Monthly Archives: April 2015

Factors to Consider when Pricing Event and Concert Tickets

Marketing Mix

Image Credit: Marketing91.com

I work in the Marketing Department. My coworker and I have a joke about everyone being a marketing expert. We get all sorts of unsolicited advice from people of all backgrounds and expertise. They have all been marketed to throughout their lives so they have now become marketing experts. After these experts give their advice and walk away we crack jokes about the 4 Ps marketing mix. If you don’t know the 4 Ps you don’t know diddly about marketing.

Neil Borden, the president of the American Marketing Association invented the term “marketing mix” back in 1953. The marketing mix is also known as the 4 Ps of Marketing, which stands for Product, Price, Place (think distribution), and Promotion. Decisions about these factors are made to develop and execute marketing plans. The approach has changed over time, and some modern day marketing professionals find this concept outdated, but I don’t! I find even today the 4 Ps are very helpful and that if you are good at marketing you can adapt them to the Internet Age and be successful.

I think of the 4 Ps as the foundation. If you don’t have the 4 Ps figured out, you don’t have a good basis for a marketing strategy. Today let’s focus on Price out of the 4 Ps. Pricing is one of the most important elements in the marketing mix. It is the only element that doesn’t have a cost associated, so essentially it holds up the other 3 Ps because they are associated with expenses. Pricing isn’t always easy to figure out. It must reflect supply and demand, and take into consideration the marketplace. If you choose the wrong price it could be catastrophic to your organization and cause a loss of sales.

Here are the main factors I consider when pricing my event and concert tickets:

1. Costs – Fixed and variable costs are important when determining a pricing strategy. I usually consider the breakeven formula and then think about margins I’d like to see. Concert tickets used to be considered “loss leaders” for most casinos, but we don’t consider it that way at my company.

2. Competition – What is my competition doing? Am I competing with other events and concerts at the same time for ticket buyers? Are we competing for customers with limited purchasing power?

3. Positioning – What is my position in the market place? Am I trying to be the best price? What will the market bear for the product and the quality I’m offering? Can I use price for differentiation? Is my quality so high I can charge more?

4. Customers – Are my customers willing to pay the price? If they pay the price will they still come and spend money at the casino or in the restaurants? If I price the tickets too high, they won’t buy tickets, or they will buy tickets and nothing else. We really want to encourage people to gamble and eat at our restaurants so we don’t want to price our customers out of the market.

5. Company – What is our company trying to do with this event? If it is an event for Casino VIPs and there are very few retail tickets I will consider that in my pricing decisions. When it comes to special events and concerts Casino VIPs are the most important factor. Are there other benefits that might encourage those customers to patronize our casino? For example, if they could use their player rewards card points to buy concert tickets, would that help the company? How many points equal a decent price that we could also charge retail?

It is important to look at all the factors. Price is a reflection of the value of your product, in my case special event and concert tickets. Next time you purchase a special event or concert ticket take a minute and think about the factors that may have gone into the price for the ticket. It will really open your eyes to a new level of marketing strategy.

Additional Reading:
Internet Age Approach: Rewrite the Ps of marketing – The five Ps of marketing


Rodeo Idol Event Recap

Rodeo Idol

Image Credit: Reno Rodeo Idol Finalists Facebook Page

Reno Rodeo held the ‘Rodeo Idol’ contest on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at Gilley’s inside the Nugget Casino Resort. The event was a success and five National Anthem singers were selected.

The event was planned by the Reno Rodeo Advertising and Marketing Committee. They worked with Bre Reinhardt as the Special Event Coordinator for Gilley’s and the Nugget. They worked well together. It is always odd for us as venue operators when outside event planners come onto the property because it feels like someone else is having a party at your house. You are always trying to figure out how to help them without becoming over bearing or intrusive. This was Bre’s first time being the coordinator for an event and she did a great job. I’m very proud of her!

A few lessons we learned from the event…

1. Communicate, better yet, over communicate. We had a few issues with Security not letting some of the contestants in because they were under 21 years old. They had their parents with them and an area designated so they wouldn’t violate any age restrictions at Gilley’s. We communicated with Security weeks earlier but we should have checked in with them again three hours before the event and then again a half hour before just to remind them.

