In the early 2000s I was involved in organising a brand new music festival. Brainstorm sessions, great ideas, the correct permits, acts booked... we were ready. But who were we organising this event for? We didn't have a clear answer to this question and as a result we struggled to find the correct market. I wish I knew back then what I know now.
This workshop will help you to identify the purpose of your event and, by doing so, figure out who your audience actually is.
What to expect in this workshop?
The main subjects that are covered in Event Marketing are:
This 2 hour workshop offers you lectures, exercises and quizzes. In addition I have interviewed experts from the event and festival industry. The following experts share their valuable advice with you:
In addition to the course material I have also included Social Media For Events (PDF document) that will give you a good overview of what each social media platform can offer.
This workshop is for you!
The workshop Event Marketing is for you if you are working in the event and festival industry. If you want to know more about event sponsorship, festival branding, and making social media work for your event than this workshop is a must!
Aspiring festival producers should also sign up for this workshop as it will give you a fantastic overview of what event marketing entails.
After finishing this workshop you will have a better understanding of event marketing, sponsorship deals, branding your festival and social media marketing.
What fellow students say
"Jarno was a great university lecturer. Always interested how he could help push students aspirations.
During my 3 years at university Jarno (although not my lecturer later on) was a great help in my pursuit to fulfil my full potential." Alina, Marketing Specialist
"Working with Jarno was a great experience. He has a genuine passion for the event industry which keeps you motivated to learn, and he does it all with a smile on his face!" Adam, Community Outreach Team
1. Can I contact you if I have a question about the course content?
A. Absolutely! That's what a tutor is for. You can contact me via Jarno@eventtutor.com. My aim is to respond to your email as quick as possible.
2. Is the Event Marketing workshop only useful if I want to plan a festival?
A. It is useful if you want to plan any type of event. The workshop covers a wide variety of subjects and will benefit any event planner.
3. I've seen other online courses that are more expensive. Why is this course so cheap?
A. I want to make sure the course is accessible to those who dream about organising their first event. I want to teach them what event marketing entails. I do not want my students to be out of pocket.
How much is this workshop?
This workshop is only $30. Yeah, you read that right...only $30. For that amount of money you have me tutoring you PLUS interviews with event industry EXPERTS. Good things can be free, well almost free.
Other workshops offered by the Event Tutor
What are you waiting for?
Sign up today and you will learn how to plan, organise, and produce a successful event. Remember, it's only $30.
Welcome to The Event Tutor.
Welcome to the workshop Event Marketing. My name is Jarno and my career has been a combination of events, festivals, and teaching. Marketing is a fascinating aspect of event management as it is constantly evolving. In 2003 I spend hours flyering in the streets of Amsterdam to promote a festival and now most of my time is dedicated to promoting my own business on social media.
First time event organisers sometimes struggle to get heard or they get lost in the digital landscape. Hence I have created this workshop.
The aim of the workshop is to give you new ideas and make you think differently about your marketing efforts.
To give you the best possible advice I have interviewed the following experts from the event and festival industry:
Brtiz Robins, Shambhala Music Festival
Tucker Gumber, The Festival Guy
George Ridgely, San Francisco Pride & Bay to Breakers Race
Steven Haines, Stern Grove Festival
Throughout the workshop I will use the discussion board to get the conversations going. I hope we can all learn from each other's experiences.
Enjoy the workshop and please do contact me if you have any questions.
Do you sometimes struggle to get the name of your event out there? Perhaps you are wondering how you can best use social media platforms for your event. And which social media platforms should you then use?
Do you need sponsors to make your event happen?
How come some festivals are 'brands', should your event be a brand?
In this workshop I will try to give you answers to all these questions. I know I said "try" but that's because each event and each festival is different. A different event, a different story.
This is where the discussion board of this workshop plays an important role. Share your questions, opinions, articles, and experiences in the discussion board and let's see if I, and your fellow students, can help you.
Your event has a story. This is the story you should use in your marketing campaign. First and foremost you want to make sure you know exactly what it is you want to organise. And what do you want to achieve? (so called event objectives)
Have your story ready so you can start promoting your event, you can start talking to your audience, and you can focus on what you really want to organise: an amazing event experience!
I've mentioned some examples of good event stories in this lecture but feel free to add more examples in the discussion board.
To create your event story you need to include some key components. These are:
The components all need to relate to one another to make your story work.
