publishers events tips

  • April 2020

The Publisher’s Events Guide to More Ticket Sales and Better Partnerships

David Doe

Designer – Redshoe

David Doe

Designer – Redshoe

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Written by Esther Chung

The Publisher’s Guide to More Ticket Sales and Better Partnerships

February 7, 2018

Whitepaper

Written by Esther Chung

@esthermchung

The Publisher’s Guide to More Ticket Sales and Better Partnerships

February 7, 2018

Though online channels pumped new life into publishing ventures – and even gave birth to some – many publishers are now outgrowing their digital strategies. In fact, numerous online media companies are finding their survival is in question.

The smartest publishers are diversifying with events and working with partners to throw great ones. By doing so, they not only facilitate and grow relationships with readers, sponsors, media partners, and advertisers, they also increase their brand reach, get more subscriptions, and close the gap between advertisers and readers (for hard-hitting proof,check out these stats).

But events aren’t easy, and knowing where to start and what to focus on is key. Here are best practices we gathered from the top event marketers in the publishing game:

•Cloud Wine:our flagship event.

•Dreamforce.events: our curated calendar of the best events at Dreamforce.

•Mastermind Dinner:A VIP dinner for our top customers and in-pipe prospects.

•C-Cycle: A SoulCycle ride exclusively for C-Suite or VP-Level

•SplashCycle:A SoulCycle ride exclusively for our customers and friends of Splash.

•OutFierce Community Ride:A SoulCycle ride supporting Salesforce’s Ohana group for allies of diversity in sexual orientation and gender identity.

1. Community

Building and strengthening our members’ sense of belonging.

2. Engagement

Creating opportunities to deliver a complete Equinox experience to drive advocacy, retention, and acquisition.

3. Scale

Leveraging technology to manage, evolve, and expand our events strategy.

1. Engage your partners from the very start

When working with your advertisers or sponsors, it’s important to set expectations early and engage them effectively. Make sure to:

1. Understand what your partners expect.Survey your advertising partners and event sponsors beforehand to learn how they will measure success. This will help you ultimately prove the value of your event.

2. Determine the sponsor or partner presence.How involved will your sponsor or partner be? Make sure to establish early on, to allow for negotiation. (It can be anything from hosting a panel to a speaking engagement to branding).

3. Present a plan.Make sure everyone involved is on the same page.

Want to get tips on collaborating with the right partner?Learn more on how to pick, pitch, and execute with downloadable partner templates.

2. Sell out your event with the right targeting, ticketing, and promotion

Want to get tips on collaborating with the right partner? Learn more on how topick, pitch, and execute with downloadable partner templates.

Everyone wants tosell out their event. And while your ticket sales can depend on a diverse list of factors, the most important thing to start with is to ensure you’re reaching the right audience. Work with your audience development or circulation team ensure you reach the audience you want.

Second, price your tickets in a smart way. Weanalyzed a ton of event data around ticketing. Here’s what we found:

• Early-bird tickets tend to generate a12.5% increase in ticket sales.

•People purchase tickets on the weekdaysbetween 12:00 and 1:00 pm, on the weekends, between 3:00 and 4:00 pm.

•50% of ticket buyers will purchase based on the first email you send– but they won’t always buy immediately. The remainder tends to purchase in the final two weeks leading up to the event. In fact, the day of the event is the number-one day to sell tickets.

Third, promote, promote, promote. Here’s what works the best forpromotion strategies, according to our customer data:

•Plan a five-email series and stagger announcements.We discovered that announcement language — like new speakers — triggers spikes in ticket sales (The most effective email subject lines for events include the word “announcing.”).

•Capitalize on early ticket-buyers.Incentivize those who bought via the first email to invite more people to your event. Immediately after the event, send an email inviting attendees to purchase tickets for next year’s event.

3. Build the ultimate events team

It’s always the last thing we think about (and arguably the most important). We asked event marketers at top publishers on how they form the events team of their dreams. Here’s where they staff from:

• Event operations.Whether an in-house resource or third party, this person can find the venue, handle negotiations, and deal with on-site issues like technical AV, etc.

