Facebook- A real event marketing tool!

Have you ever hosted a party and promoted it on Facebook? That is social media marketing! (Well, the basics!) Facebook is the Number 1 social media platform globally with 1.5 billion monthly active users. So, it is safe to say marketers have access to a wide audience right at their fingertips.

In the past I, have personally have created many events on Facebook for private birthday parties and public charity events. Although none of these events could be classed as ‘large scale’, they were all a success when planning and promoting them on Facebook. With 78% of Facebook users being over 18 it is the most consolidated channel to marketers for accessing most of the population in one place.

Glastonbury (a very large and well known festival- as you will know!)  also utilises the use of social media in their marketing. One of the main parts of their event marketing surprisingly, lies within the hands of the consumer. The pictures posted by festival goers are crucial, these provide powerful, free advertising for the festival. Could this be the reason why so many festivals are now making a special effort to provide free WiFi, data connection 9and charging facilities?

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Glastonbury have recently introduced the new 4G tractor sponsored by EE ‘To keep fans connected all weekend’. With 828,439 likes on their Facebook page, it is important to let attendees share how much fun they are having over the weekend to those fans that were unable to attend. This will perfectly set up the marketing campaign for the following year.

I have come up with some top tips that I follow when using Facebook to promote events. Just like any type of marketing, it can be confusing and takes some time to get used to the layout and features that are available to get people talking about your event.

Grace’s Top 10 Tips for Marketing events on Facebook:

1.Remarket to prospects

  • Create a custom audience which targets people who have visited the website and left before purchasing a ticket.
  • This will ‘remarket’ the event to the person- people rarely buy the first time they see something.

2. Create highlights from past events

  • Put together a video of snapshots from prior events.
  • You could also include some pictures of what attendees can expect at the upcoming event.

Top Tips:

  • Remember your intended audience.
  • Keep your message clear.
  • Set this video as the featured video on the Facebook page.
  • Post the video onto YouTube to boost views (YouTube has 1 billion users worldwide and 6 billion hours of video are watched each month)

3. Visual Testimonials/ Reviews

  • Use comments from event feedback and from previous attendees.
  • Create branded images with their comments for effect.
  • Testimonial videos capture attention.

4. Create content for fans/ attendees to share

  • Promotional branded material.
  • Create an “I’m attending” post for attendees to share once they have purchased tickets to let their friends know they’re going.

5. Use photos of attendees in post updates.

  • Tag these attendees to get the conversation started.
  • People like to see real people and real conversation.

6. Create a #HASHTAG

  • Use the same hashtag in every post and across all social media channels.
  • Add this to your email signatures (and anywhere else you can think of!)

7. Share pictures throughout the planning process

  • Keep fans/ attendees up to date with plans, it will make them feel part of the process from the beginning.

8. Create a Facebook event page

  • This will give attendees a chance to interact before the event.
  • They can share pictures and their experiences after the event.
  • Fans can watch what is going on and may attend in the future.

9. Utilise the ‘Call to Action’ button

  • Update this button on your Facebook page to ‘Book Now’, this will provide a direct link to purchase tickets.

10. Keep it FUN and on- brand.

What is the main benefit?

Numerous studies have shown that social media advertising is by far the cheapest medium. It gets across the information to the consumers while developing a long-term following at the same time. The organic reachfor Facebook promotions is 10%, however, you can boost this reach by paying a small fee depending on the number of people you would like to target. The advertising element is constantly changing and becoming more sophisticated for businesses to use and for consumers to view.

Products and services can be promoted quickly and updates can be posted at anytime, anywhere. Engagement from consumers is unlimited and feedback can be shared amongst the 1,86 billion monthly users, 32 million in which are in the UK.

For the Facebook users, they can find out all about their favourite events, right at their fingertips. All the information they need for this event is all in one place from the date and time to purchasing the tickets.

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Volunteer Management Workshop

As part of my BA Hons Events Management degree, I was enrolled into a Contemporary Issues in the Events Industry course. During Term 1 we had to deliver a workshop to our peers, there were a variety of subjects to choose from. However, I chose Volunteer Motivation.

Within the Events industry, volunteers are often recruited to help with charity events and other events in return of some sort of reward. Many students volunteer at events during their studies to gain experience to prepare themselves for the competitive industry.

I decided to choose this subject as volunteering can be very diverse due to the number of pros and cons. Especially within the events industry as many events can involve long and unsociable working hours. It can be a difficult process for the organisation to find the right volunteer and alternatively, the volunteer to fund the right organisation/ event to volunteer for.

Through my experiences of volunteering I have found that there are ‘volunteer stereotypes’. (Ho and O’Donohoe, 2014) These stereotypes can put off those who want to volunteer as they may not be ‘cool’ to their peers and can also cause organisations to be weary with who they are recruiting. In 2015 Radio 1 launched a campaign ‘#1MillionHours‘ this lasted for a whole year and went on a mission to try and motivate their listeners to pledge one million hours of their time over a twelve month period. The total number of hours achieved in the twelve-month period was 1,122,065. For a major radio station like BBC Radio 1 to launch a campaign on motivating volunteers, it was clear this was a contemporary issue.

