After a year at the Peg, Fall means one thing to me. Turkey Sales.
One of my content clients sells turkeys every year and this annual selling event takes over planning and strategy for a while. After one year here, I’m ready to take on Turkey selling season again.
Annual events are a great way to build your brand awareness and attract audience attention to a specific sale or special. There are lots of good reasons to build an event marketing plan, just remember there is a lot of time required to pull all the pieces together. I’ve developed a few tips to make sure this annual event goes smoothly and is a success. I mean turkeys and Thanksgiving, how could you go wrong, right?
The first difficulty of running an annual event is more than likely a time restraint. In our case, any time lost leading up to turkey sales can’t be made back up. A lot of things can go wrong, but sticking to deadlines, working ahead when possible and leaning on last year’s material are all key in hitting the important dates.
Stick to Deadlines – Often much easier said than done. One powerful defense against missed deadlines is communication. If you need something from someone else to achieve a goal, make sure they know about it. Clear communication and friendly reminders go a long way in making deadlines.
Work Ahead – Have a free moment and have everything you need to knock out an email newsletter? Do it. Sure, you might be a month or so away from actually using it. If you have all the information to get things done, do them while you have some down time instead of rushing through it at the end. Another great way to work ahead is to give long lead times. If you know you need something from someone else, go ahead and ask them with a long lead time. When you eliminate the stress of a tight deadline, things tend to go a lot smoother.
Learn from the Past – If you’re running a campaign or event you have done in the past, use those resources! Don’t reinvent the wheel, use past forms, ads and content to shape the next year. Of course, it’s been a year and you’ve learned some things so don’t be afraid to make tweaks, but you’ll save a lot of time using resources you have already created. This also applies to registration forms, documents and event guidelines. They might need some updating, but it’s much easier to start with something than start from scratch year after year.
When I say ‘people’ I don’t just mean your customer or event attendees. If you’re putting on an event or running a large special or campaign, there are likely teams of people you interact with to pull it off. First and foremost, your support team is crucial. Clear expectations, transparent objectives and well-defined measures of success keep everyone moving in the same direction.
Say you want to print some fliers. Call the same person you’ve used in the past and work on establishing a professional relationship. The more people that know the drill, the faster, and more efficient planning and preparing for your annual event will be. The people involved can make or break your annual event. Identify the people willing and able to help and keep that relationship year after year. Again, you don’t need to start from scratch every year.
So, the sale, event or campaign is over. Time to pack it in and worry about it next year? If you’re not trying to make next year’s event any better, I say sure, pack it away and deal with it later. The only way you’re going to improve your event marketing is to learn from your mistakes as you go and sit down with the results while they’re fresh. Notes are your best friend. One year later, you’re not going to remember all of the small things that nearly derailed the entire event. Take notes and revisit them before next year to remember all of the small hiccups, pitfalls and near disasters.
In the same breath, notes and results are also good for remembering your successes. Was there a certain time you posted or a particular phrase that garnered more attention? Make note and use this knowledge to your advantage next year.
Roundpeg is an Indianapolis marketing strategy firm.