Event management world: small improvements to increase your revenue

                                                   –without increasing the ticket price-

As companies from every industry, event management companies to need to be profitable in order to survive. In my experience, money is not the main reason for which somebody starts a business in this industry, but even event planners have bills and salaries to pay. And unfortunately smiles, the best currency exchange in the industry, aren’t able to do it. Today’s article is based on a very simple principle (yet many times ignored) on how small changes can increase your revenue. The key is to look at the journey attendees have from the moment they first come into contact with your event until the moment your event is over (and even farther)pexels-photo-990818

From  prospects to buyers

When you first start marketing your event lots of people will see your message. But only a small percentage of them will convert into buyers. Assuming that 200.000 people hear your message and 2000 buy tickets to your event, this means you have a 1% conversion rate.

There are ways you can increase the conversion rate, and we have written multiple articles on this subject. You can write better marketing copy, use influential marketing or use the right social media tools for marketing. And later in this article, you will see why any small improvement can dramatically improve the overall financial result.

So, if your average ticket is 500 USD and you have 2000 paying attendees, your ticket revenue will be 1.000.000 USD. You have invested a considerable amount of money to convince people to come to your event, but let’s exaggerate and think that all of your attendees are the result of your marketing campaigns. A great experience will bring people back to your next event(s). And considering the fact that it’s 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new client than to retain an existing one you should definitely make the most out of this opportunity.

good to know:

In average, event profs invest in marketing between 1 and 8 percent of what they expect the event to return. We can use a 4,5 average and consider that 45.000 USD brought you 2000 attendees (22,5 USD/attendee). A job done right gives you the opportunity to sell tickets to next year’s event for 4 USD to at least 15% of your current attendees. Of course, figures are not quite exact, but I am sure that you see where I am going.

On-site payments

But the revenue an attendee brings doesn’t limit to the ticket he pays for. If you are hosting a 2-day festival and attendees spend on average 100 USD per day, food and beverages will bring you 400.000 USD. But what if I tell you that Oveit can help you increase on-site revenues? Reports show that people tend to spend up to 30% more at events where a cashless payment system is in place. Using the right event management tool will definitely help you increase the revenue.

print screen with Oveit's digital wallet report

p.s. We know sponsorship is a crucial piece of the puzzle. And to help event planners offer a great experience for sponsors too, we have developed our NFC built-in technology so that it can be used to engage attendees and collect data. Read more here.

Increase your revenue: the practical example.

Scenario A:

So, the figures that we have until now are :

200.000 (prospects) X 1% (conversion rate) = 2000 (ticket buyers)

2000 (ticket buyers) X 500 USD(ticket price)= 1000000 USD (income)

+

2000 (attendees) X 200 USD (spent on-site)= 400.000 USD

total income: 1.400.000.

Assuming that you have a 20% profit rate you will make  280.000 USD profit

Scenario B:

Now, starting from this figures, let’s assume that you use our blog and technology and make just a few improvements. Maybe you refine your marketing strategy (better copy, better targeting etc.) and use an online ticketing system that allows you to sell tickets directly on your website. And buyers to use their mobile phones to place the order: your conversion rate goes from 1% to 1.5%.

200.000 (prospects) X 1.5% (conversion rate)= 3000 (ticket buyers)

3000 (ticket buyers) X 500 USD= 1.500.000

+

On-site, using Oveit’s cashless payments system, people spend 10% more, with an average of 220 USD.

3000 (attendees) X 220 USD= 660.000

Total income: 2.160.000

with the same 20% profit rate you will have 432.000 USD profit.

As you can see, just some small improvements can increase your revenue without increasing your ticket price. Having the right partners can be the difference between failure and success, so make sure that you choose a smart tool as your event management system. Read here another great example of how small changes can bring huge improvements.

 

Are you using Instagram’s latest updates?

2018 brought some really exciting updates on Instagram, making the Facebook-owned platform one of the hottest places on the internet. We have talked about Instagram before, and I would like to start by letting you know that over 100 million new users joined since our last article on how event planners can use Instagram to promote their events. We have already mentioned the general features, today we are going to focus on the latest updates and how event planners can use them in their best interest.

picture of a phone logging in on Instagram

You can now follow a hashtag

I would like to start with my favorite update, the ability to follow hashtags. Yes, this is correct, Instagram now allows us to follow hashtags just as we follow people or brands. The result is that all posts with that particular hashtag will appear in the user’s feed.

This new option is very helpful for event planners that have created a unique hashtag for their events. Fans will be to join an online community by simply following the hashtag; their feed will gather content that uses that particular hashtag, no matter who posts it (official account of the event, performers, attendees of fans).

Carousel ads for Instagram stories

With the help of a few lucky advertisers ( from brands like Coca-Cola, GAP or Bottega Veneta) Instagram is testing the way Carousel Ads fit into Instagram Stories. As an event planner, Carousel Ads are perfect because they allow you tell a short story about your event. As a marketer, Instagram Stories are great because they have a higher conversion rate than Feed Ads ( in a 2017 study conducted by Agorapulse – Instagram Stories had a 23% higher conversion rate than Feed Ads). I think it’s safe to say that Carousel Ads for Instagram Stories will be a great tool that combines two powerful features. For start, the carousel format will allow marketers to use just 3 pictures/videos, but according to Instagram officials this is just the starting point and things may change.

