NORTH BERGEN, NJ, January 17, 2014 — Are you planning a Super Bowl party, an Oscar’s viewing, or a fundraiser? Then pay attention to these marketing tips that will make your next event a success.
Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune of leading some really fun and successful productions, namely high-end, celebrity-attended events for charity. I’m often asked for advice by others on how to: secure sponsors; attract well-known attendees, and how I promote the events to ensure a good crowd. So I hope these marketing tips are helpful for you, and please share them with all of your social networks as well.
Attracting sponsors is no easy task, but like any business deal (or sale) you need to seek out a ‘win-win’ situation. Don’t be one-sided in your approach, because you will fail. Asking potential sponsors to give you money for an event just because you need it isn’t enough; neither is just offering them logo-placement on your press backdrop or step and repeat banner.
Instead, think of who might be a good match for your event’s theme and attendees. This is critical because asking a fashion designer to sponsor a music concert, with a stage, loud music, and no emphasis on fashion, might not be the best place for that designer to invest their marketing/advertising budget. So, approach potential sponsors that can capitalize on the crowd and type of event you’re offering them.
For example, a winemaker sponsoring a cocktail mixer featuring a complimentary wine-tasting and networking reception, or a fashion designer sponsoring a fashion week finale might be a good fit for your prospective sponsor.
Of course, all things go hand in hand and a notable VIP on your guest list can impact the type of crowd you attract as well as the types of sponsors that will see enough value in your event to invest as a sponsor. However, from the perspective of the sponsor (or advertiser) they’re looking for the biggest bang for their buck, so make your offering to them attractive. Give logo-placement on printed materials, radio, TV, or YouTube, in addition to the event website. Be creative and look for unique co-branding opportunities that will benefit them (the sponsor) and their brand.
The VIP Guest-list
Getting TV personalities, actors, musicians, and other entertainers with some fame (celebrities) is a matter of, budget, networking and once again, creating a win-win situation. The talent manager is always going to ask: ‘What’s in it for my client?’
You need to make sure that there is legitimate value in them attending your event, unless they are committed to the event’s cause personally. Of course, you can always book a special appearance from your VIP celebrity guest as long as their fee fits within your event budget.
In my experience, I’ve met plenty of entertainment professionals that were willing to support a charity if they also believed in its mission. My best advice here is to be in the right place at the right time and network, network, network. If you don’t have a network of VIP friends you’d better start building it now or get connected with lots of talent managers and publicists.
Marketing the event
Nothing else matters if no one shows up to your event. To make sure you have a good turn-out, get a commitment from event participants well in advance of the event. Whether its by selling tickets, RSVP emails, or social media mentions, make sure you have their commitment and engage them in dialog (two-way communication) early on. Ask event participants to comment on ideas or announcements about the event during the planning stage and keep them engaged all the way through the event and beyond.
People will participate in an event if they see value in it. That means making it worth their while. Think of it as buying a new pair of shoes; you walk into the shoe store for a new black pair of shoes and the sales person tells you that it’s on sale today. So now you’re happy about saving money and in most cases you won’t spend the money you saved in that same store; because then your ‘deal’ would have less of a perceived value — Shoot! You just saved $50 and your not going to give it up that easy.
Now switch that same scenario around but this time the sales person tells you that the black shoes are $99 (what you expected to pay) but a second pair in brown would be 50% off or ‘only’ $49 , just in case you were interested in saving some money on that second pair.
In this second scenario the perceived value is superior because most people leave the store feeling like they saved $50, but they actually spent $50 more than they expected to – the value of perception always wins. People know that they get what they pay for so if they pay less, they will expect less.
In addition to booking great acts, offering a star-studded VIP Guest-list, and sponsors – create attractive and valuable packages and offerings for your event participants; whether its gift bags, VIP access, complimentary food, cocktails, or anything else they would appreciate (or value) in addition to what they expect for paying regular price to attend your event. Don’t dilute the value of your offer by cheapening it; instead add more options (or value) for more money. Lowering your price decreases your value and buyers (or event participants in this scenario) can totally sense that. People love the value of a bargain, but nobody likes cheap stuff.
*This article is an excerpt from the full-length guide: “Event Marketing 101, 11 Steps for Event Success“ by Rich Valdes (c).
To get your FREE copy of the full-length guide “Event Marketing 101, 11 Steps for Event Success“ follow @richvaldes on twitter and then fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page (<—- Click there)
About the Author:
Rich Valdes is communications and leadership strategist, writer, and speaker. Rich was an official in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s Administration, and prior to that, an award-winning marketing director who has led staff and projects for various colleges. As an entrepreneur, Rich has run small businesses and produced high-profile public relations events to raise awareness for various brands, celebrity entertainers, faith based organizations, and non-profit charities.
As a frequent TV and radio media contributor, Rich’s commentary on social issues and popular culture have been featured on Hot 97 FM, CNN Headline News, Telemundo, Univision, The Washington Times and Fox/My9 TV. When not debating, politics, education, and culture, Rich is a single dad, school board member, and Young Benefactor at VH1 Save The Music Foundation. Rich attended New York University where he studies Organizational Behavior & Communication, and is raising his two young daughters while caring for his elderly father just outside of New York City in Bergen County, New Jersey. Follow Rich Valdes on Twitter: @richvaldes
*This article is an excerpt from the full-length guide: “Event Marketing 101, 11 Steps for Event Success“ by Rich Valdes.
To get your FREE copy of the full-length guide “Event Marketing 101, 11 Steps for Event Success“ follow @richvaldes on twitter and then fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page .