The Facebook education session shocker

There I was, in a social media educational session at the 2016 International Council of Airshows annual convention. What started as a conversation about using social media turned into a discussion of how to use video on social media. The event organizers in the room were passionate about their marketing efforts. During this session, I counted approximately 100 people in the room (using a napkin with tally marks). A majority of the session attendees were air show organizers. It also seemed the perfect time to do an impromptu survey.

At the end of the social media education session, there was time for questions and answers.

After acknowledging the positive takeaways from the session, I asked if it would be okay to do an informal survey. The moderators and people in the room were kind enough to oblige my request.

Here are the questions and terrifying outcome:

Question #1: "How many people are using Facebook to promote their air show?" Most of the people in the room (probably about 90) raised their hands. I asked everyone to keep their hand up and proceeded to ask the next question.

Question #2: "If you are using Facebook, are you boosting every post?" Most of the people in the room lowered their hands.

Then, my last request ...

Question #3: "Keep your hands up if you post to Facebook to promote your air show, boost every post, and track your Facebook efforts to tickets sold to your air show."

Out of the approximately 90 people who raised their hands on the first question, just one was left with her hand up after the third question. It was a jaw-dropping revelation!
For all the air show organizers who were in this education session, only one in 90 tracked their efforts to an actual result.

I'm willing to bet if the three questions above were asked at any event organizer conference, regardless of niche, you'd get nearly the same response.

Here's your overly simplified Facebook marketing plan:

When you post anything to Facebook, boost EVERY post smartly, and always track your Facebook efforts to ticket sales! Anything less and you're wasting your time and money. The best part, by boosting and tracking, you'll be lightyears ahead of your competition. Because hardly anyone boosts AND tracks, advantage you!

You Must Play the Game Differently
If you want to take advantage of 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

Here are some additional social media resources you can use to market your event:

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Let's go on a Jungle Cruise

Today, we're going to continue with the Disney adventure.

Have you ever had the opportunity to take the Jungle Cruise at a Disney Park?

If not, that's OK!

Here's a short overview of Disney's Jungle Cruise ... the ride originated in 1955 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Basically, you get on a boat and navigate through a fake jungle. The skipper of your boat proceeds to narrate throughout the ride.

During your "river cruise" adventure, you're greeted by audio-animatronic animals and native headhunters. Plus, a few other light-hearted surprises. On the surface, the ride is seemingly mundane and dated.

During my last Disney adventure, all the popular ride wait times were over an hour and no more Fastpass. Looking at the Disney App, the Jungle Cruise ride only had a 10-minute wait.

My quick mental debate went like this, "for a ten-minute wait, why the heck not!"

At this point, there were low expectations and little to lose.

And then things got interesting!

For the seemingly low production value, the Jungle Cruise experience was a total hoot! One of those, "wow, I totally wasn't expecting that" moments.

What happened? Our skipper had a well-rehearsed shtick with impeccable comedic timing! It was honestly one of the best ride experiences in my life, and I'm a tough guy to please.

"Wait a second! What does the Jungle Cruise have to do with my event?" A whole lot!

It stands as a prime example of taking something seemingly mundane and making it unique for attendees. Especially if you're interested in creating a VIP customer experience.

Here's the question to ask yourself and your team ...

Is there a behind-the-scenes tour or something special you can do with attendees at your next event? Remember, what you and your team probably take for granted, attendees might eat up with excitement!

Back in 2011, I zipped up my onesie (flight suit) and gave VIP customers a behind the scenes aircraft tour for a client's air show. There were some personal "TOP GUN" stories of aviation adventure added in for pizzazz! The VIP ticket holders absolutely loved it. Even better, the total tour cost was zero! The airplanes were already at the air show for public display.

Ideally, you want to leverage what's already at your event. There should be little to no additional cost. Ask yourself, "how can we take what we already have and turn it into something special?" Much like the Jungle Cruise ride at Disney or VIP air show tour, it can be as simple as sharing a few great stories.

Put your thinking cap on and give it a whirl!

Here are some more ideas to stoke the adventure side of your brain:

 


Disney's tally counters & turn styles ...

Years ago, my lady and I visited Disney's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in Florida. As with all trips, my marketing detective cap goes on. Especially when it comes to Disney!

On this trip, I paid careful attention to how Disney tracks attendance with pinpoint accuracy.

For their insanely deep pockets, Disney still uses some ancient technology to track attendance at park attractions.

During our last visit to the Magic Kingdom, there were old school turn styles at the Enchanted Tiki Room and Swiss Family Treehouse. (Yes, I love the classics!) And when visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom, the "cast members" (staff) were using hand tally counters and classic clipboards to track individual attraction attendance.

Granted, Disney makes excellent use of optical turn styles, plus other neat technology when you enter their parks. But I'd point out that Disney nails their daily attendance counts leveraging both old and new tech.