2. When working with musicians it is important to find out what equipment they have and relay that information to the audio visual team. We had a few guitar players that we weren’t prepared for so we couldn’t plug them in and the crowd could barely hear them.

3. Make sure to get the song list in advance. We had a flash drive with all the songs that worked well but it would have been better if our DJ had time to put the songs in the system in advance.

Here are the interviews we did with Gianna Giorgi on Fox 11 morning show. We also received coverage from KOLO News Channel 8. We are grateful for all the coverage of this special event!

‘Rodeo Idol’ contest wraps up at Gilley’s – KRXI Reno NV Mornings on Fox 11 Segment

Related Posts:
Rodeo Idol at Gilley’s

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8 Stress Management Tips for Special Event Planners

Stress Management Website

Image Credit: Stress-Management-For-Health.com

Here is my guide to finding light at the end of the tunnel as a stressed out event planner. It does not include eating desserts until you are no longer stressed. I tried that, it doesn’t work.

Being an event planner is STRESSFUL! I used all capital letters and an exclamation point and it still doesn’t do the stress level justice. I’ve had many sleepless nights. My first summer as the event manager of the Rib Cook-Off I lost a lot of hair every morning in the shower. I gained 25 pounds. I’ve now lost 17 and I’m still working on losing the last few pounds now that I’ve learned how to manage the stress eating. The body reacts when it is stressed and it isn’t healthy. So here are a few (non-scientific) tips for combating the stress, and finding the light at the end of the tunnel that I use to get through the stress of event planning.

1. Look on the bright side. There are always positive things going on around you when you are planning events. Look around. Look for your blessings. One of my biggest blessings is that I work with amazing people. When I’m stressed to the max I will often go take a walk and visit with the banquets setup crew or other employees. The break gives me perspective and I truly enjoy the people I work with so it brightens my mood. They always make me laugh, which is important!

2. Learn to laugh at yourself. The good thing about special events is you know there is a hard deadline and it will all be over after the event is over. If you learn to laugh at yourself and all the craziness along the way, you will definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel.

3. Get plenty of rest. I’m not a doctor so don’t take this as medical advice, but I highly recommend sleep and taking something to help you sleep if you need it. I should probably buy stock in ZzzQuil. I’m one of those misfortunate souls that needs at least 8 hours of beauty sleep. This is often hard to come by in event season so I need help, and I’m not afraid to ask ZzzQuil to put me to bed.

4. Exercise. No explanation needed, but here is another blog that can explain it if you are lost.

5. Think of the worst-case scenario. I will often sit down and brainstorm the worst-case scenario. It turns out I can usually handle worst-case. Once I have a battle plan it never comes to the worst-case. I think being prepared hedges my risk and puts me in a better strategic position.

6. Ask for help. This one I’m not so good at, but it is very important to have help to find the light at the end of the tunnel and get through the stress. Learn how to ask for help. If you are stressed take a minute and see what help you could use. I once asked my coworker to just tell everyone not to talk to me for the whole morning because I needed alone time. It sounds crazy, but it helped. I was able to regain my focus and she felt good because she helped me out in my time of need.

7. Make a choice about how you will react. So many people fail to realize they have a choice in how they respond to challenging situations. There are a lot of challenging situations in event planning and you need to make a cognizant effort to decide how you will respond to these situations.

8. Fake it until you make it. This may sound like horrible advice, but it has worked for me. Not happy about a situation, but you know you aren’t in charge and can’t change anything? Make a choice to react by faking it until you make it. I may not be happy with how some things are going with the event, we may make mistakes, but almost 99% of the time nobody outside the organization knows. I don’t overreact to bad news. I respond, but I often temporarily internalize my frustrations. You also want to fake it if you are mad because you don’t want to blow up at the wrong time and in front of the wrong people. Find a way to let off the steam in private and a way that won’t offend or harm anyone. If you aren’t sure how to let off steam get on the treadmill and don’t get off until you’ve figured it out.

Being a special event planner is a very rewarding job. It can be stressful, but with the right stress management and by finding the light at the end of the tunnel, it isn’t anything you can’t handle. Do you have any special tricks to find light at the end of the tunnel or handle stress? Please post them in the comments.

Additional Reading:
Stress Management Blog


6 Rules I learned from The Zen of Social Media Marketing

Buy the book here!

