I recently visited the VIVID festival in Sydney and all I can say is “Wow” – I don’t think there’s anything comparable anywhere in the world. The lights, colours and creativity are truly spectacular. It’s an amazing experience that started fairly humbly with a light show in 2009, and has since exploded into an international festival.
This year more than 2.5 million people attended various events at locations around the city to view light shows, lasers, music, water shows and fireworks. Over 3 weeks it brought in more than $20 Million revenue for the state of New South Wales. This is a major tourist attraction. Not only is it bringing in international tourists (Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry visited Sydney during the festival!) but it’s also attracting international talent and some big headline acts.
It certainly didn’t start off like this. I remember visiting years ago and seeing a few lights dancing around the Opera House with some laser projections in the vicinity. What has been accomplished over the ensuing years is truly remarkable … and now has the backing of some major sponsors with serious money invested.
I think that this should serve as inspiration for marketing events and activities. I’m not talking about an international event.. I’m talking about a local event that you may be planning for your business. Your event may sometimes start out small, and perhaps not even very impressively. But with consistent improvement and investment they can flourish…and grow to become significant events within your industry sector. We’re in the midst of a social media explosion. You can promote your business/product/service by putting on an event that will have people reaching for their phones to capture moments and pictures for Instagram, Facebook, Vine videos, You Tube and a host of other sites. It’s about being clever about what kind of event you create and the photo ops that can be generated.
Creativity is playing a more important role now than perhaps any other time in the history of corporate marketing. Big budgets just aren’t available sometimes, and it’s up to the Marketing Director to create an event concept that will attract and appeal to your target market.
- Star attractions – are you able to attract any high-profile industry figureheads to attend your event?
- Have you created selfie photo opportunities at your venue? (This could be something as basic as a photo booth)
- Location – the backdrop and setting is important. Additionally – make sure your venue is easily accessible and centrally located. Venue hire costs can be negotiated based on contra deals, cross promotion, minimum spend, etc – explore how you can save money here.
- Catering – this is often where the bulk of your budget will go, but don’t skimp here. Don’t order excessive varieties of beverages and canapes – stick to a few varieties in adequate quantities.
- If yours is likely to be an annual event, you can improve every year – learn as you go.