When you create a marketing plan for your event or festival you need to know the basics of what event marketing actually means. Years ago I told my students that marketing was "market getting", but does that even make sense?
When you create your marketing plan you need to keep a few questions in mind:
The answers to these questions will guide you when you create your marketing plan. They will help you when you develop your "event story", or your brand.
The real questions are: what is your definition of marketing? What does event marketing mean for you?
Please place your answers in the discussion board of this course.
The traditional marketing mix tells us about the 7 P's, or even 8 P's. But how relevant is the traditional way of marketing your event now that everyone is on social media? Does it still have a place in your marketing efforts?
Your event is an experience. Your visitors, your fans, cannot take anything with them except their 'experience'. However... everyone is trying to catch that experience by taking pictures, selfies, and videos when at events. This is where your social marketing strategy comes into place.
Traditional marketing theories still hold value but make sure you are familiar with the latest technologies as well.
I have attached an article from the Huffington Post regarding the New P's. It's worth a read!
The content page of your marketing plan should help you to put your ducks in a row. Remember the questions you asked yourself in the first lecture of this section? What is it that you want to organise? Who do you organise this event for?
These questions act as a common thread throughout your marketing plan.
The content page of your event marketing plan should contain the following items:
Don't think you have to use every avenue. You don't have to be on every social media platform. Choose the ones that make sense for your event. For example: I personally don't see the point in having a LinkedIn profile for an EDM festival.
You can find out which platforms you should choose by researching the market.
I have interviewed Tucker Gumber. Tucker started to go to festivals a few years ago and has made this into a career (!!!). He is known as The Festival Guy. At the time I interviewed him he had been to 78 festivals and since then added another 12 festivals to this list.
He made it his job to go to festivals and look at ways to improve the experience for festival goers. This guy knows what he's talking about. In January 2016 he published his book The Festival Thrower's Bible. It's definitely worth the read as it is full of helpful advice for any event and festival organiser. I contributed to the book as well with my thoughts on sustainable event management.
In this part of the interview Tucker introduces himself. We talk about:
I apologise for what I'm wearing in this interview but it was a boiling hot day :).
I have interviewed George Ridgely. George is from San Francisco, USA, and has worked for many years in the event industry. He is currently the Executive Director of San Francisco Pride which organises the annual event Pride Weekend. San Francisco Pride attracted an estimated 1 million visitors to the city in 2014.
George has also worked for Bay To Breakers. This is an annual race (running) in San Francisco that has been going strong for years! He was also involved with the Castro Street Fair, a 50,000 capacity festival.
In this interview with George I asked him how he promotes his events.
Your promotion efforts depend heavily on what it is you are organising. Is it a village fete or a rave? A children's event or charity concert?
It also depends on your audience. In the next section we will talk more about your fans but just remember that no audience is the same. You always need to look carefully at how you communicate with your [potential] audience.
So, what is your story (or your brand) and are your promotion efforts in line with this story?
When you first organise your event you, most likely, have limited funds to your disposal. So how do you do it? To answer that question I have interviewed Christina. For the last 3 years she's been running a weekly food market in Brighton (UK). How did she promote the first food market? How does she promote it nowadays?
When you launch your event you need to work hard to get your name out there. Whether it is through networking or finding your audience. Invest time to find out how best to promote your event (don't just throw money at it!)
What you will take away from this interview:
Do you know where your visitors go to find out about your festival? Do they talk to their friends? If that is the case you might need to ask yourself how these friends know about your festival.
I asked these questions to The Festival Guy:
And you get some fantastic advice in this clip. The advice is simple, but it is so true.
Again I apologise for my outfit in this video. But trying to stay cool when it's 85F (30C) is not easy...
According to The Festival Guy, what is the best promotion you can have for your festival?
You want to know who you are actually organising your event for. Finding your audience can be quite tricky though. How unique is your event? What is actually happening at your event and who is performing?
You want to know this as it will tell you where to look for your audience. If you have a certain act performing on stage (singer, comedian, band, dancer, speaker, etc) it probably means that they have an audience. If they do not have an audience you might need to rethink your event idea. Why do your performers not have an audience?
Their audience will tell you something about your potential audience!
Check out similar events and research the following:
I'm not saying you should copy exactly what the competition is doing but it will give you a better idea about your audience, about your event, and how you can communicate with your potential audience.