Image Credit: The Zen of Social Media Marketing on Amazon.com

The number one reason people use social media is to showcase their own identity. The second reason is because they crave community. This is a great opportunity for special events and marketing professionals to use social media as a tool to build relationships with customers and potential customers. Special event producers should be aware of the reasons social media is so popular and try to use it as a tool to enhance their special events.

Social media is powerful because people are more likely to believe what they learn from their friends. This includes the simple action of sharing and liking social media posts. This in a sense makes your customers and social media contacts become your brand champions. For example, when your friend posts on Facebook about a new special event they are interested in attending, you instantly are open to the idea of attending the event or at least clicking through to learn more. This helps build brand followers and relationships, which is valuable because later you might need these champions to help you drown out the critics.

Here are a few rules I picked up from “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Kabani:

1. Respect others online. Respect others everywhere…period. Since this is a blog post about social media we will stick with the online community. It is important to show respect to others online because you never know the consequences of your actions or who you are really interacting with. You also don’t know who all can see your message or how they will interpret your online posts. It is safest to respect others online and avoid trolls at all costs.

2. Don’t try to control or manipulate because it backfires. Sometimes you have to realize “it is what it is” and move on. If you try to control or manipulate it will backfire on you, maybe not every time, but eventually it will. A good example of this is when companies get busted shilling online review sites. When caught they get blocked and it ultimately hurts the business more than just having honest reviews from customers.

3. Don’t try to be all things to all people and don’t chase everything under the sun. When it comes to social media you should focus on the tools that will give you the best return. It is best to use those tools and do a good job, rather than use all social media tools and be average. I use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. I am finding Instagram is my new shiny toy for special event social media. It is a really fun platform. The people on Instagram are very positive. It doesn’t have the same political and commercial influence experienced on other social media platforms.

4. Traffic is nice but not the only goal. Yes traffic is measurable and that is great, but what if that traffic never transforms into a customer and they are only passing through. I’d much rather have smaller amounts of traffic but build real customer relationships and build brand recognition. I like to use social media to share stories and build relationships with my business partners, customers, and potential customers.

5. Use your real name. This was new to me, in the past I’ve had accounts on Twitter and Instagram that used names no one would recognize because I thought it was a way to keep some privacy. Looking back that is one of the silliest ideas I’ve ever had. There is no privacy these days on social media. So you need to embrace that fact, be a real person, but also be aware that you are out there and make sure to behave yourself. If it won’t make Mom and Dad proud, or your boss, don’t do it!

6. Be proactive. Don’t go out there and be a pushy marketer. Try to have conversations online and interact with people. Make sure you are providing legitimate content and that you are being genuine. The positive results will follow.

If you are new to the social media marketing field I highly recommend “The Zen of Social Media Marketing” by Shama Kabani. The book has a lot of valuable lessons and reminds you of common sense that you may forget when dabbling in the virtual and social media world.

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Top 7 Events to Attend at Reno Craft Beer Week

Reno Craft Beer Week April 18 - 25

Image Credit: VisitRenoTahoe.com via Reno Craft Beer Week

Event season is officially here! It starts today with the kick-off to Reno Craft Beer Week. This event is a region-wide ode to craft beer. There are many types of beer events for beer devotees and those that want to become beer aficionados. The beer week events highlight the Reno-Tahoe beer culture.

The Reno craft beer scene is thriving! The craft brewing community is constantly growing and the culture is one of collaboration and support for brewers as they evolve their craft. Reno Craft Beer Week is April 18 – April 25 and there are many events to attend each day including beer dinners, tastings, beer education events, tap takeovers, bus tours, and dance parties.

Reno Craft Beer Week is a great week-long event to attend if you are an out of town visitor looking for a unique Reno experience. This event is a beer lover tourist’s dream! This time of year the Reno hotel room rates are affordable, the weather is nice, and the beer is flowing. It is a great time to drive over the hill from California for a little getaway and to attend Reno Craft Beer Week.

