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Having just finished working with the Tiverton Balloon and Music Festival, a jam-packed weekend of family fun held annually in Mid Devon, we wanted to provide you with our Top 5 essential tips for marketing and promoting a large scale event (although you never really finish as the next ones just around the corner).
The following snippets of advice will stand you in good stead if you’re stupid brave enough to give it a go yourself.
Although impossible, plan for yourself to have absolutely nothing to do on the day/weekend/week of the event itself.
Ensure that all tickets to the people who will be helping you out are in their hands long before the big day – press, freelance photographers, dignitaries and local/national movers & shakers should all have the date marked in their diary well in advance.
Social Media can’t always be planned ahead of the day, right? Wrong. There is plenty of auto-posting to schedule in, whereby you can be informing your audience of dead certs, which can then be supplemented with posts throughout the event.
Whatever it may be, it’s never too early to start your preparation.
There are many ways of marketing and promoting which will need to be taken advantage of in the weeks and months leading up to the event – after all, if it’s a family day out then you will need to utilise web, mobile/tablet, TV, radio and print media to make sure everyone you want to know about your message does so.
However, it’s vital that this message and the brand in general isn’t blurred and remains consistent throughout all forms. Here are some examples of the work carried out for the Tiverton Balloon and Music Festival throughout different forms of Media.
Keep It Simple
When marketing more niche products/services/events it is implied that your market will already have some form of understanding, be it large or small, but when marketing to a mass audience it is important to keep everything as simple as possible so that everyone from 9 to 90, no matter where they’re from, fully understands what your trying to get across.
That doesn’t mean you need to patronise your audience, just don’t try and be too clever – your job is to educate them and make them aware, not show off!
You might think that you’ve sent enough Press Releases and Newsletters etc. but think again. Say you have a list of 300 press contacts, maybe 10% will pick up on each press release – you need at least 30 (different) press releases being sent out in the run up to the event to be in with a chance…maybe more!
Remind but don’t repeat. If you’re planning to send newsletters for instance, you’ll find people quickly start to unsubscribe if your repeating yourself – keep things interesting and let them know of new developments that are happening. Save a couple of aces up your sleeve to reveal closer to the event, you don’t want to play your best hand straight away!
Get Everyone Involved
Don’t just leave your marketing and promoting up to a the event staff as there are many people who will be more than happy to help and some might not even know they are!
Social Media is a great example – run competitions whereby they need to Share and Like your Facebook page in order to enter, and why not collect an email address at the same time? Then, not only are they helping to spread the word in exchange for the chance to win a prize but they are on a mailing list for something they actually interested in – everyone’s a winner! If you have friends or clients with websites and they’re happy doing some promotion, don’t be afriad to ask! They could write a blog story linking to your event or even have an advert placed somewhere on the site (we even released a blog story detailing how to do this, just so it was as easy as possible!)
Get the public to send in ideas, photos and stories and get them engaging with the event – you’ll find the buzz will spread among their friends without you even noticing!
One more thing
So those are our top tips if you’re planning on marketing a festival or large event soon but there was one vital thing I missed out, and it’s an easy one to forget with all the work that needs to me done, make sure you have fun – it is a party after all!