This is the second post from Corwin Hiebert’s “Meet Your Ambassadors: Part One”. Hiebert is a consultant from Vancouver, Canada, who provides business management and marketing services to creative entrepreneurs. You can read Corwin’s blog or download his ebooks at CorwinHiebert.com.
Successful event promoters are those who focus on their relationships.
Marketing an event is too often dealt with through traditional means and, as such, ends up producing traditional results (aka #fail). An excited group of event ambassadors can be your secret weapon.
Once you’re recruited your team of cheerleaders and adamant supporters (see part one of this blog series) you need to turn your marketing energies inward. Your goal is no longer to market the event, but to provide your ambassadors with the inspiration and tangible deliverables that aid them in building a buzz. To do this, you’ll want to focus on three things:
Inspire your ambassadors through social connections.
Find ways to connect them with your client or some key stakeholder within the organization or company. Get a bigwig involved and take them out for dinner or drinks or coffee. By connecting passionate people with important people you create an atmosphere of enthusiasm.
Invite your ambassadors to help create the marketing material.
When it’s time to spread the word, equip your ambassadors with collateral that they will actually share by giving them the opportunity to contribute. Put in their hands the collateral that they want. Consider giving them digitally printed business cards, special stationary, or a customized email signature.
You may even want to find ways to make the collateral personalized to them, so that they can share something tailored to their style or attitude. And whatever you do, don’t give them posters to put up; paper, tape and pushpins are not becoming of an ambassador.
Thank your ambassadors post-event
Once you’ve thrown your successful event, be sure to remember the people who got you there. Your event ambassadors were with you during each step of the marketing process, to generate buzz and get people excited about the bash; make sure that they know you appreciated their help.
This could range anywhere from thanking them by name in event collateral, writing a handwritten note to them after the event, or even sending a small token of your appreciation. (It’s always nice to give something that is related to the event theme.) Whatever it is, make sure it is meaningful and genuine. Be creative, have fun, and say “thank you”.
Connecting with event ambassadors can be a challenging task, even for an experienced event planner. Doing so, however, will always produce a more on-target audience, and, ultimately, more successful events.