Every event has an objective. Event objectives can be varied and often centre around a group or individuals’ celebration of some kind. Your event may even have multiple objectives. The one certainty, however, is that every event has at least one objective, purpose, or desired outcome in mind.
As an event coordinator, or committee member responsible for organising an event, you may not be acutely aware of your events object. This is particularly the case for annual events where it is easy to fall into the trap of “doing what has always been done” and simply rehashing the same event due to habit or maybe even expected. Repetitive events are often mediocre and fail to leave a lasting impression on guests who are present for the event objective, even if you don’t know what it is.
The secret to a successful event is quite simple: know your events objective and focus your energy on delivering that desired outcome.
“WHAT ARE YOUR EVENT OBJECTIVES?”
We’ve been in the event business for a long time and if you have worked with us before, you will have heard us ask this question.
This is to help us understand exactly what it is you are trying to achieve, who is attending your event, what their interests are and how we can help you best serve your audience, sponsors and other stakeholders.
So here are 4 common event objectives that we come across and how you can nail each objective.
1. CREATE A CELEBRATION
At the core or many events is a celebration of an individual, couple, club, or group. Whether it is a milestone birthday, wedding, sports awards night or work Christmas party, people love getting together to celebrate. To mark a celebration, you may have a collective focus, such as school graduation or Christmas party where everyone is equal in the eyes of the event. Alternatively, an individual may be the focus that holds centre stage at the event such as a 50th birthday party, engagement party or wedding.
Here are our top tips to help your celebration stand out in the crowd:
- Know your Audience – Whether your audience is young or older, male or female, sports fans or art enthusiasts, are all factors that will shape their passion drivers and motivations. There should be at least one area of common ground if they are gathering for an event, so identify this element and focus on it to bring your audience together.
- Create Memories – A photographer and photo booth both provide greats way to capture memories. The key to a great celebration however is to provide a platform to create memories. This is where a good photo booth company can come into their own by creating a space at your venue to theme up and incorporate a personalised photo booth, background and props to help people let loose and have fun at the moment in front of a camera. These candid moments can provide print outs for guests and also an online gallery to share the fun long after the event.
- Provide Focal Points of Interaction – There are many ways to turn the ordinary into an unforgettable experience with a bit of imagination. Perhaps replace a seafood platter with an Oyster Shucker, a raffle with a live auction, or dial-up your standard photo booth with a showstopper like a 360 Photo Booth. Stop settling for the mundane and look for opportunities to entertain. Give your guests stories to tell their friends about your event for weeks or even years to come.
- Get Personal – Personalised elements where people least expect will have the greatest impact. Wherever possible, find opportunities to tell a story as this will have the most impact. A great example of this is a wedding that we worked at where a custom prop was made showing a Tinder ‘match’ screen where two people could put their heads through in the photo. The couple getting married met via the dating app, so this provided fun and relevant prop for all of the guests to interact with around the couple’s story.
- Honour the People Central to the Celebration – If the event is a birthday, how can you incorporate personal elements such as their favourite colours, music, activities, or event light up letters of the age they are celebrating? For events around a sports club, build on a connection by letting teams and individuals celebrate personal and team successes. Props and elements central to the theme will provide an opportunity to elevate the people central to the celebration that everyone has gathered for.
2. BRAND POSITIONING
Your brand is often described as what people say about you when you are not in the room. If you are in the events business, every touchpoint in and around your event will have attendees speaking about your brand IN the room. When you then throw sponsors into the mix, you need to consider their brand attributes and how they interact with your event and attendees. Whether you are focusing on the brand association, generating branded content, or even a product launch, you need to think about how you position your brand and that of your key stakeholders.
So here is what you need to assess when creating branded content:
When looking at sponsorship investment or your brand you need to consider what exposure is worth? Whilst the options may be endless with signage and theming where are the quick wins such as signage that can be used multiple times. Building brand elements into entertainment options, especially elements that can be taken home buy guest after then event provides longevity for brand exposure beyond the event or via sharing on social media from the event for viral reach.
What Experience Level Is Consistent With Your Brand?
Is the experience being offered to event attendees consistent with your brand? The quality and output delivered by contractors will reflect directly on you and your brand. So be careful who you work with to ensure they align with your brand.
What Content and Production Level Is Consistent With Your Brand?
Is your brand premium and modern? Or perhaps vintage and classic? Look for a supplier who aligns with your brand values or is agile enough to represent the tour brand accurately to the audience.
What Content Is Appropriate for Your Event?
Make sure that you are targeting the right audience and making an impact. This seems simple enough, but don’t fall into the trap of doing what has always been done. Times change, and so do peoples wants ad desires so make sure that you are constantly evolving and working with suppliers that can bring new ideas and innovative activations. In a concert of 10,000 attendees, for example, one small activation at one part of the venue may be a missed opportunity to provide a compelling experience to the attendees.
