I tricked you. A lot. I won’t tell you where or with what company, but let me just say that I’ve used two tools on countless occasions to fool you. One is smoke and the other is a mirror. I wielded the proverbial smoke and mirrors to dupe you into thinking the production quality of many of the events and products I oversaw in my career were nicer than the reality.
That’s what you do when your budget doesn’t allow for extravagance. And when the budget does, that’s still what you should do. Smoke and mirrors are particularly effective at events, which I have always had a love/hate relationship with over the course of my career. I hate them because they typically cost a great deal of money to produce and the number of attendees almost never warrants the spend. But I love them because of the content and storytelling opportunities that come with them. If done right, a well-planned event can fuel your social feeds for days, if not weeks. That’s where much of the value lies. Not in entertaining the hundreds (if you’re lucky) of attendees, but instead entertaining the thousands upon thousands of fans following along online.
But even with the valuable content capture opportunity, there’s still that pesky cost issue to solve. That’s where the magician in you comes in. And against the marketing magician’s code of conduct, I’m going to pull the curtain back on one of my own event marketing tricks that not only saves money, but builds brand perception at the same time.
First, look at the layout of your event and identify the most important area in terms of digital content capture and storytelling. Second, put your resources and budget into making that single area look phenomenal. Third, lockdown your videographer and photographer on that single spot for the length of the event. Fourth, once captured, push your focused content out to your now envious social media followers who were unable to attend your beautiful event.
Little do they know that the sexiest part of the experience was but a fraction of the actual space. And while the other parts of your event might not blow attendees away, they won’t mind. Why? Because all they’ll want is that single selfie that carries with it social currency. Proof that they were at the event all their friends and family are drooling over via Twitter and Instagram. And guess where they’ll go to get that selfie. The sexy little corner of the room you invested all your time and money in.
Smoke, meet mirrors.