Is traditional media really just a thing of the past? With everything seemingly going digital, this is a question that many event producers are seriously considering when planning their marketing efforts. However, you’d be surprised at how traditional channels of advertising are still effective and can significantly help out in your event promotion. It can be tempting to put all of your effort into going digital, but going back to basics can actually give you a competitive edge in an oversaturated field. Here are five offline marketing ideas that you can try for your next event.
1. Flyers and Posters
One way to attract new attendees is by giving out informative flyers at similar events or industry functions, or by hanging them up in local stores. The key here to make your event stand out is rather than making the main objective of these focused on sales, instead gain your reader's interest by providing useful content. This could be any tips related to the topic of your event or written testimonials with feedback from existing ticket buyers.
Tip: Include a special discount code on your flyer or poster that customers can type in when going to buy their tickets online. Not only is this great for the customer because it offers an added incentive, but also can help you track which location that your posters or flyers are gaining the most traction.
2. Direct Mail
It's likely that even you right now have hundreds of unread promotional emails flooding your inbox, all fighting to grab your attention with a blast of emojis or a punchy headline. On average, 333.2 billion emails are sent and received each day. This is exactly why direct mail is succeeding right now. With so many event promoters directing their focus online, less incoming paper mail means more attention towards your direct mail package. An added benefit of direct mail is that it comes off as being more personal, allowing you to customize your event campaign by addressing your attendees by name. When a potential attendee opens the piece of mail, they are engaging in a full sensory experience. This makes them establish a physical connection with your event and are therefore more likely to remember it. If you’re finding that your audience is growing numb to email marketing tactics, this could be the right strategy for you.
Tip: Don’t just think about the contents inside of your envelope, but also consider the outer envelope as well. The outer envelope is more likely to be opened if it has appealing graphics and attention-grabbing copy written on it that goes beyond just a plain white envelope.
3. In-Person Networking
Simply letting someone know about your event via word of mouth is a form of offline marketing. Attend events similar to yours or industry events with similar demographics and make the effort to do some quality, targeted networking that will let you spread the word. Although it’s true that you’re probably able to reach more people with forms of online promotion, never underestimate the power of actively engaging in face-to-face conversation. Networking allows you to earn more loyalty by deepening your connections and creating quality relationships. Once potential attendees have met you in person, it'll be much easier for them to want to attend your event.
Tip: You can take your networking to the next level by engaging in speaking opportunities that will allow you to reach more than one person at a time and can further build your credibility as an event producer.
4. Print Advertising
Placing your advertisements in publications like your local newspaper or industry-specific magazines are great options when considering offline marketing ideas. To be the most effective, select publications that your target audience is most likely to read. For example, if you have an upcoming beer tasting festival, try to get printed in local foodie magazines. There are many options for different ad types that can fit any budget, whether that’s a small section or an entire page in the publication.
Tip: Before inserting your ad, consider how much time there is until your event takes place. Magazines typically have a longer shelf life than newspapers, so they often reach audiences even six months after your initial ad is placed.
5. Promotional Items
Who doesn’t love free stuff? Consider adding promotional items, like a sticker, magnet, t-shirt, tote bag, and so on to your offline marketing tactics to really capture the attention of your audience. Items like these are less likely to end up in the trash after an event because of their added functionality that goes beyond just promoting your event. Keeping these items around also introduces your brand name and event to others who see these items, further spreading awareness to new potential attendees.
Tip: While there are endless options for the type of promotional materials you can choose from, align your pick with your audience’s likes and wants. For example, if you know your audience is big on traveling or are always on-the-go, you may consider purchasing branded portable chargers they’ll use when they travel.
All of these tactics can be mixed and matched as you see fit to deliver an effective campaign for your event. Don’t discount offline marketing tactics just yet– these tools still offer their own value that don’t just appeal to an older audience. Stay consistent with your efforts and find what works best for you and your audience.
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