April 17, 2014 at 11:30am

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Event Marketing: Common Mistakes to Avoid

The time has come to plan an event. You have selected a venue, you know your dates, and you are excited about the big day. With all this in mind, it is easy to overlook the importance of your marketing strategy. In other words, how are you going to spread the word that your event has been scheduled and is well worth attending?

Some companies know exactly what they should be doing when it comes to event marketing. Others, however, are lost and looking for answers. If you don’t get on the right track sooner rather than later, it could be too late before you finally catch on.

By avoiding the five mistakes below, you will find it much easier to achieve success in regards to your marketing plan:

1. Believing that your event will market itself.

Even if you have a large following, you must put the appropriate amount of time and effort into marketing your event. This includes but is not limited to social media, press release distribution, mailers, phone calls, and much more.

Your event is not going to market itself. You must be proactive if you expect to achieve top notch results.

2. Waiting too long to get started.

This goes along with tip #1, and is every bit as important. From day one, you need to be marketing your event to the greatest possible degree.

If you wait too long, there may come a time when you realize it is too late to make any real progress. The best thing you can do is create a sound marketing strategy once the finer details of your event, such as the date and venue, are written in stone. At that point, you can begin to work through your strategy, one task at a time, to ensure the best possible results.

3. Neglecting to obtain the assistance of others.

You may be the person in charge of setting up and managing an event, but this does not mean you should attempt to do everything on your own when it comes to carrying out your marketing plan.

Why not find several other people who can assist you with the marketing process? You can oversee the finer details, ensuring that everything is on the right track, but you can also rely on these people to assist you along the way. If you try to do everything on your own, you may soon find yourself cutting corners and overlooking important responsibilities. Is that a risk you are willing to take?

4. Not using social media.

Go back in time 15 or 20 years, and most people planning an event wanted nothing to do with the internet. In today’s day and age, however, things have changed quite a bit and you now need to rely on the internet as often as possible.

Social media is one of the best ways to market your event for several reasons:

  • A variety of options. From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, there are many social media services to consider. 
  • Free of cost, for the most part. Does it get any better than that? You can market your event via social media without spending much (if any) money.
  • One of the best ways to reach a large audience, including those who are aware of your company and event as well as those who do not yet realize you exist.

5. Overlooking the power of traditional marketing.

There is no denying the fact that you should focus a lot of attention on social media and other related tasks, however, you do not want to overlook what traditional marketing can do for you. Are you going to distribute a press release?Are you going to buy advertisements in media publications? Are you going to call potential attendees on the phone? Are you going to rely on direct mail?

These are all things you can do to take your marketing approach to the next level.

By avoiding the common event marketing mistakes listed above, it is easy for you to stay on the right track while improving your chance of spreading the word without breaking the bank.

There is a lot that goes into creating an event marketing strategy, but if you are going to achieve great success you have to go “all out.” When you avoid common mistakes and follow your strategy down to every last detail, it will not be long before you are boosting attendance numbers and realizing that your approach is paying off.

Note: many people believe that the internet has killed traditional marketing, but nothing could be further from the truth. This is a great supplement to new age methods.

Author: Chris Bibey

March 26, 2014 at 7:30pm

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Captures the best memories of your Bridal Showers

When married people reminisce about their weddings, chances are that their memories aren’t just limited to the actual wedding itself, but all the events that lead up to the celebration as well. Special dates, family gatherings, the engagement… and of course, parties for the bride and groom before the big day.

 

In many parts of the world, one of the celebrations that brides look forward to the most is the bridal shower; an opportunity for her to get together with friends and family members and have some lighthearted fun. These showers—so named because they’re the perfect chance to “shower” the bride-to-be with gifts and attention—are usually ladies-only events, where everyone from the flower girl to the groom’s grandmother can take part in the festivities.

If you’ve ever been to a shower before, you’re probably familiar with some of the fun, sweetness, and silliness that can ensue during these parties. Games are common, especially those that allow attendees to win prizes, and are perfect opportunities for people to get to know one another. For many, the bridal shower is the first time that female members of both sides of the family, as well as close friends, will really have the chance to spend time together and chat. Playing games together in teams can help to form bonds that will last a lifetime, and there’s certainly a lot of stress alleviated from the wedding itself when most people already know each other and get along well!

Should you be planning a shower for someone special, remember that they don’t have to be all about gifts: if the bride isn’t a materialistic sort, or if it’s a second marriage and she already has all the housewares and such that she could possibly need, the celebration can be centered around countless other options. If it’s springtime, all the women can get together and plant a tree in honour of the upcoming nuptials, or the shower can be an occasion where everyone teams up to make favours and decorations for the wedding. You could arrange for all the attendees to take a chocolate-making class together, have henna tattoos done, or even have afternoon tea at a fancy hotel somewhere. Ultimately, the shower is whatever you’d like it to be; as long as it will make the bride smile, and give everyone a chance to socialize and make final plans for the celebration.

