I have been creating successful events for a long time. Every once in awhile, I will get a call from a niche publisher who is frustrated by the results of one of their niche events and is not sure where to start or who to blame.
They want to know what went wrong and how to get their event back in growth mode. Often the niche event had been a sure-fire formula for a long time, but it suddenly fell flat. Why?
It could be declining attendance, or lack of sponsors or less revenue generated—but it is usually a combination of several factors that create the problem. The publishers need to either fix it fast or watch it fade away.
Here are 5 key areas to analyze when an event isn’t producing the results you want so you can get it back on track and growing:
1. Market: What are the overall market conditions for the event you are producing? Has your competition changed or grown? Time to do some research and call on experts.
2. Dates: Check the timing of your event. Just because these dates or that time frame has worked in the past, does not necessarily mean they will always work best for your audience forever. Survey your attendees and sponsors and do some research on what other events are happening about the same time. It might be time to change it up.
3. Venue: Take a hard look at where you are holding your events and whether the venue is actually somewhere your current audience wants to go. Also, is the weather desirable there at that time? It’s good to mix it up by changing venue instead of the same location, every single time. A change of scenery immediately gives your event a new look.
4. Marketing: Perhaps your sure-fire marketing method has gone stale. Take a look at the numbers, don’t just use your gut–and determine what is really working and what needs to change. You may be too close to it. Ask someone you respect to take an outsider’s look and give serious feedback. Your marketing strategies must evolve if you want to keep improving your ROI.
5. Programming: This is the big one!!! Your programming must be fresh and must be meaty. Content really is king. And so is bringing in exciting new speakers and keynotes. Also, you need to always be selling something new in your programming, whether it’s how to create special events, or a new niche within your current event line-up, a new way to network with sponsors, etc.
If you carefully analyze these 5 areas with your team, you will begin to see where you need to stop the bleeding and where you can change it up to boost event success and revenue. It will make all the difference.
About the blogger: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA. Check out the all new NicheEventFest this fall in New Orleans.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – just a niche event all about creating and marketing targeted events – NicheEventFest.com Check it out!
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