Beware those event industry "bandwagons"

I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "jump on the bandwagon." If not, it means that a group of people start lining up to do something, because "everyone else is doing it!"

You'll often see the bandwagon approach at industry conferences. Things like in-depth education sessions that include "60 Social Media Tips in 60 Minutes" or "Getting Millennials to Attend Your Event!"

Bandwagons and fads are often used as marketing gimmicks to get people to attend industry conferences. Yet rarely garner meaningful results for attendees.

Remember when you had to have a Flash web site? Aside from an occasional video these days, Flash-based event websites are extinct.

Ironically enough, clients have generated record ticket revenues and "SOLD OUT!" events by doing the opposite of their peers. In some cases, clients are mocked for their archaic event promotion strategies. "Nobody does that anymore!"

As with most fads, I encourage you to take the position of healthy skepticism. This recommendation is not to rag on cutting edge technology, but to keep things in perspective. If something works well, it will prove itself in the marketplace and have long legs.

When you decide to take the leap into something new, do your homework! If you want to try a new piece of marketing technology, ease into it. Be sure to look for case studies from your event niche with a 5-year track record and quantifiable results. Doing so will give you a massive marketplace advantage.

Additional Event Promotion Resources:


Getting your event promotion and vendors in alignment

Here's a question to ponder, "Are your marketing, advertising, and PR campaigns ALL in alignment?"

The question above came up recently on a major project. Each of the listed elements (marketing, advertising, and PR) were managed by a different event team member or vendor.

In some instances individual components were controlled by different vendors. And each vendor was operating from their own playbook. The result was a marketing and advertising misalignment. Or as my friend Roman Yako phrases it, "random acts of marketing!"

About ten days before the event, significant ticket revenue shortfalls began to appear. Until that time, the event's ticket revenues were up by over 20%.

So, "if all the marketing, advertising, and PR campaigns were in alignment, would the ticket revenue shortfalls have happened?" My answer, "I don't know."

Here's what I am confident about ...

When "the going gets tough," it's imperative that your advertising, marketing, and PR elements (teams/vendors) are all in alignment!

Had all the players used the same playbook from the event referenced above ... I firmly believe that ticket challenges could have been better tackled.

Put in other words, if you and your team are going to face any adversity, you want everyone on the same page.

Get all your event promotions, advertising, and marketing in alignment! Check out the links below:


Ethically "stealing" outdoor event ideas

A few months ago, I attended an arts and crafts festival. Usually not something I'd attend. But, my lady has been mentioning the event, non-stop, over the last two days. So we went!

Three hours later, I walked out with 3-5 easy to implement ideas. Even better, the event's attendees validated the ideas. My question to you:

"How much time do you spend looking at other events for proven ideas and strategies?"

Borrowing ideas from other events is one of the quickest ways to add dollar signs to your event revenue.

If you don't spend much time looking outside your own event looking for marketing ideas, you need to start today.

One giant (self-imposed) roadblock that most people have to overcome is the "that will never work at our event" mindset. How many times have you heard business people lament the "that won't work, my business is different" line? Too many event planners and organizers fall into that same trap.

It's like a broken record ... "That won't work because my event is different." That's an excuse and a bunch of BS!

Proven marketing ideas can be adapted and modified from one industry to another. In some cases adopting ideas can be unbelievably easy. Because someone else figured it out and implemented the idea!

Over the years, I've attended countless events. Most of the events are outside my area expertise. And that's a good thing!

A straightforward strategy I picked up at an event put $500,000.00+ into the event organizer's bank account, months before a single person attended the event.

Discovering the $500K+ strategy took all of sixty seconds with a few quick questions to the right person. Even better, there is no reason why you can't do the same!

Make it a point to venture out and attend other events in and around your area. Especially events you usually wouldn't attended. Push your comfort zone!

