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Event Marketing — Part 1

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Events and Festivals are in my blood, and I love it.

I attend them. I produce them. I develop and execute marketing plans for them. I even got engaged at North America’s largest fireworks show.

So that makes me some kind of expert. At least our clients think so.

I do love discussing and analyzing everything about events to help groups get the most effective use of every dollar they have to produce events. Our experience with Kentucky Derby Festival, Butchertown Art Fair, The Cup Experience (Louisville’s 2008 Ryder Cup Host Committee) and the Kentucky Bourbon Festival has brought a few things to my attention.

First, many festivals and event companies don’t realize that partnering with key groups like a PR or marketing firm, can improve communications and get professional insights that an event group, working alone, may not otherwise have. Many groups choose to handle these efforts internally, in an effort to conserve costs, but it is not the best use of their time, skill sets or resources. Event groups should focus on what they do best…events.

Secondly, far too many event groups have no consistent theme. When I was a judge for the Kentucky Festivals and Events Association event materials competition, I was amazed to find the amount of work that carried no consistent theme and had no clear message they were trying to deliver to their audiences.

Lastly, event groups need all the help they can get. If “It takes a village to raise a child,” it takes an entire community to successfully promote and produce an event. Seek out volunteers, who can recruit more volunteers. Find experts in marketing, crowd & traffic management, concessions, signage and recruiting to build teams that will help with the event you’re planning and for future growth.

Later this week, I’ll share what I think are four keys to successful event planning and management.

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