Promotions these days can be quite impersonal - everything is online and your potential guests are drowning in information. Facebook, email, Twitter, Snapchat - we are attacked from every angle.
So let me ask you a question - do you remember the last event that you were invited to?
Was it by a friend? A group that you are subscribed to? Were you attracted to the event banner online and then clicked ‘interested’ so that it pops up in your feed the day before it happens?
Next question: what was the last event that you actually went to?
I won’t repeat the questions above as to how you found out about the event first, but I bet that a friend, or at the very least a human, had something to do with persuading you to go.
Now I know what you’re thinking - people equal time and money and why bother when you can blast a generic message as far as your ad Pounds can reach. To find the answer to this one, just have a look at the first paragraph.
The below is a very complicated and sophisticated equation that combined people, time, effort and money to result in the most awesome ways to utilise who you already have and create a strong strategy that will make your clients feel like they are uniquely cared for, without being on your speed dial and costing you a fortune.
What: Have your bartenders promote your next event
Why: If you run bar and club events then the bartenders are the face of your company for the night. They will make touch with almost every attendee and can probably give you an accurate overview of everything that happened, at the end of the night. So why just have them pour drinks when they can be your best promoters for the next event!
How: Give your bartenders discount codes that they can offer to guests who they think are likely to come next time. This doesn’t have to be a long interaction and can be as easy as giving a card with a QR code to your event and the bartender’s unique discount code.
Bonus: Incentivise your bartenders by giving them bonuses for tickets sold and see their customer service and sales skyrocket as they try to please your guests more.
What: Ask your employees to spread the word
Why: Your employees are already knowledgable about your product and believe in it, they are passionate about it being a success as no matter what their role is in the company, the event represents them, and they are readily available to you. So why not use them?
How: You’ve got to make it easy for them. Whether it be creating temporarily branded business cards or sponsoring a cause that they believe in, you’ve got to make it look like you aren’t adding more work to their plate. Tell your employees that helping to promote the company event could be as easy as sharing a post on Facebook or adding the event to their LinkedIn profile. Any effort that they make will mean more exposure to the event and reach a greater number of people - you never know (and sometimes they don’t even know) who will see your event after a simple ‘like’.
Bonus: Depending on your industry and the event, sometimes it’s better to have physical advertising, such as flyers, and other times it’s best to keep everything online. Track the success of your promotional channels by attaching unique links to them and then reviewing your sales sources when they come through.
What: Create a unique registration page for each promoter
Why: Your promoters know that their paycheck depends on how many bodies they can bring through the doors, so it is in their best interest to invest in creating relationships with their clients, rather than risk it each week hoping to get the crowds in on the night. By giving them a dedicated sales channel you will be able to help facilitate these relationships and increase sales.
How: Offer your promoters a ticket registration page that has their face/ name in the event banner or even a discount that is specifically for their customers. Promoters are a social bunch and love for people to know their name, so let them be popular and for people to be proud of being on so-and-so’s guestlist.
Bonus: Show your promoters that you care and offer special merch/ drink discounts to people that book using their ticket page. This will not only boost sales but will also encourage customers to book in advance if you create these offers on a limited time basis.
What: Add a QR code to your business card
Why: Are business cards outdated? I actually had to look that one up. But it seems that they do still have a place in the business world and so should be utilised effectively. The point of the matter is, you give out your business card to the people that you want to do… business with. The receiver is your target market so make sure that you get event info in their hands, without giving them a roadmap on how to navigate to your registration page via your website.
How: If your event runs only once a year then make sure to print a QR code on each and every one of your employee's cards, so that everyone they meet will have direct access to your event page. Most people are still somewhat mesmerised by the QR code, so your chances of them visiting the page are quite higher than if they had to make the awful effort of typing in a website or email address.
Bonus: Make sure that you also add your event info to your email signature and your LinkedIn bio. Once again, if these people are communicating or searching for you, then they might just want to pay a visit to your event.
What: Partner with a coworking space
Why: Coworking spaces are bubbling with all sorts of people and are a great place to advertise your next event. Whether you choose to give the workers a discount or sponsor a happy hour, you can be sure that your message will be reached by not only those present but potentially also all of their networks. The beauty here is that not everyone may be your target market, but if you play your cards right, they might just become them.
How: Talk to the community managers and ask them what the best way is to reach their clients. They will probably also know exactly who would be most interested in your event and can help you connect. Offering a workshop to the members may help to turn them into customers as well as make them familiar with your brand.
Bonus: Coworking spaces work well because although everyone is working on their own projects, there is a great sense of community and people feel comfortable asking one another for help. Your job? Be available. Rent yourself a space for a week and ask the community managers to alert the other members that you are happy to set up an appointment with anyone interested in your product.
- Get your bartenders and regular staff to do some promoting for you - no one knows your guests like they do!
- Your employees should be your biggest cheerleaders, so get them talking
- Make your promoters stand out with unique ticket sales pages to help them build relationships with clients
- Customise your everyday business material to connect new associates with your event
- Take advantage of coworking spaces near you - grow your business and increase your promotional reach to new audiences