In lean times, event budgets are often reduced or eliminated when in fact the smart money would be on maintaining or increasing them. Effective event management can provide a company with better value for money than some product promotions or external marketing campaigns.
Offline events have for years been dismissed as “money wasted on a staff holiday” Unfortunately, this is true in far too many cases which makes the events budget an easy target for the cost cutting axe each and every year. However, in reality, your offline events could be providing you with better value for money than your media or print budget.
Offline events are the hidden gem in your marketing arsenal. You just need to see their true potential and maximize the unique opportunity they provide you. With the right planning an offline event can provide effective marketing, product promotion, social media content, client development and customer feedback and all this does not have to have a large price tag attached. In fact, all of these are already available to you at no extra cost.
Each and every offline event has the potential for Player Acquisition, Client Retention and Brand Awareness, even on small budgets, you just need to ensure you have the right tools and are using them efficiently. An effective event manager along with a clear game plan are the most important ingredients, once you have these right the rest is easy.
We need to change our attitudes to offline events in order to really make the connection with our customers. The best value for money is not in slashing spend but in switching to SMART event management.
SMART Event Management:
S – Specific Strategy
M – Meaningful Market Spend
A – Allocate Appropriate Budget
R – Research your Clients
T – Touch Base with Clients
Know in advance what you want to achieve. This sounds so simple and obvious that it is most often ignored or forgotten. Event projects, no matter what the product, must have an overall goal and clearly defined objectives. Once you know these a good Event Manager can then devise an Events Strategy which will provide optimal results for player Retention, Aquisition and Brand Promotion.
Meaningful Market Spend
Support events in your specific markets. Take each market individually, define and categorise it. Is it a growing market or a major market? Are you dipping your toe in the water or catering to a major chunk of annual profits. You can then identify or produce events that best represent your business.
Allocate Appropriate Budget
In order to maximize your event budget and it´s potential you need to ensure that the defined events in specific markets are assigned the appropriate budget. To ensure this you must be clear on the value of that market, how you would categorise it and what you want to achieve within it.
Research your Clients.
It is vital that the events team on the ground knows the clients it is hosting and the only way this can happen is through customer history. Knowing the client is the first step to future client development.
Touch Base with Clients
Email contact and online campaigns are vital and mainstay business practices in an online world. However, people are still people and while they might have been introduced to your product via a virtual arena, they will still be more receptive to personal contact. Putting a face to your Brand allows your clients feel more connected and loyal to your product and sets it apart from competitors.
By redefining our view of offline events from a “above the line spend” to “Client investment” we can begin to see the unique opportunity each land based event offers and achieve the true value of our event budget. Remember that it may not always be about quantity but it´s will always about quality.