The pride in winning absolutely ZERO event marketing awards

Years ago, a seemingly go to question for air show organizers looking to hire me was, "how many marketing awards have you won?" At the time, there was a competitor touting all their marketing awards. And good for them!

When asked, "how many marketing awards have you won?" My proud reply, "ZERO! I'm not in the business of winning marketing awards for clients. The award I seek for clients is delivering them a paid-in-full event, before their event attendees arrive."

Think about it. For most event organizers, no award can equal the emotional satisfaction of having your event paid for in advance. Just consider all the worry it eliminates for you and your event team. And as a result, a better customer experience for your event attendees.

Again, if a client wants to apply for an award. I won't stop them, but I also don't encourage them. Why? Because of the dozens of hours clients spend in the application process. In some cases, just for a single award application.

Having collected around one million words of customer feedback for North American events over the last 20 years, not a single event attendee indicated that they had purchased a ticket to an event because the event won an award ... "Best of," marketing award, etc.

For me, the best clients to work with are those who are intently focused on meaningful business results as opposed to satiating their ego. It's my firm belief that all those (award application) hours are better spent investing in improving one's own event.

Get more insight on effective design that drives your event ticket sales:


Where not to advertise your event in an airport

During today's adventures around the galaxy, the following came up ...

If you're going to advertise your event, business, or anything in an airport, there's definitely one place you want to avoid.

After going to airport security, I notice an event advertisement. The advertisement was a large poster board advertising an upcoming local summer event. The poster hit on the key event points, dates, headlining performers, a call to action, and a website address. All in all, a decent job.

There was one major issue ...

This great event advertisement was tucked away after the security checkpoint. The placement was in one of the lasts places people are going to look at in an airport.

Why's that?

Because after most people clear airport security, they're more often than not, off to their departure gate.

Thus, if a great advertisement for your event is in a place, few if any people might ever look ... your advertising impact is going to be minimal at best.

So as not to be a total curmudgeon, here's my suggestion ...

Place your airport advertising in a place of great attention. Either heading towards a departure gate or on people's way to get their luggage.

Food for thought!

 


Combating the coronavirus & event uncertainty or cancellation

First things first . . . Be safe out there! Here's wishing you, your family, and friends a safe journey ahead.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of incorrect information regarding the novel coronavirus. I'm not here to dispense medical advice. That said, I strongly urge you to stay informed through reliable and reputable medical sources.

Just today, while in a local store, an employee was talking out loud about an ill patient admitted to a local hospital.

In the store employee's own words, "there is someone in a local hospital WITH the coronavirus!"

I heard the statement above and so did several other people. There's one massive issue with the account. The test results for the patient in isolation aren't complete. Nobody even knows if the person in isolation has the coronavirus.

Yet, people are referencing a sick person (incorrectly), and it's the lead story in every local media outlet. What's worst is this type of wrong information can cause many people to panic.

Let's place the above in the context of one's event.

If you've been following the international news, you'll notice that several major events have been canceled or postponed. The impact has even hit the movie industry, with the latest James Bond film "No Time To Die" delayed until November.

Here's my advice for dealing with any potential coronavirus impact and your event. Be proactive about event updates. Keeping your fans and patrons "in the loop." It is the single best way to combat uncertainty, panic, and gossip.

In terms of how to communicate, I'd strongly recommend email or mobile text messages. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. email and text messages can get you directly to your event patrons, ticket holders, and potential event attendees.

In short, if there are any changes in your event, make sure that your customers and potential attendees hear from you first and directly! You need to be the definitive and timely source of information on your event.

Want to get more info on event customer service and communication? Check out the links below:


Event Promotion and the Bloomberg "Bomb"

Earlier today, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the suspension of his 2020 U.S. Presidential campaign.

Today's takeaway has everything to do with politics and the marketing of one's event. Fear not, I'll stay away from the political side of the equation. Here's a short synopsis.

Former Mayor Bloomberg spent over $450 MM USD on his failed Presidential campaign.

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/bloomberg-campaign-staffs-future-dropout-172121273.html

Over the last few months, several academic and media pundits were terrified that Bloomberg would be able to "buy a Presidential election." In the end, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent with disastrous results. What some have dubbed one of the biggest financial failures in the history of politics!

So what does the Bloomberg presidential campaign have to do with marketing your event?

