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A Seven Million Dollar Drink

In 2019, 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?"

A few days later, I asked the presenter if anyone inquired about the details of her organization's success. And not a single person inquired. If given the opportunity, always ask! It's amazing what you'll discover.

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

Doubling Down in a Down Turn

Contrary to what the media is reporting, it isn't all doom and gloom in the world. I'm not going to deny that many people are struggling. But it's important to remember that people still want to do things. Some events and industries are thriving despite the COVID.

Opportunities are all over the place for smart and savvy event organizers. One massive possibility that you can take advantage of is discounted advertising rates.

Advertising outlets are so desperate to get advertisers they are offering advertising at a discount. Everyone is discounting their services: television, print, radio, online, etc. especially now that the US election season is over.

It's far less expensive to buy advertising to promote your event. Even with discounted advertising, focus on negotiating your advertising packages even lower.

A trusted media buyer told me that 80% of online advertising goes unsold. Be vigilant in how you negotiate your advertising agreements. Never say yes to the initial price you're quoted.

Advertising advantages go beyond discounted rates. The current economic state has also prompted many businesses to reduce or even eliminate advertising efforts.

It's a psychological effect. Business owners think "other businesses are spending less, we should follow suit." As a result, you have less advertising competing for the consumer's attention. Make sure you don't follow the rest of the flock.

A down economy is an excellent time to gain market share on the competition. You can take advantage of less clutter in the advertising marketplace to position your future event with the public.

If you're thinking of holding an event, the current economy offers you certain advantages. People still want to be entertained, have fun, and learn new things.

It's up to you to provide them something unique and of high perceived value. The opportunity is out there, go and get it. You can get started for as little as $5 USD per day!

"Chaotic, dramatic, and stressful" during your event

You know what it's like ... those days leading up to and through your event. My guess is that you would NOT use words like "relaxing, stress-free, or pleasant." Chances are it's a little more chaotic, dramatic, and stressful. What probably ends up happening is you get into execution mode.

And because you're in execution mode, you have to prioritize your time and energy against other efforts. What often gets neglected when prioritizing are your advertising and marketing efforts. It's the nature of the beast.

My question for you today is this:

"What's your marketing plan for the final days leading up to and through your event? And how are you going to execute on that plan?"

Being able to confidently answer both questions above is essential for maximizing your event attendance and ticket revenue. And it's rarely an easy answer. So, here are two simple strategies which all my clients use.

With clients, their marketing and advertising plans are usually discussed and finalized six to nine months in advance. There are even a few contingencies thrown in the mix for outdoor events (weather being the most common curve ball). If something unexpected comes up during a client's event, there are a series of standard operating procedures. Little is left to chance.

Now for the second critical cog! You might have a great plan, but who's going to execute it?

Because you know how busy things get leading into your event, you must have a dedicated team or person to implement your marketing plan. That's key! It needs to be someone you trust implicitly. That individual or group should have full authority to "do what it takes." And it's something missing for many events.

Make sure you have a marketing execution team leading into your event. By doing so, you'll sell more tickets and be able to focus your efforts on ensuring a great event!

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

Do you have great event photos at your fingertips?

"It's been two days, we haven't found anything decent, and they're still looking."

Thus, let me ask you ...

Do you have a set of high-quality photos of your event at your fingertips?

Even more important, if people are in the photos, do you have a model release or written permission to use your event photos for marketing purposes?

Yes, the questions above seem overly obvious. Yet, there is a lot of searching and digging for event photos on almost every project to date. Unfortunately, the photo search process becomes a giant time suck. And more often than not, when found, the images are less than ideal for marketing purposes.

Here are some quick suggestions ...

Ensure you keep a series of high-quality event photos on a USB drive or online cloud storage that you can quickly access.

If you have the funds, consider hiring a professional photographer for your next event. If you don’t have the funds, you might want to approach a local university for help.

Most of the cameras used by professional photographers also can capture high-definition video and audio. If you’re not using event testimonials, it’s something you might want to consider.

Last but not least, make sure you give the person photographing your event clear instructions. When combined with smart marketing and copy, there is a particular style of photo that can sell your event for you.

Without giving too much away, you want people to see a picture of your event and exuberantly say, "Look at how much fun those people are having; I want to do that!"