With the growth of the digital age, people have become a lot more sceptical of events. With instant access to information about events, its managers, and its programs, people don’t visit events unless it’s exceptional. If not, what is the point? Moreover, the immense speed of the internet makes it incredibly difficult for the event strategy team to keep up. With rising expectations, people responsible for event management and strategy are running into a corner and don’t how to deal with people and their changing preferences. If you happen to find yourself in somewhat of a similar situation, you are not alone. Many people struggle to keep up with the constantly changing demand and expectations of people in the current day. That said; don’t lose hope, as there is a guide that is sure to help you match your event strategy/ event marketing strategy with changing preferences.
But, before we jump into how you can match your event strategy, let’s look at why you can’t match your event strategy.
Event Strategy: Same old, Same difference
In the past few years, events have boiled down to a simple event that mostly stays the same throughout. And every year, these events get a new coat of paint and a few new features; without changing the overall aesthetic and feel. Now, this is not to say that people do not enjoy these kinds of events, as many events like Coachella follow a similar structure. But with expectations of people changing at a rapid pace, events like these do not tend to last long.
Even Coachella understands this and gets new performers every year for its event. Your planning team needs to understand that people want something different from their events. While you may think that doing something different may lead to a higher budget, there is a lot that you can achieve with the same budget.
But that is not all; you may be facing problems with your events due to the setting, arrangement, venue, and location. All of these factors can lead to your attendees feeling like the event is a waste of time. So here is what your event strategy plan should consist of during the planning stage.
Event Strategy: Being considerate
Planning an event is not easy. There are a million things that you have to keep in mind as you go about planning your event. Including a million things that you have to keep in mind, a thousand things that can go wrong. So it is easy to say that managing and organizing an event is stressful.
Now even though event can be incredibly challenging to plan, they are the single best way of marketing and branding. An event explicitly aimed towards your demographic instantly creates a link between the activity and the brand. An excellent example of this is Red Bull. Over the years, Red Bull has followed a fantastic event branding strategy; where it would host or sponsor extreme sporting events. In just a few years, one couldn’t think of snowboarding, dirt bike racing, or other extreme sports without automatically thinking of Red Bull.
A good event can make your business synonymous with a specific event. But as we have established, planning an event is quite tricky. So here are a few ways that you will have to consider when organizing your event.
Event Strategy: Where are you holding the event?
The first thing that the event strategy group will have to consider is where the event will take place. Where your event is taking place, is something that your team will have to think for several reasons deeply. One, People don’t like to travel too far for an event. Unless it is something truly exceptional and mind-blowing, people may still not go to an event if it’s far. So keep demographic information in mind when planning the event, and choose a place where your audience is most likely.
It can be very challenging, but it pays off in the long run.
Second, where you do your event can say a lot about your brand. If you are doing your event in a very run-down area; attendees may not think very highly of the event that you planned. But if your event takes place in a posh area, it can make for some great press.
So when deciding your event, you should always keep these two things in mind. They can add to the overall experience of the event and can put your name on the map. But other than where you are planning your event, you also need to consider why you are doing this event.
Event Strategy: Reason for doing an event
Doing the event to market and promote your brand is unfortunately not a good enough reason for an event. Other companies and brands often take a very inspirational reason for doing an event or do it because their brand resonates with people of that event. Mountain dew is an excellent example of reasons to plan an event.
Mountain Dew has recently shifted from its focus on extreme sports and stunts to video games in countries like Pakistan. Seeing how this country has not gotten the exposure that it deserves; Mountain Dew is providing them with a platform to show their skills. They have arranged some of the biggest gaming events in the country, and show no signs of stopping.
And of course, you have Red Bull that continues to support a variety of different sports as it is part of its events strategy and action plan. Red bull continues to support these events because the people who enjoy their drinks resonate very well with them. Much like Mountain Dew, Red Bull has also branched off into the gaming scene. As it supports a wide range of fighting game tournaments, it has seen much success in its new endeavour.
So when planning an event, you should always consider why you are doing the event in the first place. Not only does this motivate the volunteers and participants of the event, but it can even give a reason for people to attend the event.
Marketing strategies for your event
Marketing is, of course, another significant factor in the grand scheme of an event marketing strategy. All professionals that arrange events follow a very similar pattern for a marketing strategy. It is one of the only parts of any significant event strategy; unfortunately, that has a simple format that organizers can reuse every time. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. On the contrary, your event rides on the marketing that you do. And if that makes you anxious, don’t stress and follow these simple event marketing strategies.
