NEW YORK, NY, February 22, 2014 – Planning a Super Bowl party, an Oscars viewing party, or a charity fundraiser? Then pay attention to these marketing tips that will make your event a success. Leading really fun and successful event for high-profile, celebrity-attended events like the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, The American Red Cross, DoGood.com, and other charities., I’m often asked for advice by others on how to secure sponsors or attract well-known attendees. How can they promote the events to ensure a good crowd.
Let’s break some of those tasks down:
Finding Sponsors Attracting sponsors is no easy task, but like any business deal (or sale) you need to seek out a ‘win-win’ situation. Don’t be one-sided in your approach because you will fail. Asking potential sponsors to give you money for an event just because you need it isn’t enough; neither is just offering them logo-placement on your press backdrop or step and repeat banner. Instead, think of who might be a good match for your event’s theme and attendees. This is critical because asking a fashion designer to sponsor a music concert, with a stage, loud music, and no emphasis on fashion, might not be the best place for that designer to invest their marketing/advertising budget. So, approach potential sponsors that can capitalize on the crowd and type of event you’re offering them. For example, a winemaker sponsoring a cocktail mixer featuring a complimentary wine-tasting and networking reception, or a fashion designer sponsoring a fashion week finale might be fit for your prospective sponsor. Of course, all things go hand in hand and a notable VIP on your guest list can impact the type of crowd you attract as well as the types of sponsors that will see enough value in your event to invest as a sponsor. However, from the prospective of the sponsor (or advertiser) they’re looking for the biggest bang fir their buck so make your offering to them attractive. Give logo-placement on printed materials, radio, TV, or YouTube, in addition to the event website. Be creative and look for unique co-branding opportunities that will benefit them (the sponsor) and their brand.
Attracting VIP Guests Getting TV personalities, actors, musicians, and other entertainers with some fame (celebrities) is a matter of, budget, networking and once again, creating a win-win situation. The talent manager is always going to ask: ‘What’s in it for my client?’ You need to make sure that there is legitimate value in them attending your event, unless they are committed to the event cause personally. Of course, you can always book a special appearance from your VIP celebrity guest as long as their fee fits within your event budget. In my experience, I’ve met plenty of entertainment professionals that were willing to support a charity if they also believed in its mission. My best advice here is to be in the right place at the right time and network, network, network. If you don’t have a network of VIP friends you’d better start building it now or get connected with lots of talent managers and publicists.
Marketing the event Nothing else matters if no one shows up to your event. To make sure you have a good turn-out, get a commitment from attendees well in advance of the event. Whether its by selling tickets, RSVP emails, or social media make sure you have their commitment and engage them in dialog Two-way communication) early on. Ask event participants to comment on ideas or announcements about the event and keep them engaged all the way through the event and beyond. People will show up at an event if they see value in it. That means making it worth their while; think of it as buying a new pair of shoes. You walk into the shoe store for a new black shoe and the sales person tells you that it’s on sale – you get happy about saving money but in most cases you don’t go spending that money you saved in that store because then your ‘deal’ has less of a perceived value. Shoot you just saved $50 and your not going to give it up that easy. Now switch that same scenario around but this time the sales person tells you that the black shoes are $99 and a second pair in brown would be 50% off or ‘only’ $49 , just in case you were interested in saving some money on that second pair. In this scenario the perceived value is superior because most people leave the store feeling like they saved $50, but they actually spent $50 more than they expected to – the value of perception always wins. In addition to booking great acts, offering a star-studded VIP Guest-list, and sponsors – create attractive and valuable packages and offerings for your event participants; whether its gift bags, VIP access, or something in addition to what they would normally get for paying the regular price. Don’t dilute the value of your offer by cheapening it; instead add more options for more money. Lowering your price decreases your value and buyers (event participants in this scenario) sense that. People love the value of a bargain, but nobody likes cheap.
About the Author: Rich Valdes is a writer and speaker on leadership and marketing strategy. His management and communications experience are in the business, education and government sectors. He is a frequent guest on TV and radio and has been featured in The Washington Times, Communities, FOX/My9 TV, Telemundo, Univision, Hot 97, and other media outlets. For full bio or to learn more about Rich Valdes visit www.RichValdes.com. Follow on Twitter: @richvaldes