When is an Event a Good Idea?


Events are expensive, time-consuming and sometimes a great idea.
But they can also be a really bad idea.
So here are a pitfalls to avoid when you’re deciding if an event is the best marketing tool for your goal:

  1. Consider the return on investment. Add it all up—the advertising, the time, the event costs—and divide it by the number of people who came. How does your cost per person compare with other ways of reaching your target audience?
  2. Think about the cost of lost opportunity. Maybe you get 50 people at the open house. But what else could you have spent your time and money on that would have had even better results?
  3. Don’t equate attendance to loyalty and business results. We all take advantage of free things, from time to time, even when we have no intention of returning with our business.
  4. Consider labor in the cost. When looking at return on investment, be sure to count the time of everyone involved—not just the people in your department, but throughout the organization.

On the other hand, there are some things for which events are the very best venue—like galas. Getting 400 people in a room to celebrate your organization’s biggest ideas can be the opportunity of a lifetime to make a connection and to leave people feeling like they are a part of the whole.
Make sure that you’re intentional about what you’re spending on events—and doing the ones that pay off and that don’t stretch your resources so thin, you can’t attend to bigger marketing initiatives.