When at other events be on the lookout for things that you might be able to integrate into your own event. The more perspicacious you are, the more you'll be able to take away. Find out who's in charge of the event . . . are they on-site? Most important of all - don't be afraid to ask smart questions.

Don't be afraid to ask organizers questions. Keep it short and sweet. Always remember to use a little couth… If an organizer is crazy busy at their event, you might need to follow up afterward.

Follow up with them a week or so after their event. It's important to remember that you don't always need to speak to the actual organizer to get useful information or ideas.

Several event insights over the years have come from event volunteers and later verified with the event organizers.

One important point to remember… You're going to need to do your homework and dig into details. It isn't wise to take everything at face value. If something sounds too good to be true, do a little research to validate what you observe. Why should you do this?

Because even event organizers have egos that need to be stroked. It's human nature. As a result, organizers might exaggerate their numbers or specific claims. Remember, you don't want to integrate a strategy into your own event that has been proven NOT to work. As has been said, "trust, yet verify!"

Next time you go out to another event, bring your thinking cap, a small notebook (plus pen) and an insatiable curiosity. Look for things that you can integrate and ethically borrow.

Never dismiss another event's promotion idea(s) as irrelevant or stupid until you've dug into the details. Chances are you'll be shocked by the details, and often pleasantly surprised.

Get more event ideas, advice, and strategies here:


The "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" event ...

Back on, September 20, 2019 was a scheduled event called is "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" event in Rachel, Nevada, USA. If you ever considered getting anywhere close, I'd strongly advise you NOT to go anywhere close to the "mythical" military base.

For all the jest that is the "Storm Area 51" event, there are valuable insights. And you need not have a super-secret government facility as your event venue to benefit.

If you look at the current "Storm Area 51" Facebook page, you'll see that the Group page has over 76,000 members. There is also a public event listed as "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us" on Facebook with 5.4K Interested in attending and 2.8K Going.

Two news sources (CNN.com & Forbes.com) cite over 2 million people as attending until the original Facebook event page was taken down by the organizer.

According to today's most recent news report, around 150 people showed up to the "Storm Area 51" event.

Two million people said they'd show up and only 150 attended, thus far. What's the "Storm Area 51" event takeaway? It's very straightforward and an alien concept for most:

"Just because people say they're interested in your event, does not mean they'll actually attend your event."

It's basically effortless to get someone to click an "attending/going" button to a free event online. Showing up to the said event is a far more significant challenge.

A much better way to have people attend your event, is to have attendees purchase a ticket. If you have a free event, require attendees to have a ticket. The psychology of having an event ticket is far more compelling than your potential attendee clicking on a "Going" button.

There are also numerous additional future marketing and advertising advantages. So make sure they have a ticket!

"Live long and prosper"

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


Those horribly misunderstood event ticket discounts

Last month, I received an email about the unique methodology used to promote client events. One part of the email referenced ticket discounts for an outdoor event and said:

"It would also allow us to keep 100 percent of the sales and possibly without the early bird discount."

The irony of the email excerpt from above is that it comes from an organization that's continuously holding events. To be fair, I don't think they're experienced with outdoor events.

Discounting is an often misunderstood ticket-selling strategy. Some of the misconceptions include the notion that you're "giving up margin" on every ticket that you discount. And that is a true statement. But as I often ask clients, "would you rather have 50% of something, or 100% of nothing?"

To be effective, any ticket discounting needs to be coupled with a well thought out strategic pricing model. The model protects margins and maximizes your advance ticket sales.

Recently, a client used discounted ticketing and a strategic pricing model to more than doubled their ticket revenue to an outdoor event. All starting with offering tickets at a 50% discount. Furthermore, that same client drove 83% of their ticket sales as advance ticket sales. And they aren't the only ones. Indoor events employ the same strategy to sell out, before a single person walks in the front door.

Every client that has used a ticket discount (smartly!) has gone on to generate record ticket revenue.

I bring the above to your attention, not to brag, but to emphasize that smart discounting can work tremendously well for almost any event.

