Ted Lasso's curiosity advice for events

After a presentation last week, I was given the feedback of "Eugene gave yet another over-the-top example of success. That seems like what he always does."

Both of the previous sentiments are accurate. With that said, here's a slightly different take.

Instead of touting my accomplishments, I prefer to frame success in the form of client accomplishments. It's a team effort that often involves overcoming numerous challenges.

So yes, I'm proud of what's been accomplished with all parties involved. But, ultimately, the goal is to inspire others and get them to realize similar outcomes, regardless of their current circumstance. Hence, presenting before and after case studies.

For context, the over-the-top example referenced above was an event that increased their first-day ticket sales by over three hundred thousand percent. As they say, "results not typical!" And it only took six years and a lot of "kicking and screaming" to realize that increase.

Regardless of event niche, judgment and jealousy seem to be the default frames of a significant number of people.

And for all the success stories and presentations, a minuscule number of people have ever asked, "can you please tell me how was that accomplished?"

So instead of focusing on the negative, let's try something positive ...

If you're looking for a great television series, may I suggest Ted Lasso. The series is about an American football coach who travels "across the pond" to coach a Premier League team. A great quote is referenced during an episode in season one.

During the episode, Ted is in the middle of a competitive game with a seemingly superior opponent.

As Ted says, "Be curious, not judgmental." And "if they (people) were curious, they would have asked questions." It's simple and sage advice.

Some of the most significant client accomplishments have come from curiosity. Specifically, digging into other events and businesses to determine, "how did they do that?" or "how does that work?"

Fortunately, in almost every instance where I personally reached out, event organizers and business owners were more than generous in sharing their challenges and discoveries. Moreover, many shared findings form the foundational elements for highly successful client campaigns.

If you and your team aren't actively out there looking for new insights and challenging current assumptions, never forget to "Be curious, not judgemental." Ask a lot of questions because the dividends are extraordinary!

Want to get more info on event surveys? Check out the articles below:


To wrangle event trolls or not?

Last weekend, I attended a series of online presentations with outdoor event organizers from the Northeastern United States. The topics discussed ranged from ticket pricing to profitable event models during the pandemic.

At one point, I glommed on to a brief point about online trolls made by KW.

If you're unfamiliar with the term troll, specifically "Internet troll," here's a definition from urbandictionary.com:

"An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion."

Short version, trolls are people who stir up trouble online without good reason or facts. And trolls regularly infest social media because of their near-instantaneous ability to respond.

During his presentation, KW had mentioned a series of approximately 50 Internet Trolls disparaging his team and their event. Smartly, KW noted every troll and searched the event's customer records.

Of the 50 "loudest" trolls in question, one purchased a ticket to KW's event. One!

The above example is an essential reminder of "check-em!" when they balk. The biggest reason to look up trolls quickly is so don't want to waste your time, energy, or effort with people who don't support (and will never support) your event.

Don't give trolls the energy they don't

Looking for more event feedback advice? Check out the articles below:


The Dull Essentialness of List Clean-up

Today's question of the day is, "Do you clean up your marketing/customer lists?"

From first-hand experience, list clean-up can be a tedious and time-consuming process. It can also be essential in maximizing the results of your marketing campaigns.

How so?

Take a great ad and send it to a lousy marketing list; your results are going to be poor. Juxtapose the previous variables against a high-quality list with mediocre marketing. Your high-quality list with sub-par marketing will outperform almost every time.

Here's an email list cleaning example from a recent project involving a large outdoor event in the United States.

In total, the event has a high-quality contact database for over 60,000 people. During a recent email marketing analysis, the following came to light.

Over the last two years:

7,000 contacts did NOT open any marketing emails, and approximately 40,000 contacts OPENED at least one marketing email.

If you haven't already, add up the numbers above and take note. Specifically, the 40,000 people who opened an email and 7,000 that did not open an email. Those numbers total up to 47,000 contacts on a list of over 60,000. Unfortunately, it also leaves us with a gap of over 13,000 marketing contacts.

How is that gap possible?

It's essential to remember that even if your email service provider indicates an open, it doesn't mean that's technically accurate. With people using pop-up blockers and privacy tools, tracking open rates is becoming more challenging. The same word of caution also needs to be applied to those contacts who didn't open your emails.

