Start with the Basics
Starting with a solid foundation is always the best way to get off on the right foot. One of the best advertising (and conversion) tools Ticketstripe makes available for free is your event landing page. That’s the place where the vast majority of your potential customers are actually making that all-important decision to purchase tickets.
For that reason, every Ticketstripe event landing page is:
- Search engine optimized
- Mobile responsive
- Socially shareable
This ensures your customers find the page quickly, easily, and on whatever device they’re using at the moment. It also provides a streamlined, friction-free purchasing experience which minimizes the chances of your potential customer “bouncing” last minute.
Just having this strong foundation up and running will net you a dramatic increase in page views by potential purchasers in addition to solid conversions. However, if you want your event to be even more successful use the following tips to increase the effectiveness of your planning and marketing campaigns.
Carve Your Audience out from the Crowd
A few years ago simply having a beer festival was a guaranteed way to attract a strong audience. The novelty of sampling craft brews in a festive setting with music, food, and other beer aficionados was powerful enough to push people off the fence and into line for tickets. Nowadays you have to stand out from the crowd to create the pull necessary to make your beer event a success
But before you go crazy with the kitsch, have a look at this comprehensive guide designed to help you attract more people to your next beer festival.
Partner with the Right Sponsors
Your sponsors are the most important partners you’ll have when promoting your next beer festival. You want to court sponsors who:
- Already have a large following—their fans become your fans
- Have a strong social media presence—compound the reach and impact of your online marketing
- Are aligned with local media outlets—use traditional advertising to expand your reach
- Are willing to spare a little elbow grease—let them shoulder some of the promotional burden
Examples of such “Big Fish” sponsors include:
- Local Grocery & Specialty store
- “Famous” local breweries
- Radio and television stations
- Beverage distributors
- Neighborhood coffee shops
- Craft and trade guilds
It will take extra effort to land support from these larger sponsors but doing so will dramatically increase your event’s exposure and multiply the number of prequalified festival goers that see your ads.
Offer the All-Important Upsell
The key to profitability isn’t exploring new markets. That’s potentially financially dangerous because there’s no guarantee of success. The fastest route to profitability is exploring ways to pull new revenue from existing markets. If you can tap into those already committed to coming, you’ll be one step ahead.
One of the best ways to “dig into” an existing market is to offer customers the upsell. Creating special packages, premium products, or VIP deals gives them the opportunity to improve their own experiences at your festival and entices them to pay for the privilege.
Some examples excellent upsell options for beer festivals include:
- VIP packages (early admission, reserved parking, private tents, premium gifts)
- “Staycation Deals” featuring travel or accommodations for the night
- Brewery Flight tickets
- Behind-the-scenes tours
- Brewing seminars, industry talks, and insider session from beer experts
With Ticketstripe you can create as many ticket types as you want, including hidden tickets (tickets not visible to the public through your event page). You can use these hidden tickets for special segmented promotions.
Aim for Quality (Not Quantity)
Attracting the right audience is the best way to improve the profitability of your next beer festival. Doing that relies on how, where, and to whom you market your event. You want to tap into beer lovers who are “in it” for more than just the alcohol.
Target semi-affluent folks with the income to buy your upsell packages, spend money on merch, and spring for more than just a ticket to get through the door.
Tap into those excited about beer and beer culture, who are more likely to review, share, and talk about your event with their friends.
Bad press can kill any future events so target mature folks who can demonstrate a little restraint.
How can you reach these quality festival goers? Market your festival as a premium event.
- Do advertise your event in local breweries. Don’t advertise in bars.
- Do target beer discussion groups on Facebook. Don’t sell your event as a party.
- Do supply high-end beverage stores with flyers and promotional materials. Don’t bother with convenience stores.
Choose Vendors/Exhibitors Wisely
Choosing the right vendors and exhibitors for your event is the most influential way to “set the tone” for the entire festival. Asking a local brewery to snag a tent or table at your beer festival is a great way to get more exposure, attract the right type of patron, and secure a partnership with a valuable business. Asking the neighborhood biker bar to do the same is a recipe for disaster.
Drill down deeper into the market by narrowing your focus further. Invite only breweries within a certain radius or those who bottle exclusively in your state. Create a theme for your festival (such as Summerfest or Octoberfest) and feature certain types of beers from each of your vendors. Pairing food or music with your brews? Tie those into the theme as well.
Always remember you’re creating an event, not just a day at the park.
Advertising your next beer festival in traditional media outlets is essential but don’t skimp on the social media marketing. You should invest the same (or even more) money, time, and effort into social media as you do traditional outlets.
Social media marketing is the best way to:
- Target a specific audience
- Get the most impact for your promotional dollars
- Keep potential patrons up to date
- Generate buzz
- Create the potential for “cascade” marketing (in which you patrons become advertisers themselves)
Plus social media marketing allows you to easily track and calculate the effectiveness of your marketing on the fly and tweak your campaigns while they’re up and running.
Online Tools for Beer Festival Marketers
For even more helpful tips and powerful online tools for marketing (and managing the marketing of) your next beer festival visit the marketing category on the Ticketstripe blog.