Event marketing on Instagram. 5 ideas that will get you going

We’ve talked about the importance of social media in marketing. It offers us access to billions of users around the globe. Today I want to focus on Instagram, the platform that seems to be on everyone’s lips. With around 700 million accounts and over 400 million daily active users, Instagram had a fabulous growth in the last 4 years. And considering the fact that 90% of its users are under 35 years old it’s clearly obvious that Instagram is great if you want to bring Millennials to your events.

smart phone placed over a laptop

So, without any further introductions, here are 5 ideas that will help you if you are planning to use Instagram to increase ticket sales.

Instagram is all about visual impact

Don’t forget that Instagram is the place where people come to see beautiful pictures. So for your Instagram profile, you should always have your camera ready. You can use pictures from your previous events (high-quality pictures with people having fun are perfect) or pictures with your crew setting up the place. A good way to show your progress is to use before/after pictures with the slide options; you can use up to 10 photos in just one post, showing your progress in setting up the place. If you want to edit your photos you can use Canva, a tool that allows you to edit photos directly into the Instagram format (1080px X 1080px).

Another powerful feature of Instagram is the Story section, where you can add both photos and videos. We talked about this section in a previous article that can be found here.

It’s easy to use Instagram Ads

Instagram Ads are a great way to ensure a greater reach for your posts. Just like Facebook, Instagram allows you to promote your posts so more potential customers hear about your business. There are four types of ads on Instagram: Photo Ads, Video Ads, Carousel Ads and Stories Ads.

Instagram is owned by Facebook so if you ever used Fb to set up a paid campaign you will find it very easy to set one up on Instagram. if you just want to promote a previous post you will be able to set up an Objective, select an Action Button, Audience, Budget, and Duration.

User-generated content works wonders

What will convince you to buy a certain product/service? The brand promoting itself or a customer that used it and can offer you a full review? Well, it seems that 76% of the consumers think that brands are not very honest when promoting themselves and believe that average people are, so they rely on user generated content more than they rely on one particular brand’s marketing. Instagram is a great way to use this type of content because we all love to take photos, especially when having fun. Are you planning a festival? Create your own hashtag and your own location so people can tell the world where they are having fun. Planning a conference? I’m sure that attendees will love to take pictures with the speakers; repost those photos for some great user generated content. There are many ways to use Instagram for USG, Hubspot went the extra mile and gathered some of the greatest campaigns.

Influencers can help you

Influencers love Instagram and you should take full advantage of it; it’s a great way for you to increase your number of followers or even convert some Instagramers into attendees. How? Set up a partnership with an influencer in your niche so a post promoting your event will reach his tens of thousands of followers. This is the best tactic if you aim for a fast growth of your number of followers. If you want to set a strategy based on influencers you can read more here.

“Link in Bio” to the rescue

As I’m sure you know, Instagram doesn’t want you wandering around the Internet, so there are no active links on Instagram apart from the one in your Bio. It may look like a downside, but it’s not. You just need to learn that is OK to change the link in your Bio. Do you want to inform your followers on how to use your NFC cashless payment system? Add in Bio a link to an article that explains how this technology works. Are you selling tickets? Change the Bio link with so it leads to your tickets.

Instagram is a growing star, that’s for sure. And it’s great if you want to create an online presence. But, as I told before, you should test everything to see what really suits you. Remember that the vast majority of Instagram users are under 35 years old, this could be a very important information for your marketing strategy.

7 tips for the fresh event entrepreneur

Fresh starts can be fun, but challenging. Somehow, as we get older, we tend to lose some of the power that always kept us exploring as children. But changes may occur in life and passions must be followed. And if you find yourself in front of a fresh new start as an event planner here are some tips we gathered from our #eventprofs friends.

lady in front of a laptop

Love what you do

I know that this sounds ideal (maybe almost utopic) but this should be a universal rule. In life, you should always take the path that makes you happy because, as you will discover, the path itself is more important than the destination. This rule is even more important for event planners: your job is to create meaningful events that bring joy and is hard to do this if you hate your job. There will be many weekends away from your loved ones and many long days (and short nights). It will be almost impossible to succeed in this field if you don’t really love what you do.