Here's where a lot of the tedious list clean-up work could come back to haunt us ...

On the surface, one could easily justify deleting the contact information for the 13,000 "did not opens" in the example above.

That is until you find out that almost 10% of the people on the "did not open" list are also customers with an average transaction value of $140 USD.

Put in other words, $140 x 1000 = $140,000 USD of customer data that could be easily deleted.

Remember, just because you can quickly delete something doesn't mean you should. You must have a series of checks and balances to guide the cleaning of your marketing lists. Always be willing to dig deeper!

Want to get more advice using a list to promote your event? Check out the links below:


Engaged in "Random Acts of Event Marketing"

As you might be aware, most client projects start with a series of discovery questions. Here's one of the questions that always gets asked:

"Do you use a marketing system to promote your event?"

Of all the times the question has been asked of event organizers, not one time has someone answered with an affirmative "yes!" That's important because all that have responded with "no" have events that are either struggling or severely under-performing.

And, for those who initially answer "yes" on the question above, their answer becomes a reluctant "no" after asking this follow up question:

"Can you please show me the measurable results from the system you're using?"

As my friend Roman Yako is fond of saying, most companies are engaged in "random acts of marketing." They advertise a certain way because that's what they've always done. With rare exceptions, marketing and advertising actions are never tied to tangible results.

Truth be told, I wasn't always an able marketer for my clients. Before discovering the ways of "the Force," I focused on delivering a superior service. That was when I focused on providing web usability services. One client said to me, "every business in this town should be using your service!" Ironically enough, I often found myself broke!

Fortunately, in the mid-2000s, I discovered Dan Kennedy and Eben Pagan. Both strongly advocated for leveraging marketing systems built upon direct response marketing.

To date, every single client success story has involved implementing a marketing system based on the tenets of Kennedy and Pagan. The results have been nothing short of spectacular. Including a better customer experience with more loyal customers—and consistently turning advertising dollars into a bankable investment.

If you're at a loss of where to start with a marketing system, be sure to pick up a copy of Dan Kennedy's "The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Target Your Audience! Get Out Your Message! Build Your Brand!" You can also get Kennedy's book in Kindle format for speedier access.

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


Influencer the world with the socials

A quick request, before we get to today's topic...

Please let me know if you have a personal story to share on the topic below.

Why do I ask?

Because people often ask me, "why are you opposed to X,Y, or Z?" Insert your marketing/advertising topic of choice for X, Y, or just Z.

My response is, "I'm not opposed to anything that works for you." The challenging part gets down to the word or definition of "works." Specifically, showing data or even anecdotal evidence that "X, Y, or Z" produces a measurable result. Thus far, no takers. Hence my request.

That said, here we go!

In early 2019, a Polish event organizer asked me about leveraging social media influencers for a marketing campaign. Unfortunately, I didn't have any case studies to share at the time.

However, the case study perspective changed later that year. That's when a client decided to hire a local agency specializing in social media influencers.

Initially, the client didn't tell me they had hired another marketing firm. Then, when asked about the hire, the client's response was, "we have a Board member that has a personal relationship with the business owner." As with all things, it's the client's event; thus, who they hire is at their discretion.

My only request regarding the social media influencers was that all their posts be tracked with simple UTMs / bit.ly links. The client agreed.

Long story short, the client spent a significant amount of money to generate ... ready for it ... a total of 33 website visitors. All tracked through Bit.ly and Google Analytics with zero leads and no purchases.

To be clear, I'm not here to bash social media influencers. However, my marketing and advertising philosophy is agnostic. My expectation of all, including myself, is to quantify what works.

Here's another cautionary tale regarding the power of social media influencers, especially when it comes to your event!
(Credit to Ben Settle for bringing the following story to my attention.)

"Influencer Arii, who has 2.6 million followers, couldn't sell 36 T-Shirts"

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7083559/Influencer-Arii-2-6-million-followers-sell-36-T-shirts.html

As I advised the Polish event organizer from above if you're going to use an influencer(s) to promote your event, make sure you track their results! That means having tracking and result expectations set in all your marketing and advertising contracts.

If a social media influencer is unwilling to have their work measured, don't hire them. This isn't mean; it's smart business. And when you're business is on the line, you have to be smart!

