Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Make Your Event Unforgettable

Posted by Kate Seat on 1/30/15 3:30 AM
Topics: social media, sales strategies, bookstore events, Marketing to Students

Every month, we provide completely free, totally customizable marketing plans to help your store have a little fun while reaching out to your students. Next month's plan will be posted on Tuesday, so be sure to come back and check it out. In the meantime, here is an excerpt from a post by CJ DiRoma for Small Business Trends. While the original post concerns corporate events more than retail ones, there are some good points for businesses of any size to keep in mind. For example, tailoring your event to your customers is very important, as is going for a "soft-sell" approach (unless the event is actually a sale).


Creating an event is a multilayered undertaking. One layer that often gets lost in the mix is marketing. Just as vital as your event’s theme, logistics, catering, entertainment and production planning is the strategy that goes into the marketing and branding of your event.

When creating an event, keep in mind that the event is a marketing tool for your business. If done successfully, your event can solidify your market positioning, thought leadership and industry power. If executed poorly, your event can be a marketing nightmare that will hinder your brand’s ability to recruit brand loyalists — and new customers.

When marketing your event to champion your branding, keep these creative event marketing strategies in mind.

Identify Your Audience

Who are you inviting to your event? What are their business requirements and long-term goals for success? What are their hobbies and interests? Seek out and identify the personas of your target guests and attendees — and structure an event that not only speaks to their professional interests, but personal interests as well. If attendees to your event are golfers, travelers, outdoor enthusiasts or sports fans, create an experience at your event that speaks to their personal interests.

The better you identify your audience, the better you will identify themes, speakers, entertainers and special event perks that will turn your audience into brand fans. Your event will be a bigger success if attendees actually enjoy the experience you create for them! You will only create the ideal experience if you take the time to know your attendees.

With a little creative planning, you can tailor an event that not only markets your brand, products, services and expertise, but also captivates your intended audience by connecting with them in a personal way.

Go Sales Subtle

Leverage video, music and even unique cuisine that speaks to the theme of your product, service or innovation — maintain a consistent marketing of your core message while at the same time keeping attendees engaged, entertained and at ease.

Don’t overwhelm your guests with product information. Rather, entertain them with product awareness and allow them to consider their preferences when it comes to your new product. A little sugar can go a long way when it comes to introducing something new — so think of a fun and memorable way to solidify your product or service in their minds, without boring them to tears.

Hiring entertainers in costumes to distribute themed gourmet cupcakes while an amazing band plays its signature song can put a vision in your attendees minds and hit multiple senses at the same time — dazzle them with strategic visuals and sensory experiences that promote them not only remembering your event, but remembering your marketing.

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