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BrandBird Marketing Solutions: Behind the Scenes of a Specialised Event, Chapter One

AUGUST 31, 2015
Creating and managing events is one of the best work highs. The feeling of accomplishment is incredible and for many people, it’s the thrill and complete high of it all that makes them go back for more.

However for all those who are in the events industry know that it’s not just sweet daisies and princesses. There’s a lot of behind the scenes work with many varying levels of stress.

Having worked on a couple of specialised events, I felt I would share some of my insights and learnings thus far in a two chapter Blog.


In July of 2014, I created and hosted one of my best events yet, The Camp Orchards Winter Country Day.

The brief was to create an event that showcased the spectacular setting of Camp Orchards Boutique Resort whilst marketing their services subtly throughout the day.

I decided to create a Winter Country Day, a day where people could come together to enjoy the spectacular setting of Camp Orchards whilst enjoying some of KZN’s best food, drink and entertainment.

Being one for lists and strategy I went about building my event strategy by asking myself some questions…
First and foremost, the big question-

1. What is our budget?

I was not given a set budget nor was I asked to make a profit from the day.  This made things rather interesting from the onset. In a bid to create a beautiful event and not break the bank, I set up my own budget system. I made the decision that all costs had to be covered by the tickets and anything over and above the expense of the day was an added benefit and would go back into the running of this beautiful resort. This set up had me strategising ways which I could keep costs down whilst still delivering a top class day. This motivated me to think out of the box and find ways to save on things like marketing, decor and goodie bags. The pressure to ensure we got enough ticket sales became the next big thing on the agenda. I naturally started to consider my Marketing plan but first, I needed to understand what type of event I was going to create. This brought me to my next question...

2. What is going to make this Country Day different from other events?

The set up of the day was similar to that of your local market. Where I decided to change things up a bit was to create a focus on Health and Wellness. I only invited traders that sold products that were either artisanal, handmade or had elements of health/wellness. The outcome was fantastic and in itself our Country Day was unique. In adding to a different style market day, we had a deli section as a meal option. Guests could make up their own tapas board from the deli selection of artisan cheeses, olives, deli meats and bakery. They could then enjoy their meals in the pastures whilst listening to local band, No Fly Zone. This in itself created a different atmosphere to the day. Having conceptualised my event I came to my next question...

3. What will be the draw card for this event?

As health and wellness became the overarching theme for the day, we felt it only fit to invite guest speaker Davey du Plessis. Davey set out on a solo Amazon mission. A few days into his trip he was shot and left for dead. Davey today believes it was the healthy lifestyle he led that allowed him to survive the ordeal. Being a South African with a story to share of the importance of health in this day, we felt this would be a good fit.

4. What ticket system would be most convenient for our guest?

We decided that instead of managing our own tickets, we would bring in the professionals. We contracted in Web Tickets to handle all ticketing. This was probably one of the best decisions and it took a huge amount of stress off my hands.

5. What type of day is it, a family affair, adults only?

We wanted to appeal to the whole family so we allowed Kids U/7 in for free. I also decided to create an entire kids entertainment section. This was a great hit as folks were able to sit back and relax whilst their kids were entertained with sand art, a jumping castle and the softball pool.

6. What added value can we give our guests?

Goodie bags always go down well. So I set myself the task to make up a complimentary goodie bags for all the ladies. I managed to get 200 Longevity magazines donated along with some  On The Go snack mixes. We also popped printed Camp Orchards Packages booklet into the goodie bags for some subtle marketing.  Once I understood the day I wanted to create, my next step was to create my marketing plan.

7. What is our marketing plan and what platforms will we use to market this event to ensure we reach our target market?

Everyone in the marketing and advertising game knows that advertising does not come for free. I found myself in a tricky position and asking myself- “How much am I willing to outlay at the risk of not covering my costs in the ticket sales?”

This got me strategizing and looking for the most affordable way to reach my target market without outlaying a huge amount in advertising costs.

From the onset I decided that I had three groups of people I wanted to reach:

The Galavanting Adolescents (24-30 yrs)
• The Esteemed Event Lovers (45 - 60yrs old)
• The Young Families (30-45yrs)

I have always found it easier to create identities for my target markets. Once I had identities for the type of people I wanted to reach, my marketing plan fell into place. Find out more about my three target market groups and the marketing plan that developed as soon as I understood who I needed to reach in Chapter Two of Behind the Scenes of A Specialised Event.
Catherine De Lange | Head Bird
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