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:


"Read Aloud" for better ads & marketing

Previously, we've explored the technique of reading your advertising and marketing pieces out loud. It's something I torture clients with regularly. Yes, I actually call clients and have them read their advertising and marketing copy out loud.

Why read your ads & marketing pieces out loud?

Because it helps you identify potential readability issues. And when people find something challenging to read, they rarely complain and just stop reading. Hence, your advertising dollars could be going to waste.

If you don't want to read your marketing pieces out loud, here's an automated and easy to use alternative.

What follows has helped me improve my atrocious writing to occasionally readable. More often than not, it's also identified additional grammar and spelling errors that computer proofing tools did not detect.

A few places to use the "Read Out Loud" include your Facebook ads/posts, sales letters, ticket sales pages, marketing emails, info on your event website. Basically, anywhere where you need people to read text.

The following suggestion is for those with Microsoft Word. Other programs or online services offer the same feature if you don't have Word. Search the phrase "read text out loud" on your search engine of choice, and you should find plenty of options.

For those with Microsoft word, please do the following.

Select the "Review" tab after you load up your document or text in Word. You might need to copy & paste your advertising copy to review (text only) in to Word.

Within the review tab, look for the "Read Aloud" | Speech tab. If you don't see the "Read Aloud" option, check the "Quick Access Toolbar" options. Then, highlight the text you want to read and click "Read Aloud."

One tweak that I suggest is adjusting the reading speed under the "Read Aloud" settings. It should be a small speaker with a cog. My recommendation is to set a slightly faster reading speed (just past the midpoint.) This helps the computer sound a little more human with better pacing.

Finally, consider using the "Read Aloud" technique with headphones or earbuds. Doing so allows you to use this technique almost anywhere. Another positive of using headphones is it helps eliminate distractions and allows you to really focus on your words.

Give the above recommendation a whirl and let me know what you think. Reading out loud is one of the quickest ways to improve your writing and make your event advertising and marketing even more effective.

Want to get more advice on advertising and marketing your event? Check out the articles below:You Need to Consider the Other 97%


Using a Cloak of Mystery to Benefit Your Event

About twenty years ago, my father worked at a local development company that owned several local chain restaurants. On occasion, the owner of the company and my father would conduct "mystery shopper" evaluations of the company’s restaurants.

The "mystery shopper" methodology was pretty straightforward. You go to the restaurant and order a meal. Never was it announced to staff who you are or what you were doing, hence the mystery component.

During the meal, one would observe and take notes of the overall customer experience. For example, was the wait staff friendly and attentive? Were all the menu items available for purchase? If there were any issues, were they adequately resolved?

After visiting several restaurants, the owner and my father would compile all their notes to identify the positives and negatives. Then, recommendations would be sent out to the various locations for managers to address any issues of note.

Overall, the mystery shopper experience was integral in gaining favorable word of mouth for the restaurant chain—all in a world too early for Internet reviews.

If you don’t have one already, please consider setting up a mystery shopper program for your event. Ideally, your mystery shopper should NOT be you or someone on your staff. Look toward a trusted advisor or friend who has a track record of honest feedback. Why is that?

Because if you or a team member are working hard to execute a great event, it’s challenging to add more to your plate and stay objective. You’re going to get task saturated and probably miss something.

In every instance where mystery shopping client events, major customer experience issues have been identified and presented to clients. My goal is to be as fair and objective as possible. So, any issues of note are always backed up with customer feedback.

Mystery shopping is relatively simple to set up and will provide you and your team with some fantastic insight into your event.

Want to more event customer experience advice? Check out the articles below:

 


Event Promotion: An immutable human buying behavior

As marketer Frank Kern once said, "unless your customer was genetically modified in utero to have a completely different psychological disposition than the rest of the human race, this stuff (well thought out marketing and advertising) will work!"

It is crucial to understand how we as humans make purchases. When it comes down to buying behaviors, it's straightforward.

All humans buy on emotion and justify with logic.

The above statement might seem overly simplistic, but its simplicity is tremendously powerful.

Can you remember a time when you had a deep desire to purchase something? Maybe it was a family vacation or a new cell phone. What starts as a small thought begins to nag you, and suddenly you feel as though your life will be better with that purchase.

