There’s a lot that can go right when running a live promotional event for your product or service: increase sales, generate leads, grow brand awareness, connect with prospective clients etc… But, there’s plenty that can go wrong once an event starts, no matter how prepared you think you may have been. There are typically many moving parts within a live event and failure to excel in one area can sabotage all of the hard work you put in beforehand.
If you’ve recently had a promotional event not go quite the way you drew it up, now is the time to reflect on what went wrong. Here are some key areas that may have held your event back:
Failed to Identify Your Audience
This is probably the most prevalent mistake that event planners, promotional staffing agencies and business owners make when organizing an event, and it is also one of the most costly. If you don’t know who your audience is, your event is not going to be a success.
Without knowing your audience, you typically cannot:
- Communicate to them in their language
- Know where they frequent
- Reach them with your marketing
- Create a realistic budget
- Pick an appropriate venue
- Create a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for your event
If you do not put in the time to research your target audience prior to a live promotional event, your promotional staff will be in for a long day. If you aren’t sure exactly what you need to do to identify your audience, this Eventbrite article lists three key steps to develop your understanding: creating a persona, research, and market sizing.
In any situation that you are trying to engage with consumers, communication is key (just like your relationship counselor taught you!). It’s equally important to have strong communication between the client and the promotional staffing agency, as well as among the promotional models & brand ambassadors that will be running the event. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
Making sure that there is a direct line of communication to account managers and having contingency plans in place in case anything goes wrong is invaluable. If you’ve had a difficult time as either the promotional staffing agency or the client trying to get in contact with the other side, chances are that small problems can quickly become big problems.
Failed to identify the Team Lead
Once an event begins, making sure that brand ambassadors and other promotional staff have a point-person on location is critical for running a smooth live promotional event. If you don’t have an on-site Team Lead at your promotional event, clients and consumers alike won’t know who to address their concerns with. There can be anywhere from 3-30 brand ambassadors working a given promotional event and someone needs to be in charge.
Having a Team Lead will greatly increase the lines of communication within the event, as well as post-event if either the agency or client has questions or concerns. If for any reason issues arise during an event, the promotional staff need to have a source for answers.
Lack of Teamwork
This seems obvious, but we all know how easy it can be for teammates to lose sight of the bigger goals of an event, or even our everyday jobs. If your promotional staff has even just one bad egg that may not be pulling their weight or is bringing negative energy to an event, the foundation can begin to crumble. “That’s not my job” is a phrase that should be eradicated from your team’s vocabulary.
With very few in-house promotional teams these days, it is not uncommon for a team of promotional staff to consist of brand ambassadors & models who have never worked together before. This puts pressure on promotional staffing agencies to acquire the kind of talent that has the ability to work in a variety of environments with various personalities. A Team Lead should assign roles to each brand ambassador or promotional model if this was not done previously, but they need to be willing to help one another outside of these roles.
Unprofessional Brand Ambassadors
This is embarrassing for all parties involved and cannot be tolerated. Whether promotional staff were on their cell phones during an event, having inappropriate conversations with other staff, or showed up with dirty and unkept uniforms–consumers will not be drawn to approach a booth filled with staff simply looking to collect a paycheck. They are called brand ambassadors for a reason and should reflect the client in a positive and professional manor.
A great way to avoid this kind of behavior is to have extensive training for brand ambassadors so that they can understand the client and better represent their personality and mission. Staffing locally and vetting talent on a consistent basis can also help promotional teams be better equipped to handle the environment they are working in and relate to consumers in the area.
Being a Minneapolis based promotional event staffing agency, we at Modern Talent would love to think that we are located in the marketing epicentre of the Midwest, but we know when to be confident and when to be humble. Chicago is quintessentially the hub of the Midwest for marketing and the most globally connected city in the region. After all, the O’Hare International Airport on the Northwestern side of Chicago was named the busiest airport in the world in 2014. The Chicago metropolitan area, a.k.a. “Chicagoland”, is also the 3rd largest metropolitan area in the U.S. (roughly 9.4 million people) and the city of Chicago is the largest in the Midwest by almost 2 million people.
