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Event Marketing Advice

January 7, 2013

Smaller Le Moyne Gala Photo As I stood in my garage during a recent cleaning chore, I flashed back to 1971 when I was seven years old conducting my first event. The event was a fundraising carnival for Muscular Dystrophy held in my garage. I remember recruiting my friends to create carnival booth activities like fortune telling and the clothes pin drop. I made jello and lemonade to serve guests. Then I knocked on doors to invite neighbors to the festivities. Little did I know, it was the beginning of my forty year event planning career. The “thank you” certificate signed by Jerry Lewis for raising $150 dollars at my carnival was a prized possession for years.

For the past twenty seven years I have planned forty events annually to promote my own events or my client’s companies with my two companies Women TIES and Five Star Events. Entrepreneurs looking for unique ideas to market their companies should consider producing events. Below are three event planning tips to help you get started.

Create the Right Event
What type of events do you want to plan in 2013? You’ll need at least 3-9 months to plan and promote the event depending on the size and scope of the occasion. Begin with a mission for the event. The mission could be to thank customers, to raise awareness of a new product/service or to celebrate a milestone. Some events to consider are: conferences, seminars, dinner functions, fundraising programs or an open house.

If you don’t want to produce an event on your own, create an event with another company to share expenses, marketing outreach and responsibilities. Think about complementary businesses that could benefit from hosting and cross promoting events with your business.

Create Event Planning Timelines
Successful events require exceptional organizational skills. My favorite tool is a detailed event timeline. A timeline is basically a “to do list” with dates. The timeline takes details out of your mind and puts them on paper to make an event more manageable and less stressful. Search Google for event timeline samples and personalize one for your next occasion.

Create Events with Your Guests in Mind
Always start the event planning process by envisioning what you want your guest to feel when they leave your event. Imagine what they will say, what they saw and what they experienced; and then plan your event from that perspective. You want your guests to leave happy and ready to spread the news about your company to others.

Remember you don’t have to be Jerry Lewis (or an energetic young girl throwing a carnival in her garage) to create memorable and meaningful events. You just need to be focused and organized with your customer’s contentment in mind.

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