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To get a better idea of how we can help grow your event, we recommended that you watch this EXTENDED testimonial from the Portland Seafood & Wine Festival, or simply read the transcript below.
"My name is Sean Guard, I'm the owner of Metropolitan Productions, and one of our events that we produce every year is the Portland Seafood & Wine Festival. This year in 2018 was our 13th year, we're a 2-Day event at the Oregon Convention Center, and we cover 60,000 square feet of space.
Starting a couple years ago, we used to do just traditional marketing. Back in 2016 we started doing some social media marketing as well, and as many of you know from being event producers and managers, sometimes you can do things well, and sometimes you've got to bring in professionals to do things. We thought that we did social media ok, but never thought that we did it fantastically.
This year in 2018 we brought in Microtarget Marketing and they really took us to another level. The 3 gentlemen that are with the company each have their own expertise, and they brought all of that to the table, and we literally hit it out of the park with them.
So this year in bringing in Microtarget Marketing, we really looked to up our attendance, both through pre-purchase tickets and through walk-up purchases themselves. We really didn't have a lot of data to go off of in terms of what worked for us marketing wise and what didn't work for us, so for this year we wanted to stay with just one change, and do it, and try and do it very well.
In the past few years, we've been between 12,000 & 14,000 total attendees for the event. This year we went over 15,500 and in comparison to last year, this year we went up over 45% in total ticket sales for the entire weekend, which you as event organizers know, is a phenomenal number to take a jump in just one year. Now you can put that off to a lot of different things; the weather was a little bit different, we had some different vendors... a lot of different things along the way.
But really the only thing that we did differently, the only thing that we could control as event organizers and owners, was the social media marketing that we did. That was the ONLY change we made, going from trying to do it in-house ourselves, to instead having it done by professionals."
"So in 2017, we [sold] a little over 1,700 pre-sale tickets. This year through using Microtarget Marketing, we actually went over 5,000 pre-ticket sales, which you know as event organizers, that's a bellwether for how the rest of your sales are going to go. We knew going into it that we were going to have some increase, but we really, really, were surprised at the amount of increase, the amount of buzz that was out there on social media, and the results that came through at the end by the time the weekend was over.
It also helped us anticipate for tickets, and gates, and ticket sellers. One of the things we wanted to make sure, was that if we really did have a great experience this year with our social media, and we increased greatly the amount of attendance that we had, we wanted to make sure there weren't negatives over on the other side (i.e. long-lines, and long-waits), and really we didn't have that much of them. So for the advanced ticket sales alone, that became a bellwether for us to really be able to plan better for the entire event ahead of time.
So obviously this year with our jump in attendance, that created quite a positive interaction and event for our vendors and exhibitors that we had as well. We knew from the advanced ticket sales and how those were moving, and the increases that we were seeing in those, to let folks know ahead of time, starting out about 2 weeks, how well ticket sales were going and that they should start preparing their products and supplies, to be able to handle more people.
By the time the weekend was done, the number of comments that we got back from exhibitors as they were heading out the door, as they were packing up and getting ready to leave was just phenomenal for us as event owners to hear. One of the other side benefits of it is that they sold so much [product] that our move out actually took very few minutes whatsoever. Typically, with 60,000 square feet, in about an hour we've got about 90% of the vendors are already loaded out. This year in about 20 minutes, there were probably at least 75% of the vendors completely gone from the floor. So to be able to bring in that amount of product, to begin with, regardless of what their products or their services were, and to have very little to carry back out at the end of the weekend, made them some very, very happy clients.
We would highly recommend, that you as event professionals, sit down talk with Microtarget Marketing. And that's a two-edged sword. They did phenomenal for us, and they did phenomenal for us in so many different areas that, I really don't want to share them with you. But the fact is that no matter what, good increases in events are good for all of us, so we want you to be successful as well."
"Like I mentioned before, we thought we knew what we were doing in social media marketing, but we were just doing a so-so job, or if you tatalk to some of these folks along the way, we were probably doing a pretty bad job of it, even though we thought we were doing pretty well. For them to come in and really take our event, focus on it, and Micro-Target-Market the event, made all the difference in the world, and that for us is phenomenal.
You as other event professionals, you've gotta see the benefits that there are to social media. With the high costs that there are to other media, and other ways to advertise your event, but the viral status that can happen with social media marketing, this year we saw the power of that, and we BANKED the results of it as well.
So with all of the years we've been in event production, I don't even know how to put a good value on what Microtarget Marketing brought to us. I can tell you this, we'll use them again, and again, and again. We'll actually probably try to partner up with them to try and do some events where, we know the logistical side and all of that very well, and leave all of the advertising in their hands.
As you go through and hopefully talk with the guys from Microtarget Marketing, don't be short-sighted. Don't look at just the social media side. Let them know everything that you've done to try and advertise and push your events, and let them go through and evaluate, and give you some honest feedback about what is working in today's world, and what isn't. Even some of those things that you've done for years. And I know we all have great relationships with our marketing executives, and the folks that work for the newspapers, for the radio stations, and TV stations. But really, think for yourselves, what are people watching, and listening to anymore? We're in front of our computers all day long. It really gets down to marketing right where people are, and right when you need it."
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