Regardless of the industry within which you operate, one thing is for sure, we are in the middle of a major change. Technology, government, unemployment, pop-culture, etc. are all drastically changing the way we do business and the demands of our consumers. Families today are actively looking for ways to save money. By creating special events at your entertainment facility, you can create a reason for your consumers to increase the frequency of their visits and transaction amounts. Holidays and other cultural events have become a money-making phenomenon for the retail industry. The same opportunity is available to the entertainment industry – all you need is a little creativity and timing.
However, simply deciding to host special events in your business doesn’t ensure you will be successful or your revenues will increase. There are a few items to consider when scheduling/planning an event: What’s the reason? How will I package it? And how do I promote it?
What’s the Point?
In my personal experience, creativity and a connection to pop culture are great catalysts to building an event people want to celebrate. Don’t limit yourself to only hosting events connected to national holidays. Christmas and Easter may be staples in your annual party schedule, but adding fun events not nationally recognized can create buzz and positive PR for your business. Some of the most successful events are related to happenings in your local community. Maybe it’s the completion of a major ongoing road construction project near your facility or the commencement of a local university; there are plenty of opportunities to create events that mean something to your regular consumers. However insignificant the excuse for a party may be, it’s still an excuse for a party.
Am I Packaging My Product Attractively?
Too often, businesses get stuck in the rut of thinking they must excessively discount their products to create packages people want to buy. Just because it is a “special day” and you are offering a “special package” doesn’t mean you have to give away the farm. Creating packages that include multiple items/products for a single price is a great way to up-sell your products without lowering your profit margins.
Now if there is one thing that can be said about consumers today, it’s that they are savvy shoppers. Years of cleaver marketing campaigns and technological developments have created a society of educated customers. We have trained the general public to ask questions like “what’s the catch,” “where are the hidden fees,” and “how can I beat the system?” Regardless of your experience or marketing background, don’t make the mistake of assuming you can trick your customers. The best packages take several items into consideration:
- What do my customers want and need?
- What are my competitors offering?
- What products or services have low cost and high demand?
- Where do I want to drive traffic?
- How will allowing customers to sample products today, drive traffic tomorrow?
- How Am I Going to Promote the Event?
Every entrepreneur has their own opinions on what marketing efforts are worthwhile and how they can get the most “bang for their buck.” If there is one thing that is certain about marketing today, it’s that the average person regularly experiences information overload. Communication today occurs in greater frequency than ever before, and if you are going to be successful in promoting your event you will need to find a way to be heard over the noise.
Regardless of your chosen delivery method, the key to promoting an event is creating the appearance that your event is one your customers can’t miss. There are a few ways to accomplish this:
- Focus on Fun! When consumers are trying to decide how to spend their entertainment dollars they are looking for the greatest opportunity to create positive memories. Remind them that you’re in the business of creating happy memories.
- Repetition, repetition, repetition. Create themes in your marketing materials. Although Facebook, Twitter and website posts may not directly promote your event, they should carry with them a common theme that links back to the upcoming party.
- Pull on the heart-strings. Tying events to fundraisers and local non-profits can be a great way to reach out to consumer groups that may not have a history with your organization, not to mention the value of PR created from being a support structure to your local community. Being a community partner is far greater than any marketing campaign.
Progressive business operators are constantly adjusting the way they package their products to meet the demands of their customers. Although the product itself may not change, the way we present ourselves to the public can drastically affect our ability to be successful. Special events may just be the next transformation in entertainment product packaging. Regardless, they can be a powerful tool to help drive traffic and revenues and sustain your business in a difficult economic time. –