Taking pictures at wedding showers is an art unto itself, since the magic really happens in the candid shots, rather than the posed ones. There’s nothing quite like the laughter that breaks out when the bridemaids try to walk around while wrapped in toilet paper gowns, or the sweetness of tears when a great-grandmother passes a treasured family heirloom to the one getting wed. Silly games and flirty prizes are perfect photo ops, and any time the wedding party and guests look at those pictures in the future, they’ll be reminded of the amazing time they spent together.

Those photos can be also used to create a gorgeous display at the wedding reception. After vows are exchanged and people are milling around with appetizers and such, they can enjoy looking at images that lead up to the event. Ladies who attended the bridal shower may get a kick out of pictures snapped at the groom’s bachelor party, and out-of-town guests can get a chance to feel included in the preparations (and inside jokes) if they actually get a chance to see some of the fun that transpired in the preparation sessions.

Keep in mind that you can also use the pictures you take to inspire others for their parties: all of those images on Pinterest that people draw upon for their own celebrations were uploaded by someone, right? Just as you might look online for ideas about decor, gifts, prizes, food, and drinks, others are doing the exact same thing… so if the catered food is exquisite and the hand-made tiaras are a big hit, share them! You might end up helping another lady plan a spectacular shower for her sister or best friend in turn.

Author: Lana Winter-HébertImages credits: Creative commons (Flickr) 

March 19, 2014 at 3:04pm

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How to Increase Visibility for Event Sponsors

Are you in the process of planning an event? If so, you understand the importance of signing up sponsors as soon as possible. Not only is this a great way to generate income for your event, but it will go a long way in adding a sense of “legitimacy” as well.

It is one thing to say you are going to sign up sponsors. It is another thing entirely to make this happen. Are you aware of what goes into this process? Are you aware of how much time you have to put into this? If this is your first go around, you may not know exactly what to expect, however, as you move forward things will begin to become clear.

Here is the one thing an event sponsor wants: visibility. Companies will agree to sponsor your event if they feel they are going to get something in return. And this something, in most cases, is visibility. They want their brand to be visible to the many people in attendance.

With all this in mind, there is a big question that needs answered: how are you going to increase visibility for event sponsors? If you know how to do this with success, you will have a much easier time selling sponsorship space.

Here are five ideas to consider:

1. Online visibility via live stream.

As you know, some people just won’t be able to attend your event. There are a variety of reasons for this, including the cost, time, and proximity to their home base. Fortunately, you can still reach these people by live streaming your event via the internet.

If you are going to setup a live stream, you might as well make the best of this opportunity. For example, you could add a sponsor logo in the background. This will give the company visibility to anybody who is watching the live stream from their home or office.

2. Focus on the benefits of social media. 

Do you have a Twitter and Facebook account setup for your event? Are you doing some serious networking on LinkedIn? The more time you put into social media the better off you are going to be. Here are a couple ideas for using social media to bring value to event sponsors:

  • Thank them for sponsoring your event on each social media platform
  • Tweet about your sponsors during the event, making sure that others are aware of how important they are

More people than even before are using social media. This is by far one of the best ways to increase visibility for sponsors, before, during, and after the event.  

3. Bring in a professional photographer.

This is going to cost some money, but in the long run it is well worth it. With the help of a professional photographer, you can display the brand at your venue and in the press.

You may be tempted to have an employee take photos throughout the event, but the quality is not going to be the same as if you bring a photographer on board. This alone is sure to excite potential sponsors, especially if you can show them samples of the type of work the photographer has done in the past.

Note: make it known to sponsors that you will share all professional photos with them. They can use these photos on social media, their personal website, and in other forms.

4. Use a tweet wall and/or photo wall

There are many benefits of this, both to sponsors and those in attendance. With both types of wall, you are offering attendees live updates throughout the event. Along with this, you are in position to customize the wall to meet the needs of your sponsors.

For example, you could customize a photo wall to display a particular brand at the venue. This way, every time somebody views the wall they are also going to see the sponsor’s logo.

5. Printed material. 

Are you going to hand out a brochure at the beginning of the event? Are you going to hang banners at the venue? Contrary to popular belief, print is alive and well.

There are many ways you can use printed material to increase visibility for event sponsors. The more options you take advantage of the easier you will find it to sell sponsorships in advance.

Is this Really Important?

As you begin to reach out to potential sponsors, each and every one will want to know what they are getting in return. Expect to hear questions such as:

  • How will you display my brand to your audience?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How many people will be in attendance?
  • What is your social media reach?
  • Are you going to live stream the event to those who are unable to attend?

When you have a plan for increasing visibility for each sponsor, it is much easier to answer these questions and sell the benefits of getting onboard.

If you implement the five ideas above, as well as any others that may be beneficial, you will find it easier to increase visibility for event sponsors. 

Author: Chris Bibey