It occurs to me every once in a while that I am not solely a marketer or an event planner, the title of this blog after all is “EVENT MARKETING rookie.” When I do think about my “marketing” side, I think that it’s about communicating to a person, a group of people or a business to do something, and for that matter to want to do that something. This could mean getting them to research a product or service or try it or buy it.
The “planning” side is creating a situation, that is, an event, that people come to for a product or service or my personal favorite, an experience. Of course, planning an event is much more than this-it is a lot of administrative work and a lot of promotion initiatives. Before these main tasks occur, however, it is a lot of negotiating.
What do you negotiate? Well, just about everything. You negotiate with your caterers, with your location hosts, and of course with sponsors. Above all, however, you negotiate with people who know people. What do I mean here? People who know people are known as “influencers’ and in marketing and event planning, these are the people you want on your side, talking about your event or product or service.
So how do you negotiate with influencers? Well, there is always the offer of publicity which let’s be honest, unless the influencer you are trying to reach is a major celebrity, is always a good place to start. There is always the offer of a free sample or ticket to an event which I must say, is something that I fall for easily. I know, shocker, I LIKE EVENTS! What I have found however, is that in the end, how you negotiate is like a relationship (a business one, anyway) and in a business relationship, it’s all about the give and take.
What does give and take mean? It means in the business of event marketing or event planning, one cannot just expect people to show up because it’s a “great event.” Some of your major supporters…do you promote their events and or/ business? Do you give them social media shout outs and encourage your network to get to know them? Most importantly, do you attend other people’s events? If not, then you’re taking and you’re not giving back and sooner or later, people will realize it. (By the way, do you have any other helpful tips for negotiating with influencers?)
So go to other people’s events as much as you can and as much as your budget allows of course. As I have found too, if you cannot give money, give time! You’ll find the more you show up and are known as the person who supports others in their endeavors, especially when you’re in the same industry, the more you will find that people will show up to your “things.” This is assuming you have taken care of all those administrative, promotion and marketing tasks! It is all indeed about the give and take. And just to show you that I do practice what I preach-I was part of a few crazies who showed up to NBC 5’s Dance Friday to promote Dance_OutLoud very early this morning. See below (Although to be fair, when you’re having as much fun as we were, it seems like you’re doing more taking than giving!)
So as you’re thinking about giving and taking…if you’re in Chicago why don’t you show a little love tonight at 7pM for Dance_OutLoud (If you’re not in Chicago, you can always donate) It’s a great event where you’ll be dancing and having a great time but for a good cause! It’s already Friday night anyway. As always, I’ll leave you with a few other event shout outs and reminders!
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CHICAGO??
– It’s 11.11 and that Means Veterans Day and if you’re a Veteran, there are a few restaurants serving you some appreciation meals including Applebees, Chilis, …http://chicagofree.info/2011/11/08/2011-veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts-for-veterans-active-military/?utm_campaign=twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter
– Logan Square Kitchen Pantry 11.12 at 10 AM ($1 admission) http://www.meetup.com/chicago-restaurants/events/38287312/
-“DesignYourLife” 11.12 Hosted by whitneyEVEport 2:30 PM Tickets and information here: http://designyourlifechicago.com/event_details.html
– MsCareerGirl.com “Ms Career Girl Connect” 11.17 at ProofChicago 6:30PM Tickets and more information here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2322115510/5Dollars/21569237114