It's yet another stunning example of even with the deepest pockets and a den of super-genius consultants, outcomes are never assured. Both in politics and in the event world.

The essential event lesson is that if what your event offers does not appeal to the those you're advertising to (your target market), your event is probably doomed. Because there is no amount of advertising, marketing, or PR that can create demand where none exists.

Lack of demand is probably the biggest reason why events fail. So before you spend a cent on advertising an event, make sure people what to buy into what you have to offer.

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


Are your considering postponing your event?

Last year, my lady received a message that an annual event we've attended for years is postponed. The event is a holiday tour of historic local homes. Ultimately, the event organizers decided to postpone their yearly event until December 2020.

Previously, I addressed the challenges of postponing or canceling a recurring event. Long story short, if you decide not to have your event, there is a good chance that another event might come into your marketplace.

As a result, your customer base is potentially gobbled up by another event. I've seen this scenario happen with clients on multiple occasions. And it's not good!

Unfortunately, there are times when you're left with no other choice but to postpone or cancel your event. If that's the case, you need to think ahead. And here's an important question to ask yourself:

"What am I doing to collect leads and generate interest for my next event?"

Simply put. Do you have a system in place to generate leads and interest in your next event? In most cases, your dedicated event website is a great place to start. The question above is even more applicable if your event is a few of years away. And it's never too early to start!

One of my military clients really thought through answering the question above. In some cases, their events were held up to four years apart. Because of their foresight, they were able increase their revenue 90% over three events.

A major factor in their success came down to having a well thought out marketing plan for their next event. Use the question above and think through it!

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


Putting your event marketing detective cap on

Years ago, a seasoned event organizer commented on one of my most powerful marketing strategies. In their words, "I've been involved in these events for 40 years, and what Eugene is suggesting is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard."

As with all things, the event organizer above is welcome to their opinion. The irony of their statement is that my "stupidest" suggestion was integrated on the event organizer's next consulting project.

Far too many event organizers make dangerous assumptions based on their personal bias. It's human nature. What that means is that one could run an event for 40 years and not have a clue of what's really going on at their own event. A simple look at post-event survey feedback adds substantial credence to my previous statement.

Please don't get lost in a 40-year haze, like most event organizers. Fortunately, there is hope, if you do the following ...

When at your event, or someone else's event, I encourage you to be exceptionally observant. Put on your marketing detective hat. That means going beyond, just paying attention. It requires you to set your personal bias aside and ask probing questions, just like Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock always digs more in-depth, often to a fault, into what most people consider inconsequential. He would get answers to important questions like, "why do people really attend our event?" or "what's our number one advertising source for ticket sales?" When asked, most event organizers cannot accurately or confidentially answer the last two questions.

Moving forward, please make sure you dig a little deeper and find out what's really going on. There is an excellent chance that you'll discover something extraordinary. And I encourage you to ethically adopt that which you uncover!

Here are some additional articles on planning a successful event:


Sharing this critical cog with your event vendors

After each event, clients execute a Customer Experience Assessment (CEA). In short, a CEA is a specialized process used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of marketing, logistics, operations, and customer experience. Think of it as a super-survey.

While conducting my own data crunching for a Platinum client, the client's CEA identified "parking" as one of the most significant customer issues at their latest event.

During a recent review of my CEA findings with my Platinum client, I asked "Do you share your redacted CEA info with your vendors?"

Their reply, "no, we always keep it internal."

I assumed that event feedback would be shared with vendors by the client. Per the above, that wasn't the case. Shame on me for not recognizing the opportunity earlier.

After that, I inquired "if I redact all the personal/customer data, can I share the data with your parking vendor?" The client replied, "yes, absolutely!"

The parking vendor my client uses is one of the best in the event business. Even better, the parking vendor is insatiable about getting any feedback they can improve their level of service.

My question to you, "are you sharing critical feedback with on-site vendors about your event?" Yes, it's extra work. Especially the scrubbing of personal and customer data.

If you aren't already, be sure to consider the above. By sharing redacted patron feedback with your on-site vendors such as parking, food, concessions, novelties, etc. You're able to raise the bar on customer experience.

If you have a personal story related to the above topic, please feel free to hit reply and let me know.

