If your event marketing is a dog then so is your event!
Nothing quite markets your event like marketing! I thought I would start with the blatantly obvious and for the simple reason that many a great event has forgotten about this simple fact. Your content can be top notch, your pricing strategy spot on and you overall offer pretty fantastic but if your marketing is a dog so is your event. What you want to say has to come across loud and clear and it’s got to be unique and compelling.
At the recent Association Congress European and International held in Liverpool I facilitated a delegate exchange which looked at how an organiser can receive the maximum marketing support from their venue and or their destination.
The organisers on the table were very lucky to have three really engaged venues and destinations from Stuttgart, Dubai and Boston. They also had a very experienced representative from Congrex who added to our discussion.
Owing to the make up of the audience there was a particular focus on large international congresses however all the points are relevant for other events.
Here are the thoughts of my delegates (with the odd one added by me):
1. When writing a tender document for venues and destinations for your event organisers should include as much detail about marketing as possible. Organisers should include ‘marketing support’ as a separate issue and give as much detail as possible.
2. Be honest and clear with your partners pointing out where you think your weaknesses are.
3. Marketing is such an important area that you should have separate meetings with your venue and destination to discuss it.
4. Most venues and destinations offer a marketing matrix to support the events they are host so ask to see it and pick what is appropriate your event.
5. It’s sometimes worth paying for extra marketing support to ensure you get a dedicated resource.
6. Organisations have to ensure that they secure long term support from their venue and or destination. If you have an annual event your venue or destination should be presenting, hosting a dinner or taking a booth at the preceding event or even the one before that!
7. Event marketing (to ensure your numbers are achieved) is of course important but so is the opportunity to market your organisation. What can be leveraged on the back of your event?
8. A combined marketing effort will lead to more success so organisers have to secure as much from each partner as possible.
9. A good starting point for splitting the marketing is that the organisation running the event should concentrate on marketing the details of the event and the venue or destination should focus on marketing the location.
10. Like all marketing, organisers should track and measure the success of campaigns run by their partners.
Good luck rinsing the venue and destination sponge!