Events are an integral part of our entertainment culture, especially during the summer months. This also means that competition for your audience’s attention is even higher. That’s why it’s important to solidify the details of your event and start marketing it with enough lead time to get people buying early.
Here’s a step-by-step guide of when to start planning and marketing your event.
6+ months out
At the six-month mark, you should have all the high-level strategic information of our event figured out. This includes:
- Picking an event date, time, and location
- Choosing an event theme
- Hiring your talent
- Booking necessary third-party vendors, including sound and lighting equipment and decor
- Identifying your target audience to attend your event
- Defining your goals and objectives for the event
- Get your ticketing system in place — the ticketing system you use translates to the amount of money your event makes.
These details are what will set the stage for who you’re marketing to and what they can expect at your event.
4 months out
With the high-level information defined, it’s time to craft your event assets and define your marketing strategy, including:
- Segment your audience into specific groups
- Drafting key messages for your target audience personas
- Identifying marketing outlets, including social media and third-party sponsors
- Create affiliate links for each of your marketing channels to track results
- Designing imagery and ad campaigns, including flyers and social media ads
- Scheduling staff involvement and expectations, such as number of tickets they need to sell and night-of shift expectations
- Work with your ticketing company to make sure money goes directly into your bank so you can pay for your event before it happens
Clarity and consistency is of upmost importance when getting all your ducks in a row. Make sure you have a designated event leader who can make decisions, delegate tasks, and keep everything aligned. This is what will make everyone operate fully in their role and avoid any confusion between different parties.
3 months out
It’s time to start building general awareness. Lead times vary depending on the type of event you’re hosting. A general rule of thumb is the higher-priced tickets you’re selling, the longer lead time you’ll need. A higher-end event with $100+ tickets should budget at least 3 months of lead time with active marketing, while a $10 concert may get away with 1-2 months lead time. Regardless, make sure you have the following items in place to build your awareness:
- Publish your event on your website event page or create a landing page
- Establish your ticketing pricing levels — three tiers to consider are early bird, general, and walk-ups with prices increasing with each tier
- Create a Facebook event on your Facebook page and invite people to attend
- Include your event in an email to your target audience, or send an email specifically announcing your event if you’re in that 3 month lead time with active ticket sales
1-2 months out
Actively market your event and tickets to generate pre-sale revenue. Typical ticket tier in this phase is early bird ticket rates.
- Turn promoters into mobile box offices to sell tickets on the street
- Use social media advertising to reach your audience and garner pre-sales
- Get staff involved with sharing your event on their social channels, using their personal affiliate link
2-3 weeks out
Early bird tickets should be selling, and you may even be onto your next ticketing tier. Continue to hit the pavement hard with your marketing efforts through your promoters, media affiliates, third-party sponsors, staff, and social media channels.
1 week out
At this point, early bird tickets should be sold out. Consider labeling early bird tickets as sold out (even if they didn’t entirely sell out) to create a sense of urgency for pre-sale buyers.
- Actively promote last chance to get pre-sale tickets before prices go up at the door
- Get all your staff up and running on the same system
- Determine your line strategy for the night of your event
- Confirm details with vendors
Night of event
It’s the night of your event, and you should already be well-informed of how many tickets have been sold and feel at ease with the revenue you’ve already earned. Now it’s time to make sure operations are seamless for an enjoyable night.
- Optimize your lines for speed of night
- Sell tickets at the door at the walk-up price
- Focus on getting your guests through your door so they can get inside to enjoy their night and spend money on drinks
Now that you’re event is over, it’s time to analyze results for a bigger return next time. Getting access to your data gives you the opportunity to truly understand how your venue and events are performing. This is why we recommend using a unified system like Vēmos, where all functions are operated through one central system. That way, all of your data will be in one spot – not to mention the data will be broken down by individual guests and referrers to truly understand areas of strength and weakness. You’re able to easily identify which marketing channels are bringing in your traffic, which promoters are bringing in the best guests, and how your revenue and event performed as a whole. This information allows you to set yourself up for even more success for your next event.
Interested in learning more about Vēmos’ event and ticketing platform? Contact Whitney Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below.