There are a lot of methods available when it comes to marketing, but using community events to market your business can be more beneficial than it sounds. Local event such as street fairs, holiday markets, parades, art walks, outdoor concerts, and sidewalk sales can be a great place to meet members of your community and introduce them to your business offerings.
If you have never attended local events in your community, now is the time to start. Running your own business requires you to be a personable and social person, so starting small at local events in your hometown can offer you the skills you need to learn to progress into attending much larger events.
Before gathering the tools to market your business at an event, you must attend the event or events that are similar to the one you intend to use as a marketing method. This will provide you with a feel of how the events work and what kinds of people will be there. Then, you can prepare for your debut.
Do Some Research First
Although you may have attended several events before you begin, remember – they may be similar but the audience might be entirely different than what you have imagined. It is important to gather all of the information about the event you are planning to market your business at.
- Know what kind of audience you will be marketing to. If your product or services can be used by everyone, then it’s okay to market a general event that has a variety of different kinds of people. If you are only marketing to women, try getting the details about attending a mom-to-mom sale.
- Is the event just local or will there be out-of-towners visiting? Even though the event will be held in your local area, it could potentiall be a big event. Be sure to research and know how important the event is to its attendees. If the audience is a mixture of local residents and out-of-town residents, try to be specific if your business is strictly local.
- Plan your marketing strategy ahead. Depending on what kind of event you’re going to be using, if there are important activities throughout the day, you will want to be able to sell your ideas to customers quickly and correctly. Taking up too much of their time may cause them to leave before you have reached your selling point.
Purchase a Booth
After you have either done your research or attended several similar events, buying a booth may be the best choice to market your business in a professional and organized manner. Booths can provide a number of benefits:
- A booth projects an air of professionalism and assures customers you are a legitimate business.
- It gives interested customers the ability to approach you, so they don’t feel pressured into listening to an unsoliticed marketing pitch.
- Using a booth is a great way to display your products, allowing attendees to see them from a distance and hopefully capture their interest.
- A booth is a great opportunity to get creative with eye-catching colors and visuals.
Though running a booth may initially be an out-of-pocket expense, in the long run, the potential clients you will gain will outweigh the costs!
Get the Inside Scoop
While it may not be in your best interest to talk to the competition, speaking with other marketers who have held their own booths or worked an event can give you tips on what steps you need to take. Not only can they give you advice on what works, but they can let you know what kinds of tactics don’t. Every business is different, so some things may work for you that did not work for them, but knowing what drives traffic away can help you more in the long run. Some extra tips to keep in mind when marketing a local event include:
- Run contests or giveaways at your booth. This can be an easy way to attract attendees and make new connections. Everyone loves free stuff!
- Allow an easy sign-up at your booth. Having a fishbowl for business cards or a short sign-up sheet set up at your booth can help you to collect valuable customer info such as mailing addresses or email addresses.
- Bring an easy payment method or mobile card-reader to the event. If you have products to sell, why not sell them at the event itself?
Have fun and enjoy yourself. Customers want to approach people who look like they enjoy what they are doing. Even if your booth is not as successful as you may have hoped, show care and concern for the customers who do approach your business. It’s a great way to make inroads with the community and build a great reputation for your business.