Business Landscape & Marketing Tactics
Chicago has a rich landscape of art, history, professional sports and businesses large & small. As of the 2010 Census, Chicagoland was said to have 230,624 small businesses alone. In 2016 the Chicago metro area was also home to 36 Fortune 500 headquarters. Trying to break into this market with a new product or simply maintaining relevance among well established brands is a daunting task that requires outside-of-the-box marketing techniques.
We’ll touch on the wine, spirits & beer industries specifically, being that is an area we specialize in at Modern Talent, but we think that our strategies to increase sales and grow brands through promotional events can be applied to many other industries. The need to get brand ambassadors out in front of your product, especially in the Chicago market, has become a necessity in the modern age of excessive brand exposure.
The rise of the craft industry throughout the U.S. has had maybe the largest impact on the adult beverage industry umbrella. It has carved out a niche in the market with microbrews & limited production beer, wine & even spirits more recently. Relatively speaking, the craft industry still represents small pieces of the pie in each respective industry, but they’re changing the way people view and choose their alcoholic drinks. Authenticity is a buzzword that will likely ring true for many millennials, and we’ve seen the shift with big beer companies going back to their roots and promoting their more “original” selves. Maybe you’ve noticed the switch to vintage looks from Budweiser, Coors & Miller Lite cans & bottles in recent years.
For our purposes though, authenticity plays a larger role in connecting with consumers beyond labeling and visual ad campaigns. The best way to build connections between brands and consumers is to leave lasting interpersonal experiences with them. If you have a product in one of the thousands of beer, wine & spirits stores, restaurants, or bars in the Chicago area, how do you stick out from the crowd? Even big labels can’t rest on their laurels if they want to continue to grow sales. Our answer is always going to be this: hire well-trained, experienced and local promotional event staffing agencies to run live events and connect your brand with consumers. People generally remember positive interactions with other people more so than materials.
Promotional Event Staffing in Chicago
Unless you have your own promotional staff in-house (which is expensive!) or connections within the event staffing industry, knowing where to look and who to look for to promote your product in the Chicago market can be a big headache. The industry is flush with local, national & international agencies that offer such services, Modern Talent being one of them, but outsourcing your promotional and branding events can feel a lot like dropping your child off at school for the first time–you just hope and pray they’ve been listening to you and will make you proud of all your hard work!
A simple YellowPages search for “Promotional Event Staffing Agency near Chicago, IL” revealed 2,654 results. Yikes! Yelp did a better job of narrowing things down, but knowing which keywords to use is the tricky part. Our Yelp searches yielded 58 results for “modeling agency”, 24 results for “event staffing agency”, 13 results for “promotional modeling agency”, 9 results for “promotional staffing agency”, and 5 results for “promotional event staffing agency” in or near Chicago.
A big issue with these search results is also the amount of filtering you have to do on your own to find a match. It’s the nature of the game, but it furthers our point that the market is saturated to the point that finding what/who you really want can be a difficult process. The big questions that you need to ask: Are there agencies that specialize in my industry? If so, are they locally staffed? To what extent do they train their brand ambassadors and live event staff? Often these questions may not be so easy to find answers to, so the best thing we can do to help is to clarify what Modern Talent can do for you.
Modern Talent’s primary services include Promotional Models, Bar Promotions Staffing, Brand Ambassadors, Event Staffing, Guerrilla Marketing, In-Store Product Demos & Tastings, Trade Show Staffing & Promotional Models and Wine Professionals. With any event, we strive to pair talent that is local to your community to create a more personalized and homey experience for consumers.
Modern Talent has worked with and continues to work with numerous well established brands such as Jagermeister, Corona, Maker’s Mark, and Grey Goose Vodka. The backbone of how our business came to be was the need for well-trained, outsourced promotional event models and brand ambassadors, especially in the adult beverage industry. Along with the growth of technology, travel costs have continued to grow and have threatened to make in-house promotional event teams a thing of the past. But, there is hope! Our remote capabilities allow us to have well-trained, versatile and local models and brand ambassadors to help brands promote their products in 13 states throughout the U.S., with Chicago being one of our most prioritized markets.