Instead of a seven hour-long activation in one location, perhaps breaking it down to shorter two hour periods at each entry gate as people arrive at the venue provides a better approach to reach more people? On the flip side, exclusivity derives its value. So if it is a premium experience that only a small portion of the VIP guests can get access to this provides status and FOMO to justify a greater ticket price or a level of prestige for a certain sponsor.
3. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT
Once the fans are in the venue for your event, we have very specific windows of time to engage that audience.
For a sporting event whilst the game happening, they may be focused on the players and scoreboard. This can be scary as event organisers cannot control the outcome of the contest which can trigger a range of emotions in attendees. The elation and satisfaction of a win can also have the counterbalance of a crushing loss. So how can we control the peripheral elements of the event and maximise our ticket buyers experience?
Simply ask yourself the following questions:
Who Is Your Audience?
It is important to know as much about your audience as possible. What age and gender are your audiences? Where do they eat, what do they do for fun, how do they interact and where are they online? Simply knowing what social media platforms your fans or event attendees frequent will let you create content and market to them more effectively. If the content is right, they will event assist in amplifying your message.
Where Is Your Audience?
Just like creating a celebration, it is important to know your audience and where they spend their time. This will let you pick the right experience to entertain your specific attendees. A targeted approach for a young teen audience may be to provide a digital experience such as TikTok Video Booth or create a video or photo to place the attendee in their heroes shoes whether it is an artist of a sports star.
The above approach would only work for people who have TikTok of which 66% is reported to be under 30. So for an event with an audience of 40+ perhaps a printed photo booth would be more appropriate or a digital solution for Instagram or Facebook?
Are There Any Passion Drivers? (Milestones, Personalities, Etc)
Any time that you can galvanize your audience, bring them together and ute them will tighten the bond between each other and with your event. Be very specific with your audience in how they can fit in and unite through dress standards or actions before during and after the event.If you connect with a message and provide content or a platform for them to share this message then they will amplify your cause passionately.
How Do You WOW Your Audience?
People are attending your event to be entertained. That’s why they bought a ticket or agreed to go in the first place. The feeling and memories that that take away from the event will directly relate to their expectation vs their experience at the event. So raise the stakes, give them something that they don’t expect and take a risk to leave a lasting impact. The impact will increase your engagement. Is instant gratification important at the event, or the legacy of shared content online FROM the event?
A big screen for example is an existing asset and many large events that can be used to entertain. Outside of the sports playing time or before a concert. Our Mosaic Photo Wall is a perfect activation to utilise a big screen as it takes individual photos of fans that come together in a large jigsaw style mosaic image. This is visually appealing and also makes the event attendees feel part of the bigger experience.
How Will You Measure Success?
Any investment in marketing or event delivery should be measured to see if it was beneficial and worthwhile doing again in the future. Anecdotal feedback is great, however, if you can get quantitative feedback such as a survey or analytics, this will help justify sponsors investment and also assist in future planning for events.
4. DATA CAPTURE
Direct marketing works. Many companies focus on a huge proportion of their marketing budget towards data acquisition and utilisation through various channels. Whilst this is a more advanced objective for events, data becomes more important once a large audience can be easily, and perhaps even regularly, gathered.
A home game of a local sporting team for example. The more you know about your audience, the more you can serve them. Data also opens doors to attract and retain sponsors. When looking at data you need to be very careful how you intend to use it.
Here are five points to consider and why they are important:
- Privacy Matters – Not only is it annoying to receive unsolicited direct marketing companies, but it is also illegal in Australia. We would highly recommend reviewing the SPAM Act 2013 that outlines your obligations for opt-in and unsubscribe requirements just to name a few.
- Knowledge is Power – Whilst you may know the ticket buyers at your event, they may be a group organiser who purchased tickets for other people. So if you can get the details of attendees that you haven’t yet identified, this adds value to your database. The same could be said for potential customers if you can run a promotion or event activation to get access to their details and permission to contact them about future events and offers. The more information that you can gather about your existing customers, the greater you can understand them and in return, service their needs more effectively.
- Data is Valuable – These days people are highly sceptical of handing over their information and rightly so, very protective of their privacy. Whilst privacy laws provide some protection, consumers are constantly being asked to provide their personal and contact details by companies. The savvy consumer now knows the value of their information so expects something of value in return.
- Barriers to Entry – A ‘barrier to entry’ can best be described as hurdles put in place that make a consumer refuse, or at least reconsider giving you what you want: their data. Customers are constantly making decisions whether it is worth the trouble or effort to give you their data. These barriers could be the time required to fill out a long survey, or the knowledge that they will have emails coming their way with marketing message from a particular company.
- What’s in It for Your Audience? To ensure that you gather data successfully, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. This will help you determine what prize or benefit you should offer in exchange for their data. The bigger the prize, the more inconvenience they will endure to get access to the opportunity. If it is a photo booth experience, it had better be something that impresses them and is not something that they can simply recreate on their phones.
ACHIEVE SPONSORSHIP SUCCESS
For a more in-depth look into event sponsorship, check out the following eBook by Sponsorship Success: 5 Steps To Sponsorship Success.