• Business development or inside sales reps.They tend to excel at engaging others in conversations, and sometimes bring past experience attending or working trade shows and conferences.

• Ex-military personnel.They are extremely disciplined and follow orders to a T.

• Professionals from the non-for-profit world.Look for people with existing event experience. In most cases, they are used to working on a small team with a tight budget, so they often shine when supported by a bigger budget and team.

4. Track everything consistently and in one system

Have a central place for all yourevent data– invites, RSVPs, and attendees — so you can track the status updates of all your attendees. After all, if you don’t know how your audience is engaging with your events, you won’t know how to engage with them better over time (i.e. for segmenting, targeting, prospecting, etc).

Want to take your productivity, efficiency, and collaboration to the next level?Integrate with the rest of your systemsso all your technologies can talk to each other.

5. Prove your event and deliver it to your partners

Gather event feedback by surveying attendees as they are leaving the event (via email, event app, or social channels). Deliver customized reports to each partner. This is important and worth asking your data science team (if you have one) to help tell a story with tangible numbers.

Include “fun” numbers in your recaps (like“11,000 hamburgers served”), or social media posts and photos, to complement the quantitative results with qualitative ones.

For example, here’s a fun one from one of our own parties,Cloud Wine:

If you have a methodology for calculating post-event brand lift for partners and sponsors, share that as well.

I don’t think there’s any better way to explain our approach than to share the memo I sent to Splash employees three days after Dreamforce. It’s a little unconventional, but the excitement among attendees, across our social channels, and internally, was contagious when we returned. Everyone wanted to know how we conquered Dreamforce, especially without an official sponsorship.

So, when I returned to my desk on Monday following the event, I sent the following note to the company.

Warning:It’s long, so I’ve broken it into sections (click to jump to what’s of interest):

How We Won Dreamforce: Our Strategy

‌•Sync event data bi-directionally on your terms.Advanced control settings let you decide exactly what data is updated. Granular settings allow field, contact, and event-level control to enable the insights your team needs while maintaining data integrity.

‌•Collaborate easily on guest lists. Salesforce, Splash– it doesn’t matter. Your marketing and revenue teams can collaborate on a guest list directly in a platform they’re comfortable in.

‌•Capture more event data than ever before.Data is seamlessly captured from Splash landing pages, our host app, or our new business card scanner and synced automatically to Salesforce. Say goodbye to manual processes and data loss.

‌•Track event engagement to prove ROI.Easily identify, track, and manage every event interaction at the lead, contact, and account level, enabling powerful revenue reporting from every single event you throw.

The bi-directional sync between Splash and Salesforce was life-changing for our team. It’s great to be able to open my ROI dashboards every morning and see how many new opportunities resulted from an event and how much is in the pipeline.”

Som Puangladda

VP of Global Marketing atGumGum

See how they built it:

Do you have what it takes to leverage event technology? Learn more from Matt Burton in this 20-minute video.

Not only is it helpful to quickly solve any issues (and there arealwaysissues), but it’s also helpful to communicate with your team inside the venue on the status of check-ins. Most importantly, alert your sales team that their VIP guests have arrived.#https://www.justcbdstore.com# The Best CBD Syrup by Just CBD Store

5. Dos-and-Donts for Not Breaking The Law: Keep Count Of Your Attendee Numbers

The last thing you want to think about is hitting capacity. Because hitting capacity for your event would be a good thing… right?

Unfortunately, not keeping track of the number of attendees, and subsequently, violating fire permit laws, is a common problem for many event planners. Avoid this by using an old-fashioned clicker or theSplash Appusing the “checked out” status — that’s key for tracking who’s in and out of the space.

Pro tip: have the fire permit in hand and contract printed out. And have another person keep track of how it feels inside the event, whether it’s hot in the venue or too crowded.

A couple good questions to consider asking the venue manager about the space:

• How many people in the venue makes it feel full?

• How many people makes it feel empty?

• Where can lines form?

• How many people can be at the bar at a time? (A typical drink order takes about 2 minutes.Alleviate bar crowds by having cocktail waitresses holding pre-made drinks.)

