Destinations Drum Up Excitement for Corporate Events
Attendees of corporate events fall into two camps, those who are a “captive audience”—employees or clients of a particular company - and those within a particular industry or interest-area that a company wants to attract to register or buy tickets. Therefore, there is a wide disparity in corporate event marketing.
Some corporate event planners do not need traditional attendee marketing while others still need strategic campaigns. For either situation, destinations and venues provide promotional support for corporate events being held in their locations in traditional and non-traditional ways.
I spoke with a few representatives from destination marketing organizations to get their perspectives.
For corporate events such as user conferences or festivals, destinations offer a comprehensive list of tactics.
“With our clients, we create attendance-building brochures, maps, a personalized sign with convention dates, or a prize drawing giveaway,” said Zack Davis, CMP, CTA, director of marketing at the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“We also can create digital brochures and save-the-date flyers that can be printed or emailed, telemarketing, personalized microsites and public relations support,” he added.
Smaller venues are also committed to supporting the corporations who book their space.
“Venues promote events mainly through social media,” said Nicola Lloyd, events team leader at Mason Frank International.
“Occasionally, your event could be included in an email newsletter, but this really depends on the venue and their personal marketing output. That being said, you’re pretty assured to have your event featured on the venue’s website,” she continued.
In addition to promotional materials, New Orleans maintains a content library that shows planners how easy it is to do business within their city.
Tara Letort, CMP, director of group PR at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “We have anything they need to promote the destination. We have information on James Beard Award winner chefs, the best museums, customized maps for those bringing families.”
For corporate events with invited guests, marketing support is available and is geared toward building excitement.
“When we’re working with an event that’s not a public meeting, one that has invited colleagues, sales teams, etcetera, we provide materials to get attendees and guests excited about coming to New Orleans,” said Letort. “We create pieces that showcase things to see, events at night such as late night dinners and photos.”
Tactics can mimic work that CVBs do for conventions and trade shows.
“Basically, we will provide some of the very same services, personalized microsites or save-the-date flyers for example, but target our clients’ membership exclusively,” said Davis.
Destinations also help planners promote unique aspects of their events.
One element of corporate events that has grown in popularity in recent years is team building and volunteerism. Corporate groups appreciate team building opportunities, which are often creative. These can feature elements such as hands-on cocktail demonstrations or dinner in the park, where proceeds go back to youth programs.
“Corporate social responsibility is strong and companies will come to New Orleans for that reason,” explained Letort.
“We’ll help them set up events that celebrate the culture of food and or are infused with New Orleans culture and connect them with opportunities to give back. We help corporate event planners sell community service projects to their attendees,” she added.
Corporate events of any type can tap into the promotional power of their destination and venue partners to increase attendance or drive excitement among invited attendees.
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