One of the most common questions that we get asked about events is ‘Are they really worth it?’
The answer to that depends on why you’re doing, who you’re doing it for, how long it’s running, your marketplace and how well executed it is going to be.
If you can get these things right, an event can create a loyal audience, invaluable viral marketing and a dynamic atmosphere. What’s more, national titles love a round-up feature and events give you an otherwise untapped opportunity to feature in these and the digital articles stay around for ages, providing ongoing marketing for your business.
This weekend, a lovely little Halloween event we created, featured in The Times. Obviously nothing is ever achieved alone and having an incredible client (Habitat First Group), onsite team and PR company (PC Agency) make coverage like this possible.
Read on for our top 5 tips on how to create an event that will grab people’s attention for all the right reasons.
Here are our top 5 tips on creating an impactful event…
1) Understand why you’re doing it
An event for an event’s sake is never a great idea. A clear brief should cover why you are considering events, who you want to talk to and what story you want to tell. Where does your property or visitor attraction need extra attention and what results are you looking to gain from hosting an event? By understanding why you are thinking about an event, you can establish whether this is the right marketing activity for you.
2) Know your audience and your product
Understanding your audience is key to creating a well-attended event. What do they like doing? When are they most likely to be around? What would their barriers be to attending and are there things you can put in place to remove or reduce these barriers? By understanding who you’re targeting, you can shape the event around your audience instead of simply hosting an event and hoping it works out. Make sure you’re clear on the USPs of your event location and bring them to the fore at all times. Are you blessed with a beautiful natural environment? Then weave stories around that into everything you do. All events should start with a clear placemaking strategy that has a detailed analysis of your audience and environment to optimise your chance of success and to give you the best possible chance of creating something PR-able and memorable.
3) Don’t rest on your laurels
You’ve got an event that’s working; people enjoy it, it’s well-attended, you are capturing data and your marketing is going to plan. So far, so good. There are two routes you can take at this juncture. Route one is to keep things as they are, steady the boat, appreciate a slightly reduced workload once things are up and running and maybe look at cost savings. Route two is to build on that event; take advantage of time saved to look at how you can increase the output; which elements can be improved, which elements can be increased and which new components can be added? Take some time to talk to your audience to find out how you can make things better and think about how you can introduce new elements that give your attraction or development the edge over the competition.
4) Predictability isn’t always bad
For years now, we have been told that people are placing more value on experiences than material goods. The experience economy is thriving, which means we have to be more creative and original than ever before to ensure that events stand out. However, there is still a place for predictability. Running an event at the same time of month, week or even year will help to cement it in your audience’s psyche and will make it more likely to attain regular attendance.
5) Delivery, delivery, delivery
One of the more expensive aspects of an event can be Event Management. Having sat client side for years, we fully appreciate the desire to cut costs at this stage. Once you have a concept and have ordered what’s needed, it should only be a day of time to run the event, right? But what if there’s a problem? Liability, risk assessments, fire risk assessments, method statements, comprehensive event management plans, security and stakeholders all need to be considered for an event to run smoothly. Couple this with a can-do team on the day and it isn’t always cheap, but strong delivery leads to happy customers and happy clients.
We’ll share our top tips on marketing events soon.