Want to get more advance ticket strategies for events? Check out the links below:


Where should I focus to increase event revenue and attendance?

Today's question comes from a worldwide survey of event organizers conducted a few years ago ...

"In what area(s) should I focus on to increase growth (revenue / attendance) for my events?"

It's an often asked question and my go-to answer bears continuous repeating. You and your event team need to focus intently on growing your marketing skills. It's not a matter of just reading a book or two. You need to continually sharpen the marketing saw.

An essential subset of marketing is an event's ability to truly understand their clients/attendees. When I broach the "know thy attendee" subject with event organizers, many get very upset with me.

Event organizers say things like, "how dare you, Eugene! We've been doing this event for 40 years. And we know exactly what our customers want!"

To be clear, I don't pretend to know an event and its idiosyncrasies better than any event organizer. But there are two places where I excel, asking the right questions and staying objective.

Asking the right questions involves sending a survey to previous event attendees. The same survey is also sent to the event's leadership team. Then, the survey results are compiled.

Overall, what the leadership team / board thinks and what their customer's survey responses are diametrically opposed to one another. Like opposite sides of the universe. It doesn't matter if an event has been going on for 5, 10, 50 or 70 years. Objectivity on the event's part is a rare and welcome gem.

So, get really good at marketing and focus intently on getting inside your event attendee's mind. As a result, being able to identify their reasons for buying a ticket to and why some decided not to attend your event. You will generate significantly more ticket revenue and increase your attendance.

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


If you're every offered a marketing list for your event ...

Every year clients are solicited offers to promote their event to a third-party marketing list. Typically, these list opportunities come in the form of email marketing databases or postal mailing list. "For this low price, we can get your message in front of X number of people." It's a tempting offer.

Let me make it easy for you. If you're offered some else's marketing list to promote your event, say "thanks, but no thanks." Most marketing lists aren't worth your time, money, and attention. Especially for event organizers.

In 20 years, I've seen only one third-party marketing list generate enough sales to justify the time and associated costs. Could there be a great third-party list out there? Maybe. But again, not worth your time.

So, what should you do?

Build your own house list. Even if your list size is zero today. Focus on the quality of your list, not the quantity on your list.

Ten years ago, an event started with a list of zero people. To date, the event has generated over a million dollars of ticket sales to something anyone can watch for free. Most of the event's ticket sales can be directly traced back to their house list.

Don't forget the quintessential part of having your own house list. When you have a house list you own the data, not Google or Facebook.

Treat your house list with the utmost respect and give them what they want, they'll pay you in spades. If you haven't already, get started on building your list today.

Here are links for building your own house list:


Do you have event promotion "baditude"?

This comes from client work and is fascinating to me. What follows is illustrative of how many events approach their advertising and marketing. Especially not for profit organizations.

What is it? It's the mindset of:

"We're not going to pay for advertising if we don't have to!"

That's bad advertising attitude or advertising "baditude." And that attitude severely limits any event's opportunity at growing future ticket revenue and attendance.

For years clients have consistently seen a 2x to 5x return on every dollar invested in recommended advertising and marketing. Yet, long term clients who have seen massive growth in their advance and total ticket sales can no longer grow ticket revenues without paid advertising.

At the beginning of the year, one client asked me, "Eugene how much money do you need for advertising this year?" To which I reply, "Well how much can you get?" They insist on a number, so I request $100,000 to $200,000.

Their response is one of total disbelief. "That's ridiculous, we can't do that!" Not because they don't have the money. But because they've never spent that level of money on advertising and marketing.

Again, 2x to 5x return on investment for every advertising campaign we manage for clients. With zero additional cost for campaign management or agency commissions. Some clients see over a 1,000% return on their advertising and marketing investments each year.

If given a choice between "free advertising" and paid advertising, I'd choose paid advertising every single time! For both clients and for my own business. I encourage you to do the same. Why?

