Below, Community Manager at Eventbrite, Cara Benson has shared some actionable solutions and steps you can take to be more prepared while managing common challenges to come out on top in 2018.
With the new year, it’s as good a time as any to reflect on all the challenges you may have faced in 2017 and ways you wish to improve come 2018. Take the time to analyze the performance of your events and where you feel you may have fallen short. Where did you hit your goals? Where did you miss the mark? Where can you do better?
Upon reflection, event planners generally find that they regularly encounter a handful of problems. Below are some actionable solutions and steps you can take to be more prepared to tackle these common challenges and come out on top in the new year.
1. Unexpected Budget Constraints
As event planners, you can only plan so much, right? Well, sort of. For everything you expect to happen, you must also plan for what you don’t expect. In Social Tables’ most recent trend report, 24% of surveyed planners said that reduced budgets regularly make their jobs more difficult.
What to do: Travel, housing, and other common costs are continually on the rise, and unexpected snags can be costly, so it’s critical to factor in a cushion and force yourself to strategize ways to get more value for less.
In addition to having an excess cushion, for example, also make the necessary adjustments to housing and downsize your annual travel. Use your resources to your full advantage and find cost-effective suppliers, and don’t neglect your sponsor relationships. Some experts say 75% of sponsors constantly seek new opportunities, so it’s critical to prioritize sponsor retention so you can be sure you get what you expect.
2. Unproven Event Promotion Strategies
Given tighter budgets, you may feel constrained when it comes to your marketing capabilities. The good news is, a majority of the most powerful marketing platforms are virtually free to leverage. According to Eventbrite’s event promotion guide, “Using the power of online marketing and social media, you can reach people who are already looking for your event and brand-new fans.”
What to do: Eventbrite’s top recommended event promotion strategies include leveraging keyword data to capitalize on what your target audience is searching for, and harnessing the power of email marketing, which they’ve found generates open and click-through rates between 25-40%, “well above marketing email standards.” They’ve also found that crafting a unique and impactful event page is critical, because the top two places consumers go to after visiting your event page are YouTube and Google Images, where they’re looking for a better idea of what to expect from your event. “If you don’t include this information on your page,” says Eventbrite, “you’re forcing readers to find it elsewhere — and you may be losing sales.”
3. Keeping Up With Tech
The marketing power of events is undeniable, with consumer surveys showing that 87% of consumers purchase products related to a brand’s event after attending. However, the industry has struggled to keep up with the newest technologies and to meet the demands of those tech-savvy event goers who want to be able to do things like register and track their event experience digitally.
What to do: As one example, experts now agree that a majority of ticket purchases are made online, and event organizers who only sell at the door are likely missing out on registrations and registration revenue. Do your research to find the best online event registration and management software, which can dramatically increase your ticket sales. You and your team will also need to cultivate the necessary skills to take full advantage of event industry tech, so take any onboarding classes that are offered.