Big Things We Learned at Last Week’s Annual Event and Venue Marketing Conference in Denver
A FEVO panel at EVMC

Big Things We Learned at Last Week’s Annual Event and Venue Marketing Conference in Denver

June 14, 2024

The Event and Venue Marketing Conference (EVMC) is a yearly event bringing together some of the biggest brands and organizations in the world of live events, taking place over three days and filled with panels, talks and sessions to educate and inspire with information and ideas about our fast-moving and constantly-evolving industry. FEVO participated on a pair of panels and attended many more, lapping up industry knowledge to not only help us be better at doing what we do, but also to help you, our partners.

Our general takeaway? Everyone is looking for more cross collaboration. From show promoters to venue operators to marketers to group sellers to influencers, there is an inspiring recognition that working together and collaborating more closely will create a tide that lifts every ship. Being that we at FEVO spend our days thinking about how we can best facilitate that type of collaboration, we were well chuffed to hear it. 

Below, some more specific learnings and takeaways from the many talented people we saw speak this past week in the Mile High City.

Dial in your “Big Look”

For those unfamiliar with the term “big look,” it essentially translates to a hyperlocal marketing campaign or gimmick that takes your event to the next level of visibility. Sierra Schuette, Senior Marketing Manager, Messina Touring Group, says, “I think if I say “Big Look,” I’m going back to those unique, nuanced things in your market. I’m looking for the things that can make it a little more special.” This insight is particularly apt for touring clients that need to figure out the nuances of local markets to get a bump, but also applicable to sports organizations looking to get a boost in their home markets. Think about ways you can add local flair or insider-ness to your marketing efforts. Make local audiences feel like you “get them” and they’ll respond.

Also, think beyond your home market

Olivia Christian, Marketing Director, TVG hospitality/The Orion Amphitheater, was asked about venues and show promoters building relationships and working together for their collective benefit — one thing Christian said that resonated with us was about how venue operators have a deeper knowledge of the areas outside the immediate market and can leverage that to help promoters move more tickets. “Knowing your statistics from years before [is very important].” she says. “We had, I think it was, 53% of people who came from over 60 miles to the amphitheater last year. So, just knowing, ‘Hey we’re talking to Huntsville, but we’re actually reaching into Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky. You’re the ambassador for your market and your venue and you're filling those gaps that promoters might not know cause they’re not thinking about [the surrounding area outside the main market].”

Run giveaways — and care about the losers

Kate Edge, Sr. Marketing Manager, Bridgestone Arena, discussed the value of not only running purposeful giveaways for lead generation, but also going the extra mile to close the loop with the people who didn’t win the giveaway. In short, these are people who are already well into the funnel and know your brand, so you can be a bit more cavalier in how you communicate with them. “One of the things we do is a “Lucky Loser” [campaign].” says Edge. “I’ll send out an email blast to people that registered to win a giveaway that says, ‘Hey, you didn’t win BUT here’s $10 off a ticket’ — because you already know that they’re engaged with the artist and they might want to come to the show.”

Put that premium inventory online
Nicole Houin, Sr. Director of Premium Sales & Service, 313 Presents, discussed why premium spaces should be sold online. Says Houin, “We have to get away from the stigma of, ‘Oh, we can’t put it out there’ — because if we don’t put it out there nobody’s gonna buy it anyway. People can’t buy what they don’t know, and everybody’s looking for that 140 characters on their phone — that quick, easy way. We’re in a society of instant gratification and if they can’t find it quickly, they’re going to move on to something else they can.” 

Up the urgency … particularly via your email subject lines

Christina Ventura, Director of Digital + Social, UBS Arena, talked about how important it is to communicate about sales as soon as they go live and to let the audience know right from that email subject line that the sale will be up for a limited time or that they’re part of a special group that has early access, but only if they act fast. “It's basically about urgency.” says Ventura. “We're trying to get the fans' attention.” So when you’re writing that subject line, remember that it’s your first weapon in creating a sense of urgency that can drive sales.

Big groups (and the people selling to them) benefit from tech-forward checkout solutions … *cough* FEVO *cough*

When asked about new developments that seem to be moving the needle on the group sales front, Kristy Maple, President and CMO of MagicSpace Entertainment (producers of the wildly popular Gold Over America Tour) was kind enough to provide some intel on what’s been resonating with groups (and drop a FEVO shoutout simultaneously). “It feels like for groups what seems to be moving the needle is opportunities to have payments be easier or more flexible — opportunities like using FEVO seem to be interesting groups in a way that lets them … in a way where one person isn't collecting money from individuals.” she says. “That seems to be a nice benefit — flexible payment terms, small deposits and then payments along the way. Things like that seem to be helpful for most groups.”

She also noted the value to group agents or group sales departments: “They're spending less time fulfilling orders and more time on outreach and cultivating their groups.” she says. “I think that can be really powerful and it also opens up a wider demographic and analytics and data collection for all of us. Because you don't just know about your group leader — you are seeing every buyer within that group and what they look like.”

Big Things We Learned at Last Week’s Annual Event and Venue Marketing Conference in Denver