Event Branding with Integrated Marketing Communications

At Coho Events, we are working on innovative ways to create and promote events. The most common objective for all event planners is getting people to the party. You need to fill those seats and we can help!

We like to think of an event as more than just that. In fact, it’s a catalyst to further your mission, to save the world, or whatever you’re seeking to accomplish. Think of an event like its own entity; there’s a mission statement for the purpose of this entity or event. Of course, strategies and tactics are needed to support and fund the event. Then the event needs to be curated for an experience based on the mission statement and who’s involved. Thought also needs to go into human resources and how the festivities will be organized. Then, the fun part starts.

The branding of an event needs to reflect the mission statement and the desired experience of the potential guests. This is when an event starts to create an identity for itself and begins the process of developing a reputation. Is it fair to say that events like ACL and SXSW have built an identity? I think so. Would the social perception of Austin be as favorable without ACL and SXSW? Most unlikely. People come from all over the world to “experience” what everyone, who has been to either of those events, talks about. It’s something you have to see for yourself. Indeed, these events affect the whole city, that’s strong branding.

So how does an event promote itself and what’s the best way to create this identity? How does an event build a reputation? ACL and SXSW have built their reputation over years of delivering an exceptional experience to their guests. Now we see new events and smaller festivals that are growing, they are capturing event goers because they are leveraging marketing and promotions tools.

Social media has been a great resource for promoting events, especially Facebook. We see trends of even more use of Facebook to attract potential guests to events. Social media is also being used in conjunction with event email marketing campaigns, which has become also very popular with companies like MailChimp, that make it so easy to create custom emails, import your network, and blast away.

Other than social media and email marketing, there are still approaches like snail mail or a press release; even a simple blog can make an impact on an event. The key to having an effective message across all of these channels is called integrated marketing communications.

The Data & Marketing Association defines integrated marketing as “an approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers to interact with the brand/enterprise; it attempts to meld all aspects of marketing communication such as advertising, sales promotion, public relations, direct marketing, and social media, through their respective mix of tactics, methods, channels, media, and activities, so that all work together as a unified force. It is a process designed to ensure that all messaging and communications strategies are consistent across all channels and are centered on the customer.”

Think of your event marketing having one uniformed message and stick to consistency. The consistency in the message will lead to more people understanding the mission, take action, and ultimately make an impact. Find new ways to capture attention of your target market and analyze data in real-time which has measurables. Below are some interesting statistics we found regarding current event marketing trends.

Please reach out if you need help with any integrated marketing needs!

– Help good people do great things –

jp@cohoevents.com

 

Event Marketing Campaign Timeline

Whether this your first time hosting an event or the 1000th time running the show, you’re likely aware that events don’t promote themselves. To sell tickets you need to, at the very least, let others know that the event is going on! Word of mouth, physical & digital invitations, social media, and advertising campaigns are all great ways to spread the word.

Hosts should have a vague idea on how to employ these promotional tactics, but when is the appropriate time to take action? Timelines will change as the big-day approaches, but it’s important to prepare properly, in order to maximize the awareness and branding of your event. The information possible party-goers receive sets expectations about the upcoming event, and it’s important for materials to help patrons envision themselves having the time of their lives at your get-down!

In order to help craft you craft an effective event-promotions timeline, here is the Coho Events event promotion timeline:

PRE-EVENT LAUNCH

  • Have your event page ready, or build an evolving landing page that you can make improvements to as more details come together
  • Choose appropriate social media platforms for your launch announcements
    • First impressions are crucial when getting the word out!
    • Create a blog post or article that can also be shared, and which clearly highlights the “WHY” of your gathering, and why you are passionate about this event – What’s your mission statement?
  • You must get partners and influencers on board – A MUST!
    • Leverage your partner’s existing networks – create an incentive that works for you and your partner/influencer
    • Get big names on board first – then go for in-kind and monetary sponsors who want to align with your event and your partners/influencers
  • SAVE THE DATE – email blast
    • Blast out to your current network

EVENT LAUNCH

  • Create tickets – Whether you go the physical or digital route, create incentives for people to purchase tickets early: Early bird, packages, discounts to influencers, discounts to groups, etc.
  • This is an important time to plug and promote your entertainment, VIP partners, and influencers
  • Create a press release and use it to amplify your social media promotions
    • Push more content on your blog, using the event as a catalyst for awareness of your  mission statement
  • Seek more partnerships and sponsors!
  • OFFICIAL LAUNCH – email
    • An email blast to your extended network, including your partners and influencers
    • Again, leverage your connections – grow organically and create a ripple effect

