Launching a brand new event can be a daunting task, especially when that event is geared toward a very specific audience.
In the Fall of 2016, Willamalane Park and Recreation District, located in Springfield, Ore., had its first Tap & Taste event. More than 700 people attended and locals are still buzzing about the event that combined food, beer and live music with spreading the word about Willamalane’s new classes and programs for adults ages 18 to 49.
The event was so well attended because leaders at Willamalane took a smart, strategic approach to getting the word out about Tap & Taste, utilizing multiple marketing platforms and methods.
“Through innovative strategies we spent only 16 percent of program budget on promotion of this inaugural event and still got hundreds of people through the gates,” said Janet Donnelly, Public Affairs Coordinator for Willamalane Park and Recreation District.
Here’s a look at what they did:
- Produced eight 30-second videos featuring “bite-sized factoids” about the food and beverage vendors that would be at Tap & Taste.
- Included an invitation to RSVP to the event on Facebook in each video.
- Featured the videos on Facebook.
- Used a combination of sponsorships and paid media to run radio, TV and print ads valued at $13,312 while paying only $5,262.
Using Facebook to promote the event was a great move – especially considering the target audience. According to “The Demographics of Social Media Users” by the Pew Research Center 82 percent of online adults ages 18 to 29 use Facebook, along with 79 percent of those ages 30 to 49.
Each of the short videos produced to promote Tap & Taste reached 3,000 to 4,000 community members. The Facebook event on Willamalane’s Facebook page reached 8,400 individuals.
Social media continued to play a role in promoting the event even as it took place as attendees were encouraged to use #SpringfieldProud to share photos and comments about what makes Springfield a great place to live.
Text from tags people attached to a large mural at the event is also being used on Twitter in weekly intervals throughout the year to keep the conversation going.
The integrated marketing campaign was successful in promoting the event and in helping Willamalane reach its goal of increasing awareness of its adult programming.