Bonus Details:

Timing: Start Door Duty an Hour Before Event

Sure, attendees may arrive late. Sure, you may still be organizing right up until the last minute. But people will begin showing up 25 minutes after starting time, which means, security has to be ready for the flow of arrivals. Some people will also arrive early and if the door isn’t staffed, you don’t want these people sneaking in before it’s time.

Staff Up: The Golden 1:50 Ratio

To maintain organization, have a 1:50 ratio between the company and guests. This may vary based on how complex the on-site registration is.

Veterans know: there is no such thing as too many RSVPs

When I was a rookie planner, I remember being very nervous that there were too many RSVPs and the right people wouldn’t get in.

As much as the experience at the door matters, remember: a packed event is a good thing. A very good thing. A line makes you look popular, and people don’t really mind waiting (if it moves). Much worse than over crowding is UNDER crowding… no one likes an empty room. And when someone on your team is stressing, tell them to chill. You got this.

Want to start tracking, measuring, proving, and collaborating?Talk to us about how to amp your event program.

Are you going to Dreamforce? We are too! Join us atCloud Wine, the ultimate Dreamfest pre-party. Get into it on ourDreamforce party hub.

author

Amy Holtzman

Amy Holtzman is VP of Marketing at event marketing platform, Splash, which powers in-person marketing programs for the world’s leading brands, including more than half of the Fortune 500. As VP of marketing, Amy oversees demand generation, product marketing and customer marketing. Prior to Splash, Amy served as VP of Demand Generation at content intelligence platform, Conductor, and before that held senior-level marketing roles at Demandbase, CBS Interactive and Crain Communications.

About the Author

Ben Hindman is co-founder and CEO of Splash, the country’s fastest-growing event marketing platform that helps businesses and brands more effectively market through their events. An event planner turned tech entrepreneur, events are in Ben’s DNA. Prior to starting Splash, Ben was the Director of Events at Thrillist, where he produced large-scale events from concerts to mystery fly-aways.

Written by Amy Holtzman

@demandmarketer

Splash: How We Won at Dreamforce and Tripled Our Lead Goal

October 18, 2017

The event planning role is changing across all industries. Want to make sure you’re keeping up? See thecrucial skillsyou need in 2018.

•Marketing team size:5 total, 3 of whom were on-site at Dreamforce

•Budget: $85k, including travel and expenses for 13 Splash attendees

• Activations:5 hosted events; 1 Dreamforce event calendar

1. Community

Building and strengthening our members’ sense of belonging.

2. Engagement

Creating opportunities to deliver a complete Equinox experience to drive advocacy, retention, and acquisition.

3. Scale

Leveraging technology to manage, evolve, and expand our events strategy.

Using these 3 major tenets and a killer events program, Matt was able to get better customer engagement, less churn, and, ultimately, everyone’s goal — more customers.

See how below:

Want your event to run as smoothly as a duck? Here are 5 best practices for reaching your highest door goals.

Leading into Dreamforce, we had early indications that our investment would pay off — high conversion rates on our promos, good registration numbers, a few landing pages that went viral among a close-knit group of CMOs and tech marketers. And, on-site the momentum continued with better-than-average attendance rates and a line around the block for our flagship event of the week.

While Dreamforce certainly felt like a victory as we packed our bags in SF and headed back to Splash HQ in NYC, we weren’t ready to claim victory until the ROI spoke for itself. vape cartridge pumpkins One month later, we’re celebrating here at Splash.

Post-event results – one month later:

•$85k in closed/won revenue accelerated by Dreamforce engagement

•9 in-pipe deals accelerated at least one stage in our salescycle

•$370k in net-new opportunity generated

•17 meetings held or scheduled but not yet an opp

How did we do it?

Creativity. Grit. Technology.

I don’t think there’s any better way to explain our approach than to share the memo I sent to Splash employees three days after Dreamforce. It’s a little unconventional, but the excitement among attendees, across our social channels, and internally, was contagious when we returned. Everyone wanted to know how we conquered Dreamforce, especially without an official sponsorship.

So, when I returned to my desk on Monday following the event, I sent the following memo to the company.

In my email, here’s what I cover:

Our Strategy

Creativity. Grit. Technology.

