As consumers, you know the drill: finish a 5k, stroll through the county fair, or walk out of a big concert and you will inevitably encounter companies giving away free pens or offering limited time deals. You know how to avoid a rep you don’t want to talk to and how to grab the swag and go. So as a marketer, you know that running a promotion or canvassing at a special event will require a great deal of strategic thinking if it is going to be a valuable pursuit for your business. Keep your eyes on the prize with these 4 tips for a successful event.
- Define your goals
When considering event marketing you should first identify your objectives. Do you want to build brand awareness? Do you want to grow your contact list? Do you want to generate leads? Your endgame will affect every subsequent decision you make from crafting your pitch to developing collateral and managing logistics.
- Offer a relevant benefit
Marketing at special events like concerts, fairs, and sporting events is such an established practice that consumers are trained to quickly scan for the benefit you are offering before deciding whether or not to engage with reps. And you will often be competing with other companies for attendees’ attention. So it is particularly important to determine a unique offer that will encourage people to visit your booth and stick around so you have a chance to talk with them. Therefore, before pinpointing an offer, giveaway, or prize it is important to consider the following:
- Event conditions: Where and when is the event taking place? Will it be comfortable? For example, if it’s outside on a hot, summer day consider giving away bottled water or branded paper fans.
- Your audience: What are the demographics? If there are kids and families, think about setting up a game or giving away candy. What are their interests? If you’re at a sports game, explore opportunities for co-branding.
- Don’t forget about digital
Although event marketing provides an opportunity to go back to basics and interact with consumers face-to-face, you can leverage technology to reach an even wider audience. According to the Pew Research Center, 90% of American adults own a cell phone and 64% own a smart phone. Consider using a text message marketing platform to run a promotion. Text-to-enter is quick and convenient. It allows you to collect contact information from people that are passing through or unable to visit your table. For example, if you display your text contest details on the big screen at a concert or a game, you can collect mass entries from people as they are sitting in their seats!
- Make a lasting impression
Your job isn’t done when the event is over. If you want to see a real return on your investment you must put as much thought and strategy into your follow up communications as you put into planning for the event. Consider a drip email campaign to start nurturing the new contacts you collected. If you identified promising leads, think about a more targeted approach like a phone call follow-up or a personalized message.