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How to Prepare A Venue For Your Event

Once you’ve picked a venue for your event, making sure it’s set up properly can be tricky. You want to make sure you’ve covered all of your bases, haven’t overlooked any accessibility issues, and have successfully curated a space that enables your event to be as successful as possible. Many of these aspects will depend on the venue you’ve chosen, but you can turn almost any venue into a workable space if you keep the following details in mind.

Budget

Obviously cost is an issue for any event planner. Paying more for a unique space or a venue in a premium location may be worth it depending on your event, but make sure you’ve picked a venue that doesn’t break your budget. The more you spend on the venue, the less you’ll have for entertainment ,food and drink, AV accommodations, transportation, gift bags, etc.  Some venues such as hotels and conference centers include a catering or AV package which could end up a better option for your event.

Contracts/Legal

Make sure you go over any legal issues or contracts with a fine-tooth comb before you start planning your event. You’ll want to read over each rental agreement very carefully and pinpoint any areas of concern such as cancellation conditions, terms and duration, construction supervision, noise ordinances, or any other criteria that could potentially affect your event.

On-Site Sales or Registration

If you’ll be selling tickets or allowing registrations at your venue the day of the event, make sure you’re set up to handle all that foot traffic! You’ll want to have a sufficient number of tables, desks, or registration kiosks to adequately handle your walkup sales or registrations so that your attendees who didn’t pay ahead aren’t stuck waiting in line for an hour. The number of registration or walkup sale stations depends on your expected volume of foot traffic, so dig into the data of your last event or events of a similar scope and choose this number wisely.

Ideally, your new registrations or walkup ticket sales will be done in a separate line area than your check-in area for customers who pre-purchased or registered ahead of time online. Make sure you also indicate check-in areas vs. walkup registration areas using signs and directions in your printed program as well as your mobile app.

WiFi, power, and event tech

Easily accessible and reliable WiFi is the number one amenity event attendees crave. Second to this is a reliable way to charge their phones and tablets. Make sure the WiFi network for your venue has been set up and tested for reliability and speed ahead of time. You’ll also want to walk through the venue and take note of the number and location of power outlets.

If there isn’t enough power to go around, consider adding charging stations to your venue. From large, eye catching charging tables, sleek tabletop options, charging lockers, and more, InCharged has you covered. Click here to browse our full line of charging products to find the best option for your event space.

Accessibility

First and foremost, you want to make sure that your venue is accessible to all attendees. This is important when choosing a venue in the first place, but the way you set up your event floorplan can also affect how accessible your event truly will be. Consider holding certain sections of seating for patrons needing accessible seats, or tables close to the handicap accessible entrance to your venue so that they don’t need to travel across your entire venue to locate their seats.

In addition, make sure the venue is accessible to you well before your event. If you only have 3 hours to set up your entire event before the doors open, there’s a significant chance something will be overlooked.

Food and Beverage

If you’ve chosen a venue that includes catering or has food and drink stations included, you may not need to worry about the location and accessibility of food and drink. Depending on the size of your event, you’ll want to consider separate stalls for food and drink to help the lines move quicker. Food and drink prices should be clearly displayed and, if you offer any coupons or food vouchers, have signs indicating where those vouchers can be redeemed.

There are also secondary considerations to go along with food and drink such as accessibility to water, bathrooms, and adequate trash and recycling receptacles. Make sure there are enough water stations or functioning water fountains depending on the number of attendees and the general climate of your venue. You’ll also want to make sure that all bathroom facilities are easily accessible, clean, and stocked full of toilet paper and other toiletries.

There are plenty of other amenities you may want to spot check for your event such as sound and lighting equipment, lodging accommodations, and staff training, but these vary wildly depending on the type and scope of your event.

 

The Four Most Popular Online Event Marketing Technologies

The easiest way to measure event success is by the total number of people who attended. If you can fill your venue close to capacity, the higher the chance you’ll have a great ROI on your event- provided you didn’t go over budget or stretch your resources too thin. After all, the whole point of an event is to get people to come out, so the more people you have in attendance, the more opportunities you have to generate revenue.

You’ll likely spend weeks before your event on marketing to generate buzz for your event, and chances are most of those marketing efforts will be in some form of online promotion. If you don’t know the most effective online marketing options for your event, consider one of the four most popular options listed below.

  1. Online Ads

Have you ever noticed ads “following” you when you’re browsing online? Let’s say you looked up a specific brand of shoe or were looking into hotels for an upcoming trip, only to see ads for that shoe brand or hotel on other pages later on. This is online advertising 101, and you don’t have to be a large corporation or brand to take advantage of this type of targeted advertising.

