Word count: 912 Reading Level: College Student Reading time: 3.32 Mins
Major events can reinvigorate the culture, economy and social status of a host city or country. There are several benefits of hosting major events, such as; Common Wealth Games 2018, Gold Coast 600, Sporting events, that are usually overlooked. Definitely, local businesses, irrespective of the kind, can reap the real benefits from major and minor local events in different ways. “The expenditure to host a major event” or “the pertinent benefits procured”- these are the two perspectives that are pitched as the major decisive factors regarding major events. However, over the past couple years, we have seen some urgency from motivated municipals (Gold Coast) and countries which are positioning to host big events. The attraction being for such cities towards major events is the fact that the benefits of hosting major events can far outweigh the expenditure of hosting them. We have compiled a short list of ways local small to medium businesses can capitalise on local events.
Setting up stores for immediate sales
Local stores have the most potential to benefit from big events, especially outdoor events. For instance, if a city is hosting a marathon, local savvy business people can foresee the requirement of products, such as; hats, sunblock, folding chairs, refreshments etc and prepare themselves with the appropriate stock. On the flip side, store operators can position products like food, beverages or attractive goods as door busters to attract more traffic in their stores.
Hotel / motel B&B reservations
Hotels can clearly capitise short term from travellers going to major events. Major events are known for luring in tourists, if you expect tourist, the next thing to foresee is accommodation. Being the owner of a hotel / Motel / B&B, the sooner you can anticipate this requirement the quicker you can create an edge over your competitors.
A head of time you should make sure visitors can find you online and that your booking procedures and the quality of your web presences is very good. At the moment that means, being mobile friendly, being able to take payment and bookings online, having quality images, information on your websites. Having a strong social presence will make the difference as well. Make sure you connect with the locations the expected customers will be coming from. Leverage travel bloggers and influencers so you get great references.
You can also resort to the strategy of creating attractive big banners and placing them on popular landmarks near the venue of the major event. Do not overlook the power of word-of-mouth advertising; tell your friends and colleagues about what you have an offer and throwing in a discount price on reservations before a set date is an ideal strategy to lure in customers quickly. Make it a point to print attractive brochures and distribute them via local supermarkets and bars.
Many offshore bookers rely heavily on trusted bloggers, review websies and the experiences of others online. Make sure your business is featured positively online in these forums. If it is not, honestly address the issues and relaunch.
Hire more hands as volunteers to the event
This is one of the best tricks in the trade. Think different, hire some people to perform some volunteer work during the event. Dressing these people with a t-shirt that spells out your brand name is an ideal means to get noticed quickly and even get some free media time. On some occasions, making a small but generous gesture can help you to earn big. For instance, if your city hosts a marathon and you are a local pub owner who is looking to capture the day, on this opportunity to make some big bucks, offering bottled drinking water with a label that mirrors your brand name, location and menu can come in handy when it comes to earning the limelight after the event ;)
Note: That would work great for all the Pokemon Go hunters running around too.
It’s not always about sales, but engagement too
Don’t come on to strong with your marketing strategy. Literally do not try hard to selling your services; rather, try to engage with your customers. After all you are the guest at an event which is there for them. If you are handling several tourists, try to make them feel like they are at home or buying products or services from a local store in their town. Ensuring efficient engagement with your customers can do wonders for your business, even for longer periods. Happy tourist come back again and again to the same places that were great. They also tell their friends to do the same.
Being a local business owner with a local major events can be a one stop solution to taking your business to great heights. Yes sometimes it is a short term roller coaster ride, but the extra cash can help build or expand your brand with your core market after the fuss has died down. It can also save your ass when cash is tight. Try to digest the fact that major events, irrespective of how major it is, will last for a maximum of a couple of months only. Plan your steps accordingly and while planning your advertising campaigns, see that you consider factors like the geographies from where you can expect visitors, gender, culture, preferences etc. Investing some time and effort to learn more about the event and the visitors will certainly come in handy when it comes to understanding what clicks and what does not.
Economicshelporg. (2016, no-date). Advantages of Hosting A Major Event. [Weblog]. Retrieved 12 July 2016, from http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/4909/economics/advantages-of-hosting-a-major-event/
Mintlife blog. (2010, 2 February 2010). How Local Economies Benefit From Big Sporting Events | MintLife Blog. [Weblog]. Retrieved 12 July 2016, from https://blog.mint.com/trends/how-local-economies-benefit-from-big-sporting-events/
Smallbusinesscom. (2015, 11 August 2015). How Local Merchants Can Benefit From Big Events. [Weblog]. Retrieved 12 July 2016, from http://smallbusiness.com/selling/ways-to-benefit-from-big-events/