You need to know who your audience is for several reasons:
Please research your potential audience as much as you can. In the previous lecture I mentioned sources where you can find out more about audiences:
But these are not the only sources. Check out concerts, events, festivals that you consider to be similar to your event, or that you think attract a similar audience. Check out how they communicate with their fans, follow them on Twitter, on Facebook, on YouTube. Don't copy what they do but make it your own. Be as unique as your event is!
Steven Haines is the Executive Director of Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco. Stern Grove Festival welcomes almost 100,000 visitors to their events in the summer months. The festival is admission free which means that the organisation doesn't exactly know who is actually coming to their events.
In this part of the interview you can expect the following:
Blogging is an excellent way to get your name out there and drive traffic to your website. In this section I have written down the social media platforms that I find useful to promote my blog.
There are more blogging sites but not all of them work for me. The same goes for your event or organisation; choose the one(s) that make sense to you.
You might want to consider vlogging rather than blogging.
Vlogging: "A video blog or video log, usually shortened to vlog, is a form of blog for which the medium is video, and is a form of web television" (Wikipedia, 2016).
Stern Grove Festival is an admission free festival. This means that the organisation needs to look for alternative ways to get funding.
I have asked Steven to explain who their audience is and how they communicate with them.
Please listen carefully to this video. Afterwards I hope you will ask yourself the question:
How well do I know my audience?
Social media is not easy to master. My friends are on Facebook but my Twitter account is more professional (I tweet about event and festival industry news). When I started a year ago I did not have a plan and I just tweeted whenever I felt appropriate, or whenever something newsworthy was happening.
That's NOT how it works!
You need to have a plan. In this lecture I will show you my first draft of a social media plan. Obviously that plan has evolved but by drawing it out it made me realise what I need to do. I am the first to admit that my drawing looks very simplistic. The point is that it made me think about my social media presence.
Ever since implementing this plan (late December 2015) I have gained more than 300 followers on Twitter. So far, the plan seems to work.
Twitter is just 1 platform but the same advice goes for all other platforms as well:
Creating content for your social media platforms can be a daunting task.
My advice (and I've heard it several times now):
2016 will be the year of the Vlogs and the short videos!!
So do you have a YouTube channel?
User Generated Content (UGC) is content that is made available via social media websites (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Medium, etc). It is content that comes from your visitors, your audience. They upload images, videos, tweet about something that happened at your event. Your fans talk about. It's FREE content.
You might want to police this content as it can escalate quite quickly into something you don't want. Some of your fans can harm your reputation as well. So make sure you keep an eye on this. Hence you need a social media manager.
Your attendees don't just upload content. They need to be incentivised by you and your event. Again, this means you need to have a plan.
Keep this in mind: when you watch a TV show you will quite often see a # at the bottom of your screen. The TV channel wants you to talk about that TV show. You need to do the same at your event: guide your audience.
User Generated Content is all about engagement. Most of that comes down to you giving your audience the opportunity to participate on your social media platforms.
I have attached an article from Digital Marketing Conference. In this article they give you advice about the interaction between you and your audience on social media. Worth a read!
Brittany (Britz) Robins is the social media manager for Shambhala Music Festival. It is her job to make sure that the Shambhala fans keep thinking and talking about the festival throughout the year.
We talk about social media for events and festivals. Britz explains what it takes to make social media work for Shambhala Music Festival.
Where do you start when you develop your social media strategy?
For an established event it might be easier to accomplish a social media profile but how can it work for a new event?
When you are a new event and you don't have that many followers you should:
In this lecture you will:
You need to make sure you give the visitors to your event en experience. This is where social media comes in as well. use it to your best advantage.
I want you to look at other events or festivals.
Please post your answers in the discussion board of this workshop. Start your answer with #UGC
Give us examples of how you would engage with your fans on social media throughout the year. Your ideas can be your own or perhaps you have seen some really good examples from actual events and festivals.
Please place your answers in the discussion board and start you answer with #community
Eventbrite UK published a blog giving fantastic examples of how you can use social media in your event marketing campaign. Here are 8 great examples.
In this lecture I will give you an example of how Google Analytics works for my company, The Event Tutor.
Search Engine Optimisation is incredibly hard work. We all want to be on the first page of a Google search. Google analytics provides you with information about your website traffic. In this short lecture I only scratch the surface of what SEO and Google Analytics can do for you. There is a lot more to it!
The data I get from Google helps me to define my audience:
Running a business has become data mining. The same can be said for organising an event. Analyse your data!
