Are you struggling to come up with new ideas to get prospects through the door? Have you hosted event after event at your property, but they just seem to lack attendance or engagement? Have you thought to yourself, “What’s the point in spending money on an event if it’s not going to result in any leases?” You’re not alone.
Property events are a fantastic way to have people experience your property life firsthand. However, there are several key components to pulling off a successful event that can easily be missed without dedicated planning and execution.
Your hands may be full with coordinating the event’s food, music, giveaways, and entertainment, but have you slowed down to properly prepare for promoting the event? You may be feeling pressure to pull together an event as quickly as possible, but let’s get to the root of why that is. Your property needs the leases, so wouldn’t you rather spend the time ensuring that the event will result in leases rather than rushing to host an event with low attendance?
At Catalyst, our rule of thumb is that every smaller-scale event should have, at minimum, a two-week promotion period, and a larger-scale event should be promoted for at least a month. This gives the audience more time to get familiar with the event and start thinking, in terms of their own schedules, to make plans to attend. It also allows your property to reach the largest target audience possible by hitting multiple advertising channels over the course of two weeks and increasing your chances at word-of-mouth advertising.
There are several options to consider when it comes to deliverables to promote your event. Depending on your market and your property’s visibility, you may need to enforce more efforts to get the word out. An integrated campaign, where several deliverables are combined to advertise the event across several platforms, can be the solution. Some of our suggested deliverables include the following:
- Flyer: Hand this out for your on-the-street marketing, stuff mailboxes with it, or hand it out at the front desk.
- Website pop-up: Let your web traffic know about the event right away.
- Digital ads: After researching where your typical prospect spends their time online, implement targeted social or pay-per-click ads to get in front of your audience. Catalyst can provide insights and recommendations, if needed.
- Signage: Does your property have a lot of street traffic? Bandit signs, A-frame signs, or banners may help call attention to the event for both residents and prospects passing by.
- Direct mail: Does your property attract prospects from a specific area? Target them geographically with an invitation to the event.
- Social graphics: Aside from social ads, capitalize on your social media followers and share interesting content that advertises the event. Creating a Facebook event is another useful tool!
- Promo items: Have promotional items made that coincide with your event’s theme. Or, you can have a label created for your existing promo items that includes the event details.
- Snapchat filter: Create Snapchat filters and launch them for the event. The amount of impressions may surprise you! Plus, now your attendees are acting as brand ambassadors.
Perhaps the most valuable event-promoting deliverable that we recommend is an RSVP landing page tied to an email campaign. The email campaign should include three to four different emails leading up to the event that are tied to a distinct landing page to collect as many leads as possible. Our emails often include a call to action that encourages an RSVP. That way, we obtain a new prospect’s information even if they don’t attend the event.
In January, four of our clients in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were undergoing a complete rebrand of their properties and decided to throw a series of brand reveal parties over the course of two days. The Catalyst team put together an integrated campaign that included social graphics, flyers, Snapchat filters, social ads, a website pop-up, and a series of emails.
Our team added an interactive feature to the email campaign by creating a “Pick a Party, Pick a Home” quiz for the audience. The quiz asked questions about the participants’ lifestyle preferences and habits, and aligned these questions with the offered amenities and property personas. At the end of the quiz, they received info about one of the four parties and the amenities that property offers, as well as details about their event with the option to RSVP. The campaign generated 137 new leads, and more than 200 leases were signed between the four properties within a two-week period after the event.
At Catalyst, we strive to help our clients achieve the results they seek by offering insights and strategies to further all their marketing efforts. Have an event coming up? Contact us for your own customized proposal to bring your event success!