West 54 Media in conjunction with West 54 Productions has had numerous successful events in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our Mac and Cheese Festival had over 7000 in attendance, which far exceeded our projections of 4500. We currently have the Art of Ice Cream installation, and will be putting on the Third annual CrushBrew festival in February.
- Local Directories: SEO for events is heavily reliant upon local directories. Regional directories will obviously be entirely dependent upon the area you are marketing to. An example being, visitphoenix.com – this is a directory sponsored in part by the City of Phoenix Tourism Board. Visit Phoenix allows for any individual to list their event. A quick Google search of your city with the attached query of ‘event directories’ should yield a few results. This can be broken down even further. For example, our event, CrushBrew which is catered around craft beverages can be listed on wine event directories, craft beer directories, and so on. It is also important to hit the big directories as well. Yelp and Trip Advisor, Etc. both have specific event listing options that can help you to gain more visibility.
- Search engine display: A large problem I face is setting up Google Business pages for events, this is especially true if you are hosting an event at an offsite venue. Often, the venue will already have a Google Business page. Since CrushBrew was at a public venue owned by the City of Scottsdale, we could not claim the venue as our business, however, we were able to use the address (with permission) of one of our clients located at the venue. Really, I think skipping setting up the Google Business page is perfectly fine. You can use the Google highlight tool (in the Google Search Console) or any similar schema markup program to emphasis that your website is an event page. This will display like pictured below (see all the different dates in which AOICE is displayed?)
- Promotion specials: We have found that offering codes to our social media, and email subscribers has a fairly good rate of engagement. Offering anywhere from 10%-20% reduction in tickets is usually incentive enough for people to buy tickets early. This also has the benefit of making customers commit. If Sally got her 20% off and is now committed to going to CrushBrew she is more likely to share the event on social media with her friends.
- Choosing a ticket platform – I personally like Eventbrite. Eventbrite is both a ticket platform and a directory that people use to find nearby events. The platform is also simple on both the backend, and user end. They do take a broker fee off each of your tickets, but that is going to be the norm for any ticketing service. You can always make your own tickets, and sell them on a platform like Woocomerce, however, the fact that ticket brokers have the directory aspect makes them well worth the small fee.
- Email Marketing: When selling tickets, you should make the patron be required to submit their email. This is good for reoccurring events. You will have a large base of people to reach out to for the next year.
- Minor P.R. Submitting your events to local news is also a great way to boost the visibility of your event. Typing up a short press release and emailing it to your local news stations, and publications, and even big sites, like Thrillist.com can have huge returns for relatively little work. Journalists are always on the hunt for stories. Letting concierge services at the hotels near your event is also a simple yet effective strategy.
- Affiliates: Depending on your event, you can piggyback on your vendors/performers. CrushBrew is a live music and craft beverage festival. We choose vendors, and musicians that have a good presence, often they will help promote the festival through their networks.