After working with the Saffire software for 2-weeks, the team at Visit Navasota gave us a call and said they’d like to add the City of Navasota site to the Saffire Family as well! We couldn’t be happier to hear that their experience so far has encouraged them to sign on for a second site with us! We’re looking forward to doing great work for these great people!
We are thrilled to welcome the San Antonio Highland Games & Celtic Music Festival to the Saffire Family! Featuring traditional Scottish heavy athletics, Celtic music, Scottish and Irish dancing, Clans, Living History demonstrations, and much, much more, this event is a great time for all ages! Saffire had the pleasure of attending the event earlier this year, but it was during our time visiting with the Highland Games team at the Texas Festivals and Events Association Conference last month that solidified our relationship. We look forward to creating a fun and inviting site with them!
The most exciting, exhilarating and exhausting efforts of our job come down to the “big day.” We spend the entire year prepping and promoting our biggest events and then it’s over, but not really! As many of you wrap up your summer marketing and start planning for next year, or maybe your event is just around the corner, we want you to be prepared for the “downtime” afterwards. There is an opportunity to gain returning and loyal customers the moment they leave your grounds. Here are our recommendations for engaging and retaining your customers online after your big day has passed!
- Say “THANK YOU!” It’s as simple as that. Acknowledge, appreciate and express your gratitude to your sponsors, volunteers, vendors and especially your attendees the moment your event ends. An email, social media post and graphic on your homepage are the easiest ways to get this message across, so make a plan to execute this in advance. For bonus points, use BufferApp for your social media, an email marketing system and a scheduling feature on your website to get things done long before your event arrives, thus keeping your organization organized post-event.
- Update your website. Be sure to take down any info that is no longer relevant, such as last year’s dates or ticket sales to an event that is no longer available. You’ll also want to make your event results easily accessible on your homepage–like rodeo, pageant and cook-off winners.
- Send a recap to your email list. Let folks know about the thrilling things that happened throughout the course of your event with images, links to your website, posted articles and social media posts (again, these can all be created ahead of time). This will increase your customers’ desire to attend next year and support the idea that your event is the best thing to do in town!
- Add event photos to a gallery on your website. This is the best way to get people coming back to your website and clicking after the fact! You can even advertise this on social media so that you can convert your social audience into a website audience. Want more bonus points? Create a post-event contest for “BEST EVENT PICTURE” to motivate people to share and be a part of next year’s marketing efforts!
- Announce any records broken. Posting milestones like attendance, donations or revenue increased lets your participants know the impact they had on your successes this year, and motivates them to contribute again next year (hello, sponsors!).
- Publish next year’s dates – This is the easiest way to ingrain in your customers’ minds when they’ll get the opportunity to attend your awesome event again. Maybe the dates for next year haven’t been determined yet, but you can still let folks know when you’ll be announcing that–which keeps them coming back to you for more information. Most importantly, be sure that these dates go in the header of your website so that they’re on EVERY page, and be sure to update all of your social media.
- Start planning for next year – Don’t worry, this sounds harder than it is. Start filling in an Editorial Calendar for how you’ll promote yourself and stay relevant year-round (if you’re not already an all year event center). What’s one of the best ways to stay relevant year-round? “Be bigger than yourself!” Here at Saffire, we use that phrase often because we really believe that showing your support for your community, promoting and participating in other events is the easiest way to gain traction in your area when your event is not the main focus.
Your event has the potential to be “out of sight out of mind” after your last day, so don’t let that happen! Be relevant and inviting online so that people continue to come to you as their source of entertainment.
We are pleased to announce that Luling, Texas will now make up two of our new clients! We met the Luling team at the TTIA Tourism College in Bastrop this year after they came to one of our presentations, and since they’re in our hometown, we got to travel to their city and see it all in person. According to our new clients, Luling is known for Watermelons, BBQ, and Oil–in that order. We are thrilled to be able to add two more destination sites to the Saffire Family and think they will be an awesome addition!
