Marketing With Events
By Rama Beerfas
A powerful marketing tool that can elicit tremendous results when planned correctly, or can cause unexpectedly bad ramifications, is event marketing. This can be anything from an open house to a party to a sponsored stage event to a pop-up sampling and more.
Although many business events can look like their social counterparts, there are very specific differences that can make or break the marketing impact that is made on the attendees and possibly on the public at large, if you're lucky enough to have the press is in attendance.
Events of any type, business or social, take planning. The difference in the amount of planning is that you probably won't lose a friend if you throw together a last-minute birthday party and thing weren't quite as well-thought out as you had hoped. If the same thing happens at a business event (say a party celebrating ten years in business), the overall impression could affect the way your clients and prospects view the way you run your business on a day-to-day basis.
The key to business event planning is reverse engineering. Start with deciding what your objective for the event is. Then, set a budget. That should help you choose a theme, a time, venue and the guest list.
Knowing your objective will allow you to make sure that your event is geared towards achieving that objective. It may be a deciding factor in who makes the guest list and who doesn't. It may determine the specific date that would be best. Perhaps the objective will dictate the theme itself. Remember that any business objective should be measurable, so design your event to enable you to have the metrics that determine the resulting ROI and/or ROO.
Before you plan anything else, SET A BUDGET. Knowing your budgetary limits will allow you to plan an event that looks well thought out and complete, no matter what the monetary limitations may be. Not having a budget often results in guests noticing that things just aren't right or, worse, that basic elements aren't there. For instance, planning a St. Patrick's Day themed party and holding it in a Mexican restaurant because their menu fit your budget will be a major question mark on you, no matter how many green tacos you serve.
Event marketing can be a fun, interactive, experiential way to draw people into your brand, encourage donations, or introduce products and services to a new prospect base. Done wrong and people will talk; done right, you'll have people raving about you, recommending you and eagerly awaiting your next event.
Rama Beerfas is Chief Solutions Specialist for San Diego-based Lev Promotions, offering complete marketing services including consulting, promotional products, custom marketing plans, event marketing, mobile marketing, social media marketing, editorial work and more. Rama also offers seminars and training in marketing and customer service related topics. She can be reached at (619) 697-2045 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.levpromotions.com. Column requests and comments are welcome.
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