I love this time of year. Summertime and sunshine make people happier and when people are happier, they’re more willing to spend money on advertising!
I also love this time of year because many of us are gearing up for a fall event that will be here before you know it. Fifty-two days, to be exact (at the time of writing) in my case.
Most of us are working to fill three buckets of revenue – spot sales, digital sales and event sales, and while there is growth potential in all of them, with digital leading the way, the event side is very important, and if done right, can be the easiest bucket to fill.
To me, events are about two things – passion and the ability for your advertisers to get up close and personal with your audience.
The passion should start way back when the event was simply an idea. Ideally, sales, promotions and programming worked together on the concept and the people in each department were able to weigh in on what they thought. I’ve always had much greater success with events and ideas when I involve as many people as I can in the beginning. This way, people feel ownership of the event and not as if “management” went and created something and now told the sales team they need to sell it and the programming team they need to promote it. Lots of opinions were heard and ideas given, then out on the other side came a collaborative event.
Now you have something that will be promoted and sold with passion. This is where I believe events can be an easier sell. People tend to get incredibly excited about something they were a part of creating and that will come out when they appear before prospects and clients. If it’s a new event, you have nothing else to go off besides everyone’s enthusiasm for it. If the event is around three years later and beyond, it’s obviously been successful and therefore will have a track record that will help create that buzz.
But, if you can deliver a quality audience that has a great time with your advertisers right there to see it happen, that is gold (only made better if the attendees paid to get in). In the end, that is why clients have invested in our products, to deliver the audience and make sure they’re aware of the sponsors business as a supporter of the station.
Generally, your most engaged listeners are the ones who attend events and they’re also the ones who are most likely to be influenced by your sponsors. They want to “support their own,” and feel like they are doing business with friends when they buy from a main sponsor. And, at your events, they’re very likely to talk with those sponsors and mention being a customer. So, now your clients are seeing all kinds of potential new clients and hearing from several current clients at once – usually a recipe for a very happy client!
Events aren’t easy and often take way more time and manpower than you expect them to, but the payoff can be huge. Many who have ticketed events talk about the ticket sales being the fastest way to bring in a lot of revenue that is (at times) significantly easier than bringing in the equivalent in a traditional advertising package.
So, yes, this time of year can be critical to a lot of sports stations. It’s like gearing up for the stretch run in the baseball season. The trade deadline has passed, and this is what you’re going with to get in the playoffs (the equivalent, in our cases, of hitting budget). Sometimes an event that hits a home run can be the difference maker in your championship run.