Because I am confident that any event can grow 5x to 10x faster with a systematic approach to marketing and paid advertising. Google and Facebook have made it very clear, you need to pay to play.

My strong recommendation is to break free from the "we don't have to pay for any advertising mindset." Per yesterday's email, you can start with as little as $5 a day.


Investing $3K (USD) a day to promote your event

How do you invest $3K USD per day to promote your event? It's an interesting answer. But first, a little context.

The question above comes from a real-world scenario. A good friend of mine manages hundreds of thousands of dollars in online advertising "spend" every month.

Most people would say spend money on advertising or marketing. I choose to use the word invest because an investment implies an expected return. You need to view all your advertising and marketing as an investment and be ruthless about an expected return.

One of my friend's most significant accounts comes in around 3K USD of advertising spend per day. That's over a million dollars of online advertising per year! And when a million dollars/euro are on the line, you better be good at what you do! Fortunately, my friend is a top gun at what he does.

Much of what I've learned and implemented regarding online advertising for events comes from discussions with my friend. The years of our conversations are being distilled down into September's Event Profit Report (hint, hint).

In most online advertising cases, it doesn't matter if you're selling a product, service, or ticket to an event. The fundamentals are the same! Here's the simple place my friend starts with every massive campaign he manages.

When you invest $3K per day to advertise online, you don't start investing at $3K per day.

My friend starts many of his advertising campaigns at $5-$20 a day. Then, gradually over time, increase the daily budget.

Do you need to spend $3K a day promoting your event? Probably not. But you can adopt the same, start small, track smartly, and the think big approach to any advertising and marketing campaign for your event.

Here's another way to think about it. If you get really good and can turn $1 into $2 of ticket sales, consistently 90%+ of the time ... why would you limit yourself to $3K a day?

Additional Event Promotion and Event Advertising Resources:


Beware perceptions of predetermined success

A few days ago, a client was very excited to send out a new marketing piece. The piece was being sent to over 30,000 well-targeted people. Most were previous attendees of the client's event. In the client's own words, "it's one of the best we've ever put together!"

Before getting to the results, there are a few crucial points.

All my Platinum client projects are performance-based. If clients are financially successful, I receive a percentage of revenue. Hence, I'm always rooting for clients to do well. Even if I disagree with what they're doing in regard to marketing and advertising.

Because of the sophisticated tracking used for client work, most marketing efforts can be analyzed within a day. In some cases, a client can get success indicators in as little as 30 minutes. For all the sophisticated tracking, the results metrics are simple. We did "X," and "Y" tickets were sold. Or, "Z" leads generated. That's it!

Back to the client marketing piece from above. Everything was on point for all the time and effort invested. By the end of the day, the results were in.

In a nutshell, the campaign failed miserably to generate ticket sales. Ironically enough, there were several days where no client marketing campaigns were active, and more ticket sales generated. One could argue that "you were better off doing nothing!" And based on the data they'd be correct.

What the takeaway from above?

Beware your biased perceptions! We're all human and have personal biases, myself included. Especially on things where we invest a great deal of time, effort, and money.

Never assume that a marketing campaign is going to be a success. By that same token, never expect a campaign or marketing piece is going to be a dud. And always measure the success of your marketing campaigns by the revenue generated or tickets sold.

To some the above might seem a cold hard approach to events. It is! And it will also keep in you and your event in business.

Here are some additional event promotion advice tips:


"Yeah, so about those numbers we gave you ..."

Data can be a bit of a trickster, a little good or a little bad. And, sometimes a little bit of both. Data can also be used in a variety of ways. In some instances, the same exact data set can be painted positive or negative. Last, but certainly not least ... even the most basic of data can be confused.

Don't worry, I'm not going to suggest that you become a data scientist. Yet, there is one aspect of data science that you need to champion. That aspect is data accuracy.

In today's increasingly data-driven world, data accuracy impacts your ability to use any data to your advantage.