LEADING UP TO EVENT – 1 – 3 MONTHS

  • Employ targeted ads from created content on appropriate channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.
  • To amplify visibility, have your event partners and sponsors promote the event on their most active channels
    • In return, promote the sponsors and partners who are involved with your event
    • Leverage thought leaders and other individuals who have credibility in your industry
  • Continue email marketing campaign to stay top of mind (and top of inbox) for potential guests
    • People become more and more aware of the event as the date gets closer
  • EVENT REMINDER, FLASH SALE, BUILD EXCITEMENT – emails

LAST CALL – 1 WEEK TO 1 MONTH

  • Final email blast to networks – create “last chance” social media or blog post
    • Include an incentive to push attendee referrals or to have guests promote the event as well
  • Speak with your influencers and partners individually to make one last effort to sell out tickets
  • SEE YOU SOON, FINAL REMINDERS – emails

DAY OF EVENT

  • EXCITED TO SEE YOU – email and social media posts
  • Create hashtag or engagement incentive to facilitate real-time picture, video, and general text social media posts from the event
  • Showtime!

POST EVENT

  • THANK YOU – email, event recap blog post including media collected on-site, recap photo collections and posts via your various social media channels
  • On to the next one..

Please reach out for a demo or more information on how an event marketing email campaign impact your next event – jp@cohoevents.com

HELP GOOD PEOPLE DO GREAT THINGS

Email Marketing For Events

Email Marketing for Events

Day-in and day-out our personal and work inboxes are swamped with automated emails. More times than not, our lack of spare time leads to a quick “delete” for most, usually as soon as the message populates. Don’t let this stereotypical scenario deter you, however! In reality, email marketing remains a critical tool for event management and promotion!

Email marketing can be just as effective, if not more effective, for conversions and improved ROI when compared to some of the popular promotional tactics of today. Yes, email may not be as hyped up as social media marketing tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. However, no matter if you’re an individual throwing a party, a corporate entity working to attract new clients by providing a memorable experience, or even a non-profit striving to grow their network, email marketing might do the trick!

In recent times, launching event marketing campaigns have been more focused on social media marketing because it seems like these outlets receive more attention by the public. One may wonder, which promotional path is most efficient time-wise? Why fuss with additional email invitations when specific targets can be reached through social media platforms?

There are a number of reasons why an email marketing campaign may generate more conversions for your brand:

– Emails can add an extra level of personalization that social media ad’s cannot, while achieving the same goals

– Well-designed emails can help build brand awareness, by including logos and media that may not gel with traditional social media promotions

– Emails establish direct contact with individuals as they are opening the emails, and allow a promoter to track how far an individual may go through the event registration process. Once you know where someone jumps out your email marketing funnel, you can address the issue for the next round of emails

– Creating email content can be extremely cost effective and measurable. Again, the process makes it easy to track what people are doing with the email and, if the network is large enough, to contact many people about content curated around your brand.

So, how do hosts and event planners engage potential guests?

The idea is to create an exceptional email marketing campaign, one that attracts genuine attention within someone’s cluttered inbox:

Brand your event registration page and email invitations with a consistent theme:

– Create subgroups of potential guests

– Potential cohosts, sponsors, influences, 1st layer of guests, 2nd layer of guests, etc.

Make sure your messaging is:

– Kicked off with a personalized subject line (try to avoid gimmicks)

– Personalized (think personal note vs promotion)

– Connected to your target customer

– Desktop AND mobile friendly (most emails are consumed on the go via smartphone)

– Appropriate for the entirety of the email list being targeted

And what if you don’t have a large targeted email list?

One should acquire an email list or use what you have to build your own. Use the opportunity to do some targeted research and expand your network in the process. Likewise, creating a host committee that will be involved with your event will allow you to engage those individual’s networks via email marketing, and more organically than if you were to target those same contacts yourself. At Coho, we’ve worked hard to simply all of this by creating our cohosting feature, giving hosts and cohosts the ability to use email marketing tactics to tap their networks effectively.

For more information on how we can help you build the email marketing plan your event needs, or simply to grow your network, please contact me at jp@cohoevents.com.

– Help good people do great things –

Co-hosting 101 with Coho Events

Co-hosting 101

For those of us who have attempted to put on events or anticipate doing so, the time and effort to assemble all the pieces together might appear unachievable. Those components are typically finding the right venue, entertainment, food & beverages, theme, and most importantly, guests. So, for one person to coordinate everything can be overwhelming.

