The New Year is rapidly approaching. Revenue and expenses for this current year are under a microscope. Nonetheless, marketers are making 2017 marketing plans. Even where companies anticipate decreased budgets, they also know their event marketing initiatives need to continue (and in some cases, grow). To do more, though possibly working with less, using event marketing tips and successes from others are important to take new campaigns to the next level.
A Case for Event Monetization
Event marketing, which includes experiential marketing, has become a non-negotiable part of many companies’ marketing plans. This is due to its ability to produce tremendous results. For example, one survey reports “44% of marketers experience a 3:1 ROI from event marketing.” More important, businesses seeing this type of return have also built relationships in the process to bring repeat sales.
Despite these evident benefits, “event marketing usually consumes less than 20%” of budgets. Marketers must get creative to deliver the experience they need to attract attendees. One that allows participants to form a bond with the brand or company and ultimately drive purchase. Fortunately, monetizing events can be the answer. It can offset costs, generate funds for other initiatives and grow the bottom line.
4 Event Marketing Tips for Monetizing Events
Here are four event marketing tips for smart, easy monetization of your events.
Sell your products.
This may seem simple, but it’s often neglected. Many companies believe on-site selling to be too intrusive, especially for customer appreciation or brand awareness events. Yet, if your event staff has done their jobs, your attendees should want to do business with you. They should want to purchase your products and services. Be able to directly demonstrate your event’s success by selling your products then and there.
While you might not want to push sales, make items available. Selling or even the items themselves don’t have to be in their face, so there’s no pressure. You can set up an area to the side or in the back of the venue or footprint to sell products or to take orders. The latter eliminates the need for on-site inventory, allowing you to minimize costs. You can also offer incentives to buy, such as a discount, free shipping or a gift with purchase. The bottom line is to not risk losing the sale, no matter if your selling a $3 bag of chips or a $30,000 software program.
Offer commemorative or limited edition products.
What better way to create FOMO and get people to your event than offering a product they can only get by attending? And most companies or brands can pull this off.
If you have a loyal, enthusiastic customer base, a commemorative product may be a moneymaker at an anniversary event. Or, adult beverage manufacturers, for example, can host a tasting for a new product as part of experiential marketing. They can monetize the event by selling t-shirts or beer steins.
Another idea is to piggyback on another occasion. Case in point: October recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness. So during this month, many companies offer their products in the color pink to support the initiative and then donate a portion of sales to charity. You can do the same, but make the limited edition product only available at your event.
Engage complementary companies or brands.
Consumers know your company for its fun and functional kids’ lunchboxes, and you’re hosting an event to introduce this fall’s line. What goes great with kids’ lunchboxes? Kid-friendly foods! So reach out to your snack and juice box manufacturers and get them involved in your event.
You can monetize by allowing them to set up and sell their products on site. The pricing model can be a flat fee or a portion of sales. If you’d prefer they not physically be at your event, you can allow them to purchase a sponsorship. Options may allow them to be the exclusive provider of food for the occasion or put their samples or coupons in a goodie bag.
If your event is educational, potential speakers may be willing to pay a fee to get in front of your audience. This works well when multiple tracks are simultaneously running, allowing guests to choose where they want to be.
Charge for admission.
The most basic of all these event marketing tips may not seem ideal for all. But don’t dismiss it yet. Your event may be a can’t miss for your loyal consumers, particularly when entertainment is top notch. Or your training or educational content may be of high value to attendees. In these cases, invitees may not balk at an entrance fee. This is especially true when they have access to early bird pricing by a certain date or a discount for sharing your event via social media.
However, if your company still seeks to provide free admission for certain individuals, then do so. Send exclusive invitations but allow them to bring their own guests with the purchase of their admission. Another idea is to provide complimentary access to certain event aspects. Then, charge for premium content or activities.
When Event Monetization is Successful
In closing, it’s important to note that not all events are ready for monetization. Some companies and brands that have found their sweet spots or are highly sought by consumers should have little issue. Yet, many do not fall into this category.
If you’ve been careful and smart in event planning, you can now boost your success in monetizing by building hype around your initiative. Social media and email are great means for reaching a wide audience. You can also use these mediums for follow up after the event. Another and perhaps better way is to ignite a personal connection in advance of your event and increase the chance consumers will attend.
Street teams and brand ambassadors can inform people who might not otherwise find your event, get people excited and direct them to take the next step. This makes choosing the best people for the job one of the most valuable event marketing tips. The right talent can create FOMO and put you on the path to ultimately demonstrating your event success in 2017.
Get help with building hype or staffing your event by contacting EPS. Since 1999, we’ve helped companies and brands demonstrate the true value of their event marketing initiatives year after year.