Market research is important

Enthusiasm is essential, but it’s not enough. If you want to make it (in the long term) you should always be informed; like my grandpa used to say…you shouldn’t be the smartest person in the room, but the most informed one. This piece of advice seems to suit the event managements scene, one where a misplanned action can have extreme effects on fresh professionals. Research to see when is the best time to schedule your event (maybe there already are some famed events in the period you first selected, so you should reschedule it) or maybe there is a lot of interest for a subject but no conferences in your city on that subject; keep your eyes (and mind) open and you will see both the opportunities and the threats that can affect your business.

Don’t stay behind

In the event management scene, the attendee’s experience is the only thing that really counts. If you don’t create blissful moments your event management business won’t last. See what guests tend to appreciate, but also what ruins their mood. Innovate. One thing that we all hate, and I’m sure that you will agree with me, is queueing; so use a cashless payment system. Use NFC for interactive screens and access credentials. We all like tech innovations: involve your sponsors and use AR for brand activations.

Cash flow counts (a lot!)

Money: a delicate yet crucial subject. I wrote a while ago an article about how a smart access management tool can help you with your cash flow. Besides using a tool that doesn’t block your cash until after the event it’s also incredibly important to save money for “darker days”; or unexpected opportunities.

Promote your business

I think that we all have heard that “if you are good enough clients will come”. But let’s face it, bills come much faster. And although marketing is not your first priority it shouldn’t be ignored as it can make or break your business. The good news is that you don’t need to invest o fortune in your marketing strategy. We’ve written about Twitter, Long Tail Keywords, Snapchat vs Instagram, Email marketing. Read our articles and learn how to promote your business with a decent investment.

Take baby steps

Most of us want to grow our businesses into giants that will change the world, but unnatural growth can sabotage us. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t aim for more, but you must be honest with yourself. If you just planned you first one day conference, coordinating a small crew, maybe a 5-day music festival is a little big for your next assignment. Take it step by step and one day you will be able to organize any kind of event.

Learn from others

There are experienced event planners out there eager to teach you the “do’s and don’ts”. And although it’s hard to learn from anything else but your own mistakes, it’s always good to have someone you can ask what to do when things get rough. Having a mentor is a great way to start a business because you can add some experience right from the start.

Use your curiosity and try to learn from the best, see what they are doing. Go to their events, feel what every attendee feels, and use that information to create unforgettable experiences at your own events.

It’s not easy to be an event professional, that’s obvious. Planning and setting up an event will force you to challenge tasks that seem almost Sisyphean. But the end result is so uplifting, full of emotion, and will make you realize that bringing joy into people’s lives in priceless.

How to make better use of your 24 hours – Time management for event professionals

Let’s face it…there are times when we all feel like our days are much shorter than everyone else’s. 24hours? You feel like they’re gone like the wind. Of course, everyone has this feeling every once in a while; but #eventprofs are likely to find themselves more often in this situation. And although there are times when 24 hours in a day are simply not enough, other times is just a problem of time management…or like a friend of mine likes to say…of life management.

four clocks showing time in London, New York, Tokyo and Moscow

Here are some time management principles that can help you:

Plan ahead

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days,”  said Zig Ziglar. Or, in other words, if you don’t know what you want to do how will you know when you’ve finished? This is why it is vital to set goals. Try to break big tasks into smaller action steps and take them one at a time. Use a to-do list to keep track of what you need to do on a daily basis, it’s one of the most efficient ways to keep you focused on what needs to be done. You can also use a Not-to-do list to remind you which are the tasks that will just keep you busy, without helping you reach your goals.

Focus on what adds value

If there’s not enough time for everything then you should focus on what adds value to your event. Implementing a cashless payment system is more important than negotiating an extra 1000$ from one of your sponsors (or it should be considering that Millennials value experiences more than anything else). If you don’t have the time for both you should do the task that has the greater long time impact on your business (implementing a cashless payment system will offer your attendees a better experience).

Prioritize your task list

Although it may seem so, not everything on your list is #1. Try to divide your tasks based on their importance and always start with the most important task. A good way for you to do this is by using Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important formula and to “tackle” tasks in that order.