We are pleased to announce the Walker County Fair in Huntsville, TX as the newest member of the Saffire Family. We met them at TAFE back in February and then had the opportunity to speak at their board meeting. Their awesome event was just around the corner so they waited until afterwards to officially come aboard, and we couldn’t be happier about it! We are looking forward to helping them take their online presence to a whole new level!
Living in a digital world that requires you to “pay to play” usually isn’t as wallet-friendly as we’d all like. Most of us are on a tight budget, which doesn’t always go well with our online marketing goals. The good news is, we’ve got a bullet proof plan to help you decide where your money is best spent. After all, we want you to have the biggest bang for your buck.
Where to spend money:
- Offer ads. Whether you’re an event, venue, or destination, your main source of revenue is butts in seats. This means that your online ticket sales should be a main priority for your online marketing. The good news is, Facebook advertising has evolved to such an advanced level that you can actually drive traffic straight from Facebook to the page that you sell tickets. Hello, cash flow!
By clicking the “get offer” button, your page visitors are instantly directed to a revenue-generating place. When the average cost of a Facebook ad is somewhere around $0.25, you’re basically paying a quarter to get someone to make a purchase. That’s a pretty big return on investment compared to the cost of your tickets.
- Posts that get visitors thinking about themselves. Posts like this tend to create more of relationship between viewers and your brand because they appeal to emotion. The more attached a consumer is to a brand, the more trusting they are of the brand and the more likely they are to spend money on that brand. For example:
Wording like this gets parents thinking about their kids as well as their own inner-child, thus tugging at their heart strings.
- Posts that involve your partners and sponsors. This shows that you’re “bigger than yourself” and also helps to pull in from the fan base of the partner you’ve tagged. Your partners and sponsors are always going to have loyal followers, and if those followers see your affiliation, then you’ve already got your foot in the door!
- Posts that are fun. First and foremost, you want to be a resource for entertainment. After all, people are coming to social media as an escape from boredom. So why not make your page one of the most fun to interact with? It’s okay to do a business plug every now and then, but remember the 80/20 rule. About 80% of your posts should be fun, and 20% should be promotional.
Where not to spend money:
- Getting page likes. This is a “vanity statistic,” and it’s more valuable to spend money where you will make money. Unless you’re starting from scratch, chances are that you already have a large fan-base that you can use as an audience—this will only continue to grow as you post. When you create offer ads and link posts, there is a “like page” button built in, thus making it unnecessary to also spend money on page promotion ads. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t spend a little here and there, but you definitely shouldn’t put all your eggs (money) in this basket.
From our experience, spending (or not spending) money in these places has proved to give us the biggest bang for our buck. The most important thing is to pay attention to your fans and what they interact most with, and focus your dollars there. After all, if you’re not watching and listening, you’re not learning about your audience’s behavior. Facebook advertising involves quite a bit of trial and error, so we want to make sure that you had our inside scoop to help you stay ahead of the curve!
We just got back from our first visit to IAVM VenueConnect in Portland! This was a little different than the majority of our trade shows, not just because our tech guys came out from behind their computers and joined us on the trade show floor, but also because it was the debut of our first ever Amplifier booth!
Our President and Amplifier host, Kendra, was able to interview influential people in the industry in front of anyone who wanted to be a part of the audience. The conference didn’t kick off with interviews though, it kicked off with a visit to the Oregon Brewfest to get everyone excited about being in Portland! Contrary to popular belief, it was gorgeously sunny and never rained once the entire time we were there. This conference definitely packed a punch–from the swanky setup to the dessert sprinkled with glitter, it was uniquely awesome!
The activities schedule left windows open that allowed us to explore Portland with other attendees, which was such an awesome way to get to know people! It’s hard to have a bad time with views like this:
In between exploring (yes of course we worked, too!), we got to enlighten the crowd with the Wheel O’ Crap and continue the Saffire Tattoo Frenzy!
Since IAVM is an international organization, we had the opportunity to meet people from coast to coast as well as all over the world! It’s invaluable to us to be able to share ideas, teach, and learn from people in the industry from such diverse backgrounds. All in all, our first time at VenueConnect was a great success. From the stream of new friends strolling through our booth, to the overflowing attendance at Kendra’s presentation–we were thrilled with the conference!