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How to Plan a Successful Party (and/or Digital Campaign)

Posted on: 12/13/2012

The holiday season is in full swing, meaning there is a good possibility you will be planning some sort of get-together. Whether it’s a small family gathering, or a huge office party, the success of any event is determined not right after the invitations are sent out, but once you see how many people actually show up and witness first hand the great time being had by all.

Unfortunately, many brands have not grasped this concept of delayed success assessment – waiting until you have all the information before claiming a venture a success or failure. They are celebrating their digital campaign as “wins” as soon as they receive the first few video views, banner clicks, Facebook likes, or rounds of game play. These actions are simply the invitation, while the real indicator of success needs to be the depth and length of engagement.

So what can be done to ensure a praise worthy party (or digital campaign)?

1. Narrow down your invitation list. This is no longer grade school… there is no need to worry about anyone’s feelings being hurt if they don’t make it on your invitation list. For brands it is important to narrow the focus on those that would be most receptive to your message. In other words – don’t be afraid to segment.

2. Request an RSVP. A phone call or email confirmation is usually more credible than a simple, in-person “yea” with avoided eye contact. It is important for brands to get consumers to take action; whether it’s filling out a form, signing up for a mailing list, or requesting a phone call from a sales rep these actions are an indication of genuine interest.

3. Make your theme clear. From the decorations to the dress code, guests should know what they’re getting into. Brands should be sure all communications are reflective of the desired positioning and commit to the same voice, look and feel across mediums.

4. Be a great host. During the event: work the room, make introductions, and keep everyone’s glasses filled. In the world of brands this can be achieved with superb user experience design. Consumers remember when they feel comfortable and intuitively know what to do; it makes them stay longer and more likely to share or bookmark your site.

5. Post event photos. Be sure to promptly share some of the event photos, but also consider spreading out the postings. Each time a new set of photos is shared, it serves as a reminder of the great event. Brands should keep this in mind and continually look for new opportunities to showcase their consumers. This can be done through re-Tweeting, acknowledging the top ranked scorer, or crowd sourcing for new content and highlighting the person behind the chosen idea.

And one more tip: Immediately after a successful party or digital campaign is prime time to start planning the next. It’s important to make note of the feedback received in order to constantly improve. Brands can use social listening tools to monitor and track perception levels throughout each campaign.

While the time spent in the planning stages is typically substantially more than the length of the actually event, it is a worthwhile investment when the outcome is well-deserved appreciation and praise for a job well done.

Happy planning and happy holidays!

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