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June 8, 2022

How to use SMS marketing on-site at your event

Imagine this. You’ve put months of effort into marketing your event. It’s a sell out. You’ve reminded fans about your upcoming event and provided instructions on how to get there. You’ll no doubt send a wrap up email thanking everyone for attending. But what are you doing to inform and engage your audience while they’re at your event? 

The opportunities for SMS marketing to not only engage your audience but also upsell and maximise revenue across the whole customer journey are endless. But more specifically, how can on-site SMS marketing at your event create a better, more memorable fan

Why use SMS for marketing?

SMS marketing has seen a resurgence and with it, a cost-effective way to engage your audience with high open and response rates. On average, SMS has a staggering open rate of 98%, with 90% of messages being read within the first 3 minutes of receipt. 

While most digital marketing channels continue to increase in cost (Facebook, Google and co. we’re looking at you) and user data sitting with those publishers, SMS remains one of the most affordable communication channels. Best of all, you own the data - just be careful to not abuse it and come off as spammy!  

How to use SMS marketing at your next event

But, how can you use SMS effectively at your events? Here’s a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing. 

  1. Logistics. Get fans in (or out of) your event faster. If one entrance is at a bottleneck, you can SMS people who haven’t entered yet to head to another gate. Conversely, you can get fans out of your event faster by reminding them of all available exits and options for getting home safely. 
  2. Updates. No event ever runs according to plan. There’s going to be lineup changes, set time changes and sometimes safety or operational changes that fans need to be made aware of. What better way to get this critical info out to the masses than with a text?
  3. Upsell. Your revenue stream doesn’t just end at the ticket sale. Merchandise as well as food and beverages are a great way to add additional revenue. But how often are you actively encouraging and reminding fans to make the most of these facilities? You may even choose to make your text more engaging by encouraging action with a special offer like “20% off all merchandise for the next 30 mins”. 
  4. Reminders. Something as simple as utilising Spotify data to remind fans when their favourite artist is performing ensures that they don’t miss a second of the action. Speaking of not missing the action, a quick text can also remind fans when their favourite artists are at the signing tent so they can get that newly purchased merch signed. We’d recommend sending these at least 30 minutes prior to start time. 
  5. Surprise and Delight. Reward some of your top spending fans with a surprise on the day. You could organise a side of stage viewing, exclusive merch packs or a food and beverage credit to really make their day. Simply send a text to notify the lucky winner/s of their prize and how to redeem it. 

Bonus Tip: To create an even better experience for your fans, consider customising and automating texts. 

There may be times when a ‘send all’ is required but to avoid inundating ticket buyers with irrelevant information, be sure to look at ways you can customise messages and contact specific segments.

Automating is also a great way to remove manual labour and increase the speed in which a text is delivered. Texts can be delivered when a fan completes a certain action such as scanning into the event via their ticket or being one of the first 100 to enter the event. 

Where to Next? 

While there are huge benefits to on-site SMS marketing, it should form part of your overall marketing strategy that includes, pre, during and post event communications with your fans. 

Great SMS marketing at your event, used in combination with email marketing and engaging campaigns to create unique fan experiences will increase your retention and average order value.

Ready to start using SMS marketing for your next event? Create a free Audience Republic account here

For more information, or to check out Audience Republic’s SMS platform, arrange a product demo with our team today.

Photo by Roland Denes on Unsplash

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Article by
Zac Messih

Zac is the Content & Partnerships Marketing Manager at Audience Republic. His previous experience includes working at Live Nation and top global creative agencies such as Leo Burnett and DDB.