How To Plan A Promotional Event

Published On May 16, 2016

Promotional events are an effective and fun way for businesses to get in touch with their clients and audience. They create positive memorable experiences from which people can draw down the track, and help to promote a business’s reputation and exposure with clients.


Why do businesses host promotional events?

Depending on their size, promotional events can take a lot of planning, involve a lot of work, and can become quite costly. So why do businesses bother?

Promotional events are an incredibly powerful way for businesses to generate interest in their products and services. Rather than relying on advertising mediums such as flyers or email, companies can host engaging and educational events, during which they can meet their customers face-to-face and create a personal relationship with them. It’s a very concentrated way for businesses to advertise themselves, as they can directly target their audience with a temporary free-pass from competitors.

These kind of events are great for both attracting new and old customers to a business. People who haven’t used a business’s services or products before can become informed, and those who have can be shown some gratitude for their business and support.

How to ensure your promotional event is a success

To host a successful promotional event, you’re going to need to be organised. A poorly planned event can quickly become a flop, and this in turn can have a negative effect on your business’s reputation. We’ve come up with a step-by-step guide to help you plan your next promotional event, and ensure its success.

1. What’s the purpose of your event?


Before you beginning planning, you first need to determine the goal of your event. Are you trying to sell a new product? Are you trying to garner some more online business? Perhaps you’re trying to get some media exposure, or build a reputation within a localised area or field. Whatever your goal, you and your team need to be clear on what it is.

2. Determine your key message


Once you’ve established a clear goal, you need to decide on your key message. This is the main thing your potential clients are going to take home, so you need to make sure your message is clear, concise, and memorable.

You can have one key idea which you put forward, and tie related ideas back to your key message. For example, if you are hosting an event to promote recycling, it makes sense that you could also include sideline messages on saving water, or growing your own sustainable food. If you do this, just be careful this additional information doesn’t overshadow your core ideas or purpose.

3. Think of a clever, unique way to convey your key message


You have a goal, and you have a message. That’s the easy part over. Now you’ve got to get a little creative, and come up with a way you can deliver your key message in a memorable, engaging, and hopefully fun way.

To do this, you really need to have a clear idea on who your target audience is. If you want to attract retirees over the age of 50, you’re not going to hire a jumping castle for the main attraction. Know your target audience, know what interests and engages them, and with this knowledge find a unique way in which you can attract this audience.

You need to make your event memorable, so your visitors come back to you. Some common ways people achieve this is through awarding prizes and hosting competitions, having a theme for the event, or even hiring a celebrity speaker.

4. Plan and market the event


Now, this is the nitty gritty stage of hosting a promotional event. This part of the process is the make-or-break stage – it will take up the most time, and require the most planning. So make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get everything done; remember, a poorly planned event is an unsuccessful one. As a general guide, give yourself a minimum of 8 weeks to plan and organise your promotional event.

There are many things you need to think about at this stage. How many attendees will there be? When is the event being held, and where at? Do you need a DJ, florist, photographer, bar, kids entertainment, or food stalls? All these details need to be attended to, to ensure your day is a success.

A good idea for any promotional event is to attract sponsors, or work in partnership with other businesses working in a similar field. For example, if you sell farm machinery, you might want to involve a partner who sells grains. Because your businesses complement rather than compete with each other, your joint venture could potentially attract a much larger number of customers to both your businesses.

Partnership and sponsorship are also beneficial because generally, several businesses can attain much larger advertising platform than just one by itself. Use each other’s social media platforms, email database and customer outreach to generate more interest in the event.

Finally, before the big day, make sure you do a mental walk-through of your event. Pretend you’re a potential customer, and try to see how the event appears in their eyes. This can help you identify any future problems, and work out where different things and attractions work best.

5. Build a relationship with the attendees


There’s no point in hosting a promotional event if you don’t try and connect with your customers. Make an effort to talk to them one-on-one, get to know them, and identify clearly what they want and expect from your business. Make sure you get their email information, so you can contact them in the future. It’s also a good idea to get customers to sign up to any clubs or memberships your business offers.

Promotional events are also great for networking and creating new partnerships, so even if a client doesn’t look like buying, don’t give them up for a lost cause. You never know – perhaps they could be your next sponsor, or maybe they will recommend your business services to others.

Before your clients leave, it’s important to give them something to remember you by. Why? Because giving them a material object can serve as a reminder down the track of your services, and the good impression you left on them. There are a huge range of different promotional goods you can give people, including pens, notepads, or USB drives. And of course, you’ll need a gift bag to put them in! Check out our huge range of environmentally friendly bags, perfect for any kind of promotional event.