Are events for me?
This section looks at the pros and cons of getting involved with events, and the the things to consider at the decision-making and planning stages.
The pros and cons
- Captive audience for brand building and education about your products. Through enjoyable and unique experiences at events, consumers not only learn about your brand but gain an emotional connection with it. Such connections often serve as strong purchase cues and positive brand perception over a sustained period of time, beyond the immediacy of the event itself.
- Revenue generating opportunities through ticketing, product or merchandise.
- Exposure to new consumers and cross promotional opportunities to a greater mass market, through various advertising media.
- Helps you to stay in touch with your customers and gather further information about them.
- A strong opportunity to broaden your customer base/demographic and recruit new membership to mailing lists and other databases.
- In most instances, the event can be tailored to fit your brand and the size of your winery.
- Exposure to corporate sectors via sponsorship and other key relationships, such as media.
- In some instances, it can be an opportunity for association with an activity that’s non-wine related, but complimentary to your brand.
- Potential on flow for community and related tourism benefits.
- You take the risk and invest significant time and money, even if the event is organised by others.
- Can detract from your brand if the event doesn’t work well, and/or visitor expectations are not met.
- Weather dependent (if outdoors).
- Insurance can be expensive.
- Facilities and staff – are yours adequate?
- Security issues.
The things to consider
For all events
- Does the event offer opportunity to increase awareness of your brand, or region, or both?
- What is the best timing in the year for the event? What other events are on at the same time (regional, state, national) that could impact adversely on patronage, or conversely, provide a platform to leverage further promotion from?
- Is it important that your staging/involvement in the event pays for itself, or are you treating the event as a potential marketing & promotion expense?
- If your event staging/involvement needs to pay for itself or make profit, how do you intend to generate revenue (ticket sales? food/wine sales?), and what level of sales is required to break even. Do the event organisers consider this target realistic?
- Is your selection of entertainment and food service mindful of the tastes of your target consumers, not just what you like?
- How will the event be promoted?
- How will you communicate your brand and products to potential new customers, and also cater for existing loyal customers?
- Do you have the necessary expertise, time, staff and financial resources/marketing budget to host/staff the event? Can we deliver (preferably over-deliver) on customer expectations for the event?
- Who will actually be planning and managing the event from within your own business?
- Who can you approach for grant funding, sponsorship or in-kind assistance with participation/staging?
- Is there another party that you can partner with to offset the costs and spread the risk?
- What are the possible risks associated with running/participating in this event?
- Are you undertaking any environmental initiatives?
When participating in larger events
- What is the history of the event/festival?
- What benefits have other wineries gained from previous participation?
- Is the event affordable? What are the costs of participation?
- Does the event fit with your brand values/objectives?
- Can you maintain your own brand identity among others from your region?
As with any activity, the more prior research you do, the better your chances of success. Once you’ve made the decision to proceed, consider the logistics carefully and contract external suppliers where appropriate.