Marketing strategy: Early bird discounts
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Early bird discounts are possibly the most played out and common event promotion strategy in every event marketing strategy, and for a good reason. Put, it works. One of the best ways to both ensure attendees and promote the event is to let out a discount. Many studies have shown that a major reason people don’t go to events is the price.
The most common thing that nearly every event does is it increases the price of the ticket, as the event gets closer. This price hike can prove to be very useful in the long run, as early applicants will also help other departments like finance and management. All in all, this is a great event sales strategy and a great event marketing strategy template to follow.
Marketing strategy: Social Media
Social media is the ultimate one-stop-shop for everything that you could require in a great event marketing strategy. It allows for marketing, communication, and even sales; in other words, nothing else quite competes with social media in a proper event strategy. Marketing through social media has become incredibly easy and effective. The potential to connect to millions of people around the world on a single platform with minimal effort is quite remarkable. But what is more impressive is the ability to communicate with these millions of people.
Social media not only makes for a great event marketing strategy, but it also makes for a great addition to your event communication strategy. Thanks to the use of social media, people can easily contact your brand, and you can discuss any queries that they may have with it. A great event marketing strategy example is Wendy’s. Wendy’s has one of the most infamous twitter accounts online, and as soon as it is part of an event, people sprawl onto twitter to, in essence, talk to Wendy. It has proven to be incredibly effective over the years.
The best part about social media is that it can also be a part of a global event strategy, where you intend on reaching billions of people. Social media is the only tool that allows you to connect with that many people at the same time and it is one of the great event marketing strategies.
Marketing strategy: Influencer marketing
Influencers are the name of the game in current-day marketing strategies. People now feel more attached to internet celebrities than they are movie stars or musicians. This is something that you can take advantage of, as an influencer can sway his audience by referring them to you. Influencers already have a massive audience. And taking advantage of that enormous audience can prove to be very beneficial to your event.
While they may charge a considerable amount for their services, it is par for the course considering immense marketing that they are providing. These internet celebrities always make for a significant investment when it comes to marketing tactics, as they cater to the demographic that you need.
Marketing strategy: Sponsorship
Finally, your event strategy will need sponsors. And finding sponsors takes a lot of effort and time. Sponsors can be very difficult to persuade, and they have their reasons for it. Think of it, why would a company invest money into an event, unless they receive a massive benefit from it? This benefit is often in the shape of more publicity. But sometimes and event sponsorship strategy plan can fail, not because of the scope of your event or the size, but in fact because of your attitude.
Your attitude during a sponsorship meeting can say a lot about the event and the company that is behind it. Some see a negotiation as a poker game that they have to win no matter what the cost. While there is nothing wrong with that ideology, it’s a more barbaric approach to negotiations. Not all negotiations go the same way, and not every negotiator has the same attitude. Taking that incredibly blunt attitude towards every negotiation can make matters confusing; can make a bad name for your brand and event as well.
Ideally, when negotiating terms with a company, you want the situation to be a win-win. But with the poker game theory, there is only one loser and one winner; and most times the loser will be you. The negotiator has nothing to lose, and it is your job to convince them that your event is worth looking into. This can be difficult but necessary for your event marketing strategy.
Marketing strategy: The art of the trade
Negotiations are difficult. Not only do you have to reach a mutually agreed-upon conclusion; but you also have to reach that conclusion without ruining the relationship between both parties. A model to help you deal with negotiations is the whole brain model that doesn’t leave any wasted resource on the table or in trying to reach an agreement. Instead, both of the parties will honour their side of the agreement, and both parties trust in that.
Depending on how you treat your investors and sponsors, they will be more likely to trust you with a contract and their money. Now some investors may seem a little harsh, but a calm attitude can significantly change what they believe.
An event strategy is a necessary part of planning an event. It consists of many factors like an event campaign strategy and an event-driven investment strategy. And even though it can be the most challenging part of your entire organizing phase, it is still essential. The best part about it is that other people also understand its importance, which means that there are other more skilled willing to help you. You can go for event strategy consulting, to truly help your event reach the potential that it has.
However, as people’s tastes begin to change; your event strategy needs to be dynamic enough to adjust to that change. People now expect new and better things thanks to the advent of the internet, and that is something that your event will have to provide. If you fail to do so, you will be another in a long list of failed events. There is a multitude of failed events to learn from like the Fyre festival or the Los Angeles Beer and World BBQ festival.
In conclusion, the objective is not to be great; it is to stand out and be exceptional. And you can only do that if you are keeping up with changing preferences of your audience.