Since there are so many events at Reno Craft Beer Week here are my recommendations for the top 7 events to attend…

Saturday, April 18, 2015
Social Science: The Art of Beer
Tickets: $20
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
The Discovery Museum
490 S. Center Street, Reno, NV

This event is for the smart beer drinker that wants to understand the science behind brew. At the event they will teach attendees how beer is made and examine different varieties of brew. Rumor has it there are also a few games at this event as part of the science demos. This is a great opportunity for beer fans to #NerdOut

Sunday, April 19, 2015
Strange Brew Festival
Tickets: $50
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Brewer’s Cabinet
475 S. Arlington Ave, Reno, NV

What should you expect at a Strange Brew Festival? Only the most uniquely crafted brews around. This is a completely unique festival for beer geeks. The beers are insane and will tantalize your taste buds. A few of the brews include Cotton Candy Lager, Joshua Tree Ale, Mango Habanero Sasion Beer, Cask of Seaweed & Black Tea Saison, Coffee Stout, Thai Chili Reese’s Peanut Butter Stout, Chipotle Lime Pineapple Ale, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Saison, and Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout to name a few of the exotic offerings. There is live music and proceeds benefit the Reno Build Project, which provides start-up funds for new local businesses.

Monday, April 20, 2015
Our Bar High Sierra Tap Takeover
Tickets: FREE
5:30 p.m.
Our Bar
211 W 1st Street, Reno, NV

Our Bar is one of my favorite bars in Reno! For some strange reason I can’t help but have fun there. They have darts, nice employees, and a fantastic location. For Reno Craft Beer Week they are letting High Sierra Brewing Co. take over their taps and serve rare beers. This should be the perfect way to spend happy hour on Monday!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Craft Beer Cocktail Competition
Tickets: FREE
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
1864 Tavern
290 California Ave, Reno, NV

The theme of this competition is Outlaw Beer Cocktail. Contestants sent in recipes and the best 8 were selected to compete. Each drink must contain at least .75 oz of Great Basin Outlaw Milk Stout and then they are allowed up to six total ingredients. This event is open to professional bartenders and amateurs so it should be interesting to see what they come up with and who wins this competition.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Sour Fest 2015 at Chapel Tavern
Tickets: FREE
2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Chapel Tavern
1099 S. Virginia St., Reno, NV

Sour Fest 2015 at Chapel Tavern

Image Credit: RenoCraftBeerWeek.com

You know when your gut tells you an event is going to be great? I have that feeling about this event. I love Chapel Tavern, and the campaign for this event always puts a smile on my face. For Sour Fest 2015 they will tap 14 types of sour beer from 4 different local brewers. Get there early because they will be pouring until they run out, when it is over it is over. No re-taps. Game over.

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Roving Dinner & Beer Pairing / Reno Provisions & The Brewer’s Cabinet
Tickets: $50
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Reno Provisions
100 N. Sierra St., Reno, NV

If you are available Thursday night repeat after me “Shut-up and take my money” because that is the kind of event this Roving Dinner is, get tickets if you can! You can’t miss this culinary experience. The dinner pairs custom brews, live music, and a silent auction. The custom beer was crafted in partnership between The Brewer’s Cabinet and local restaurants. Proceeds benefit Reno Build Project. Click here for video about the partnership between the brewers and the chefs.

Friday, April 24, 2015
Cerveza Chilebeso Bottle Release Party & Sparks Rotary End Polio Now Fundraiser
Tickets: FREE
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Taps & Tanks (Great Basin Brewing Co)
1155 S. Rock Blvd, Suite 490, Reno, NV

Nothing screams local community more than Rotary and local craft brews. This is the first time they will be releasing Cerveza Chilebeso in bottles. You can pick up bottles to go at this event or stay for the party. There will be live mariachi music and this is a fundraiser for Sparks Rotary as part of the Rotary International Global Polio Eradication Initiative. For each pint purchased, $1 will go toward the cause. There will also be a silent auction and raffle. Make sure to come thirsty and be ready to support local brew and the local Rotary Club.

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Backwash
Tickets: $45 in advance, $50 at the door
3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Freight House District at the Aces Ballpark
250 Evans Ave, Reno, NV

This event is a competition for home brewers. The event was created by local home brewers and beer enthusiasts as a fundraiser for Project Great Outdoors. Backwash is a celebration of home brew with more than 75 contestants coming from all over the west competing for Yelper’s Choice and Brewer’s Choice awards. The winner will have their beer brewed and featured on tap at Silver Peak. Project Great Outdoors is a non-profit organization that serves under-privileged youth in our community by guiding them through self-discovery adventures in the great outdoors.

