With the global economy expected to slow in 2021 due to the Coronavirus, many North American companies are looking to boost their sales through promotional campaigns and special marketing events. That’s because successful marketing projects drive consumer foot traffic into retail outlets and increase Internet shopping.
Having a local special event can be a great way for companies to not only build their brand, but create customer loyalty. By hiring some great sales speakers and creating an environment that fosters good will, you can use this strategy reach your business goals every year.
If your organization has been considering this approach, here are some things to consider:
Local Event Staff Opportunities
Multinational marketers develop special event programs to be replicated in different cities around the world. Many campaigns are repeated annually or throughout the year. Examples range from interactive computer games with chances to win exciting prizes, pizza-eating contests and dark chocolate sample giveaways.
Rather than pay for a full team of employees to travel and stay at expensive hotels in participating cities, marketing management usually hires experienced and knowledgeable local staff to serve as brand ambassadors and product representatives.
Special Event Training Guides
To organize a great event, you are going to need an event training guide. Event training for local staff can be expensive whether training is done via conference phone calls or in person.
A clear and well-organized training guide saves time and money. Distributed as an email attachment, a point-form user manual ensures that participants receive consistent communication. Below is a description of the document sections from an effective marketing event training guide.
The following program overview structure presents the who, what, when and why of the promotional campaign.
The first subsection is a program snapshot that gives a succinct summary of the principal parties (typically the client and the local marketing agency) who worked together to develop the special event, with a brief reference that states how long the event will last and where it will take place, immediate short-term sales goal of the promotion as well as long-term term objectives like increased brand recognition.
Other subsections include:
- Event dates and hours (distinct from staff working hours)
- Setup and breakdown dates and times
- Two or three short sentences that describe the overall event theme
- A high-level list of local staff roles, tasks and deliverables
- Principal supplies that staff will use during the event.
Client Profile And Contacts
The client section consists of two subsections, the company profile and contacts.
A typical company profile lists the core product and services that the client offers, annual revenues, number of employees or associates, network of national and international stores, number of dealer stores and specialty outlets, range of merchandise categories sold plus a an additional sub-point bullet for specialty services.
The client contact passage has separate bullets for the client’s address, any special hours (if promotion is over the holidays) and the company website (particularly important where the client has an online store).
The program logistics section starts with a brief introductory statement that repeats that the program goal is to intrigue shoppers throughout the event. Also included are illustrations of major event elements, plus:
- A full list of event elements (e.g. a circus tent featuring “side-show” sale promotions, photo-taking opportunities with animal mascots, bumper car rides)
- Descriptions of staff tasks organized by position for each site in the event (e.g. distribute gift bag at circus tent exits)
- A summary for any signage that helps participants navigate the event
- A table graphic that identifies interaction or distribution goals by day (e.g. 10,000 interactions and 5,000 gift bags handed out on Sunday)
- Sample scripts for consumer interactions organized by position for each site in the event (e.g. brand ambassadors at circus tent exits: “Hi there! Did you enjoy our show today? Here is a circus gift bag to make your day even more enjoyable.”
- Daily reporting requirements for capturing statistics and consumer comments
- Daily setup and breakdown tasks.
The staff organization section identifies the team reporting hierarchy (e.g. one event manager, one assistant manager and 20 brand ambassadors). The section then outlines in point form the major responsibilities and skills required to perform each role. Some roles will have multiple responsibilities listed according to where they are positioned at the event location. Another subsection documents what clothing the local staff must bring to an event (e.g. white shirt and black pants) as well as client-provided attire (e.g. circus jacket with clown buttons).
Interaction Guidelines Including Media Inquiries
The interaction guidelines reiterate the need for brand ambassadors to communicate professionally at all times. Examples are given to help local staff overcome possible misunderstanding or other difficult situations, as may happen when consumers demand extra gift bags.
Specific instructions on how to handle media inquiries are also presented. Brand ambassadors are taught to politely direct newspaper, television and radio journalists to the event manager. Many event training guides also record the contact information for the client media representative in charge of questions from media personnel including local newspapers, radio and television stations.
Useable Training Guides Service Audience Needs
While some marketing companies include an extensive set of appendices, experience shows that few trainees read any appendix material.
The appendix section of the special event training guide is best replaced by an effective index that supplements a well-organized table of contents.
That’s because the table of contents and an index make the information in the special events training manual more accessible to the audience and therefore useable.