You can’t control everything

Some things are simply out of your control. If there is an electrical problem 2 days prior the start of your event and you are not an electrician…call one. Or two. And let them do their job while you don’t keep your mind busy with this problem. There are experts trying to do their job, you must to yours. The same rule applies to any situation that is out of your area of expertise: don’t let it keep your mind busy. If you can’t fix it you shouldn’t waste your time on it. Concentrate on the things that you can control.

Group similar tasks

It’s easier to get things done if you group them. Need to place 20 phone calls to your suppliers? Book two hours in your agenda for it. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and start making those phone calls. Use the same rule if you have to respond to a large number of emails. Need to meet with your sponsors/partners/? Try to set more meetings in one day –  and use it just for this. We, as humans, are not especially good when it comes to multitasking, so grouping similar tasks will help you become more productive.

Don’t get distracted

Remember that night when you opened your laptop just to watch a short Youtube video and found yourself, 4 hours later, reading about Molecular evolution? Well, this tends to also happen when you open FB “just for a sec”, to check out who shared your hilarious status update. Just received an email? You don’t need to stop what you were doing to check your inbox, email is rarely used in life and death situations; it can wait.

Expect the unexpected

Although interruptions are not necessarily pleasant they tend to appear (almost on a daily basis). So, when you make your agenda for the next day, try to “block” some time just for the unexpected situations that may occur. Some things simply can’t wait. This way you will be able to finish both the list in your agenda and the new “problems” that may occur.

Avoid burnout

The longer you work without a break, the less productive you become. Small breaks will help you stay focused and relax; use the Pomodoro technique to see if it suits you. Fresh air and workouts (or walks) are particularly helpful if you try to avoid burnouts. Don’t neglect your health when you find yourself on a tight schedule, it may become a rather dangerous habit.

We all have 24 hours in a day (i think…) but what we can achieve in these hours depends on how carefully we use our time.

How to use Twitter to promote your event

Social networks are a big part of today’s life. We’ve all heard that “if you’re not on Facebook, you don’t exist”. We have discovered the power of Snapchat and Instagram and how to use them to rock our events. We talked about email marketing. Today it’s time for Twitter.

According to Statista, in the first quarter of 2017, there were over 325 MM active users on Twitter.  So I think it’s safe to say that Twitter can be remarkably useful when planning to market your events.

Twitter Blog

But keep in mind that you must be short (there are the 140 characters and 140 seconds limits) and fast on Twitter, so adapt your message accordingly.

Here are some ideas that can be used on Twitter to increase visibility for your event :

 

Don’t forget to be human

Social media platforms were created for the human to human interaction, so try using a less formal tone of voice. Be proactive and engage with your followers in dialogues.  If someone asks you something simply answer the question. If you see something that you like let the world know (by pressing the little red ♡ or retweeting the post).

 

Use a proper  #hashtag

A hashtag is a type of metadata tag used on social network and microblogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content (Wikipedia). It brings together all the posts that have a certain #, making the search easier. We all know how important hashtags are, especially on Twitter. So it’s important to select a relevant # before you start to communicate your event. But be careful because one # can be used for many purposes (you can’t claim one just for yourself) so before launching it online verify it isn’t already in use.

 

Pictures speak

It seems that, like all social platforms, Twitter too favors visual posts. So, whenever possible, include photos in your posts. Reports from Buffer claim that posts that include pictures receive 150% more retweets and are more likely to generate engagement. Of course, “just death and taxes” are certain in life, so you should test to see what works best for your particular case. But if you don’t have the time to test…go visual.

source: Buffer.com
source: Buffer.com

Timing is important

Although, as mentioned before, is very important to be present, there will be moments where it will be impossible for you to be online. We all know it’s better to post when your followers are more likely to be active. Apps like HootSuite and Buffer work wonders in this situations. And they also save you precious time.

 

Everyone should be engaged

Maybe you are the mastermind behind the event, but there are many people involved in it. Colleagues, caterers, sponsors, performers etc…ensure that everyone is involved in your Twitter talks and that they all are using your hashtag. It helps you to create buzz and also and shows that you all are just one big team.

 

Use opinion polls

A great way to create engagement and show your followers that you care more than just their money is to create polls. See what they want and implement it into your event. Maybe you can’t use a poll to select the location or the main artists, but there are aspects that can be decided with the help of your followers. And this is a great way to show them that their voice counts.