The result?

You just purchased on emotion. And we as humans are conditioned to feel good about consumption.

After the dopamine hit, you most likely back-filled your buying decision with a series of logical justifications.

Buying on emotion and justifying with logic is in play when generating ticket sales and getting people to attend your event.

It's important to remember there is a dark side to human buying behaviors. e.g., Drugs, illicit activities, or running up massive debt on credit cards. So if you're going to use the Jedi mind tricks of marketing, please do so responsibly.

If you haven't had an opportunity to read it, I strongly recommend "Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D. In his book, Dr. Cialdini explores case studies and clinical research directly related to human buying behaviors. Cialdini's book is a fascinating read!

Years ago, I recorded a special training on Cialdini's Weapons of Influence. If you'd like a link to that presentation, reply to this email.

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


The Irreplaceable Charm of Live Events

Getting together with other human beings is a positive experience that is almost impossible to replicate. But, of course, that’s provided you want to get together with other people. The holidays don’t always give us a choice. :-)

Before the pandemic someone asked me, "do you think digital events would replace live events?"

My answer back then, and even more so today, is a resounding "No, live events are here to stay!" Even if the pandemic as slowed live events down.

Yes, there is a time and place for digital events, especially if your local or federal government doesn’t allow you to hold an event.

With the above said, if you’re going to go digital, use it as a supplement and not a replacement to your live event.

You and your team need to stay proactive.

The single best thing you can do right now is to "prime the pump” for your next event, even if you’re uncertain when your next event might occur.

What steps do you have in place to make that happen?

Reach out to your previous customers, generate leads, and build relationships with those in your target market. Doing so will pay you in spades.

Even better, a proactive approach to your next event will put you leagues ahead of your competition.

Here are some additional tips on planning and promoting a successful event:


Your Diamond Mine of Data - Lost Forever

Here's a short and unfortunately not so sweet tidbit for today ...

A surprisingly high number of new client projects start with clients not having access to their own Google Analytics data.

What’s worse is that the entire process of trying to track down access for Google Analytics always results in a massive time suck for everyone involved.

Why rant about Google Analytics access?

Because without Analytics, you lose any potential assessment of previous advertising and marketing campaigns. Without Google Analytics or another comparable platform, assessing an event’s online future potential is challenging.

How do you plot your future, if you can't assess the present or your past?

Ultimately, most clients set up a new Google Analytics account and forsake all their previous data. All your previous advertising campaigns and potential marketing insights are lost forever.

Instead of droning on about the issue, please consider the following simple recommendation.

Make sure to triple-check that you have full Admin privileges on all your Google Analytics properties. If you’re unsure, be sure to check with your web provider or IT person.

If you don’t have access to your Google Analytics, you want to weigh your options now when you have time on your side. And time will give you a bevy of options that you won't have available when you're against the gun.

Having your web stats readily available with help you and any savvy marketing person you might hire chart a successful path of online success.

Want to get more info on tracking the effectiveness of your event promotions with Google Analytics? Check out the articles below:


Peter Parker beats back the pandemic

Over the weekend, Disney/Marvel's Spider-Man: No Way Home raked in over one billion USD worldwide. All in the middle of a significant uptick in COVID cases from around the globe.

Given the circumstances, one might think, what about COVID restrictions, vaccines, and lockdowns?

On its face, Spidey's success doesn't seem possible!

Source: https://www.avclub.com/box-office-experts-try-to-solve-the-mystery-of-why-spid-1848249964

To be clear, if people want to see a movie in these times, that's a personal choice. To that point, there was an expectation that all theater moviegoers wear a mask here in Rochester, New York.

Heck, we had it easy!

In other parts of the world, you need to provide proof of vaccination just to enter the movie theater. Of course, that's in addition to wearing a mask.

Remember, movies are very similar to events. Like events, movies get a group of people to spend their hard-earned money to be entertained, educated, or to help others.

Yet, despite COVID ...

Spider-Man was an enormous financial success. That's because Disney/Marvel manufactured a massive amount of demand for a high-quality "event."

The second essential component is that Spider-Man has been on the silver screen for about 20 years. Thus, creating demand is easier when you have a known event that people want to attend.