 
Reno Craft Beer Week is a new event and it has amazing growth potential! For additional information and a full list of all Reno Craft Beer Week events click here. Please try to attend a few of these events and support your local brewers. If you attend any of these events, don’t forget to post pictures on social media and use the official event hashtag #renocraftbeerweek.


Rodeo Idol at Gilley’s

Rodeo Idol - April 22 at Gilley's

Image Credit: Reno Rodeo

This year the Reno Rodeo is having a competition to select National Anthem singers for the 96th annual event scheduled for June 18-27. Every night the rodeo starts with the National Anthem. Rodeo fans expect top notch singers and this year Reno Rodeo will not disappoint their fans. So far they have filled 5 spots for the anthem, now they are looking to fill the last 5 spots through Rodeo Idol singing competition.

The contest started with singers submitting video of their national anthem singing. The panel of Reno Rodeo judges selected a group of semi-finalists to be voted on by the general public. Voting is taking place right now on Facebook. The contest on Facebook runs April 1 – 15. Click here to vote if you have a Facebook account.

The top 10 contestants selected on Facebook will take the stage at Gilley’s in the Nugget on Wednesday, April 22 for the final round of judging. The contest starts at 8:00pm, but I suggest you get there early to get good seats because it is going to be packed. Each contestant will sing one cover song of their choice to warm-up and then they will sing the national anthem. Bob Richards from KBUL Nash 98.1 FM Moo Crew Mornings will be the MC for the contest. Winners will receive four tickets to the rodeo the night they perform, tickets to the sponsor lounge for dinner, and other great prizes.

The Nugget is excited to be hosting this event at Gilley’s and to be working with Reno Rodeo. Please click here to vote and we hope to see you at Gilley’s Wednesday, April 22 for Rodeo Idol!

Gilley's - Nugget Casino Resort, Sparks, NV

Image Credit: Nugget Casino Resort

Related Links:
Reno Rodeo Website
Rodeo Idol Contest Facebook Page
Gilley’s at the Nugget


I’m Not in Charge

This has become my mantra over the last few years when dealing with challenging situations in my career as an event producer. It has also become a lesson I try to teach my interns. Life is messy, it is unfair, and it is chaotic, especially when you work in the special event industry. It is the nature of the beast and you have to learn to deal with it or it will deal with you.

Here is how it works… something ridiculous happens or something happens and you have a better idea but no one will listen. You get frustrated, sometimes to the point of where you want to pull your hair out. What do you do? You say to yourself, or out loud to your closest coworkers, “I’m not in charge.” Then you take a breath and make a decision on how you are going to react to the things you can control and how to accept the things you can’t control. Making a decision about how you are going to react puts you back in the driver seat of your life and gives you control.

You won’t always agree with the people calling the shots, but the only thing you can do is give up or accept that you aren’t in charge and move on. You also need to realize that even when you are “in charge” there are still outside factors out of your control and you need to be able to gracefully handle these challenges. Sometimes when I’m in a situation like this where I am in charge, I’ll crack a joke about “what do I know, I’m not in charge.” Then I give them a big smile so they know I’m teasing them and they realize I am in charge and they better do what I ask. The statement is helpful in both situations where you are in charge and where you are not in charge.

I'm not in charge.

Intern Alli got the message! She wrote this in her blog about interning with us back in 2013. Image Credit: Alli Williams – The Business Casual Life Blog

It might sound goofy but it really works. You can even change the tone, and sometimes add the appropriate amount of sarcasm, in your voice to reflect each unique situation. This all started out as a joke between me and my coworker but it has since grown to become a great way to deal with challenging situations and change. By deciding how you are going to react to the situation you gain a little control over the situation so it doesn’t control you.

I use this statement a lot and it usually gets some laughs from those around me or at a minimum it breaks up the tension. It is self-deprecating in a way, and humbling at the same time, so it makes it easier to see the humor in most situations so you don’t get so angry.

Next time you are in a difficult situation that is out of your control just tell yourself “I’m not in charge” and see if it makes you feel better.

Additional Reading:
How Do I Lead When I’m Not in Charge?


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