Here at TicketLeap, we’re all about making sure that an event is the best experience for everyone. From the event organizer to the people who attend, our whole mission is to make the process – from planning the event, to buying your ticket, to sharing your experiences – an awesome time. For event organizers, one of the biggest roadblocks of planning an event can be getting the word out. In a quick Q&A, TicketLeap CEO Chris Stanchak gives you his top 5 tips for promoting your event – and keeping your sanity.
1) Why is it important for me to market my event?
Every audience at every event in the world is there because of marketing- whether you realize it or not. Simply put, marketing is the only way people are going to find out about your event. There’s a lot of competition out there; people have a ton of options to choose from for things to do. Promoting your event is a way for the world to know about all of the time and energy you’ve put in, and to see the results of your hard work.
2) I really don’t have a ton of extra time for marketing, so what are some time-effective ways to promote the event?
Spreading the word about your event doesn’t need to be all-consuming. There are a slew of easy ways to reach a large audience. First, you need to spend some time thinking about who your audience is, and who you’re trying to reach. We’ve seen the most success when event organizers reach a great, targeted group of people who are very excited about the event, and use their passion and enthusiasm to help spread the message of the event. Social media is an excellent way to do this – you can create a Facebook page and a Twitter profile without spending any money, and it allows you to stay engaged with your followers and for your core audience to share and talk about the event. Traditional media (radio spots, TV commercials, etc.) can be both time-consuming to produce and expensive. If that sounds scary, you probably shouldn’t be doing it, so unless you’re flush with time and money, we recommend going old school. Use flyers and postcards to reach the audience you’ve identified. Another time-friendly way to amp up your marketing is to create time-sensitive incentives, like ‘buy your ticket today and get early admission, free parking, drink tickets, etc.’ Making your tickets desirable right now helps encourage people to buy them immediately.
3) I’m a small venue, and on a budget. Isn’t marketing expensive?
Promoting your event doesn’t need to break your budget! Set aside a little money (even if it’s a few hundred dollars) to go towards marketing. We also recommend leveraging the people, venues, and influencers that you’re working with to help spread the message of your event. Local partners and sponsors are a great resource; cross marketing has been very successful for venues we’ve worked with in the past. In the months leading up to your event, you can determine if your marketing strategy is working, or if you need to switch gears, by checking out the analytics of your event. We let our event organizers track just about everything to determine which campaigns are working. You can tell which partners are generating the most sales for your event, where ticket buyers are coming from, and which attendees are the most influential.
4) What tools should I use to promote my event?
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have an online presence for your event. Set up Facebook and Twitter to encourage interaction with your audience and stay connected with them. If you don’t have a website for your venue, I’d recommend creating one; using a publishing platform, like Tumblr, is the most fool-proof way to create a professional, visual site. I mentioned this before, but we’ve seen huge success with offline marketing as well – go back to the days before cell phones and the internet and distribute postcards or mailers to promote your event.
5) After my event is over, is there anything I should do to encourage attendees to attend future events?
You shouldn’t have to start your marketing efforts from scratch every time you have an event. Try to get as much information from event attendees as possible; it makes it easier to keep in touch on social networks and create a list of people to reach out to for your next event. Make sure that your dialogue with your event attendees stays fresh; thank your guests for coming and continue reaching out even if you don’t have another event coming up right away. To do that, you can ask for feedback, invite attendees to follow you, encourage event goers to post photos to your Facebook wall, and then offer rewards for staying in touch. You can also give past attendees a discount before it’s offered to others. We think establishing a loyal customer base is really important for spreading the message of your event and standing out from your competition.
There you have it, straight from the mind of the guy who’s trying to change the way you experience an event. Hope these tips help to spread the word for your next event!