Sauti Sol Band perform at Diani Beach, Mombasa on 13th December 2017. PHOTO/ Sauti Sol
BY SIMIYU SIMIYU | TWITTER: @wakajuaness
“Hello Wakajuaness,” read an email from one of my avid readers.
“Been following your posts for three months now and I can say you are worth following. One thing you impress me the most with is how you utilize your massive followers to market events.
“However, I’m also having an event here in Mombasa on the eve of the new year but my budget is still shy to afford a caption in the local dailies. Just asking if you can come up with an article that advices people like me. I will really appreciate Waka.
“Merry Xmass n Happy New year 2018.
With this Christmass season full of festive functions, let me share with you the few creative ideas you can employ to market your events.
1. Identify your target audience
What is your event about? What does it entail and what do you intend to achieve with it? If, for example, you want to stage a Christmas play, your audience will definitely feature family members.
Once you establish your target audience basing on the purpose you want to achieve, it becomes easier for you to reach them out through various channels that we shall discuss here.
2. Set a manageable material day
This is what ails most of the events. If you want to manage your day well, the earlier you start, the easier you can kill it.
Choose a credible date on which you want your event to take place. A minimum of one month is credible and can allow you to plan early and splash the event on the market.
Event organizers make mistakes of putting an event in “two weeks”. By the time you reach half of your plans, the material day is already draining your sweat.
Plan early enough to give a chance to your audience to prepare for your day. They are not always idle waiting for you to plant an event on their paths.
NOTE: Choose a day and time that your fans will find convenient. I remember one of our play was to start at 7:30 PM on a Saturday. Come that time, the auditorium was half empty and hundreds of fans who had already purchased advance tickets were not in the hall. When I checked on our facebook page, I realized they had posted hundreds of requests to have the play delayed for an hour because they were watching a mouth-watering derby between English clubs Manchester vs Arsenal. We had no otherwise but to allow them eat two cakes.
So, do not punish your audience with your “cruel” timing. I hope Aisha is taking notes!
2. Simple, Attractive visual materials
After you and your crew have settled down for a day, you can now create a poster – a good poster both in digital (for online marketing) and hard-copy (for hand delivery and pinning on public noticeboads) that will attract your audience.
Chose good theme colours that can mood your event. Do not place too much information on your poster until it looks more of a newspaper article than a poster.
A poster should simply have the title of the event, the participants, date, venue and the entrance fee. You can add the logos of the event sponsors if they are there and have supported the event.
4. Go Crazy on social media
Run ‘amok’ on all the social media platforms. Tweet. Share. Tag friends to tag friends to tag friends. In any event organization, never undere-stimate the power of social media. Even if you have four followers, tweet! You never know who has seen your post and what they can do with it.
Approach bloggers and journalists to write review articles and reports for your event.
Make the digital poster your profile picture on WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and even on Instagram. Aisha? Start hashtags in solidarity with the topic of the event. Run as mad on social media as you will never run in any Olympics.
The more you post about your event, the more your audience becomes curious and want to attend. Your seriousness is what will pump more live and enthusiasm into them.
Creat a facebook page and other social media handles meant specifically for that event. Post updates about the event, info about tickets and the speakers or guests. This is where you can unveil more details that could not fit on the poster.
It should not matter whether the event will be null and void after the material day. A page or blog never expires. After “this event”, you can rename it for future events. It will still grow.
5. Engage industry gurus
Every sector has it’s own specialists. Experts. Most of them are very influential on social media but can also charge you friendly to market your event. This will be cheaper than engaging the ever expensive media outlets.
Gurus can also help you with technical approaches. They have experience in event organising. not shy away from engaging them. Not all of them will want to charge you. You see how Aisha’s courage to consult this blogger has rewarded her for free? Yes. Event organizing is not for the chicken sympathizers.
6. Look for co-operate sponsors
Now that you are running on a shy budget, try looking for sponsors to support the event. Co-operate sponsors and organisations love publicity. I swear. They love where hundreds and thousands of people converge. This is good for them to market their products and services.
As a result, they will feel no pain marketing your event because they know how they will swallow the cake.
7. Reward your supporters
If your event is a pay-and-enter, you can employ creative ideas to reward those who will support the event. You can say the follower with most retweets or likes on social media will get 5 free tickets, then three for the second most-liked poster shared and one for second runners up.
People love competition, especially when it leads to a free ticket. Be assured there’re fans who will battle it out for the free tickets. The trick here is, the more they share your poster, the wider it reaches more audience.
Aisha, I’m almost winding up.
You can also engage the locals. Ask them to help in a door-to-door, shop-to-shop delivery of posters and you can guarantee them a ticket. But: do not pick two hundred youths and promise them free tickets each unless you hired a hall to be half-filled with “free” tickets.
Then three; ou can challenge your expected fans that whoever comes with 40 people to purchase the tickets will get two free VIP seat. You can imagine how far they will go to convince their friends to buy the tickets.
8. Lastly: Utilize existing events.
There might be other events prior to your big day. Like a local church conference, church services or a dancing competition. Befriend the organisers by supporting their event. Approach the organisers and request them to allow you pin a poster at the exit doors so that whoever leaves the event can spot your poster or banner.
The MC of the events can mention your up-coming show to the audience.
Please, never pin a poster without asking for a permission. Respect others to respect your event.
Have a successful event and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Wakajuaness.Com.
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