Google Analytics will not give you all the answers. You need to research the information that you receive from Google and work on it. The good thing is that it will make you think. Find solutions.
Your online marketing efforts have one thing in common with your digital marketing efforts:
Your event and your audience remain the key pillars in your marketing plan (online and offline)
When your event or festival grows you need to consider hiring a team of social media marketeers that can help you realise and maintain your online profile and reputation. After all, it's your brand!
Developing your event into a brand means that you need to figure out:
That seems a bit like a repeat of what I have already told you but it is your identity that you need to focus on when you develop your brand.
Try to answer the following questions:
The answers to these questions will help you to develop your brand.
Once you have developed your ideas for your event and the vision of your brand; speak to several people (not your friends or family) and ask them what they think of it. Do they get your ideas? Do they like it? Do they have suggestions?
Be open to new ideas and suggestions!
Your brand tells your (potential) audience what your event is all about. It tells people what they can expect when they attend your festival. A good brand will set you apart from the competition.
Your brand needs to tell your (potential) audience:
Hence you need to know who you are and what your event is all about.
Try to make your event unique. And uniqueness can come from:
If you do branding properly, it will add value to your event and your organisation.
Consistency is key in branding. Make sure you use the same logo, message (the way you communicate with your audience: quirky, serious, sarcastic, etc.), promotion materials, and communication.
Your brand is part of how you communicate your message.
Choose your sponsors with your brand in mind:
Your brand is a promise to your audience: do you live up to that promise?
Branding your event is serious business and you need to think it through. Take your time!
In this section I have given you 9 points that I think you should keep in mind when you develop your event and your brand.
Once you have developed your brand, your identity, you need to keep working on it.
This is an exercise!
In the discussion board I want you to write down your answers to the following question:
According to you what are the biggest problems for annual festivals to keep their fans engaged throughout the year?
Please submit your answers in the discussion board. Start your answers with #engagement
What is a vlog?
Sponsorship = to sponsor something is to support an event, activity, person, or organisation financially or through the provision of products or services.
Your sponsors want to have access to your audience. Hence you need to know who your audience is.
What can you offer your sponsors?
Overall you need to ask yourself whether your sponsor adds value to your event or not.
In this part of the interview with George Ridgely I asked him about the issues with sponsorship. Not every sponsor adds value to your event.
What is the benefit for you (or rather: your event) of having a manufacturer of sweets/candy at your event handing out their products? What is the added value? I've been to many events where something similar is been given to me and I personally don't get it.
George points out that there are logistics involved as well. A sponsor doesn't just give you their support, financially or other. They want something in return. Can you actually live up to your sponsors' plans?
What do you want from your sponsor?
What do your sponsors want from you?
I have attached an example of a sponsorship agreement.
Always make sure you have a signed contract between you and your sponsor.
In this last part of the interview with Steven Haines, executive director of Stern Grove Festival, he explains what you should put into a grant writing request. Now, grant writing is not the same as sponsorship but I think his advice applies to both subjects. In a sponsorship request you also:
Steven has someone in his organisation whose main role is to write these requests. It takes time to write a successful sponsorship request!
In this part of my interview with George Ridgely from San Francisco Pride I asked him about sponsorship at his event. Who contacts who? Is the organiser reaching out to companies or vice versa?
I asked him if it is easier for a not-for-profit organisation to get sponsorship deals or whether that doesn't matter.
Potential sponsors want you to convince them that your event is worth sponsoring. George's advice is:
Event organisers can almost always use media partners. Have a look at the different media outlets that make sense to your event. Be realistic though. A national TV channel sponsoring your 2,000 capacity community festival doesn't make much sense.
Research your local radio stations and your local newspaper. The village where my parents live has their own online news blog. Every event that is happening in the village gets promoted on this blog.
Contact local bloggers that write about things that happen in the region. Or bloggers that write about the kind of event you want to organise. There are loads of bloggers that write about EDM festivals, about food festivals, and about art festivals. Search for those bloggers and ask them to write about your event. Invite them to your event.
I'm based in Brighton (UK) and there are lots of Pinterest boards about the city. This might be something you want to research for your own event. I know there are many Pinterest boards dedicated to San Francisco (USA) and its events and festivals. Research it and can you use these boards to your advantage?
Finding media sponsors might make it more attractive for other sponsors to join your event as well.
