• Jenelyn Bacani

5 proven ways to stand out from your competitors

We’re all on a tight race when it comes to marketing our events. Just a few weeks ago we found out that there’s another event company organizing almost the same event as ours, with same event title on the same month here in Dubai.

If we weren’t vigilant enough, we would’ve missed the gap and it could have tremendously impacted our attendance rate.

strategies to stand out from competitor

Although both events are geared towards a totally different market, having the same event title is a challenge because it confuses the audience by having them led to a totally different website whose program is completely different from ours.

We need to rectify the issue by just going on what we know best: boost event awareness to the extremes

First of, we need to be very clear what our event is about and who our target market is. We need to establish our identity, enough to differentiate us from the other event company.

Second of all, we need to ensure that the audience knew we are not associated with the same company. Otherwise, they might confuse both conferences as one integrated unit and this can lead to misleading concepts and branding.

Lastly, we need to increase our visibility and amp up our game since we're competing within the same time frame.

What's the game plan? Be bold and aggressive.

Here are 5 aggressive marketing strategies that we can all learn from to boost online presence, strengthen event grip and stand out from our competition.

#1 Convey a powerful message

Instead of focusing on what the event is about, think of diverting the audience to a stand out one liner that depicts a powerful emotion.

When Dove commercial was launched in 2004, perhaps all women from all ages were glued on the screen fantasizing on how they can achieve "real beauty".

Instead of focusing on how the soap can clean thoroughly, Dove brought us to the conclusion that as an end result of using their brand, you can look more beautiful – which is something all women would be interested in to.

Clean is obvious. This is something that you can expect from a regular soap bar. But what else can it offer that is more striking than this, is "real beauty".

This ground-breaking campaign made them sold billions in the market. They built their brand around the concept of defining beauty in different perspectives and empowering women of all ages to be confident in their own skin.

Events too should have a strong impact to their respective audience. What can you offer apart from the obvious? Information. Network of influential people. Insights. Experience. Is there anything else that we have not heard of yet?

Once you establish the "greater why" of your event in the market, there's no need to worry about competition. Give them a reason as to why they need to be in your event other than some place else.

#2 Go for 360 degree visibility

Just because you have distributed the rest of your marketing campaigns across all channels, it doesn’t mean it can drive you to the results you wanted.

There are more to social media than you think. And your competitors know this.

Posting event details is not enough. You need to be more creative and aggressive in immersing yourself with social trends and relevant topics.

Wherever you think your target market is, you have to be there. You need to establish friendship with your audience. Make them get used to your presence just like any other famous brands.

Engage with your audience in every way you can. Ask them questions, like their pages, read their articles and join their conversations. Always be in the loop.

#3 Be contagious

Talk about Social Currency.

From the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Jonah Berger’s book talks about how social currency can shape people’s mind. Just because the message is out there, doesn't mean you can already be complacent with the outcome.

Chances are, if your message is not something worth sharing, it won’t compound as expected.

In order for your campaign to resonate around the channel in a heartbeat, it must be unique, helpful, funny or cool.

It needs to be so interesting and so irresistible that anyone who reads it will be too consumed and too excited to share it to others.

In short, your content must be something they will be so proud to share among their peers. Otherwise, if your content is off or boring, they will be reluctant to spread the message because it will affect their own image.

#4 Connect with local influencers

Social media influencers are one of the strongest channels we often overlooked.

According to Social Media Strategist, Beverly Theresa, this is the easiest way to reach out to people outside your usual audience. Not only can they promote the message you want to come across, they can also drive their followers to attend your event because a huge portion of their fan base are active in social and business engagements.

“One of the small businesses I executed a campaign like this for had their event hashtag trending on Twitter in their city and trending in Canada.

Afterwards, they noticed an influx of new followers and foot traffic from people in their target audience. Choosing the right influencers is key.” – Beverly Theresa

Find local influencers that can help you increase your event awareness. They can get things viral in a matter of minutes. These are creative people who you can easily collaborate with to add some spice on your event.

#5 Create an interactive entertainment

Generating a buzz can attract more audience. Although indirectly, you can easily stream your event within a series of interactive games or contest online.

Crystal Hopkins from Buzztime says that attracting a crowd is the first thing you need to learn because when everyone else already paid attention, there’s no stopping you from conveying your message and promoting your event.

The key here is to get their attention and to keep them coming.

Live Trivia is one way to get your audience attention online while you keep your event running at the sides to keep them informed.

Remember that injecting humor, entertainment and fun activities gives you an edge to win your audience against your event competitor.

About Stride Plus Events

Stride Plus is an events organizing and management company based in the UAE, focused on business, networking and community events.

Learn more about our services here.

#eventstrategies #eventmarketing #eventplanning