The Planning Process

Our group consisted of five members; Charlotte, Jodie, Kajsa, Olivia and me. We arranged an initial meeting to introduce ourselves and come up with a plan of action. We had not worked together before as a group therefore it was important to spend some time getting to know each other. We identified our individual strengths and weaknesses, as well as those as a team. We then worked on these throughout the planning process, I found this was also beneficial for self-development.

Weekly meetings were arranged and each week we all assigned ourselves with tasks and reading to prepare for the next meeting. This was so that we could keep our meeting times short as our workload in our third year of university was heavy. We thought of as many interactive activities as possible and how to adapt them to make them interesting and relatable to the students in the workshop. In total, we spent five weeks planning the workshop.

The Workshop

I chose to address the learning objectives of the workshop, this gave a brief overview of the discussions and activities that would be taking place. I followed this up with a reflection to ensure all the objectives were understood and questions could be answered. The workload was evenly spread and the team has an equal amount of information to share, we presented the information that we had individually researched so that we understood the area in detail. I concentrated on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1943), I provided examples of how this related to volunteers and how this can help motivate volunteers at events.

To present the information we used ‘Prezi’, this is an online tool that allows you to present information as a video rather than as a slideshow. We felt this was slightly more engaging than a PowerPoint presentation. The activities we carried out were interactive as they included group work, moving around the classroom and discussions between the participants. To gain the attention of everyone in the room we decided to make a video of why people should volunteer from the perspective of the tutors on our course. This was a great success and this captured the attention of the participants perfectly.

Feedback:

The feedback we received was extremely positive, leaving us all feel very proud as a team. We all felt we had worked hard planning the workshop so all agreed this was well- deserved and that we would carry out group work together again in the future.

The content of our workshop included theory and case studies, we were praised on the video we had made of the tutors as this applies some of the theory to real-life and people we all look up to for help and advice at university. The tutor was impressed with our professionalism of being dressed in event volunteer t-shirts and our engagement with the participants throughout. The delivery of the workshop went exceptionally well; we kept the energy going, the sweets we provided as rewards were a nice touch and the way we reviewed the workshop by asking questions proved that the participants had paid attention and were still interested.

How are Generation Y shaping the Events Industry?

Millennials, Y Generation, Echo boomers… Known for taking a “selfie”.

Born between 1980- 2000 and children of Generation X (born 1965-1979); said to be the future leaders of businesses across the globe. There are over 13.8 million people who make up Generation Y in the UK (The Guardian, 2016)

They are unsurprisingly shaped by technology, with some making millions from it. Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004, which now has 1.581 billion active users. Many people are becoming millionaires under the age of 20. This is due to access to the internet and the exposure to many people at their fingertips. (Boitnott, 2014)

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The internet went public in 1989 with text only browsers, in 2000 when e-commerce took hold it went ‘mainstream’ with the introduction of social media and online shopping. The Y Generation have been brought up alongside technology and the internet, learning more and at a faster pace than those that invented it.  

Generation Y are keen on making a change and according to Sarah Slack (2015), 61% feel personally responsible to make a difference in the world. Therefore, many events and festivals now try to incorporate this change to try and make a difference together.

Festivals

Glastonbury festival started up in 1970, 2 days after the death of Jimi Hendrix. It was a sell out that attracted 1,500 people. Admission was £1 which included fresh milk from the farm. In 1980 the festival had grown with a capacity of 18,000 and tickets for sale at £8 each. By 2000, the internet had been introduced making advertising a lot easier. The capacity had increased dramatically to 100,000 people due to popular demand and tickets were £87 including a programme. After the craze of social networking sites, the word got around even more and trends were being set. Social media created a buzz for the upcoming festivals, allowing attendees to become more involved in the build up to the event and share their experiences after the event has taken place. In 2015 there were 177,000 attendees and a ticket price of £220. The festival now supports Greenpeace, WaterAid, Oxfam and other worthwhile causes. When Glastonbury started in 1970 it did not support any charitable causes.

Many events like Glastonbury have evolved from traditional rationale to meet the modern festival- goers needs. This change has occurred due to the marketing and entertainment becoming a brand and has been a result of the growth of social networking sites (Zhang et al, 2010).

The Innocent Unplugged Festival was launched in 2015, it takes place at a secret location in Kent each year. The festival relies on solar- powered electricity and has no 3G or WiFi. There are many group activities and opportunities for attendees to interact and get to know each other. Postcards can be sent and all food is locally sourced and served banquet style for attendees to enjoy the social element. This festival was a huge hit, especially with those in the age range of Generation Y. At this festival, they felt like they were personally making a difference to the environment. Feedback also pointed out that they loved to participate in the activities and enjoyed the personal service they received from staff. These are key elements that Generation Y thrive for per Sarah Slack’s checklist (2015).