Why the interest in attendance accuracy?

Because yesterday during a marketing discussion the topic of ticket sales and attendance were broached.

One of the first nosy questions I ask every event organizer, "how many ticket did you sell and what was your event attendance?" To which the responses are all over the place and rarely confident. At least in my experience, attendance numbers are usually grossly exaggerated.

Yes, we all know many event organizers exaggerate their attendance. But where do you draw the line? 100%, 200%, how about a 300% overestimation on attendance?
"Eugene, why does it matter? It's not your event!" This is true, and it really does matter.

Because when you're doing ticket sale forecasting and laser targeting your marketing dollars, accurate attendance numbers are paramount! How?

Knowing your attendance and ticket numbers allow you to do precise marketing math. Those numbers also show you how much you can afford to spend to acquire a new customer. And the cost to reacquire a previous customer. Knowing your numbers, especially as they apply to marketing and advertising spend will set you apart from the pack!

Please make sure you know your attendance numbers cold. When you do, you open your event to fantastic marketing opportunities.

Here's some more ideas in the name of adventure:

 


"Mouse" causes ticket sites to meltdown

Date: 4/2/2019

Ironically enough, today, I received a telephone call from my friend Mike Sukhenko (Sue-hen-ko). He called me saying, "I have an article topic for you!" And here it is ...

Avengers: Endgame tickets went on sale today around 0800 ET. Mike called me because he had been trying to buy tickets for over 3 hours.

At his end, all the ticket servers were down. Most likely because they weren't able to handle the demand to buy tickets. Instead of giving up, Mike continued to hit refresh for 3 hours, while he was at work.

Mike's efforts are a prime example of MASSIVE event ticket DEMAND!

Imagine how it would feel to sell out your event in record time? How would that impact your ability to deliver an extraordinary customer experience?

Disney/Marvel's next Avengers movie is a global event. Some are predicting that if it gets excellent reviews, and with a little luck, it could sell $800 USD Million to $1 Billion of tickets opening weekend.

If all the stars align, it could become the number one grossing movie of all time.

Disney has mastered the fine art of manufacturing massive demand. It is something that you should study carefully. Primarily because their road to this Avengers ticket frenzy moment, has been paved in numerous box office bombs!

There have been some colossal theatrical failures in the "House of Mouse." Movies like: Mars Needs Moms, The Alamo, Tomorrowland, and the Lone Ranger. Just to name a few.

Here's a paraphrased quote from Alex Mandossian, an author and marketer, "there is no such thing as failure, there is only winning or learning." And Disney has learned a lot. They wouldn't be in the position they're in today, without the ability to get up after they're down.

And that approach is something you can adopt at zero cost! Just by asking questions, like:

What lessons did you learn the last time your event didn't turn out as expected?

... followed by ...

How are you going to apply those lessons to your next event?

If your event didn't work out as expected, it's not a failure ... but an opportunity to learn, reassess, and apply what you've learned! And that's why Disney is where it is today.

Since Mike was the catalyst for today's email, here's a link to his website: https://sukhenko.com/. Mike specializes in graphic design and has worked with me on numerous event projects. If you're looking for a very talented graphic designer, please pay his website a visit.

To your success,

-Eugene

Want a classic take on delivering event demand? Check out the articles below:

 


The Avengers Endgame and your event

In case you missed it, Disney/Marvel's Avengers: Endgame is set to release this month.

You might be thinking to yourself, "Eugene, why are you writing again about a comic book movie?"

Because even if you hate comics, there are massive business takeaways that are directly applicable to every event!

Allow me to share just two with you ... (there are several more)

Avengers_Endgame_Poster

First, Disney has yet to put Avengers tickets on sale. Rumor has it that will happen, today, April 2nd. And the Avengers movie is set for release on April 26th in North America. With a preview night on the 25th. To most event organizers, that's nuts!

Disney's counter-intuitive approach is the opposite of how most event organizers approach their own ticket sales. Most event organizers think, "we have to put tickets on sale as quickly as possible!" No, you don't!

With every client I've worked with over the last 11 years, we've adopted the Disney model for ticket sales. The result in every instance, record advance and total ticket revenues.

Waiting to sell tickets, like Disney, is something every event organizer should consider ... provided you have mastered one critical marketing component (more on that shortly)!

Second, Disney spends an unbelievable amount of money on advertising and marketing.

Estimates put the Avengers: Endgame total budget around USD 600 million. Half of which, $300 million, is usually earmarked for marketing/advertising.

That leads to a big question. Do you have the confidence to allocate 100% of your event production budget to advertising and marketing?

Most event organizers couldn't fathom such an idea – let alone afford it!

How does Disney do that?

Because they know their marketing and advertising numbers cold! Just like in Hopkins' Scientific Advertising: for every dollar in advertising, you can track those advertising dollars to a result.

