How the Experience of Attending Live Events is Changing

How the Experience of Attending Live Events is Changing 2

Event Marketers: The Experience of Attending Live Events is Changing. Are You Changing Too?

The excitement and thrill of attending a live event certainly isn’t a new concept. The earliest amphitheaters were those of ancient Rome, built in the 1st century BC. However, trends change. Where once the masses converged to watch chariot races, now audiences congregate to sing along with Taylor Swift. Over the course of more than two thousand years, it’s natural that the subject matter would have changed so dramatically, but until recently, the experience of attending an event hadn’t actually altered all that much.

Enter the internet and the new “social age” of connectivity. Everything is changing.

Much like in olden days, people still have performers or teams that they seek out, root for, and celebrate. Where once it may have been a gladiator, now it might be a favorite baseball team, but it’s the way that people now source their events and tickets that’s changing so dramatically.

Millennials and the “New” Consumer

The millennials, defined as people born between 1977 and 2000, make up 25-33% of the US population, are really shaking up the industry. Brands need to understand millennials and work to create an experience with them rather than just trying to sell to them. It’s a shift that’s completely reshaping the event and ticketing industry.

There are evolving implications as to how the behavior of this large segment of the consumer population is transforming the experience of live events, both before the event takes place, during the event itself, and also after attending the event.

How do Millennials Choose? 

The way that people shop around for events has created a new, more competitive world in the ticket market. When choosing what event to attend, it’s not only about “who’s playing”. Millennials want to check the ‘buzz’ and will read reviews, articles, blog posts, related hashtags on Twitter and other platforms to gauge public opinion.

This demographic equates value with experience. They are invested in shopping around to compare prices to get the best value for the experience. They are less loyal to individual brands and ticket sources and are more driven by price and value comparison. To establish loyalty, marketers need to continue to offer the most proven value to their customers.

How do Millennials Experience?

These days, attending an event and enjoying it in the moment isn’t enough. Technology is changing the way that people experience live events. Social media tools and apps are being used to heighten and amplify those live moments in new ways. From selfies on Instagram, to live tweeting, to the new Periscope live video streaming app, millennials exalt in sharing the experience as it unfolds. After the event, that experience is further augmented by additional social media status updates, blogging, and online reviewing.

Live events create experiences that shape some of our fondest memories. The new evolution of consumers want to capture and amplify those experiences. Recognizing that this new behavior has and is continuing to change the industry is an important shift that event marketers need to recognize. The influence of millennials is reshaping the overall consumer market into a new type of audience. Successful event marketers are investigating ways to adapt alongside these new audiences. What new marketing channels work, and what old techniques should be set aside? Have you witnessed any new, clever marketing ideas that are incorporating the changes in the industry?

Deciding Between Tickets vs. Wristbands for your Event

Deciding Between Tickets vs. Wristbands for your Event

When you plan an event there are a lot of decisions to be made. One of the top priorities should be how to best manage the ticketing and admission process. To ensure that the operations run smoothly first you want to decide if your event will require tickets, wristbands, or a combination of both. So you ask yourself; How will tickets and/or wristbands work best for your event?

The use of tickets and wristbands can be different or similar depending on the type of event you are organizing. Let’s start with discovering the options available.

General Admission Event
When it comes to general admission tickets and wristbands, guests are admitted when they present their ticket and then choose any seat at their leisure. General admission wristbands can also be used for non-seated events like a lawn concert or dance performance.

Reserved Seating Event
Some venues have seats with assigned numbers that are also clearly marked on the ticket. When you receive a reserved ticket for admission it is your guide to finding a match of the same section, row and seat as listed on your ticket. Some venues prefer wristbands to signify particular admission or access to a portion of your event. For example, a blue wristband might signify VIP status so that someone can gain access to a special VIP room, backstage, access to a buffet, or a late night party after the show.

How to Choose
In many cases, you might choose to have tickets AND wristbands as they serve different purposes for the same event. Attendees purchase tickets in advance, then upon arrival trade their ticket for a wristband to confirm their entry to parts (or all) of your event.

Consider the type of event that you’re running. Many events for sports (like high school football, soccer games, baseball, etc.) and performances (dance, symphonic band, chorus, theater) concerts, and many conferences are general admission events where first come is first served when it comes to seating. However, there might be a pre-show or post-show event in another area where guests would need to have a wristband for admission.