As the saying goes, the show must go on; but how can you create an event that will generate a crowd, and become a great outing as you might have pictured it unfold in your mind. At Coho Events, we believe in expanding the “co-hosting” philosophy in order to make it easier and more efficient to pull off events in grand style.

So, what exactly is co-hosting? The definition is “a joint host”. Airbnb has fabricated their own definition of a co-host, which they unveiled on the Airbnb platform in 2016. They define co-hosting as ”.. A simple way to allow family members or trusted friends to help with some of the hosting responsibilities from their own account, without giving someone access to your personal account, personal details, or payment information.” Let that sink in and think about how that may influence event management.

This is a powerful concept which has been a major part of the event industry, but not stressed enough. Even in the recent past we still see event planners still using a primitive event management system (excel files or sharing Google sheets), while leading a host committee or event management team the old fashioned way. We are now seeing new technology that has come into play to allow hosts, and co-hosts to improve collaboration efforts to create a simple way to coordinate.

In the nonprofit world, the ability to harness co-hosts is a must. Many nonprofits utilize events as a catalyst to accomplish, typically, three goals; raise money, increase awareness, grow the organization’s network and outreach. So, nonprofits rely on their board of directors, organization members, and supporters of the group to host these events by themselves or with an event planner.

Many nonprofits have leaned on Facebook, which has been extraordinarily helpful and has been using the hosts and co-hosts concept for a number of years on their platform to quickly promote events. A host creates an event, adds co-hosts, and everyone has ability to invite their friends and network. Therefore, an event can spread quite rapidly through word of mouth, but even faster through social media platforms like Facebook. Recently, Facebook has limited the number of co-hosts as well as the amount of invitations you can send to friends, thus, making it harder to promote events, unless you pay to sponsor an ad.

If you consider LinkedIn’s platform and the role “connections” (1st, 2nd, 3rd) play, one person has the ability to connect with or have content shared with many people outside one’s inner circle. If someone shares content on LinkedIn, their “1st connections” will see it, be able to comment or share, then their “1st connections” and the original person who posted, it could be their “2nd, or 3rd, or maybe they have no connection”. So, in that sense, good content can have a ripple effect, but not many people know how to harness this skill.

How can we remedy this situation? Coho Events has developed software to allow a host to invite as many co-hosts as desired to help grow your network and resources. We are also expanding the definition of co-hosts to affiliate marketers and creating ways to incentivize co-hosts to proactively promote events. Nonprofits, schools and companies such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Susan G Komen, Agen-C, Deep Eddy Vodka, Northeastern University, LaForce, and Born and Raised Detroit Foundation have used and profited from Coho Events. They all used the platform to become better organized while establishing a fresh, new online presence, which is easy to share and post content through channels like emails and social media.

For more information on Coho Events and their services, please visit cohoevents.com or contact me directly at jp@cohoevents.com.

 

 

 

Show Your Love – BARD

DETROIT, the grand dame of the early 1900’s; the potential of this once magnificent city remains, despite the past many decades of depression and political turmoil.

Signs of urban renewal are constantly more apparent as many groups and individuals are investing time, effort, and money to bring Detroit back to its glorious past. Millennials have a particular purpose in this endeavor, and Born and Raised Detroit Foundation is a prime example of this.

BARD represents the reestablishment of vibrancy of not just the city, but the people, by bringing hope and creating a new allure to the inner city in order to attract residents back to the downtown area, which is already clearly experiencing the beginning signs of rejuvenation with multiple restaurants and retail stores taking roots there.

Personally, being able to get involved with Born and Raised Detroit Foundation has been one of the most fulfilling and pleasurable experiences of my life. Coho Events has deep roots in Detroit with two of  its three founders having one parent born and raised in the city. Therefore, when we heard of BARD last year, we felt an immediate affinity to it. Despite our need, as a start-up for product development, business strategy, sales, customer service, legal, accounting, etc., we put a hold on a few company priorities to focus on assisting BARD in its effort.

BARD is on a path to do something very special. They are spreading the Detroit spirit from city to city with high-end curated events. By hosting events, they are able to raise money, which is donated to a selected group of hand picked nonprofits. Next week they will host their 6th annual Show Your Love for Detroit Gala on April 7 at the Bowery hotel in New York City. (nylovesdet.org)

Notable nonprofits BARD supports:

Detroit Achievement Academy

A free public charter school currently serving kindergarten through fourth grade students.Detroit Achievement Academy exists to holistically support the education and development of students who have the determination, drive, and skills to shape their own path of high achievement with the ultimate goal of creating civically engaged, joyful citizens who are ready to change the world. detroitachievement.org

Racquet Up Detroit

An out-of-school program which focuses intensively on the long-term development of Detroit youth by promoting their education, health, and character development. Through academic tutoring, health and fitness coaching, and youth development, Racquet Up aims to achieve 100% high school graduation and 100% college enrollment among its students. racquetup.org

Downtown Boxing Gym

Through education, athletics, mentorship and intervention, the Downtown Boxing Gym empowers Detroit students to be positive and productive members of society. Serving more than 130 students between the ages of 7 and 18, with an ever growing waiting list. Downtownyouthboxing.org

Alternatives for Girls

Our mission is to help homeless and high-risk girls and young women avoid violence, teen pregnancy and exploitation, and help them to explore and access the support, resources and opportunities necessary to be safe, to grow strong and to make positive choices in their lives. alternativesforgirls.org

 

Coho Events Host Of The Year: Stephen Kinney

Happy new year Cohomies!

2016 was incredible year for the Coho Events team to say the least. In the past 12 months the CE crew connected with passionate brands and nonprofits across the country. We witnessed electrifying events that wouldn’t have been possible without the energy invested by all of the Coho family utilizing our platform to create unforgettable experiences for their communities.

We’re happy to take a moment to recognize one special person as Coho Event’s Host Of The Year: Dr. Stephen Kinney! Dr. Kinney is a well spoken and hard working man with sincere vision to unite people, period, regardless of beliefs or circumstance. His dedication to creating community through engaging dialogues and amplified arts endeavors has certainly not gone unnoticed in the Austin area.

Host of the Year-2

 

Stephen spearheads The Front Porch, an Austin based organization dedicated to building compassionate community through over 50 dialogue focused events a year. The Coho team was thrilled to take part in The Crisis In Music In Austin, a special night of music industry discussion cohosted by Philip Marshall and featuring Austin Mayor Steve Adler and music historian Ted Gioia. We’re looking forward to Dr. Kinney’s follow up gathering about Austin music industry dialogue, slated for sometime in 2017.

Coming up in March, Dr. Kinney’s Front Porch is throwing an incredibly joyous event called the Easter Vigil. This gathering at sunset will include music and entertainment, hosted by community leaders and members from all faiths and backgrounds to celebrate together without boundaries.It’s sure to be a real celebration of life for any and all!

Our own Cohomie Louis Pratt had the pleasure of sitting down with Stephen to discuss his personal ethos on events and community. Check in with the interview and be sure to keep good ear open for all the exciting events Stephen and The Front Porch have in store for 2017.

Friday Music Feature: Sydney Leigh

Happy Friday Coho Fam! Today we’re happy to bring an incredible young talent to your attention! Sydney Leigh is a 17 year old electro-pop singer-songwriter with an incredible career in front of her. We wish we would have come across her sooner, as she would have been a great fit at the Born And Raised DetroitDon’t Stop The Music” event! Maybe next year!

You won’t want to miss out on this rising pop star from Michigan. Last week she released a fabulous four song EP titled “Reinvented,” the follow up to her first EP “Crazy Beautiful.” As Sydney released “Crazy Beautiful” at the young(er) age of 15, titling the EP “Reinvented” was a perfect decision. Miss Leigh has seriously amped up her songwriting and singing chops, maturing her sound to match a polished modern-pop brand aesthetic. These tracks will certainly get peoples attention, as they’ve gotten ours! (labels lookout)

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Each song on the EP has a bit of a different feel within the electronic-pop music genre. “Bailando Loco” has a latin-dance feel that would make Shakira move her hips, and “Out Of Air” definitely gives Katy Perry’s recent radio hits a run for their money. We can’t wait to see how SL steps off of this musical foundation to reach new heights.

We encourage you all to check out Sydney Leigh‘s website and stream her brand new EP “Reinvented” exclusively on Spotify below! Maybe one day soon you’ll be able to pick up your SL concert tickets via Coho Events. Until then, make sure to support Sydney’s musical adventure and look out for music coverage here on the Coho Events Blog. TGIF!

 

 

ATX Music Series: Daniel Eyes & The Vibes

Austin is superb at attracting talented folks from around the country. Daniel Eyes, the frontman of revered Austin rock-band Daniel Eyes & the Vibes, has been loving his time in the ATX, hustling to take the group to new heights. As the act has already been voted the #2 group in 2015 at the Austin Music Awards, Daniel Eyes & The Vibes are certainly on the right track. Coho Events can’t wait to see Dan and the gang hit the stage tomorrow at the ATX Music Series Kickoff Finale, and it was a pleasure to chat with Dan to learn a bit more about the group’s vision!

Meeting with Dan was invigorating. We were seemingly stuffing our faces with Hopdoddy burgers faster and faster just to get back to yapping it up. We spoke on Austin’s need for music industry support and how it’s filled in by a community of musicians and music organizations (like Black Fret) all itching to build a brand that lasts. We explored the group’s current songwriting experimentation, identifying that the band’s success might not come in a single dimension, and according to Dan, they want their next release to be bigger and better than before, and he’s putting in work to digest and apply influences that stray far beyond your typical rock band.

With a serious respect for pop music, it’s easy to see how the band’s music could find mainstream success on a national scale, and to them, that means making sure their ears and eyes are open to all types of influences. Daniel says he certainly owes a part of his success with the Vibes to the openness and opportunity the Austin ecosystem offers it’s native immigrants.

Daniel Eyes & The Vibes will be performing much more sparsely as the year draws to a close, so you certainly don’t want to miss their set TOMORROW at Lucky Lounge! Coho Events is thrilled to reign in one of the most talented acts in Austin to rock the house. Make sure to purchase your tickets HERE, as we’re expecting the house to be packed! Stream Daniel Eyes & The Vibes latest release, “Sweet Dreaming,” via Spotify below!

ATX Music Series: The Wild Now

If The Wild Now haven’t come across your Austin radar yet then you’ve been missing out! Coho Events is thrilled to have the trending indie-alt act The Wild Now shine bright at our ATX Music Series Kickoff Finale at Lucky Lounge this coming Saturday. The act, fronted by singer/songwriter Taylor and songwriter Drew Walker, combines soulful melody lines with cleanly crafted and catchy instrumentals, grabbing listeners and guiding them through a positively powerful atmosphere.

Taylor and I caught up with a wonderful conversation earlier this week. She mentioned that TWN sounds a bit like Glass Animals meets Alabama Shakes and I couldn’t agree more. The band’s latest release, April’s “Tides,” has received a phenomenal reception from fans and press in Austin and across the US. The combination of sweetness, snappiness, and soul of the 6 track offering has helped The Wild Now earn close to 60,000 monthly listeners via Spotify, hinting at bigger leaps in growth in the coming months and 2017.

Taylor, the band’s lead vocalist and lyricist, also mentioned an interesting personal connection to the venue we’ll all be jamming in; Lucky Lounge. She mentioned performing one her very first shows publically several years ago at the Lucky Lounge and loving her experience. I’m sure the grand energy and fond memories brought about by the familiar scenery will add just an extra bit of magic to The Wild Now’s performance.

Don’t miss your chance to see The Wild Now mesmerize the audience at our ATX Music Series Kickoff Finale this coming Saturday at Lucky Lounge! The Coho Events team is confident that TWN is well on it’s way to stardom, and we wouldn’t be surprised to hear the band’s music on an upcoming iPhone commercial. Stream the band’s latest release, “Tides,” via Spotify below, and keep an eye out for new music and a brand new music video from the band. Cheers!

ATX Music Series: The Eastern Sea

Who’s ready for the ATX Music Series Kickoff Finale party? We know we are! In anticipation of a rocking evening at Lucky Lounge, I had the pleasure of chatting with Matt Hines, the captain of Austin veteran folk and roll act The Eastern Sea. Matt is a hard working fellow who turned his bedroom project into a band worth remembering, and we’re eager for TES to shine bright on the Lucky Lounge stage.

Matt had been releasing music as The Eastern Sea for 11 years now, so he’s seen a lot of bands come and go through the 512 music crowd. The Eastern Sea has earned a steady following within their home market, connecting with fans through earnest songwriting and a collaborating with other bands in the scene (despite the feeling that his band was more of a lone wolf act.) As Matt ran through his range of influences and interests (say, religion as a societal and sociological entity, for example) it was apparent that the tunes produced by The Eastern Sea dive much deeper than the average folk/rock/pop hits of today.

The band has now self-released 3 full length albums, and has its eyes set on creating a larger splash in an increased number of national markets. It’s difficult for a band to handle all of their business needs while writing and performing material, so we hope that the band can pick up the right support team ASAP. Matt and the gang have something special, as the songs in their catalog may certainly resonate with a diverse range of people and tastes.

Coho Events is honored to host The Eastern Sea this Saturday at Lucky Lounge for the ATX Music Series Kickoff Finale party! Make sure to reserve your tickets now as the event is sure to fill up fast! As well, be sure to check out The Eastern Sea’s latest album, “The Witness.” Stream it via Spotify below!