If you’re not using Google AdWords, chances are you’re working too hard to have your promotions reach the right people. This service includes options to set ad criteria such as interest, viewed content, preferences, friends, location, demographic, and more. These targeting options give you a huge advantage over the “scattershot” approach of just sending your ads out into the internet and hoping they attract the right people.

When using Google AdWords, you have the option to choose between text and banner ads. Text ads will appear when someone searches for particular keywords or phrases whereas banner ads will pop up on specific websites regardless of what the individual searched for. One method isn’t necessarily more effective than the other, but you may want to try both approaches and review how each performed so you can get a sense of which works better for your event.

  1. Email Marketing

Email marketing is sometimes given a bad rap. Some claim its ineffective and intrusive, but chances are these people didn’t take time to properly construct an email campaign that met their goals and best served their target demographics. If you don’t have a large pool of emails, consider finding sponsors or partners that will legally share their email lists with you. While sharing consumer data is generally frowned upon, there are ways to gather additional contacts legally in legal and consensual ways that don’t violate any privacy or data sharing laws.

Once you have your email list, decide how you want to target your patrons. Sending one mass email to everyone probably won’t do much to boost engagement before your event, but sending different versions to different groups of people depending on key metrics like age, location, or purchase history could give you the extra boost you need. You’ll want to personalize these as much as possible because emails with personalized subject lines have a much higher chance of being opened. Make sure your emails also look nice too! They should be eye catching, include your logo and event name prominently, and have a good ratio of images to text. If your email is too text heavy, there’s less of a chance the recipient will read the whole thing or engage if there’s a call to action such as a “register now” button.

  1. Social Media

As mentioned in the previous 2 points, knowing your target demographic is the key to unlocking marketing magic. You need to define who your ideal event attendee is as well as who actually attends your events. Only after you define these two categories of people can you begin bridging the gap between them with your marketing efforts.

Once you know who you’d like to reach, you need to figure out the best way to communicate with them. It’s not necessary to run the same amount of advertising on every single social media platform (unless your budget can handle it). Rather than throwing everything against the social wall and seeing what sticks, figure out which platforms your audience uses more frequently and focus on those channels. For example, your audience base may be heavy Facebook users but only a small percentage uses Snapchat, or they’re highly active on Instagram but relatively silent on Twitter.

Once you’ve picked your channels, make your posts, ads, and communications vibrant, concise, and frequent. Your content needs to match your event and appeal to your attendees, but it can’t be too “spammy” or feel like it’s pandering, otherwise it might be ignored. When in doubt, videos are the most engaging type of content. Images can quickly grab attention but the added element of motion and sound give video promotion the edge. You’ll also want to do some research into what hashtags you’ll be using for your event and for your brand overall. Look into existing hashtags and see if there are any your target demographic already follows. Make sure you also create your own unique, catchy hashtag that attendees can use on their posts as well!

  1. Influencers

Influencers come with a built-in following and can be a powerful option for event marketing. Their followers already listen to them and respect their opinion, so having an influencer on your side is kind of like having an extra person on your marketing team who can speak directly to your fanbase.

Not all influencers are built equally. You’ll want to find verified influencers who work within your industry or focus on topics related to your event. Make sure they’re a real person and didn’t buy their likes or, worse, are just fake accounts run by bots. Discuss your event goals, what you’re looking to get out of your potential partnership, and ask them to show you recent stats on their account. You can also choose to view their profile directly to see the type of content they post and who is engaged in their posts.

 

Keep in mind that each event is different so tweaks to your marketing strategy might be necessary. Some ideas will work out well and others will underperform. If you try a new approach that fails to meet expectations, use it as a learning experience and really dig into why it didn’t work as well as you hoped. The strategies that don’t work will help you make better choices in your promotion strategies the next time around!

How to Determine Ticket Prices For Your Next Event

For most paid events, the biggest revenue generator will be the actual tickets sold to your event. Whether your revenue will be donated to a charitable cause or kept as profit, the goal of almost all paid events is to generate money. If you’re not making a profit off of your events or your ROI for the entire event is lower than you’d like, you might be pricing your tickets incorrectly.

There are many approaches to figuring out how much your event ticket should cost, and they typically hinge on the different types of tickets and packages you’re offering. For example, many event planners like to offer early bird pricing to increase pre-sales and generally drive up their ticket sales ahead of time. This approach might help pad your sales numbers but you could be missing out on revenue if you don’t know when your attendees are most likely to purchase their tickets.

Before you adjust your pricing model, get familiar with how customers buy tickets to your event. Do you see a large spike in premium ticket and package sales as soon as the event goes on sale? Do most people purchase their tickets starting one week before your event? Are there any patterns to which tickets sell out the quickest or which tickets tend to not sell as well as expected? Knowing basic information like this can help you pick the right ticket pricing model for you.

Here are 6 pricing strategies you can use for your next event.

Cost-Plus Pricing

This is by far the most common pricing model. Cost-Plus works by determining the total cost of producing and running the event, determining your desired profit margin, and pricing the tickets accordingly based on your expected number of attendees.

This option is great because it’s a simple, straightforward way to price your tickets that almost always guarantees a profit of some sort. The issue is that this pricing model doesn’t add your event’s perceived value into the equation. Your attendees don’t know and likely don’t care how much it costs for you to run your event, so they’re typically willing to pay more than the “bare minimum” price if they think your event is valuable. Essentially, you could be losing out on a higher ROI.

Early Bird Pricing

The early bird gets the worm, but in this case the worm is a discounted ticket.  This discounted pricing applies to people who purchase tickets to your event prior to a set deadline. This is usually a hard date and time, but it can also be based around another instance such as buying tickets before another event, before a new website is launched, or before the full event lineup is finalized.

This option is a good way to encourage early sales and build up buzz about your event. After all, the more people who have purchased tickets ahead of time, the more people there are to spread the word online and in person. That being said, it can be tricky to get the timing down for an early bird pricing special. If it runs for too long, most attendees won’t jump on this deal until the last week or two before the price increases. If the window is too short or if you don’t advertise the early bird special with enough time in advance, you may end up losing out on some advance sales.

Rush Pricing

Rush pricing is a way for you to sell any unsold seats or packages close to the event date. Broadway theaters typically do this the day of the performance for any seats they haven’t sold in advance so that their remaining seats can be filled, but this is a great tactic for events of any type.

 While this pricing method accomplishes the goal of selling as many tickets as possible, you run the risk of training your attendees to purchase their tickets at the last moment possible in an attempt to get a better price.

Competition Pricing

Keeping up with the Joneses can be hard, especially if the Joneses are hosting a similar event to yours. Take a look at your competitors or similar events in your industry that may not be direct competition. Are they doing something you’re not? Do they typically sell out ahead of time? Observing their pricing model and sales strategy may help shed some light on where your event can improve.

This option is easy because someone else has already done the work and research for you, but this is also the downfall of this method. You don’t know what research your competition has done to decide on their ticket prices and their event pricing could be based on other factors that don’t affect your event. Competition pricing is a good starting point for changing your pricing strategy, but it’s unlikely that directly copying your competitor’s exact price structure will result in a boost in revenue for your event.

First X Tickets Sold at a Discounted Price

Similar to early bird pricing, you can choose to sell the first 100 or 200 tickets for a reduced price. This incentivizes buying tickets as soon as your event goes on sale to boost sales as soon as the event is made available to the public. If you’re looking for a way to capitalize on FOMO (aka fear of missing out), this option is great.

Unlike the early bird pricing where your customers know when it’ll end, selling a pre-set number of tickets for a discount is a mystery because your customers have no way of knowing how many tickets have already been sold. The downside to this is that you’ll need to determine how much of a discount can be provided to really make this an incentive. You’ll then need to figure out how many tickets can be sold at this price point without losing money.

Price Based on Demand

Dynamic pricing is a fairly standard tactic for large events and is based on simple economic principles. As your supply of tickets dwindles, demand for the remaining tickets increases. In turn, your customers will pay more for the remaining tickets. You can continue to increase this price incrementally as your sales increase, and even drop the price down the day of the event if you find yourself left with unsold tickets.

Not knowing what the price will be at any given moment highly incentivizes customers to purchase their tickets ASAP because they want to hop on the best deal before the price goes up. This is similar to how airlines handle their ticket pricing. The price increases the closer to the flight date and fluctuates based on how many customers are viewing and booking that specific flight. This is also why you can sometimes get a cheaper rate if you risk buying your ticket at the last moment- the airline would rather get you on the flight for a reduced rate rather than risk flying with empty seats.

The demand-based pricing model can generate some backlash if customers contact you about pricing discrepancies. There are bound to be a few unhappy customers that figure out that they paid more than their friend simply because they purchased their ticket at a different time.