The 7 Strategies of Successful Event Planners
An event planner’s job is never done. As soon as the doors close on one exposition, either the doors open for next year’s version or it’s time to move on to the next event.
A great event planner isn’t just someone who can make a few calls, book a venue, and hire a caterer. An event planner can take in the big picture while accomplishing the hundreds of little tasks necessary to get the job done. They remain resolutely calm when things go wrong and consistently vigilant even when things are going right. Event planners are expert communicators, skilled organizers, and proficient visionaries.
In the course of bringing a client’s vision to life, certain tasks pop up again and again. The pros have these steps down and know how to keep an event on course – even when it looks to be veering off track. Here are seven of those strategies routinely used by successful event planners.
Create a VIP Experience to Boost Overall Ticket Sales
Many events are selling tickets on a tiered plan, where there is a base price and an exclusive, VIP package (with maybe a middle offering, as well). Event pros know that this is an effective tactic because it makes all of your tickets appear to be more valuable.
It really doesn’t matter how many VIP packages you sell (especially if you put a deadline on the sale so you won’t have to invest any expense until you have the final numbers), what’s truly important is that the psychological impact of a VIP package can increase ticket sales across the board.
Some suggestions for compelling VIP packages include an exclusive entrance for fast check-in, a “members-only” area with upgraded food and beverages, restricted seating at events (or a VIP-only area for concerts, etc.), specialized meet and greets, exclusive education sessions, and VIP swag bags.
For outdoor events, you could offer luxury sleeping accommodations, otherwise known as glamping. Options, such as the Snoozy, allow guests to grab some shuteye in comfort. Each pod sleeps up to two people, is equipped with a lockable door, and can be rigged with electricity (for lights, amenities, and device charging) and climate controls. These weatherproof structures take only 10 minutes to set up. In addition, every surface of the Snoozy is fully brandable, so your guests won’t ever forget who is providing them with this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Forgo the Early Bird Rate, Instead Provide a Late Booking Fee
The idea behind an Early Bird rate is that it discourages hemming and hawing. People either need to make a decision or the discounted rate is off the table.
However, there is an alternative. Instead of having an Early Bird rate, set a deadline and all tickets sold after that date are hit with a late registration fee. In reality, the rate is the same with both scenarios, but the physiological effect is quite different.
With an Early Bird rate, people receive a discount, but, if they miss it, they’re just paying the regular ticket price. With a late fee, people are paying the regular ticket price, and if they miss that cut-off, then they’re hit with an additional (easily avoidable) penalty.
There are always going to be people who wait until the last minute, so you should use whatever you can to gain an advantage and encourage early sales.
Also, even though the suggestion is not to offer an Early Bird rate, if you decide to go the premature avian route, stick with your deadline. Extending an Early Bird offer encourages the very behavior to are trying to avoid: people waiting until the last minute to buy their tickets.
Create Scarcity to Increase Sales
Instead of a late fee, you could consider creating tiers, each with a limiting number of tickets available. This is similar to the VIP pricing – and there would need to be reasons for the variable prices – but this type of pricing does give buyers a sense of urgency (they better buy now at the price they want because those tickets may be sold out when they return).
The idea is that every tier has a set amount of tickets – and when they’re gone, they’re gone. You can include a counter on your website that monitors the number of available tickets. This scarcity should also be conveyed in all your event messaging to encourage action.
Another option, opposed to creating scarcity, is to have actual scarcity. Securing a slightly smaller venue than what you believe you need will guarantee a sellout and that latecomers will be left out in the cold. The following year, those who waited will be much less likely to do so again.
Humans are social animals. We get comfort from connecting with our fellow humans. It’s the reason people attend events. The more you can do to create event experiences that combine interaction and connectivity, the better. That gives attendees something that cannot be achieved via skype: a personal experience.
An interesting thing happens as you forge these interactions, you create a deeper connection with your brand and/or event. This is the whole point of experiential marketing and activations: to engage the consumer. The goal of experiential marketing is to deliver the experiences that consumers crave while integrating it with a brand relationship.
Pop Up Where You’re Least Expected
Pop up occurrences take your event to the public. You can build anticipation by ensuring that you deliver new experiences every single year with every single engagement.
An extension of experiential marketing, these activations give potential attendees a taste of what they can expect at the main event. Consider putting together a multi-sensory pop up where you allow someone to use as many of their five senses as possible: sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. People remember events better and appreciate them more when multiple senses are engaged.
Increasingly, we view the world – and how other people see the world – in two key ways: 280 characters or less and photos. For your event, you can help to manage what people Tweet and encourage that they Tweet by creating an event hashtag. As for the photos, that’s why you ensure that plenty of photo opportunities exist throughout the venue.
Ideas for photo opportunities include:
Statues of characters
Do More with More by Utilizing Micro Influencers
Working with a mega influencer (those with a following between 501,000 and 1.5 million) can get your event before a huge audience, but it can also send the wrong message. Increasingly, the public trusts mega influencers less and less as their promotions are seen as profit-driven and inauthentic.
Instead, it can be better, and more cost-effective, to work with several micro influencers (those with a following of 10,000 to 100,000). These are people who have worked hard to earn their followers and are unlikely to do anything to damage the relationships they have cultivated. Plus, by finding the right micro influencers, you have also found an engaged audience where the majority will be interested in your event. Establishing relationships with several key micro influencers will help ensure that your event reaches the right people from a source they trust.
For additional tips from some event planning pros and for help creating the perfect event, give one of our Event Architecture experts a call at 972-323-9433.