 

series of 3 pictures showing how carousel works on Instagram

source:adweek.com

Scheduling for Instagram

In the past, it was impossible to schedule a picture to be automatically posted on Instagram. The process involved push notifications, meaning that when the time came for the post to go online we would still need our approval. The good news is that starting January 2018, Instagram allows business accounts to schedule single photos (and it automatically posts them) – the changes in Instagram API allows 3rd party apps like HootSuite, Later or Buffer to do that for Instagram users. For videos, ads, and multiple photos scheduling still involves notifications, but this update shows us that things are moving towards what we all want. For event planners, this new feature means more posts with fewer interruptions.

P.s.  there are signs that scheduling will become available for regular users as well.

An improvement made to Instagram Stories

Instagram made it easier for users to upload pictures and videos into the Stories section. Following its latest update (April 2018), it is now possible for multiple photos and videos to be uploaded at once. Great news for content creators, this new option helps them save precious time.

Earlier this year “Stories” received another update, the “Type” mode initially used for status update on Facebook. “Type” allows you to create personalized messages using stylish fonts and backgrounds and can be used by event planners to deliver live messages to their followers. It may not be the best way to communicate but it is an option that may come in handy.

 

The Facebook-owned platform seems the hottest place to be right now, and the new features developed by the team behind are a clear sign that Instagram is shooting for the moon. The new Instagram Updates can help event planners better connect with their followers but also to reach new ones. 2018 seems to be Instagram’s year and it would be a shame not to use it to promote your events.

How to use Facebook to promote your event management organization

“If you’re not on Facebook, you don’t exist.”

In my opinion, this is definitely false; I know many people who don’t have Facebook accounts and still have a very active social life (ok, maybe not so many, but I know quite a few). The real question is: it is possible for a business to exist without being present on Facebook? I don’t really know.

scrabble letters writing Facebook

But the fact is that Facebook can be a real game-changer, offering access to over 2 billion people around the world.

And I think it’s great if you are an event planner because it helps connect with so many potential attendees.

How to promote your event management business on Facebook? There are many ideas that could work so I am going to present you the basics of what you should do.

Create a page for your events.

Create a Facebook company page. It’s the first thing that you should do, although there are ways to promote your business on FB without actually having a page(but it will cost you). Facebook is sometimes used as a search engine so it’s in your best interest to offer relevant information for those looking. Use a relevant profile picture so people will recognize your brand and, very important, don’t let the “About” section blank.

Let’s say you plan a large annual music festival; use your logo as a profile picture, so people will associate your FB page with your festival from the first second. For the cover photo, a photo of people having fun at your events works great.

Share content

Although the number of followers that see your organic posts has declined in the last few years (so that you will need to put some money in it) it’s still important to share content on your page. Used as a search engine FB will redirect people to your page and a neglected one won’t do you any good. Create quality content for your followers but also use content created by your partners. Planning a festival? Share videos of the artist that will perform. Conference? I’m sure the main speakers would love it if you would share some of their viral posts. But remember that short posts with graphic content perform best on Facebook.

Frequency is important

As on all social media channels, FB also requires you to post with a certain frequency in order to stay “top of mind” with your followers.  But be aware that posting too often can do you more harm than good. It seems that there is a tight connection between your number of followers and how frequent you should post (once or more times a day), you can find out more about this here.

Reward your followers

A great way to show appreciation to your followers is to set up exclusive promotions,  only for them. Generate a discount code available for a certain period of time; offer free T-shirts to your most engaged followers; set up a contest with a substantial prize involved (I am not referring to the “like, share and tag” type of contests as I am not a big fan of them).

Create an event on Facebook

Another great way to create some buzz is by creating a public event on the platform. People can share public events, invite friends to attend and, most important, hit the “Interested” or “Going” buttons. This way the event will become visible to the FB friends of those that interact with it, helping you reach a greater number of possible attendees.  Offer as many information as you can, as FB has an algorithm that recommends events to users based on interests and behaviors.

Promote your event with Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are a great way to promote your events. Before starting a campaign you can select your goals for the campaign (as app installs, conversions, brand awareness, reach, traffic etc) and then the targeted audience. The really great part is that Facebook helps you define your audience by both geographical and demographical criteria. You can create your audience by location ( the city in which they live), sex, age, interest; you can choose if your Ads reach your followers and/or their friends. This is a great info that can increase your conversion rate if you use ads to sell tickets for your events (as new clients are more likely to buy tickets for events where their Facebook friends will attend).

P.s. as I said at the beginning of this article you can use Facebook without a page – with Ads that are linked directly to your website, but I think that it works better when you are present on the platform.

As said before, I don’t know if it is impossible for you to make it without being online. I really don’t. But I see on a daily basis how event management businesses use it to reach their attendees and sponsors. I see how technology offers you the chance to sell tickets all over the world and have instant access to your revenues. I see how it changes the whole world.

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 over 60% 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 Instagrammers 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.

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 140 280 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 these 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.

Top 3 most retweeted Twitter posts

update: January 2018

To better understand the power of Twitter we should take a quick look at the numbers of the most retweeted posts.

#1. On the 5th of January Yusaku Maezawa, the CEO of Zozotown posted a tweet announcing that is willing to donate almost 1M $ to the first 100 users that follow him and share that tweet. 5 days later and he has over 5.4 M retweets.

print screen of Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa tweet that gathered over 4.5M

source: Twitter

#2. In 2017 a Nevada teenager challenged Wendy’s to a bet: 18M retweets for 1 year of free nuggets. So far he got “just” 3.6M retweets

#3. THAT picture from 2014’s Oscars!

print screen of Ellen DeGeneres's tweet from the Oscars

source: Twitter

 

Yes, these are definitely exceptions, but a great way of showing the true power of Twitter (and social media as a whole). You will probably never make it to this Top3, but a powerful message will make it to your current and future attendees.