Here are some additional articles on planning a successful event:


"Have Blue" secrets for marketing your event

Back in the 1970s, the United States Government took on a highly secretive project known as "Have Blue." The "Have Blue" project was the precursor the to the F-117A Nighthawk a.k.a. "Stealth Fighter."

One fascinating part of the "Have Blue" project is that the aircraft was meticulously "Frankensteined" from other aircraft. Some of the components included the landing gear, ejection seat, engines, and fly-by-wire system. A great deal of time and money were saved by using "off the shelf" parts.

You're probably asking yourself, "what exactly does this have to do with me?" Here's the Stealth Fighter lesson for every event organizer...

When it comes to your website, it's essential to start with trying to find an "off the shelf" solution. Over the years, I've seen countless custom designed websites for businesses and events. In many instances, the person or web design company hired to build the site unnecessarily custom coded features. This "customization" cost an outrageous amount of time and money.

Once an event organizer bragged about their $40,000 USD custom designed website. The visually stunning website hurt the event's ticket sales. Later, the event's website was replaced with a far less expensive alternative (using off the shelf tech). Add in some smart marketing strategy, and the event went on to skyrocket their ticket revenue.

Before redesigning your next website, ask your web person/company, "is there an existing technology or service that can be used?" Save those valuable dollars for your advertising and marketing. You'll get way more bang for your buck!

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


The "X" factor of a great event ticketing company

"Your patron's event experience does not start when they walk in the front gate of your event. Their event experience starts the moment they use their hard-earned money to buy a ticket to your event. In some cases, months before your event begins."

For almost twenty years, I've been on a quest to find a truly excellent event ticketing company. The adventure has left me with a litany of lessons learned and chronic disappointment.

There was even a time when I thought all I had to do was form my own ticketing company. That didn't work out well, but I did learn a lot.

Here's one of the biggest lessons learned about selecting a superior event ticketing company. It applies to every event organizer on planet Earth.

Ironically, my strong recommendation has nothing to do with technological bells and whistles. It even ignores seemingly essential items like how much you pay in ticket fees.

(As an aside: Ticketmaster is the largest ticketing company in the world. Ask any event organizer or ticket buyer and they'll probably say, "Ticketmaster's fees are absolutely ridiculous!" Yet, Ticketmaster is the biggest ticketing company in the world.)

If the ticketing company can provide you with the following "X" factor, make them your ticket company! That "X" factor is proving extraordinary customer service to your ticket buyers (and you!), from start to finish.

Here are some key factors ...

Great ticketing companies make it easy to buy a ticket on desktop or mobile. After a person purchases a ticket, their personal and financial information are stored in a safe secure spot.

If an event attendee loses their ticket, that ticket can be easily retrieved, by the attendee. The ticketing company should provide telephone support with employees who truly understand customer service.

If you're paying ticket service fees, you and your team should not have to provide ticketing customer support.

When onsite, the ticketing scanning and entry should work near flawlessly.

Again, you'll notice that most of the items above have little to do with technology and everything to do with great customer service.

When people buy a ticket to your event they don't see the ticketing company, they see you or your organization. The same goes for when there are issues with ticketing, they only see you.

Choose your ticketing company wisely!

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


"What happens when your event gets canceled?"

Quick disclaimer: what follows is not legal or accounting advice. My recommendation is to speak with an individual well versed in consumer law for your country or jurisdiction. With that said, the following information comes from years of conversations with attorneys across North America and Europe.

The following scenarios are real-life case studies of outdoor events being unprepared for adverse weather. "Weather" or not, the same advice applies to indoor events.

One of my first questions for any event organizer is, "what happens when your event gets canceled?"

The most common response is, "that's never happened." When it does happen the first time, the outcome is usually less than ideal.

On several projects with new clients, the standard response (when pressed) goes as follows. "We have a clearly stated no refund policy. If our event doesn't happen. We don't need to give people their money back!"

According to multiple attorneys, that's a legally sound position. That legally sound position also comes with a caveat and an important consideration.

Regardless of your event's terms of service, if an event ticket was purchased with a major credit card, the rules are different. Because you have a "no refund" policy means little to the credit card companies.

If your event attendee feels like you didn't deliver on an aspect of your event, the consumer can initiate a chargeback. With rare exception, the credit card companies will fight to protect the consumer and get them their money back.

That means credit card companies can forcibly take chargeback money out of your bank account, plus a chargeback fee. This is a big reason why ticketing companies hold a ticket sales reserve on your ticket sales.

If you haven't already, ask your ticketing company / merchant account provider what their policy is regarding chargebacks.

Too many chargebacks could result in not being able to process credit card transactions. Your best bet for avoiding credit card chargebacks is by having an event cancellation contingency place in place, before your event. To get you started here's a question to ask yourself and your team ...

"If you can't give a refund to an event attendee, how can you make that person happy?"

You then need to think through all the aspects associated with the above question. How are you going to get that message to event attendees? What happens when people demand a refund on social media (because they will)? Who's going to execute your contingency plan? Plus numerous additional questions and considerations.

Clients who have had cancellation contingencies and execution plans in place have kept chargebacks to the single digits (on tens of thousands of annual transactions) and refunds to a minimum.

Most important of all, they've gained trust with a very loyal customer base ... which is essential for long term growth of any event.

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


The comfort and benefit of extra event seating

A few years ago, I engaged in a heated debate with a client's operations manager. At the time, I requested an extra 25-50 seats for a sold-out premium venue of 150 seats.

There were several useless telephone calls and email debates. "Eugene, do we really need the extra seating?" My answer was a firm, "yes, absolutely!"

The operations manager's response was, "Eugene, we sold 150 tickets and there are 150 seats. We don't need more seats and we can't get the same color seats." (Yup, you read that correctly.) Ultimately, the seating request was authorized after a discussion with the client's Chairperson. And all was well in the universe.

When event attendees paid (150-250 USD) for a ticket premium ticket, it's imperative that attendees are comfortable. And it doesn't have to be just premium venue tickets! The price of extra chairs was 1.50 USD, trivial in the grand scheme of things.

If ever you find yourself in a situation of providing extra seating, always go for the additional seating option. The easiest way to sell a ticket to your next event, is a happy customer. A few extra seats can make a significant difference in your attendee's event experience.

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


The rub against free event advertising and marketing

Every year, I hear event organizers espouse the virtues of "free" advertising and trades. Occasionally at conferences there is an "oh yeah ... well we got X, Y, or Z for free" contest. Lots of people trying to one-up one another.

Here's my rub with the whole "free advertising" gambit ...

To date, not a single event organizer who swears by their free advertising and trades can produce tangible evidence connected to ticket sales. This isn't to say that it doesn't happen. To be fair, most event organizers don't even bother to track. So, how would they know?

"Free" advertising and marketing is a topic that hits close to home. Because clients spend an inordinate amount of their time managing their free advertising efforts. Ultimately in the end, they're left with nothing to show for it.

I am unsupportive of ANY form of advertising or marketing (online or traditional) that cannot be attributed to a ticket sale. Either you can track what you're doing to a ticket sale or not. And if not, it's pretty simple ... stop doing what you're doing.

This year a client went back to using old school "promo" codes on their print advertising. The results were eye-opening and easy to understand. When in doubt, go back to the fundamentals!

The way to preserve your advertising soul is to pay for advertising and track those efforts to a result.

Instead of free advertising and marketing, focus your efforts on paid solutions with a proven track record. You can start advertising online for as little as $5 a day. Even better, you can track simple advertising efforts to ticket sales.

Want to discover more about promoting your event? Check out the articles below:


"Bummer. The good tickets are sold out!"

"Bummer. The good tickets are sold out!" That was from an email that was sent to a client today.

The client had done such an excellent job of advance ticket sales, that all their premium event tickets were sold out.

Some premium tickets were sold out weeks in advance, after multiple price increases!

Most event organizers would think the situation above is a great place to be. Yet, being sold out of tickets could potentially be bad for your event. How so?

Because when you're sold out, especially weeks or months in advance, you can't generate additional ticket revenue.

A quick calculation showed that based on marketplace demand the client could have generated an additional 15-25% of ticket revenue, had they expanded their capacity. Unfortunately, because of the site layout, there was no additional space to increase capacity.

Here's today's takeaway. If you have a hot ticket for your event, always look for ways that you can expand capacity. One caveat to expansion is making sure you don't negatively impact customer experience. I've seen events get greedy and scuttle the customer experience.

Have you ever found yourself in the situation above? What was your result?

Want to "smartly" sell out your next event? Check out the links below:

 


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: