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

 

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.