Much like Disney, you can stack the deck in your favor.

Be sure to click on the source link above for a peak into No Way Home's early success. After you click on the link, replace any movie references with the word "event." There are at least a few great knowledge nuggets for you to take away.

P.S. - In case you're wondering, Spider-Man: No Way Home was an excellent movie and worth a watch. The movie an interesting take on personal choices and consequences.

Want to get more info on promoting your event? Check out the articles below:


The Ultimate Event Advertising Solution

If you've been receiving my emails for a while, you'll probably remember the following story.

Today, I'm going to suggest something radical based on the busted billboard story.

So, here's the short version ...

About six years ago, a client invested almost 30,000 USD in billboard advertising in one of the largest metropolitan areas in North America.

After the client hired me, I asked a straightforward question about their billboard investment during an advertising audit:

"How many dollars of revenue did your billboard investment generate for you?"

The client reluctantly acknowledged that they did not know.

After completing the client's advertising audit, I recommended not renewing their billboard contract because no data supported that ad buy. Not even a notable uptick in Google Analytics!

Without the billboards, the client increased their year-over-year revenue by approximately 30% and kept 30,000 USD in their bank account.

Allow me to take the story above one step further. Though overly simplistic, I also believe it to be tremendously self-evident.

----

The simplest way to determine the effectiveness of any advertising is by not engaging in that activity and noting what happens!

----

With the above said, I would strongly recommend taking a measured approach to eliminate any advertising or marketing efforts.

Make sure you leverage the classic direct-response process of changing only one element at a time. You might have to group multiple efforts into a single channel in some instances.

e.g. Pull back on all your social media efforts and take note of what happens. You probably won't be able to use a single post to make a sound assessment.

Additionally, the above recommendation is a 40,000-foot suggestion. Depending on the complexity of your marketing efforts, there could be a little bit of work involved.

If you have a similar example where you eliminated a marketing or advertising buy with positive financial results, I'm all eyes!

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

 


Ticketmaster: Much Maligned & Possibly Misunderstood

Have you ever mentioned Ticketmaster around an event organizer?

To date, I cannot think of a single instance where someone had anything positive to say about Ticketmaster. Yet, ironically enough, for all the hate, I believe that Ticketmaster is the biggest ticketing company in the world.

Years ago, my friend Doug Doebler shared the following interview with Fred Rosen, who originally founded and served as President of Ticketmaster.

In the interview link below, Fred Rosen directly addresses the ticket fees and all the nitty-gritty details most people have never heard. And it’s not what most people think!

Source: ArtistsHouseMusic

Remember, after you click the link, you can speed up the clip by selecting the “Cog/Gear” on a desktop computer or three dots on mobile. With those menus, look for the “playback” speed option. I recommend 1.5 to 1.75X.

When you get a chance to check out the video, mash the reply button and let me know what you think. After watching the interview, did your option of Ticketmaster change?

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


Are all your event announcement ducks in a row?

Here's a timely combination of a few previous rants ...

Last week, a headlining act announced their 2023 performance dates for a well-known local event. After the announcement, local news outlets featured the upcoming event on television and online.

Overall, there was some decent media coverage. All at zero advertising cost!

Unfortunately, it was also a missed opportunity.

For some unknown reason, the local event organizers didn't have their "official" website available. When you tried to access the event website, you are met with a strange hosting company message and zero information about the event.

Almost a week later, the event website is still unavailable.

"But wait, there's more!"

One of the local news outlets linked an online story to the headlining performer's website, "For more information, click here." After clicking the link, the performer's website has no reference to the local event. It's like a double dead end.

Though it seems overly simplistic, you probably know where I'm going with this ...

At a minimum, make sure all your marketing assets, especially your event website, is ready to go before any major announcements.

In 2009, a local event client had all their ducks in a row and generated hundreds of new leads, in one week, for their event. All the collected leads were put through a dedicated marketing process and converted into event attendees. Zero ad dollars were spent.

What seems trivial can have a colossal impact on your event.

Don't let highly qualified traffic go to waste!

Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:


Systemizing a Little Healthy Ticketing Paranoia

Multiple clients found themselves refunding significant amounts of ticket revenue this year. Ultimately, it came down to an issue with selling tickets at higher pricing than the pricing schedule.