I don’t think there’s any better way to explain our approach than to share the memo I sent to Splash employees three days after Dreamforce. It’s a little unconventional, but the excitement among attendees, across our social channels, and internally, was contagious when we returned. Everyone wanted to know how we conquered Dreamforce, especially without an official sponsorship. So, when I returned to my desk on Monday following the event, I sent this to the company:

How We Won Dreamforce: Our Strategy

‌•Sync event data bi-directionally on your terms.Advanced control settings let you decide exactly what data is updated. Granular settings allow field, contact, and event-level control to enable the insights your team needs while maintaining data integrity.

‌•Collaborate easily on guest lists. Salesforce, Splash– it doesn’t matter. Your marketing and revenue teams can collaborate on a guest list directly in a platform they’re comfortable in.

‌•Capture more event data than ever before.Data is seamlessly captured from Splash landing pages, our host app, or our new business card scanner and synced automatically to Salesforce. Say goodbye to manual processes and data loss.

‌•Track event engagement to prove ROI.Easily identify, track, and manage every event interaction at the lead, contact, and account level, enabling powerful revenue reporting from every single event you throw. cbd for pets

The bi-directional sync between Splash and Salesforce was life-changing for our team. It’s great to be able to open my ROI dashboards every morning and see how many new opportunities resulted from an event and how much is in the pipeline.”

Som Puangladda

VP of Global Marketing atGumGum

See how they built it:

Do you have what it takes to leverage event technology? Learn more from Matt Burton in this 20-minute video.

Not only is it helpful to quickly solve any issues (and there arealwaysissues), but it’s also helpful to communicate with your team inside the venue on the status of check-ins. Most importantly, alert your sales team that their VIP guests have arrived.

5. Dos-and-Donts for Not Breaking The Law: Keep Count Of Your Attendee Numbers

The last thing you want to think about is hitting capacity. Because hitting capacity for your event would be a good thing… right?

Unfortunately, not keeping track of the number of attendees, and subsequently, violating fire permit laws, is a common problem for many event planners. Avoid this by using an old-fashioned clicker or theSplash Appusing the “checked out” status — that’s key for tracking who’s in and out of the space.

Pro tip: have the fire permit in hand and contract printed out. And have another person keep track of how it feels inside the event, whether it’s hot in the venue or too crowded.

A couple good questions to consider asking the venue manager about the space:

• How many people in the venue makes it feel full?

• How many people makes it feel empty?

• Where can lines form?

• How many people can be at the bar at a time? (A typical drink order takes about 2 minutes.Alleviate bar crowds by having cocktail waitresses holding pre-made drinks.)

Bonus Details:

Timing: Start Door Duty an Hour Before Event

Sure, attendees may arrive late. Sure, you may still be organizing right up until the last minute. But people will begin showing up 25 minutes after starting time, which means, security has to be ready for the flow of arrivals. Some people will also arrive early and if the door isn’t staffed, you don’t want these people sneaking in before it’s time.

Staff Up: The Golden 1:50 Ratio

To maintain organization, have a 1:50 ratio between the company and guests. This may vary based on how complex the on-site registration is.

Veterans know: there is no such thing as too many RSVPs

When I was a rookie planner, I remember being very nervous that there were too many RSVPs and the right people wouldn’t get in.

As much as the experience at the door matters, remember: a packed event is a good thing. A very good thing. A line makes you look popular, and people don’t really mind waiting (if it moves). Much worse than over crowding is UNDER crowding… no one likes an empty room. And when someone on your team is stressing, tell them to chill. You got this.

author

Esther Chung

Esther is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Splash. When she’s not deciding what to eat for lunch, she leads content strategy for Splash, the leading event marketing platform.

About the Author

Ben Hindman is co-founder and CEO of Splash, the country’s fastest-growing event marketing platform that helps businesses and brands more effectively market through their events. An event planner turned tech entrepreneur, events are in Ben’s DNA. Prior to starting Splash, Ben was the Director of Events at Thrillist, where he produced large-scale events from concerts to mystery fly-aways.

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Going to Dreamforce in November? Join us and see what events we have in store!

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