Years ago, a professional basketball team approached me about providing them with marketing services. The team did some research and found out that I had a knack for selling out events.

During an initial assessment we identified a potentially huge marketing asset. The asset came in the form of the basketball team's previous customer database. The team's marketing manager put their customer database at around 8,000 people. One of the team owners, speculated that their database was much more substantial.

When I pressed for additional customer database details, I was told "we'll get back to you."

A few weeks later, I received a telephone call from the team regarding my database questions. After doing some digging, the customer database wasn't quite 8,000 people. It was closer to about 600! What happened? Several people on the team didn't have a firm grasp on customer data, including ownership.

Ultimately, I turned down the offer to work with the basketball team. The team had great people, but there were numerous places where there were severe issues with data accuracy.

On a sobering note. Had the team become a client, the result would have been a complete failure on my part. All because of inaccurate data!

Remember, data can span everything from your customer database to the tracking of visitors to your website. Where data accuracy becomes quintessential is tracking the effectiveness of advertising and marketing campaigns (hint, hint).

Even if you need to hire someone, make sure you buckle your data accuracy down. It needs to be as accurate and pristine as possible. If not, you could be chasing opportunities that don't exist. Or worse, spending money on marketing or advertising that does absolutely nothing for you!

Getting additional event data insights:


Royally screwing up "sold out"

A few years ago, I was on-site to support a client event. It was a free outdoor weekend event (Saturday & Sunday).

In the days preceding the event, all the event infrastructure was being set up. Crowd fences, tents, tables, chairs, vendor booths, etc.

On Friday, the night before the weekend event, the client decided to have a free community outreach gathering. The Friday night event included live music, a performer meet and greet, and food vendors. A few thousand people showed up to the Friday night event.

Going into their event, the client had sold out all their Saturday VIP tickets. Most of the ticket revenue was deposited in the client's bank account (minus the standard ticketing revenue hold) and attendees full of excitement.

It was nearly the ideal scenario, minus one essential item.

When I arrived at the client's event on Friday, I had asked multiple times to walk through the VIP area. The person responsible for VIP and chalet setup wasn't able to accommodate my request.

When I politely insisted, the client's operations manager said, "Eugene we're really busy with our Friday night event, we can't get you over to that area right now." Then, I asked if I could go to the VIP area on my own, the answer was a curt, "no, not without an escort."

In the end, I wasn't able to walk through the VIP area. Fast forward to Saturday morning and the event gates were about to open.

Because my event access badges never made it to me, I diplomatically made my way to the VIP area. On the way to the VIP area, I ran into the event operations manager. They appeared to be really anxious. To which I inquired, "Is everything ok?"

Their response, "not really, none of the VIP areas are ready."

My response, "Ok, what do you mean by not ready?"

The operations managers said, "Only the tents are set up. No tables, chairs, linens, drink stations, or catering. Because we were so busy yesterday, nothing was set up."

I distinctly remember the operations manager's statement from above and looking down at the time on my cell phone. The time was 08:09 and the VIP area was to open at 09:00 sharp. T-minus 51 minutes until "go time!"

(And in case you're wondering ... emphasis on the VIP area setup had been broached multiple times during client prep calls. In one instance, the client became annoyed at my constantly bringing readiness up.)

Thankfully, there were a handful of volunteers who swooped in to the rescue. Hundreds of chairs and dozens of tables were set up in less than 50 minutes. In spite of the incredible volunteer effort, the VIP experience wasn't fully set up until Sunday. Things like catering stations were set up late on Saturday and the open bar, opened elsewhere (not in the VIP tent, as planned).

In the post-event feedback, patrons were rightfully upset. To paraphrase the consensus of many Saturday VIP ticket holders, "I paid for a VIP experience and didn't receive what I paid for. You weren't even ready!"

The unfortunate irony of the story above is that I've seen a failure to execute in multiple instances across numerous events. As a result event attendees are left with a bad experience and some decide to never return.