Thus, today's takeaway is about as straightforward as it gets.

Do you have a simple system in place to check your online ticket buying process?

If not, consider setting up a routine of clicking on and checking the “buy ticket” buttons for your event regularly. You might even want to include a simple checklist item or post-it note on your monitor.

After you click on the button, is the ticket price correct?

Do you click through and validate the entire check-out process?

The simple advice above is essential if you're involved in sophisticated marketing and advertising campaigns. Simple and small ticketing mistakes can add up quickly. For example, in 2021, over 40,000 USD of event ticket revenue had to be refunded due to pricing mistakes.

Last but not least, if you ever get called out on a pricing discrepancy, act immediately and issue the appropriate refund.

One overcharged person on social media can be problematic; a few angry people can turn into a public relations nightmare.

Remember - when you're busy playing damage control and customer service, you can't focus on selling tickets to your event!

To the client's credit above, they automatically issued refunds to buyers. However, in some instances, buyers didn't even realize that they were overcharged.

Checking buy buttons is just one example where what many consider trivial can become costly to your event. A little healthy paranoia and a few validating clicks can go a long way.

Want to get more event ticket strategies? Check out the links below:


Behind the Black Friday / Cyber Monday Scenes

Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Both days are full of discounts, occasional poor consumer behaviour, and seemingly "once in a lifetime" deals. In total, it's a massive day for online and retail revenue generation.

Retailers offer consumers something to buy with a discount, value-added proposition, or other unique combination to incentivize a person to buy immediately. You must buy on Black Friday, or else ... wait until Cyber Monday. After that, some other arbitrary sales day that is sure to follow.

Ok, Eugene. That's very nice. But what does Black Friday or Cyber Monday have to do with my event?

When you peel down through all the layers of advertising and marketing madness, you're left with a few essential selling components. One of the biggest drivers of Black Friday sales is an offer. And that's the dirty little secret ... an irresistible offer.

My question to you is do you have a surefire offer that ticket sales like crazy for your event?

The above question is one of my favorite questions to ask of event organizers. And most event organizers don't have an answer. A usual response goes something like, "we've tried a bunch of different things and nothing seems to work." As a result, a mountain of potential ticket sales are left on the table.

To maximize your advance ticket sales, you need to have your own irresistible ticket offer.

Over the last 11 years, clients have used one ridiculously simple offer. The offer used by clients was directly borrowed from the dating industry. That modified dating industry offer has generated millions of dollars in advance ticket sales and has an unbelievable track record of success.

Some outdoor event clients now enjoy the confidence of selling 89% of their tickets, before a single person walks into their event. With two days of rain in the forecast.

If you don't have a super-duper ticket sales offer, use the marketing lessons of Black Friday as a template. Look at what's being offered, the results (using Google News), and insights you can integrate to create your own irresistible offer.

Additional Ideas for Marketing Your Event:


"If you can't track it, don't do it!"

Here's a friendly reminder as we approach the year's end.

If you haven't already, please make sure to take some time to put all your advertising and marketing under the microscope. Take a look back at advertising and marketing that worked and what failed to meet your expectations.

If you're unsure of the effectiveness of your advertising efforts, here's an overly simple rule to follow.

"If you can't track it, don't do it!"

It applies to all advertising, marketing, and the vendors who support those activities. Some would argue the advice is too simple. And they might be correct.

Thus far, every client that has implemented the simple rule above has gone on to reduce their advertising costs and increase ticket revenues.

In 2016, one client eliminated at 27,000 USD advertising buy. That client was asked a straightforward question, "how many tickets sales did your 27,000 dollar investment produce?"

Their answer, "we don't know." (And to be fair, I'm positive some ticket sales were generated as a result of spending $27K.) So my recommendation, "if you don't know, then stop doing that!" The client eliminated the $27K advertising buy and increased their online ticket sales past one million dollars. A nearly 40% increase in ticket sales!

There is no doubt that there will eventually be an exception to the recommendation above. That mean's it's effectiveness will be reduced from 100% down to 90-95%. And that's fine!

Want to get more advice on tracking your event advertising and marketing? Check out the links below:


... your event website in the meantime?

After reviewing dozens of event websites for an upcoming project, the following deficiency kept creeping up.

