Each season arrives with its own schedule of special events. Summer brings concerts, festivals, races, reunions, fairs—it’s a long list. Events attract first-time visitors and repeat visitors alike. What does that mean to your business? Nothing, if you don’t do something about it. And that something is marketing.

To successfully market to event-goers, there are a few things you must keep in mind. The first is that these people have come for the event. That means you need to 1.) offer something that fits with the event and 2.) demonstrate why what you offer is worth spending some extra time and energy.

Secondly, you don’t have much time to spare. The event-goer will be focused on what they came for—the event. That means that the best place to reach that customers is at the event or through the media they’ll be using related to the event.

Thirdly, people who come to town for an event are likely to return to Oshkosh again. You should consider each event-goer to be a possible return customer.

Keeping these things in mind, here are some tactics you might consider to make the most out of the increase in traffic from summer events.

  • Highly Targeted Advertising – Not every event will have a website, associated newsletter or other advertising opportunities. But, when these options are available and affordable, they’re the ideal way to reach event-goers.
  • Event Sponsorship - You need to be where the event-goers are looking. By sponsoring an event, you can often get exposure at the event or space in the event program.
  • Give Out a Freebie – Sometimes, event organizers will allow local businesses to offer a coupon or voucher to be distributed at the gates. And often, there is space available on ticket stubs for offers such as, “Good for 10% off at Joe’s Restaurant after the festival.”
  • Be Open Extra Hours – If you want to capture the passerby traffic generated by the event, you need to be open when attendees are going to and from the event. You can’t make money if you’re not open.
  • Be There – If it fits with your business model, consider being a vendor at the event. Even if there isn’t an existing arrangement for your type of business, it might be wise to offer the event promoter your own proposal. Be creative—your booth or stand might be the hit of the event.

The Oshkosh CVB works hard to sell to event-goers on the idea of taking some time before or after an event to explore all that Oshkosh has to offer. The CVB sees each event as an opportunity to bring tourism dollars to local businesses, and the messaging of the CVB’s marketing includes the community’s shops, restaurants, museums and other attractions.

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