaigns.

Curiosity is applicable across multiple advertising and marketing mediums. Everything from your website, to social media, and traditional advertisements. Even the subject lines of your email marketing campaigns.

In 2016, the client with anemic first-day ticket sales came back with a phenomenal turnaround.

Instead of starting ticket sales 10 months in advance, the client teased highlights and performers for their event. Lots of curiosity building demand. The client even delayed the start of online ticket sales by 8 months.

As a result, the client's first-day ticket sales skyrocketed by +116,224.32%. (And, yes, the decimal place is in the correct position.)

If you're not smartly and strategically leveraging curiosity, you're leaving a mountain of money on the table. Go forth a be a tease with your event!

Want more insight into building curiosity for your event? Check out the articles below:

Inadvertently slaughtering a golden goose

A few weeks ago, I spoke with a Canadian event organizer about their number one marketing asset. That asset is the "goose that lays golden eggs." And everyone has one. Your golden goose comes in the form of your customer and prospect list.

When curated and appropriately cultivated, a permission-based marketing list will outperform all other forms of advertising or marketing.

In 10 years, the Canadian event organizer referenced above spent over 100,000 CAD building a permission-based database of over 40,000 people. Their database investment generated over 1,000,000 CAD of ticket sales. That's a 900% return on investment.

If you have anything that can consistently generate that level of ROI spanning 10 years, I'm all eyes!

As it pertains to the Canadian event organizer, they had given control of their "golden goose" to another organization as a result of a business partnership.

What was intended to be a good-faith partnership ended in a marketing disaster.

The event's new partner insisted on using their own marketing software for database marketing. Because of anti-spam laws, that required every one of the 40,000 imported customers to reaffirm their permission to be marketed to.

As a result, an expensive and well-cultivated marketing list of 40,000 was slashed to 400 people.

As of last year, the partnership has ended, and the Canadian organizer is left with a tiny marketing list. Will they be able to rebuild their list, yes! Unfortunately, it will take them years to get back to a high-quality list of 40,000 people.

This one is straightforward. Unless you're getting more money than you've ever imagined, never cede control of your golden goose to any other organization.

Here are some "golden goose" links to get you going:

The event marketing - meatgrinder questions

In the mid-2000s, I was at an event conference in Las Vegas. A friend of mine had invited me to a "who's-who's" evening party at the Bellagio. During the party, I met an event organizer from California. For reasons I cannot explain (probably alcohol), I asked him the following four questions.

"How much cash did you spend on your marketing/advertising budget?"

His response, was about 250,000 USD cash (it could have been 150 - it's been 15 years) . Based on the size of his event, the number seemed a little high. But I didn't want to be too nosy, so I rolled on.

Next question:

"What was your most successful marketing or advertising piece/initiative?"

His response, "Great question, I'm not really sure. I think it was newspaper advertising."

Then, an important follow-up question:

"What was the return on investment for your most successful marketing/advertising piece?"

He responded with, "Unfortunately, I don't know."

Based on the event organizers answers, I asked my final question:

"If you're not absolutely sure what is the most effective form of marketing/advertising ... why do you still invest $250K (150K) cash in your marketing and advertising?"

The gentleman's response was delayed (you could see him mentally reconciling his answers to the previous questions).

After a few seconds, he finally responded with:

"Because that's what we've always done."

Out of dozens of event organizers whom I've asked the questions above, only one could confidently answer each question. Notably, several organizers responded with similar answers, "we don't know ... and that's what we've always done."

I strongly encourage you to use the questions above, after every event.

Get your team together and go through all your advertising and marketing. You must hold all your marketing and advertising ruthlessly accountable. If your advertising and marketing can't show ROI, cast it out!

Incidentally, the one event organizer who was able to answer the questions above with conviction, has a highly successful and profitable annual event.

Want to get more info on how to track your event marketing and advertising? Check out the articles below:

The art of online to offline event promotion

There was a time when testing a piece of advertising took days, weeks, or months with traditional media. Today, you can do the same within hours or days using the Internet for a fraction of the cost. Specifically, when it comes to testing your event advertising and finding something that works!

Even better, no long-term advertising contracts or commitments! An entire course could be taught on testing advertising online and deploying it offline. For today, let's start with a few crumbs of insight.

How does it work? In the simplest sense ... you test an event advertisement, offer, or event sales copy online ... get a measurable result ... and then take your tested promotion offline.

It was 2016, and I was working on a government contract for a U.S. Navy event in Fort Worth, Texas. The two Navy gentlemen for the project had zero experience with Internet marketing. Even though they didn't have much marketing experience, these two gents were great at taking direction and initiative!

During the beginning phases of the Navy project, one of the guys asked if he could take a tested online lead generation piece and use it offline. My response, "heck yeah, that's a great idea!" So they took the online marketing piece and place it into a print newsletter as a one-page advertisement.

The Navy's offline advertisement directed readers back to a one-page website. In less than a week after printing and distribution, the Navy had generated hundreds of permission-based "red hot" leads for their event. All from a print advertisement that started its life as an online lead generation piece.

Instead of coming up with a new advertising piece, do you have an online event advertisement that you can repurpose in traditional media (television, print, radio, billboard)? We broached this topic in a previous email.

If you're ambitious, you can take the entire online to offline testing concept and use the strategy to build out all your event marketing campaigns. Will it take a little work? Absolutely! But the payoffs and event marketing insights are extraordinary!

Discover how to track and test your event promotions. Just click a link below: