With the second half of the year finally in full swing, now’s the time for business owners - both small-scale, local organisations and larger, corporate enterprises - to recognise and reflect on the highs and lows of their business event strategy so far in 2018.
Whether you’re a business owner looking to better your failed event from February, or perhaps you’ve never thought about creating your own event and are searching for a place to start, planning an event in order to market your products or services is a fantastic way to engage your following or reach out to a broader one and ensure your business is seen and heard.
Surrender to the seasons
With winter and spring well and truly over, it’s time to excite your audience by utilising the weather that each season brings. If we can learn anything from the Drummond Puddle Watch viral marketing plan back in 2016, it’s that taking advantage of weather - rain or shine - will help you create a relatable bond with your audience.
Keep up to date with National Awareness Days and focus your branding event around a topic and day of your choice, as it’s likely that plenty of others - both locally and worldwide - will be following similar events. This will allow you to broaden your audience reach and feed from the effect of an already heightened buzz.
Ease up on the environment
With July seeing Plastic Free Month take place for the eighth year running, never has there been a better time to consider implementing environmentally friendly techniques into your business’s event strategy than right now.
If your business is catering-focused, then choose to swap plastic cutlery and take-away one-time-use containers for eco-friendly packaging substitutes. Don’t be afraid to let those at your event know about it either. Promoting your smart and sustainable hacks at an event aimed at growing your audience by letting people get to know you is crucial when looking to increase your likeability - as it will highlight the good ethics of your company, while also encouraging others to do the same.
Reach out to your audience
At the end of 2017, Instagram had over 300 million users that were interacting on a regular basis using Instagram Stories. As a result, at this point in the year, we now know that those businesses who are utilising this platform are more likely to be both visible and discoverable across Instagram as a whole.
Therefore, when choosing to run an event aimed at increasing brand awareness, why not employ social media hacks that will accelerate your visibility? Ideas could include: giving someone the task of live streaming your event, asking a member of your team to be the designated ‘tweeter’ for the day, or giving someone the role of taking photos for Instagram Stories and commenting on the ones your business is tagged in.
Maximise the intent of your event
Another simple and effective hack that you can incorporate into your event planning for the latter half of this year requires building a relationship with a larger event organiser and targeting their audience, as your own - just as LG Electronics did at recent Bonnaroo festival.
Make sure both your audiences are well suited by checking that your concepts and individual ethos’ are a match, and watch as your audience grows because they want to and not because you’ve made them. While it’s important to make sure you remain respectful of the event you’re attending, don’t be afraid to approach it with your brand’s own personal twist by swapping chairs for bean bags, plates for banana leaves and other visually pleasing, Instagramable style choices.
Planning an attractive event that not only increases your customer-base but solidifies your business as a brand can either be as spontaneous as creating a viral weather-dependant digital event like the Drummond Puddle, or as thought-out and planned as LG’s festival washing machine concept. Whatever method you decide on, event planning provides your company with the opportunity for accelerated success. Give your business the boost it needs by taking on board both the faults and the fortunes from the first half of this year, and injecting them into a full-proof event strategy that will advance your business well into the first half of 2019.
Elizabeth Raw works for R+R Packaging, providers of biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging materials for businesses within a wide variety of industries.