Never send out a mass email to different companies/organisations asking them for sponsorship. Each email is individually crafted! Make it personal and think about your compelling story.
In this part of the interview George explains what you can ask from your sponsors.
Whether you ask for money, services, or know-how from your sponsors depends on your situation.
An admission free festival might want to ask for financial contribution from one sponsor but might just want to use the service of another (for example: media partner for free publicity).
What are your priorities?
Why does a sponsor want to support you?
Thank you so much for taking the workshop Event Marketing! I really hope you found it useful and I hope you can use some of the ideas for your own event.
Make sure you organise the best and most amazing event you can possibly produce! That's the best marketing strategy of all!
If you have enjoyed the workshop Event Marketing you might also like one of my other workshops:
All my workshops are available on Udemy. I hope to see you in one of my other workshop.
Attached is a PDF document called Social Media For Events. This document is also available online.
Passionate about events!
I have over 15 years experience in events, festivals and education. From organizing events for 100 people to festivals for 30,000 people, I've done it.
In my career I have worked as an event manager, a researcher at music festivals, and as a university lecturer in event planning. I'm still very much active in the event industry:
* Coordinator for A Greener Festival
* Production family events
* Researcher at music festivals (Bonnaroo, Lightning in a Bottle, San Francisco Pride)
* Wedding planner
Sign up for my workshops and I will teach you what you need to do in order to plan and organize an event, wedding or festival.
The 5 workshops you should keep an eye out for, are:
1. How To Plan A Successful Event: An Easy Guide
2. Sustainable Event Management In 8 Easy Steps
3. Event Safety
4. Event Marketing
5. Wedding Planning
Sign up today!
A Greener Festival
I am a keen advocate of sustainable event management. Working with A Greener Festival, co-founded by one of my former students, is extremely insightful. As the coordinator for the Award Scheme in North America it is rewarding to see so many festivals (50 festivals world-wide in 2014) taking part in our award scheme.
San Francisco Pride
The San Francisco Pride weekend in 2013 attracted over 1 million people to the city. The events leading unto this weekend were plannend and produced by me. In 2014 I was the coordinator of the Economic Impact Study on behalf of SF Pride and the city of San Francisco. The aim of this research was to measure the economic impact this event has on the city and the wider community. In 2015 I coordinated a demographic study for SF Pride.
Senior Lecturer and Course Leader of the Music & Live Event Management course at Buckinghamshire New University in England. I was responsible for the content and the delivery of courses such as Event Planning & Management, Sustainable Event Management, Event Production, Business Economics, and Strategic Management in the Leisure Industry.
Most Inspirational Tutor Award
I am very proud that I was awarded the prestigious Most Inspirational Tutor-Award by the students of Buckinghamshire New University in 2010 and 2011.
The International Centre for Crowd Management & Security Studies
From 2006 until 2013 I was the project manager for the International Centre for Crowd Management and Security Studies, where I was responsible for planning and managing research projects at concerts and large scale festivals such as PinkPop in Holland, Creamfields in the UK, and Exit Festival in Serbia.
In 2010 my research at Exit Festival, a security and safety audit, got published in the book Case Studies in Crowd Management, Security and Business Continuity. Do check it out!
In 2015 I published my first eBook Event Management: Your Environmental Plan. This eBook covers the steps an event organization can take in order to make their event(s) more sustainable.
On behalf of Prof. Dr. G. Keith Still I spoke at the Club Health conference about the “Underlying Causes of Crowd Accidents”. Ever since my undergraduate study, I wrote my thesis about the health & safety aspects at Dance Valley Festival in the Netherlands, I’ve been interested in crowd behavior at events and festivals.
Safety plan CliniClowns Tour
I have researched and written a safety plan for staff and visitors of a theater production of CliniClowns, one of the Netherlands most respected charitable organizations. This theater production was aimed at people with multiple disabilities. A rewarding project to get involved with!
Personal Licence Holder in England
As a Personal Licence Holder in England and Wales, I can act as a designated premises supervisor for any business that sells or supplies alcohol. A great advantage when working at events and festivals.
Pit Training Certificate
The Certificate in Pit Training that I have received is recognized across the industry in the United Kingdom as the qualification required for staff working in the front of stage pit at concerts and festivals.
Research in the Netherlands
As the co-founder of the Entertainment Research Center in the Netherlands I worked with large scale music festivals on licensing and permits, health & safety, and crowd management research.