So you’ve got a great event. What’s next?
So you have decided to throw an event. Whether it’s an annual Gala fundraiser, a big-name concert, a small theater production, or even Crossfit games, the success of your event depends on how you market it and how well you can reach your desired target audience.
The objective of your event should be to reach a targeted audience. For example, if your event is a music festival, you can reach out to people that have attended similar events. Advertising for your event should begin around 40 to 60 days before your event and include a combination of strategies. If you are utilizing a ticketing system, you want to begin the process at least 90 days in advance.
You can use direct mail marketing campaigns, but if you don’t have the budget, press releases are a cost-effective way to announce the event.
Have a plan for social marketing and make sure Facebook is part of it. Always create an event page and use your ticketing URL for the link in the FB page. Within these platforms, targeted campaigns are relatively inexpensive and have a wide reach. Through a combination of creating a Facebook event page, organic posts, video, Facebook Live, and targeted posts, your audience can gain a greater awareness of your event than through other traditional channels.
An event website for your audience to learn more is an element many promoters overlook. Your audience may want to learn more about your event, whether it is about the entertainment, the event schedule, or simply the information on facilities and parking. When your audience cannot find the event information easily, they can become frustrated and choose not to attend.
970Tix Ticketing Platform:
970tix is a local platform specializing in event ticketing and comes with an arsenal of marketing and advertising channels available to promote your event. The cost of the platform is passed on to the consumer through low ticketing fees which are now standard in the market. Make sure your ticketing platform includes an email function that helps you communicate with your attendees before and after the event. With the full resources of the Grand Junction Media Group behind it, including print, radio, social media and web, your event on 970tix will reach a large audience in the Grand Valley and surrounding areas at no cost to you.
Make sure wherever you are driving people to buy your tickets that you have a nice bright, visible buy tickets button. It’s more noticeable and a better call to action than hyperlinked text. For someone with little to no budget, that is one easy, inexpensive way to drive ticket sales.
Send out a pre-event reminder to ticket buyers to make sure they come, and give them some info about how they can participate (social hashtags or other things you may have planned).
Ticket Promotions/VIP Tickets:
One of the best ways to promote your event is to offer ways to win admission tickets through contests and sweepstakes. Plan ticket giveaways to generate interest and use the emails you capture through the giveaway to your advantage. Consider different types of tickets or special things for certain buyers so you can market those cool deals/prices/features/gimmees in targeted outreach to specific crowds (like VIP tickets).
Use Local Publications:
Advertising in your local paper, such as The Daily Sentinel, and the weekend event oriented publications, is a great place to post your event. Not only do they reach a wide audience, people actively seek out sections such as “Out and About” to see what is going on for the weekend.
Add the Events to Local Event Calendars:
Post your event to local event calendars both online and on traditional media. The Daily Sentinel has calendars in print and online. Local stations usually run a listing of community events within their news broadcast, but can also provide advertising for local events that are usually cost-effective.
Low Budget Ideas:
If your event is new or you don’t have a big budget to work with, get a team of people together to help promote the event. Friends and family may be willing to help by walking through neighborhoods and knocking on doors or leaving flyers. A common misconception in the Grand Valley is that the only place you need to leave posters is in the downtown area. There is a majority of residents in our area who never make it to Main Street. Get your posters up in areas you know your target audience frequents. You need your advertising to be in the areas they will see it.
Event Marketing does not have to be difficult but does need to be a coordinated effort to reach your target audience. Through a combination of these techniques, you will find more attendees coming to your event and a greater interest in your future offerings.
To learn more about event marketing techniques, join us on Thursday, September 20th from noon to 1:00 pm for our monthly Lunch and Learn series. Brown bag lunches are encouraged; snacks, water, coffee, and tea will be provided. Tickets can be found on 970tix.com.
Nathan Watchman is a digital brand specialist with Sentinel Digital Agency and the ticketing point person with 970tix, sister companies of The Daily Sentinel that provides marketing services and event ticketing services to businesses across the Grand Valley. To submit a question for our experts to answer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 970-256-4387.