Event season has arrived. From galas and golf tournaments to tradeshows and networking events, nonprofits and businesses alike are working to fit in the last couple of events before summer arrives. With an unending stream of similar events competing for attendees, differentiating one’s event(s) from the pack is vitally important.
In a world where information is shared in real-time, event invitations can easily become lost in a sea of emails, posts and tweets. From the email’s subject line to the design of the physical invitation, everything needs to be on-point. Make your e-vites stand out by including multimedia components, such as a short clip of a featured speaker or video highlights from last year’s event.
Within the invitation – be it print or online – clearly outline the benefits of attending and/or supporting the cause. This message should answer the question ‘what’s in it for me’ (the attendee) while clearly demonstrating the event’s uvp(s).
Offer unique experiences
Leverage shared experiences to help build community among prospective attendees. What ‘one time only’ event can attendees be part of? Is there a way to offer an experience that cannot otherwise be bought? Think backstage passes and the like.
While someone may have the option to attend twenty golf tournaments, all tournaments are not equal. When planning the event, identify what makes it unique, why people would want to attend your tournament over another tournament and how to best convey these unique opportunities through invitations, social media marketing and media relations efforts.
Lastly, evaluate how the experience can be used to expand the attendee’s relationship with the host organization. Is there an opportunity to sell tickets for the following year’s event? Should a handful of attendees be asked to join the organization’s board?
Add a charitable twist
Partnerships between non-profits and for-profits can provide lasting value to both organizations. Among the keys to building and sustaining successful partnerships are relevancy and reciprocity.
When identifying a nonprofit benefactor for an upcoming event, consider how the nonprofit ties in with the company/brand. For example, was a colleague helped by the organization? Does the nonprofit embody the business’ core values? Is it a fellow organization in the same community? Was the organization chosen in response to a timely event? Each of these tie-ins can be leveraged to build a strong hook that drives event attendance and garners media attention.
When planning and marketing events, businesses and nonprofits need to mindful of other similar events taking place in their community and identify opportunities to make their event(s) stand out. From the save the date to the post-event thank you note, all communications need to be consistent, compelling and relevant to the target audience(s).