Depending on the event, the amount of time between announcing your event and your event occurring can vary significantly. Anywhere from a couple of years to a few months. If you have a recurring event, what follows is vital to consider.

My question to you is, "what are you doing with your event website in the meantime?"

Especially in the critical time after you announce your event and before tickets go on sale.

At a minimum, most event organizers update their event website with the dates of their next event. Yet there is one essential element that is missing. That element is the collecting of warm ticket leads. Not a single website I reviewed had any form of lead generation.

A closer look at Google Analytics will clearly show you that most people (60-70%) of people only visit your website once. Additional of all the people visiting your website, 40-50% spend less than ten seconds on your websites. If you haven't already, please take a look at your own website engagement metrics. Chances are your jaw will hit the ground.

Because of the above, it's paramount you have an effective method to collect leads on your event website, 24/7/365 even while you sleep.

If you're not collecting leads for your next event, you're missing out on significant amounts of advance ticket revenue! This particular topic was featured in my first issue of the Event Profit Report and has been worth millions of dollars to clients.

You can start with something as simple as asking for an email.

Here are some short articles on getting the most from your event website:


Get rid of all those details in your event promotions

Back in the day, I heard an advertisement for a local drive-in event. The piece of advertising was a 30-second radio spot. The radio ad emphasizes the importance of keeping your marketing message relevant, short, and easy to remember.

One of the biggest mistakes event organizers and promoters make is trying to deliver their target audience too much information all at once.

Event organizers logically think, "How much information can I get into this one ad?" The result is that so much information goes into a piece of advertising that people get overwhelmed.

Too much information can be as bad as too little advertising. Are event sponsors, dates, times, and headlining performers important? Absolutely! Yet, if people aren't at least interested in finding out more information about your event, they're unlikely to attend.

If your target audience is unlikely to attend your event, all the superfluous information such as sponsors, dates, times, and your main attraction, becomes irrelevant.

I'm a firm believer that if event organizers focused more on hitting people's emotional hot buttons upfront, they would get more people interested in their event.

When creating advertising for your event, regardless of the medium, concentrate on getting people interested in your event first.

Keep your advertising simple, straightforward, and easy to remember. Consider some of the ideas below:

>>> Create an attention-grabbing headline or hook that hits their emotional hot buttons

>>> What are the benefits attendees will enjoy by attending your event?

Use the above ideas in your advertising.

When getting your marketing message across, focus on keeping things as simple and straightforward as possible. I can't recall who came up with the axiom, but you need to "get out of your ego and into their ego." In short, give the people what they want, not what you think they want.

Include a simple call to action, send them to your web site that has more information about the event. If you can get people to take a simple action, like visiting your web site, you'll have a greater chance of selling them on your event and hooking all the details.

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


"It's right there in front of them!"

Back in the early 2000s, I spent a significant amount of time in web usability consulting. What the heck's that?!?! The process involved live testing of how users interact with a website. Clients included everyone from small business owners and publicly traded corporations to the United States Air Force. The overall experience was a huge eye-opener.

After you get past the emotional reactions and harsh testing comments, the feedback provided by users was invaluable. User feedback helped clients identify severe flaws in the design of their website. Including, serious marketing issues.

One of the most common points of confusion during testing was the inability of users to find information on a given website. To which designers and business owners would angrily respond with, "what are they talking about? It's right there in front of them!"

Right there in front of them ... That's a critical point. Because it illustrates how what you see and what your website users see can be completely different.

Having reviewed hundreds, possibly over a thousand event websites, I can tell you with absolute conviction that most event organizers are not connecting with users. If users don't connect or understand your website, how are you suppose to compel them to attend your event?

Here's a little suggestion. You need not be a web usability expert to take advantage.

If you really want to improve your event website, do a little live website testing. Get people (not family, coworkers, or friends) to give you honest feedback on your event website. Put a person from your event's target market in from of a computer or mobile device, and get them to go through your website.

Ask the person to talk through the process out loud. That's key, they have to verbalize what they're seeing and thinking.

Is this suggestion going to take a little work? Yes. But the improvements you can make to your event website will result in more people attending your event. I promise you, you'll be amazed by the actionable feedback you receive!

Want to get more info on improving your event website? Check out the articles below: