Planning events require high level creativity not only with coordination but as well as with collaboration. A skilled event producer is also a skilled networker. Someone who knows how to utilize their “rolodex” when needed.
Another important aspect of event production is marketing. Marketing includes a plethora of practices and principles that can help achieve attendance or profit goals.
When planning events, you must not neglect the importance of Marketing.
Here are a few questions you should keep in mind when planning your next event.
1. Who’s your target audience and how can you reach them?
What type of audience do you seek? Who’s needs are you fulfilling with this event? What is their income range? What platforms must you use to increase the visibility of your event and your message?
Will it be through print ads, social media, radio, tv, or all of the above? If you choose social media, there are numerous ways to target your audience with which you have to decide your demographic choices. What age range, what zip codes, and etc… which social media platform will be most useful for your visibility? Are you familiar with the statistics of the platform of your choice
2. What strategy are you going to use to effectively convey your message.
Will it be a series of photos, a social media contest, an advertisement, attending other events, a public announcement, a celebrity endorsement, a political endorsement, a community movement, print ads, direct mail, or social media?
Will the platform you choose efficiently present your message?
The message is just as important as your event. Ultimately, you are targeting audience that are like-minded. It’s not about casting the widest net. It’s more about casting an accurate net.
3. What does your promotional calendar (leading up to your event) look like?
A great event deserves a strategic plan. A part of that plan should be a calendar planning out your promotional campaign. What messages should be pushed out on what date? Which flyers should be posted on what date? What announcements should be scheduled to keep the excitement going? When should press releases be distributed?
4. Who are your event partners and how are you going to leverage those partnerships?
You should always seek partnership from other complimentary businesses and organizations in the community. Find a way to help them by being a part of your event. Select those with a big following so their followers may attend your event as well. To do this, you must expend efforts in creating campaigns for the partners you choose. If you wish for them to promote the event, it will be up to you to create materials for them to use for promotion.
Remember that everyone wants to feel important and the more important your partners feel, the more they will gravitate towards your event.
This is your “baby” you should not rely on anyone else to care for the success of your event as you do. Don’t assume that your partners and volunteers will voluntarily promote and know what to say. You must give them a list of post ideas and photos to choose from. Or simply ask them to share your posts.
5. How are you going to encourage partners, volunteers, and staff to take ownership of your event and promote it on their social media?
It’s not easy to rely on your volunteers to promote the event on their social media which is why, you must find a beneficial reason for them to promote your event.
When you have meetings, encourage them to post by spending quality social media time. Perhaps on the first 15 minutes of your meeting, you should ask everyone to post something about the event. Make it happen. Don’t leave it up to them to do on their spare time.
6. Who is in charge of social media during the event?
As the producer of the event, you need not be isolated on a corner doing social media tasks. Assign 1-2 people in advance to take care of live postings through out the event.
Social Media managers are just as important as photographers.
7. How will your event improve your audience lifestyle? Or how will it solve their needs?
Your message must convey that their needs are being met. Afterall, that’s what all these big corporation and brands do. They show you things you didn’t know you needed!
What is their takeaway?
8. How will you continue the excitement after the event?
Your job is not done after the event. Now you must continue to build the buzz at least for one week after your event. Release the photos from the event, repost any photos posted by your attendees that night using your hashtag. Present the results. Publicly thank the key players and any specific attendees. Basically, re-live the moments and make those who didn’t attend feel like they missed out and use that moment to promote your next event.
9. How will you encourage your partners to work with you again?
Take the time to publicly thank your partners. Also, send them a hand written note. Scour through your vast selection of photos and find photos that could be useful for them and share it. Maybe it’s a photo of a crowded line at their booth or a photo of attendees having a good time at their table. Put yourself in your partners shoes and send them anything that they would be proud to share to their followers.
10. How can you ensure a more successful event the next time around?
Ask for testimonials from your happy attendees and partners. Create a short video that you can use to promote your next event.
Remember to have that post event meeting and keep your notes regarding suggested improvements for your next event. Send your attendees a short survey and consider their suggestions.
I hope this has opened you up to delve more into the strategy of event production and marketing. One thing is for sure, it’s not an easy task! It requires a creative and tenacious mind.