Please don't fall into the same trap. Make sure that your event is ready to go, well in advance of event attendees showing up! Else, you subject your event to the "three-year recovery."

Here are a few more VIP ticketing insights:


When to forgo overly proper grammar

When was the last time you read an advertisement or marketing piece and thought to yourself:

"How they organized all those words is simply extraordinary. I have to tell all my friends about the amazing grammar!"

Crafting your event advertising and promotions, specifically online marketing, is one place where painfully polished grammar and strict academic vernacular should take a back seat.
It is not to say that you should intentionally use lousy grammar, because that won't serve you very well.

Just don't focus so much on grammar that you lose your reader in the process. Ironically enough, losing the reader's attention often happens with overly polished and "corporate speak" writing.

Of the millions of emails clients have sent over the years, not a single ticket buyer (to the best of my knowledge) has complained about the less than ideal grammar. All of the emails sent are written in a conversational tone. The result was tens of millions of dollars in event ticket sales, directly attributable to "unprofessional" writing.

New York Times best-selling author Neil Strauss summed it up like this: "The highest goal of writing is NOT to have good grammar; it's to have meaning and impact!"

Make sure that when you tell people about your event through advertising and marketing, you do so with impact!

Get the reader so interested in your event that they have no other choice than to buy a ticket.

Crank up your event promotions. Check out the links below:


How to scare the pants off ad agencies & profit

Advertisers, ad agencies, ad sales reps and graphix designers don't want you to know the following ...

99% of them are terrified of direct response marketing (directly linking an advertisement or marketing piece to dollars in your bank account).

Why?

"Without data, you're just another person with an opinion." -W. Edwards Deming

If agencies or graphix designers are the ones doing the work and the results aren't where they need to be, quantifiable results hold them accountable. When you bother to measure: emotions, feelings, and opinions are judiciously set aside.

In many cases ad agencies and graphix designers don't want to measure the effectiveness of their advertising and marketing. This makes them very uncomfortable and it's to your advantage.

You need to have a system in place that ties in action to results. When you have data and results on your side, you can drive hard bargains with advertisers and marketers. It's the ultimate form of advertising negotiation.

Don't be afraid to ask agencies the questions and make them prove their worth. Using direct response marketing tools gives you that power!

When you know your numbers, you are in complete control of your advertising and marketing outcomes.

That means you can walk into a room and confidently state, "I know what advertising works and what doesn't, and exactly what I can afford to pay. Here's what I'm willing to invest in this and here is the expected result."

If you don't have your numbers down pat, get on it, and start negotiating the ad deals you deserve! And don't be shy in saying, "We only pay for results!"

Use direct response marketing for your event and only pay for results. Check out the links below:


(An on the fly) diversified event advertising portfolio

During a recent telephone conversation, a friend shared some unfortunate news about his business. My friend had been banned from advertising on Facebook.

When I asked, "what happened?" His response was, "we have no idea. Facebook just banned us from using its ad platform. There was absolutely no warning or notice!"

Even Facebook ad experts were perplexed. In one expert's opinion (someone who manages up to $30K USD of daily Facebook ad spend), "I can't see anything in their ads that get close to violating Facebook's policies."

As context. My friend has been advertising on Facebook for years. Last year alone, he spent over 150,000 USD on Facebook ads. Additionally, his business' Facebook page has 100,000+ page likes. The company's customer service and product reviews are nothing short of exemplary.

What happened above isn't limited to Facebook. It's happened on Google and numerous other advertising platforms. Often with little to no warning.

Just last year, an event client had their Google Ads turned off after missing a single obscure email. It took months and over 10 hours on the phone to restore their ads.

Yes, I am trying to scare you with the above stories. My hope is that you never get your ads banned. With that stated, allow me to ask you the following question. Much like investing, "do you have a diversified advertising and marketing portfolio?"

If you and your team haven't given the above question a few minutes of discussion, please reconsider. Be ready to diversify on the fly!

Fortunately, my friend, who was banned from advertising on Facebook, had advertising contingencies in place. As a result, he's still looking at the possibility of a new gross online revenue record.

Here are some additional event promotion tips on Facebook and using social media:

 


A one-shot super spend Sunday

If you watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, there is no doubt that you caught some of the commercials. Some companies paid up to $5.6 MM USD for a 30-second spot.

With the above said, if you had USD 6 million to spend on a 30-second Super Bowl ad that reached over 100 million people in one shot, would you do it?

To the best of my knowledge, there are no single Super Bowl commercials that have lead to a company to fame and long term fortune. Specifically, direct revenue dollars generated from a single advertisement.

If you're aware of a one-shot super successful Super Bowl ad, feel free to let me know.

Here's the direct opposite of a single 30-second advertisement to the masses ...

Last year, an outdoor event spread their advertising and marketing efforts over 576 touchpoints. Most of those promotion efforts were in the form of online campaigns. Ultimately, those 576 touchpoints lead to $6MM of ticket revenue.

If you're going to spend your hard-earned ad dollars, break up how and where you spend those dollars and cents.

 


Doing the opposite of everyone else

Years ago, I sent a struggling event organizer an overview of my marquee service. At the time, the organization ran a million-dollar-plus annual event and was almost bankrupt. To say that the future looked bleak was an understatement.

Here's an excerpt of marketing copy that evidently irritated my future client ...

---
START OF MARKETING COPY EXCERPT
---

Now I'm going to be candid with you. The "scammers" out there who promise people insane results annoy me to no end! The proven system you're about to learn IS NOT a magic pill. You WON'T become a millionaire overnight or sell out your event in 10 seconds. If you're looking for a last-minute miracle for your event - please look elsewhere.

Sorry to disappoint you ... but it's the truth. In short, you can get some extraordinary results, but you're going to have to work at it. But please remember, I'm here to help you each step of the way!

The system is specifically designed event organizers who want to be proactive and maximize their advance ticket sales, plus supercharge the effectiveness of their advertising campaign. What do I mean by pro-active?

In short, people who take the information they LEARN and put it into ACTION.

Again - Let me be VERY DIRECT here - if you or your team are NOT good at implementation and really good at second-guessing, this training IS NOT for you!

If you have a vendor, Board member, or team member who's going to second guess the recommendations and results of over $11,000,000 of event tickets sales, this program is NOT for your show. Some people would classify that as egotistical and I'm ok with that.

To be brutally honest, I have ZERO TOLERANCE for people with lots of opinions and ZERO experience or quantifiable results. That said, I'm happy to learn from people who have produced similar results.

Also, this isn't a magic bullet or some B.S. "get rich quick" scheme. What you will learn takes time and dedication. You'll need to stick with the course outline and take action steps. The good news is that I'm here to guide you on each step of the journey.

---
END OF MARKETING COPY EXCERPT
---

After reading through my materials and a few telephone calls, some people within the organization classified me as an "egotistical lecturous a-hole who talks too much." (At least one part of the previous description is spot on!)

I'm not sure if it was an act of desperation or reluctance, but the organization signed on as a client.

It is with great elation to report that the client has turned their fortunes around! They now have a robust six-figure reserve in their bank account. Yes, there is still work to be done and it's not all peaches and cream.

If there is one powerful (seemingly over simplistic) quote to sum up the client's journey, it is this:

"Watch what everyone else does – do the opposite. The majority is always wrong." -Earl Nightingale

To the client's credit, they embarked on a journey that involved radically changing the pricing, marketing, and advertising of their event. All things they were extremely reluctant to do when they were broke.

When faced with financial desperation, dare to be different! When it comes to marketing and advertising your event, look at what other event organizers are doing and "do the opposite!"


"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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDK6XGGOwHU

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 ...

 


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: