Is Your Event A Brand?
July is upon us and for most people in the Valley, we are all thinking of heading north to escape the heat. Like winter in the east, everything in the Valley of the Sun slows to a crawl and autumn is in the distant future. This is the perfect time to re-group, re-think and perhaps reposition your fundraiser for the upcoming season.
The past four years have proven to be one some of the most challenging times for the nonprofit world, with the continuing decline of our economy and the slight up tics, it has taken its toll on corporate and private contributions. With less money coming in, along with the increase of more 501c (3) agencies, charities are now forced to be very creative when looking at their fund raisers and they must think outside the box.
For some of these organizations, this may be the first time they are thinking about building brand awareness. Businesses who are in the same boat can have a look at this resource to tell them more about what brand awareness is and how it can be increased to help grow their company. These organizations have also not thought about strategic placement, creating a marketing program or even determining what the ROI is at the end of the day. But this is a really important thing, and should be something that all organizations look to sorting out. Putting in place an SEO strategy with help from the likes of Victorious could help to optimize your website for improved online discovery by boosting it up the search engine rankings – this could greatly improve the awareness of your brand and any events associated with it. In addition, if you wanted to find out more about how SEO can improve your brand awareness then looking at websites like Lapshock, which explain this process, may help to give you much more clarity about this element of business marketing. If you don’t know where to begin, then have a look and see where most of your followers are. For example, if you have more followers on Instagram, then it might be worthwhile investing your time in learning about Nitreo and how it could help you grow your following – when your following grows, so does your traffic and your brand. With the increase demand on their staffs, already more and more organizations are reaching out into the private sector to help with some of these key issues. There are many companies locally to provide specific needs for your fundraiser; the challenge is to find the right fit for the organization or event.
Before searching for help with any situation, its best to take a hard look at it, be very critical and honest when asking does this event make sense? Does it net enough funds to warrant the time and energy? What are my goals for this fundraiser other than contributions? If mission awareness, publicity or market share is part of the answers, then perhaps branding could be part of your strategy.
Branding an event is critical to making it a success. Corporations are now looking to use marketing dollars to invest in non-profit strategies that make sense to them. Their declining donation budgets are one of the reasons, but also companies want to build market share and expand their own visibility. Branding your fund raiser has now become one the most critical step in creating an overall plan.
When creating a plan and determining what the brand is, these are some basic questions to ask of the event.
- What does the event mean to the community?
- How does it rank?
- How is it different from others in the market?
- How am I getting the word out?
- What is the perceived value to the guest?
- Is there a lasting impression?
- Who has the event aligned themselves with that makes sense and more importantly where are the opportunities?
- Lastly the most important question, what is the legacy to the event?
Everyone organization and every event needs to understand their point of difference, their value and how they will create retention of their guests. These are basic questions for any charity should look at if they want to continue to grow their base, create measurable increases for both attendance and income for the coming year and to be sustainable for years to come.
Non-Profits should look to a consulting firm that helps bridge the gap between the sponsor and the guest, the benefactor and the organization along with the volunteers to the staff; these services are now more crucial in this competitive field. Organizations should look for personalized service with a collaborative network in the community of professionals. Creating a measurable plan, creating a look, implementing the event, increasing the ROI, retain your supporters and your guests for years to come; this is a lot to think about.
So when the mercury is up around 115 degrees and you are thinking everyone is out of town, this is the time the creative juices flow and plans can be made.
Wasn’t it Irving Berlin in the summer of 1940 who wrote “White Christmas” sitting under the summer sun at the Arizona Biltmore? Little did he know it would be the best-selling single of all time?
See you at the pool; I will be the one with a note pad.