And once you know how to truly leverage your marketing and advertising, you can buy and negotiate with Disney like confidence.

Here's the bottom line on Disney for today, they know how to drive DEMAND! And demand is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, factor in your event ticket sales.

Without demand, you can have the biggest marketing budget in the world and people won't attend your event. Why not? Because they're not interested (zero demand)!

You need to intently focus on DEMAND!

How would it feel to have your event paid for before a single person walks in the front door/gate?

Now I can't promise you the same level of ticket demand as the new Avengers movie. But issue one of the Event Profit Report gives you my secret weapon clients have used to generate massive ticket sales demand for their events.

Including the ability to slap "SOLD OUT!" on their ticket sales page. So can you!

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


Forget "BIG DATA," instead focus on ...

A little over two weeks ago, I presented overseas on "Marketing Results" to event organizers from across Europe to the Middle East.

Today's email is an excerpt from that presentation.

I'm going to skip over the specifics on privacy concerns. Not because privacy isn't of paramount importance, but it gets a little complicated for today's email.

Too many event organizers are terrified to collect user data because of privacy concerns. That is a massive mistake! Instead, do everything you can to vehemently protect your user and customer data, but at the same time don't be afraid to legally collect their data.

Let's get back to "BIG DATA" ...

Today, we're constantly hearing about "BIG DATA" in the news. Big data can be used for nefarious or virtuous purposes. Lately, thanks to Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and others it seems more nefarious than noble. Unfortunately, regardless of the data scandals, not much has changed!

One would think "BIG DATA" to be a very technologically romantic notion. All you have do is take a couple billion lines of user interaction and cobble them together. It's so simple, and yet enormously complicated. But thanks to the 24/7 news cycle, everyone's doing it! Or so one would think!

"BIG DATA" is a great notion if you're a massive company like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, or Amazon. For those companies to attain the critical data mass required, is significantly easier.

Last time I checked, "Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day." Source: SearchEngineLand.com That's the type of volume that makes Big Data analysis (aside from its complexities) attainable.

Forget "BIG DATA," instead focus on YOUR DATA!

Most event organizers collect a microscopic fraction of data when compared with Google or Facebook. So instead of focusing on big data, focus on YOUR DATA. Your data set can be as simple as an email address and customer transaction info.

With an email address and transaction info, plus a few basic Excel formulas, you can discover amazing insights about your event marketing and customers.

Things like, how useful are our social media or email marketing campaigns. Plus, valuable insight on what your event attendees think of your event. And even use the data to help sell out your next event.

So, are you collecting your customer data? If not, it's time to get started!

Here's some additional info:

 


This is GUARANTEED at your next event

Years ago, I tried to convince a beer festival client to use online ticketing. At the time, the client was manually processing thousands of ticket orders through PayPal.

Each year, it took between 30-40 hours to manually fulfill all the ticket orders. All the ticket fulfillment work was relegated to one staff member. Not exactly time efficient and that person was less than thrilled! Have you ever addressed by hand and stuffed thousands of postal envelopes? Not fun!

Continue reading "This is GUARANTEED at your next event" »


Massive Untapped Event Revenue Awaits You

Bold title, eh. I stand by it 100%! Let's make this short and sweet.

Are you delighted with the revenue from your event, or do you yearn for more moolah?

If you're completely satisfied, terrific! You can stop reading here and have a fantastic day!

If you are NOT satisfied, opportunity awaits you ...

Continue reading "Massive Untapped Event Revenue Awaits You" »


Are you in their mailbox? Because you should be!

A quick question before we begin, did you think the mailbox reference in the title was regarding your email inbox? It was not. The subject line mailbox is referring to the old school mailbox. That place where you occasionally receive postal mail and printed bills.

During a recent call with an event organizer, the subject of traditional mailboxes was broached. How did we get on the topic? Because of a paper mailer (large postcard) that I would receive every year for a local ethnic festival. The organizer on my telephone conversation above was from the ethnic festival sending postcards.

Continue reading "Are you in their mailbox? Because you should be!" »


A great event website question

"A" writes the follow ...

-----------------------------------------

HI

Thanks for the response. It is appreciated.

What proportion of sales are advanced tickets, compared to within a few weeks or days?

How early do you suggest event sites be put online compared to what actually happens with event site timing of going online?

Should much effort be used on generating backlinks from all the event calendar sites?

Perhaps that is another difference between the one time, limited product of the event and the 1000 page business site that offers continuous product - thus having a page for every possible niche for lead generating and sales.

Much success to you!

A

-----------------------------------------

I'm going to answer one of the most common questions from above. Because it's applicable to every event organizer!

Continue reading "A great event website question" »


The benefits of being a heretic

Back in 2006, I was introduced to Doug Doebler, a real estate broker from Rochester, New York, USA. During that time, there was a real estate boom in the United States.