Industry

By 2028 Generation Y will make up three- quarters of the work force, the boomers will near enough be retired and the workplace would have gone through some change. (TALENTEGG, 2017) From carrying out some research into Generation Y and how they have been influenced these are the five changes I can see may happen…

  1. More women will take management positions. Generation Y have seen both parents work so will be prepared to enter the workforce.
  2. Management styles will become more relaxed, office spaces will be open- plan and workers will be encouraged to collaborate.
  3. People will seek more than just what the business offers. They will consider their ethical stance to ensure they can be trusted and are happy to pursue.
  4. The internet will take over. Research into prices and reviews will take place before any purchase, making it a lot harder for the business to entice the customer.
  5. Those working in sales should change their tactics. Generation Y do not like to be sold anything. They like to make an informed choice for themselves.

 Unsurprisingly, being in the Generation Y myself, I agree with these characteristics and can also see these changes happening. Although I am undecided if it is really Generation Y beginning to shape the industry or if the internet is actually leading the way?

Are drugs ruining the Events Industry?

Drugs were popularised in the 1960’s by music and mass media, they have been part of our culture for many years. However, young people today are being exposed earlier than ever to them. There are various reasons why people take drugs with the most popular being “to fit in”. Although this seems bizarre, considering drugs alter perceptions and give users a false sense of their surrounding environment.

How do drugs affect people?

The population in England and Wales is around 56.6 million, out of these at least 2.7 million people have taken a drug within the last year. In 2014 at least 5% of the worldwide population between 15-64 had used at least 1 drug. Drug abuse has a high death rate… there were 3,764 drug poisoning deaths in England and Wales during 2015. Sadly, three times more males died than females and Heroin/ morphine was the biggest killer. (DrugWise, 2017)

Drugs do not only affect the lives of those taking them, they have an impact on those around them too. Many criminal offences are carried out by those under the influence of drugs, in fact 80% of inmates in the USA were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the point of crime. (NCADD, 2015)

 

How drugs have an impact on events

Recently, drugs have been having major impacts on events and event venues. Event managers are frequently introducing and implementing extra security including extra bag checks, sniffer dogs and other drug detection devices. However, even with these extra checks it is proving difficult to ensure a thorough check is being carried out on every person. Whether it is a small or large scale event crowd control is always a huge task that takes time so with the extra checks in place it delays the process even more.

In September 2016, the Fabric Nightclub in Islington was closed following the deaths of 2 teenagers due to drug overdoses. (IB Times, 2016) After a lengthy review of the nightclub and secret investigations the council found that checks were not being done correctly and attendees were openly selling and taking drugs within the venue. However, there is a lot of controversy that surrounds the situation as there are many different opinions and perceptions. Some people were happy with the closure and others left angry and upset. Due to the club being very popular among celebrity dance acts and being in London it attracted a lot of attention. Chase & Status commented: “It’s the early 90s garbage again – the law demonising clubs and raves with an archaic view on drugs and the youth.” (BBC, 2016They believe that due to those breaking the law with drug misuse at events, is ruining it for everyone else as the police have to take action in some way to deal with the problems. They also feel that their views on drugs at events and clubs are old-fashioned as they are not keeping up with the times.

Drugs are becoming increasingly popular and is a huge issue to deal with therefore, closing one club is not going to stop people taking drugs completely, it will just cause a shift to another venue or event.

Although it was clear there was an issue with drugs, did the venue really need to be closed? This has caused panic for many event and venue managers across London as they fear they may be next to be closed. According to The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) nearly half of the UK’s nightclubs have closed over the past 10 years. However, there are fears of this setting precedent and more clubs and events to be affected by these closures.

Bad reviews can also affect the reputation of an event, especially as nowadays these reviews are easily viewed online on websites such as Trip Advisor. A father recently took his young family to the ‘family- friendly’ music and science Bluedot festival in Manchester. However, when he arrived he was surrounded by scores of people smoking cannabis. When he approached the security to express his concerns they just told these people to stop. These people instead just carried on in a more discreet manner and away from the security. (Slater, 2016) From this experience, this family will not return to this event in future years and I am sure they were not the only people affected and that will not return.

How can drugs be controlled?

Bladen et al (2012) has suggested a 4 Step Drug control strategy could be implemented to event venues:

  1. Preventing– By providing guidelines for venue/ event managers to create a safe environment.
  2. Informing– Display campaigns aimed at drug users and effects these can have on them.
  3. Supporting– Provide areas where attendees can have some space to ‘chill out’. Users could use this space to ask for help and gain support (from fully qualified support workers) 
  4. Monitoring– Staff aware of the effects, temperature controlled and free water supplied.

Although this strategy could help to tackle the problem of drug usage at events, these measures could be extremely costly. Venues and organisers would make less profit- Can they justify free bottles of water and wages for support workers?

 

 

 

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