While deciding on tickets and wristbands, here are five questions to ask yourself to determine whether tickets or wristbands will work best for your situation.

How to Market your Event and Sell More Tickets

How to Market your Event and Sell More Tickets Part I a

In the world of event planning, there is always something new to discover. As organizers, we grow and learn with every conference, concert, or festival that we run. Whether this is your first rodeo, or you’re a seasoned event planner, we’ve created a two-part series of points that every marketing team should remember.

Part I – Setting Up A Successful Event Marketing Campaign

  1. Branding
    Establish an identifiable look, tone, and message for your brand. Your event is special and is much more than just physical attendance; it’s all about creating an experience for your guests. Your branding needs to convey that experience and value to your potential customers. Establish the associations that you would like your audience to instantly connect with your brand. Whenever people see certain imagery, colors, hashtags, slogans, and verbiage, good branding will evoke the feelings that you want them to associate with your event. Get your branding straight right from the beginning.
  1. Visuals
    If your event features well-known artists, experts, or guests, leverage their notoriety as much as possible by using their photographs and likeness on your advertising. Create branded visual images, art, and infographics that can be used for your website, social media, your newsletter, print media, etc. Maps, transportation guides, testimonials, and schedules can all be made into attractive, branded visuals.
  1. Video
    Video is a powerful tool that gives you the chance to convey the excitement of a live event. You can use video in a number of ways:
  • Create a highlight reel from past events.
  • Share video clips of artists, performers, or speakers in action.
  • Interviews with artists, performers, or speakers.
  • Visual content to promote your unique location.
  • Video testimonial from participants.

Keep in mind who your target audience is and be consistent with your branding when creating the videos. The video should convey your message, and the value and benefits of attending the event. Post the video(s) on both YouTube and Vimeo and share them on social media, in your newsletters, and on your website.

  1. Testimonials
    Use testimonials from past participants as well as from presenters and performers. These provide trustworthy and credible sources of information for your consumers.
  1. Competitive Pricing
    In addition to offering early bird pricing, have different pricing tiers so that there is an option to fit into everyone’s budget. Create both affordable and more elite options; VIP tickets with special incentives could appeal to a higher ticket bracket while less expensive, general admission tickets are appealing to the more general public. You might also offer student and senior discounts.

You can also create different types of passes for people who are not able to attend your entire event. Passes might include full passes for an entire weekend, or a la carte tickets for individual sessions, or single day passes.

Discount group tickets can also be great idea. One of the best ways to do so is to contact the sponsors for your event and offer group passes for their companies.

  1. Create Urgency
    Create a sense of urgency so that people buy tickets now, not later. People’s calendars fill up and you need to claim your place in their calendars immediately. Creating early bird tickets, promotional codes, and other early incentives helps to get the ticket-sale ball rolling early.
  1. Loyalty Rewards
    If your event is annual, consider rewarding last year’s attendees by offering them an incentive. This could come in the form of a discount, an upgrade, or first access. People who have attended before could be your biggest supporters and it’s worth investing in their continued participation by sweetening their participation with promotional codes and perks.
  1. Get Traditional
    Don’t forget about traditional promotional channels like print advertising, or even radio and television. In this digital and social media age, it’s easy to neglect the value of paper promotions. However, posts, flyers, sending invitations by snail mail, creating event postcards, and rack cards are still a very valuable part of your marketing campaign. Depending on the size and scope of your event, you might also like to take out advertising space in targeted newspapers or magazines, or place airtime on radio or television.
  1. Include Your Event Sponsors in the Marketing Process
    Tag your sponsors and give them proper shout outs whenever possible, and get them on board to help create excitement about the event. Stay communicative with them so that they feel invested in the event not only from the perspective of continued sponsorship in future years, but also so that they feel invested in the marketing success of the event.

Get in touch with industry organizations to help promote your event. Consider offering free tickets to strategic guests and ask them to blog or get social about the event.

All of these set-up steps are vital to event marketing. However, there is a glaringly obvious section missing from today’s blog post and that is cyber marketing. Social media and online promotions are such a vital part of event marketing that we’re devoting an entire second blog post to the topic. Check back next week for Part II of our How to Market your Event and Sell More Tickets – Cyber Marketing.