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It really does not matter what time of year it is at Eventcube we're all about strategic event planning, and love sharing our knowledge of how to successfully promote, sell and run events, whether those are happening on our own virtual event platform, or out there in the real world.
One thing everyone from small club promoters to large corporations often struggle with is getting their event off the ground, as it were, and this can be for a number of reasons. Firstly, you'll never establish anything if you don't know where you need to establish it, and with whom.
Firstly, you'll never achieve any engagement if you don't know who your audience is, so an in-depth understanding of the kinds of people who will attend your event is essential.
What is your target demographic? What makes them want to attend an event? Answering these questions will help you concentrate on the most impactful forms of promotion. An excellent route would be to network or form your own social club months ahead of your event. This way, you already have a handful of willing attendees who could also assist in spreading the word.
Secondly - and this is critical - promotion is always a competition. Appealing to your audience isn’t enough. You need to be more appealing than every other event they could attend instead. And that means you need to lay out a clear plan for your promotional campaign.
Run it across all relevant platforms and networks to get the message out in advance. And build up momentum so that your event becomes the event in your audience’s mind.
We've talked before about the best ways to promote your event and sell tickets. So in this article, we’re going to focus on what comes after that initial marketing push.
We need to start by thinking of your event as a product. Because ultimately, that's what it is - and you need to spread the word that it exists in order for your potential audience to grow.
It doesn't even matter if you're charging for entry: the goal is get as many people talking about it as possible. Let's look at some proven event launch ideas that are guaranteed to generate interest in future instalments.
Our top 8 best launch event ideas are:
Live streaming an event creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity. In fact, Facebook Live videos are watched three times more than pre-recorded videos. So yes - live streaming your event might seem obvious at this point but always remember: the simple ideas are often the best.
If you're confident that the content of your event is going to be exceptional - whether it's a virtual event or in-person - then you really just need to get eye-balls on it.
And the best way to do that is simply delivering on your promises and opening up the conversation to social media. Attendees will do the rest, amplifying the message to a much wider community.
In the social media age, Behind The Scenes (BTS) is practically a synonym for viral potential. Who doesn't love exclusive content? It creates a connection with the audience. They feel they are being given access to something they normally don’t get to see.
And because the content is available for a limited period, it has a serious premium on it.
All you have to do is take some cameras and live stream behind the scenes of your event. And if you’re still unsure, here are some expert tips. Of course, the footage shouldn't be available to watch after the event. Otherwise this won't really work. Remember: this idea is best suited to a pre-launch. Not many people want to see BTS after an event, that’s just watching people clean.
Of course, your launch event doesn't necessarily have to be a group experience. We've seen plenty of brands offer 1-to-1 explainer sessions - doing so gives interested parties a good insight into what's to come. Whether that's a new product line or series of lectures.
The only drawback is you'll need staff to run a 1-2-1 session, and you'll need to run numerous sessions simultaneously to reach a reasonable number of people. Never underestimate the selling power of a personal service. Consider Skittles' 2010 'Update The Rainbow' campaign. They took advantage of live streaming and hosted a fully interactive, 1-to-1 experience. Users were invited to upload a message that was then read out by Skittles agents working in a video call centre.
Not only was it a fun, creative campaign - it produced tangible results for the brand, so while this event idea may be challenging, the results will be more than worth it.
Rather than jumping in the deep end, why not invite a select group of participants to attend a trial event? Like we discussed with BTS, exclusivity is a powerful motivator. People love to get the lead on an exciting new opportunity, by doing this before rolling the event out en masse, you will create a real buzz.
Plus the trial event gives you a sort of focus group to help fine-tune the event. Ultimately, it’ll make the full event run more smoothly and entice more people to attend. If you choose the right people to attend the trial, you could even end up with some free promotion.
Historically, the only way to reach a large audience was through the press. While plenty has changed, broadcast media coverage - whether in print or online - is still worth its weight in gold.
But here’s the problem:
Media schedules are busy, and that means you need to give them plenty of forewarning. Running an exclusive online event for media people is the best way to win their attention. It will give them all the information they need to write an eye-catching story. So how do you do that?
The key is to send individual invites to the most relevant journalist. Then, of course, you need to prepare a polished event that will impress every last one of them.
A great example is The Manchester International Festival. In 2020, the long-running festival was moved to its new permanent home - a £130 million arts venue called the factory. Rather than simply assuming this would be newsworthy, the organisers took a more creative approach. First, they built a VR model of the venue within the gaming world of Fortnite. Then they brought in journalists from around the world with a digital-only press launch.
Extensive coverage across the globe, boosting awareness and creating genuine excitement.
Influencers are increasingly vital for event organisers. Not only do they provide access to a huge audience - they are trusted by that audience. Partnering with the right one can be invaluable for your launch. To begin, draw up a shortlist of relevant social media personalities, then contact them individually - to get a quote and better understand their audience.
With that information, you can determine who the most effective influencers will be.
Finally, you can strike a deal that will help make your launch a huge success. If you need help, this guide to influencer marketing is a good place to start.
Another useful article can be found on the Karl Lagerfeld x Olivia Palermo fashion collection. While this launched pre-pandemic, the concepts - including a meet the designer and shared dining experience for invitees - can easily be tweaked for the COVID-19 era.
There are few more efficient ways to build your brand than partnering with another one, because with the right partnership, you can elevate both brands. Because your event is relevant to the partner, they will want to shout from the rooftops about their involvement.
This means you will get the attention and interest of their audience for free. The pre-pandemic music industry is a great example of this. Brand partnerships drove huge investments, enabling events that would otherwise have been restricted by their budget to thrive.
There are countless examples of major events calling on partners to build a larger audience. Some have even managed to do so during COVID-19. A great example is Dance music streaming giant Boiler Room's close working relationship with whisky brand Ballantine's. With both organisations working hard to plan, broadcast, and promote global events across their own socials, they effectively doubled their events’ exposure.
Augmented Reality (AR) hasn’t always had the best reputation. There's a lot more that can be done with the technology than making yourself look like an escaped human-feline lab experiment.
AR is about offering people more information than meets the naked eye and incorporating this within a launch event is a fantastic idea. Not only is it attention-grabbing - it opens up a whole world of opportunities to create compelling, creative content. Socialtables has published some great ideas on AR and event planning.
2020 put a pin in real-life events, but as the world reopens, there is an opportunity to reimagine how events work. At Eventcube, we're making that happen. We believe events of the future will embrace the possibility of mixed-reality. They will be held both IRL and online -literally giving attendees the best of both worlds.
And we're not the only ones, either.
There are tons of ways in this can be done - as Cvent’s blog explains perfectly.
So that rounds up our 8 launch event ideas. Are you ready to start planning your next event? Whether in person, or virtual - Eventcube has all the tools you need to create an incredible event experience. From ticketing, to virtual venues and even memberships tools. Book a demo with us today to discuss your next project.
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