Event Do’s & Don’ts – Don’t forget the small stuff

In my experience, I have found that people only ever remember two aspects of an event; the food and the toilets!

You can have organised the greatest event of all time, but if your guests had to queue for 30 minutes to use the loo, or it cost them an arm and a leg to buy a snack, that’s what they will tell others about.

So, whether your event is in the middle of a field, a brand new purpose built venue, or even your own wedding, spend some time checking the ‘essentials’ and you will ensure that you’re on the way to a successful event.

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Why you shouldn’t be afraid of failure in your marketing

With the England football team’s World Cup hopes almost diminished, I’ve seen a lot of posts about failure on Twitter and Facebook and it got me thinking abut whether failure was necessarily a bad thing.

You read plenty of business stories about entrepreneurs, computer programmers and the like who met failure many times on their way to success, and the message is always the same; don’t give up.

In marketing, it is the same. There are times when you can come up with the best ideas, the perfect target audience, and the exact way to execute it, and it still won’t work quite as well as you wanted it to. Over the years, I have ran events which I still stand by as formats, but didn’t come off on the day – sometimes for no particular reason. It is frustrating, and can undoubtedly be damaging if your marketing, branding or the business as a whole is damaged as a result.

Does that mean you should stick to tried and tested means all of the time, to avoid potential failure? No, of course not – we grow by trialling, testing and sticking our necks out with the aim of growing our businesses.

So maybe failure is around the corner sometimes, but like the England football team, as long as we learn from our mistakes and use them to develop ourselves and our marketing going forward, coming out of failure stronger it isn’t a bad thing.

The World Cup, Ambush Marketing and Marketing for Small Businesses

The World Cup is currently in full swing, and taking a walk down my local high street, I can see a number of businesses who are using the event to promote their products and services. However, none of them are using the official logo or phrases such as ‘Brazil 2014′. Why? Because they aren’t official sponsors of the event, and Brazilian copyright and intellectual property laws stop them from doing so. No-one wants to find themselves with a fine or worse because they’ve mis-used branding which only the official sponsors are entitled to use.

However, there are ways in which small businesses can get involved with events like the World Cup. Publicly showing support for your country’s team, images of footballs and other football paraphernalia are all perfectly acceptable and will show your business’ enthusiasm for this great sporting event.

Some brands and larger companies will use ‘ambush marketing’ to associate themselves with an event such as the World Cup without paying any sponsorship fees. You can find lots of great examples of this online, with one of my own favourites being the 36 very pretty ladies attending a match between the Netherlands and Denmark at the 2010 World Cup, all wearing short orange skirts sponsored by Dutch beer brewers Bavaria. The resulting furore got Bavaria a huge amount of promotion, much to the annoyance of official sponsors, Heineken.

Dutch beer brewers Bavaria get into trouble at the 2010 World Cup. Thanks to Getty Images.
Dutch beer brewers Bavaria get into trouble at the 2010 World Cup. Thanks to Getty Images.

Whilst this type of approach is not recommended for small businesses, it is always worth thinking about ways in which your business can use major events to capture the imagination and interest of its customers to generate business and raise profile.