Part 2 – Field Guide
13 Ways to Help Execute Successful Promotions and Events
A GREAT event should do more than simply generate sales. It should create new customers, build word-of-mouth advertising for you going forward, and create interest in your business for those that weren’t able to attend. If only one percent of the people who hear your ad for a special event choose to come, it will be a huge success. The real investment can be in the 99% that did not come to your event while it was going on but may consider doing business with you in the future.
1) Establish and measure clear marketing goals. What will make your event or promotion a success? The more detailed the better. Share these goals with whoever is responsible for helping promote the event.
2) Make it Special. Having a special event or promotion that isn’t special, even if it is promoted correctly, will not be as effective as it could have been. Price alone is not enough to create lifetime customers. Have door prizes, entertainment, activities, etc. Creating positive customer interactions can only help in making them feel like they have a special bond with your business.
3) Choose the dates, times, and length strategically. Make sure your event does not conflict with another or competing event. Can your event tie into the traffic from an existing event? Is the timing convenient for your prospects? How long can the promotion or event last? Depending upon your category and your offer, events and promotions can last from one weekend up to 2 or 3 months.
4) Event Marketing. (Punch ‘em in the Nose marketing) When you run a short-term event, i.e., from a single weekend up to 2 weeks, you should not promote the event too far in advance. Keep in mind, typically people will not cancel plans they have already made in order to attend a sales event or promotion. You can’t reach everyone
5) Pay attention to detail. Are there city permits required? If you’re serving food/refreshments, are there health regulations? Do you have weather contingencies? Delegate and assign the duties required to create a problem-free event.
6) Train your staff. Prospects attending your event will want their questions answered promptly, correctly, and in a friendly manner. Remember, one of the goals of your event is to build stronger customer relationships.
7) Look for partners and sponsors. Is there a non-conflicting business that could benefit from co-presenting and participating in your event? Are there suppliers who might benefit from providing funding, prizes, staff, or products for your event
8) Choose your location carefully. If your event is to be held off your premises, check local bylaws. Is there parking available? Is the location easy to find and can it handle your anticipated traffic and volume?
9) Promote, promote, and promote. Properly promoted, the results from your event will extend far beyond those customers who actually attended. Use timely broadcast announcements to create excitement for your event. Encourage your customers to share the news of your event with their social media friends.
10) Create Synergy. Send email invitations to your core customer base and possibly offer them a special incentive for attending, i.e. If you bring this invitation, you will be entered into a drawing for (?). The more people you have on hand, the better feeling the new customers will have about your business.
11) Have a follow-through plan. What will you do for an encore? Can you capture email addresses and/or phone numbers and get permission to contact the prospects who attended your event? Conduct a post-event analysis with your staff to help make your next event is even more successful.
12) Incentivize your staff. Special events generally mean extra work, and perhaps even extra hours for your staff. Make sure you make their participation in the event fun and rewarding.
13) Capture pictures, along with positive audio or video comments from participants for use in future promotions, and to use on your social media and web pages.