Holiday Event Marketing 101: How To Score A Return On Your Investment

With Labor Day in the rear view mirror, hospitality businesses can focus on the end-of-year, holiday madness that is to come. Starting with Halloween and straight through New Year’s Eve, this is a prime time of the year when customers are looking for new ways to celebrate. Restaurants and bars across the Washington DC area will all try and cash in on the holiday event rush with a series of over-the-top parties.

How do the most successful venue owners ensure a return on their investment? With a winning event marketing strategy, of course! No matter the occasion you’re celebrating, make it a profitable holiday season using these tips as your guide.

Once organizers decide on an admittance policy (either ticketed or open), the key to seamless pre-event promotion is making the RSVP process as painless as possible.

In addition to blasting the party details across social media platforms, it is also a great idea to create a dedicated landing page on your website for the occasion. Implementing a ticketing widget, like EventBrite, for example, will ensure seamless fluidity between potentially interested party-goers and the guest list. Customers shouldn’t have to try that hard to attend your bash, after all.

Selling pre-event tickets? Early bird pricing combined with effective, advance marketing could help pay for the entire affair — well before it happens! Those hosting an open entry event should still consider having a general admission list as a means of capturing customer contact information.

Early bird pricing is a great way to get the word out, but let’s be honest: most people are really lazy. Even if they are interested in attending an event, they’re less inclined to purchase tickets if they must do so immediately — even if that means paying more at the door.

Thus, offer both early-bird pricing and selling tickets on the night-of to be welcoming to both planners and procrastinators. Not only will you generate a bit of pre-event revenue, but charging an increased fee at the door yields additional income throughout the evening as well.

There is little party-goers love than free stuff — and thankfully, organizers (especially bar owners) have a lot to work with. Adding incentives to your event marketing campaign is a great way to bulk up the guest list (think free bottle of campaign or passes to skip the line). The key to tie contests or promotions back to the organizer’s website and social media accounts. Doing so will get word buzzing about the party and keep guests talking long after it is over.
Word-of-mouth (whether spoken or typed) is one of the most effective ways to promote holiday events. And who better to get the buzz out then those who will actually be working it?

A fantastic way to boost reach for your upcoming party is to utilize the efforts (and networks) of your staff. Encourage them to share event details on their personal websites and social profiles more than once leading up to the party. Not only will it increase the hype surrounding the affair, but it’ll boost ticket sales as well.

Once the dust on your holiday party has settled, organizers would be wise to take an in-depth look at their post-party analytical data. How many people did our promotional blasts reach? What was the engagement with our pre-event social media contests? Did we make money with this event?

No matter how big an holiday party was, directly noting what worked (and what didn’t) is largely helpful in planning more successful affairs in the future.