Baby It’s Cold Outside

Posted on March 6, 2015

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Wait … Isn’t that a holiday song? Didn’t Puxatawny Phil say spring was on its way? As an Angelino, I can’t really complain about the cold but I’m in our Chicago office getting a small taste of real winter weather and I can understand why it’s affecting all aspects of an event cycle from marketing to production.

We’re seeing events with slightly lower registrations specifically in the Northeast. While our Production teams live and breathe the weather, it’s not on the top of the list for a Marketing team. Understandably so. To try and get in front of this, we just tested a new advertising approach where we specifically acknowledged the snow in Boston, It out-performed all of our other advertising creative in both click-through-rate and cost-per-click. Which led us to this tip we wanted to pass along: acknowledging the weather to your potential participants and you’re likely to see success. We’re also developing a “Spring is Here” email promotion for when it warms up (looking for the first day over 50 degrees). Have one or two of these in your back pocket to send out when people can actually feel the sun and be excited about doing your event outside.

Another painful reality of this crazy winter weather that much of the country is experiencing is that registration windows are shrinking. We’re feeling that pinch too. You can plan for this by increasing your marketing frequency during the key registration time. Instead of a month of marketing, you may need to do one heavy up week. We’ve seen success with a sudden impact day of radio where an ad is played every hour instead of a week of spots. Another alternative is to send three emails in one week instead of one email each week for three weeks.

Our Production teams are also looking to the weather hoping for the snow to melt. (Who isn’t, right?) Visit your site as the snow is melting. You’ll want to see first-hand how water and runoff may affect your site plans. Do your contingency planning. And if Old Man Winter just won’t let up, be prepared with our new favorite weather app, Storm by Weather Underground, which provides alerts on precipitation and an HD radar.

We know sunny skies and event season is just around the corner. Hopefully, with a little extra work we can pave way for the best time of the year when we get to be on-event with our participants, volunteers, and sponsors. And we can all laugh at the one of the craziest winters in history!

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