Benefits_of_being_a_heretic

Doug started a real estate marketing project by hiring a direct response marketing consultant. The consultant strongly recommended a single page website. At one point, the consultant told Doug, "if you don't put the page by tomorrow, per my recommendations, I will fire you as a client!"

Continue reading "The benefits of being a heretic" »


"If you don't your like dinner, I will pay for it."

Two weeks ago, my lady and I were looking for a quaint dinner spot in Athens.

Pay_for_your_dinner_if_you_dont_like_it_athens

A man on the street attempted to woo us into his family restaurant. He went through the usual litany of ... great menu items, reasonable prices, and a complimentary glass of wine. Then there was the final part of his offer, "if you don't like your dinner, I will pay for it." The previous statement was presented with cool and sincere confidence. Truth be told, it was hard to resist. After an approving look from my lady, I responded with "ok, we're in!"

Continue reading ""If you don't your like dinner, I will pay for it."" »


Are you exceeding their expectations?

Are you exceeding your customer's expectations? Chances are, probably not. Events are often falling short according to customers feedback, online reviews, and survey data. Still, event organizers insist their event execution is beyond reproach. Hmmm!

It's rare, but on occasion, I attend client events. When I do visit, my goal is to stay in the background and observe.

Continue reading "Are you exceeding their expectations?" »


Stop effing around & do it already

Two weeks ago, I was honored to speak in Athens to an audience from over 25 different countries. After my talk, a few event organizers approached me to ask questions. One event organizer caught my attention. He told me about his 8,000-person email database that had yet to receive a single email.

Athens_Greece_Speaking

Before emailing his database, he wanted to first create a brand and select performers for his event. Basically, he's afraid. That's part of being human. And as a recovering (and occasional relapsing) perfecting procrastinator, fear causes the loss of amazing opportunities. Both in life and in business.

Continue reading "Stop effing around & do it already" »


Question: "Isn't a thousand pages of info, a thousand ways to generate leads?"

Below is an excellent question to the "An important lesson learned from Queen" post.

-------------------

hi

wouldn't 1000 pages of info, (besides giving the very interested person much info) offer 1000 ways to generate leads and sell tickets -- targeting niches, keywords etc

your comments would be appreciated

-------------------

Thanks for the question!

Here's some quick context on yesterday's email. In short, I recommend an event web site not be more than 15 total public pages, with few exceptions. In the email, I pointed out an event that had over 1,000 pages indexed in Google.

My answer to the question above ...

Continue reading "Question: "Isn't a thousand pages of info, a thousand ways to generate leads?"" »


Do you want 1MM or 20K people worth of event promotion?

 

Years ago, I found myself in a heated argument with an event client. The discussion ensued after I asked this question, "would you rather get the attention of 1 million people or 20,000 in the local area?" The client adamantly argued for 1 million people, "we want everybody to know about this event in the local area!" How dare I suggest anything different! My position was to focus on 20,000 people.

Which would you choose 1 million or 20,000 people?

Continue reading "Do you want 1MM or 20K people worth of event promotion?" »


Your valuable customer data is dying!

One of the first places I start with any client is a customer marketing assessment. This proprietary assessment is a deep dive into several important marketing and financial data points.

Your_data_is_slowly_dying

Assessments involve straightforward questions that make most event organizers blush. Why? Because most event organizers cannot answer basic questions about their own event. Questions like, "approximately how many tickets did you sell last year?" Their response, "we're not really sure."

Or, "What was your most effective advertisement?" Then, several different answers are given. In some cases, event organizers don't even know where to find their own information. That's not good!

Continue reading "Your valuable customer data is dying!" »


Question: "When do I start selling tickets to my event?"

One of the most common questions I receive is, "Eugene, do you have any suggestion on when to start selling tickets to my event?"

My answer is directly out of the "The Top 10 Event Marketing Mistakes ... and How To Avoid Them!" Report. If you haven't received your copy, please reply to this email with your request. There is a powerful Client ONLY 60-minute video training BONUS at the end of the report. If you skip all the good stuff and go directly to the video, it's still well worth your time!

Temple_Olympian_Zeus

Here's an all-too-common phrase: "We have to get tickets on sale as quickly as possible so that people can buy early!" This "logic" gets applied regularly to event marketing campaigns. There is one major flaw with this thinking: it's completely wrong!

Continue reading "Question: "When do I start selling tickets to my event?"" »


Event Promotion and the brutal truth about Social Media

There is a high probability you've been lied to about marketing your event with social media! Things like, "you have you post often to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat to be successful." That's a BIG fat LIE! You don't have to post often. Most ad agencies are also charlatans in the social media equation. They try to sell you expensive campaigns with fancy looking social media posts that sell zero tickets. If you want to sell out your event, stop following the masses!

Continue reading "Event Promotion and the brutal truth about Social Media" »