 

Don’t stop

Just because your event started it doesn’t mean that you should stop interacting with your twitter fans. Use live tweets from the event and live video to keep your followers up to date. Not all of your followers were able to make it to the event, but they all want to hear from you; otherwise, they could just stop following you.

 

No matter what your event is, one day conference or a 5 days festival, its superpower is bringing people together; and for this to happen people should first hear about it. Luckily we live in a time when it takes just a few seconds for your message to travel from U.K to Australia (200 years ago it would have taken 100 days for it to get there). Social media networks are the most powerful marketing tools of modern days, it would be a mistake to ignore them.

Customer lifetime value for Events – How to improve it?

What is customer lifetime value and how important is it for your events? Let’s find out:

Quick question: what is more important for you: attracting new event customers or making sure the ones you already have stay happy and enjoy a nice experience?

happy

Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

Though there is no absolutely right answer I would rather choose the latter. And there’s many reasons to do that.

Better experiences for existing ticket buyers means more loyal customers. More loyal customers mean better word of mouth exposure. More exposure means new customers.

Areas most likely to increase Customer Lifetime Value

Areas where increase in CLV can be expected. Read more on Econsultancy

So you see – there is no real choice between the two. It’s just that you need to take a customer lifetime value approach to managing your event business. By taking the long term approach to building your event brand, you choose the winning combination of increasing customer base AND improving customer loyalty and experience.

What has been coined as the “customer lifetime value” is a metric that shows in fact two things. A. you value your customers and want to keep them as loyal as possible and B. you’re thinking long term rather than short term. If both A and B apply to you that means you are probably in for a long carrier in the event planning business.

How do I know my event’s customer lifetime value?

Simply put the lifetime customer value is pretty simple to express. It is the total revenue your company will receive from a representative customer throughout your total business relationship. That means everything your customer has paid so far and what he or she will spend in the future with you.

Now let’s just stop right there. Do you spot the two main issues?

One is the fact that there is no such thing as a representative customer. Each of your customer has individual habits so you must at least split your customer base according to specific attributes and spending habits (these are called cohorts in retail analytics but we can just stick with groups).

The other main issue is that unless you have some special ability unknown to all of us other mortals, you are not really able to look into the future. What you can do is look back at your event attendees’ purchase history and try to come up with some sort of estimate for the timeframe you expect your customer to remain loyal to your events.

These are the two basic elements used to improve customer lifetime value. One is segmentation and adapting needs to specific groups and the other is improving the total customer lifetime.

Segment your audience and adapt to your attendees

You know what makes a great music festival great? The fact so many seemingly diverse things seem to fall right into place. It’s those tiny details that seem personal to different groups.

But to do this festival planners, large conference planners and others have to take into account both similarities and differences between attendee groups. They have to create specific content for specific audiences, usually split among stages, seminars or multiple experiences.

This way they can increase the event size and revenue, whereas at the same time they make it enjoyable for everybody. By targeting individual needs and structuring specific experiences for similar groups they are able to create intimate experiences enjoyed by large masses.

Extend your customer lifetime through personalized experiences and marketing

If you can understand what makes your customers enjoy your events using segmentation, you can also personalize your communication and the experiences you are building.

There are many tools out there that help you segment your communication strategy. Facebook (Custom Audiences) and Google both have remarketing options that allow you to display specific messages to specific audiences.

Improving customer lifetime value

An example of how can CLV be extended in sports events. Extract from Managing Sport Facilities and Major Events: Second Edition 

Even direct marketing tools such as MailChimp provide off the shelf segmentation tools. They range from simple to advanced and you can fit right in your sweet spot. And yes, email marketing for events does work.

What about in event customized experiences? That’s easy to do with NFC wristbands and we can help you with that. Based on your previous interactions with you attendees you can create personalized perks and interactive experiences.

You can allow you loyal event goers access to specific areas (such as the VIP lounge or the backstage). You can direct them to curated experiences and you can just as well create personalized goods that can be handed when your attendees arrive at the registration. Such a personalized approach can make your customers feel valuable and cared for.

What other ways to extend customer lifetime do YOU use? Please share your answer below: