With 2015 & 2016 events having been held at Union South to smaller crowds, we looked to freshen and enliven the marketing for the Dinners’ 2017 return to Great Hall. Our goal was to increase attendance and we did that—by almost 20%, selling out almost every seat.
For the graphic approach, we wanted a traditional feel with a more modern look. We chose to keep the same color scheme as the previous year, but to renew all of the graphics and some of the messaging. The deliverables included an array of direct emails to a wider membership audience (29,000), Facebook ads & event posts, Inside UW ads, ATM and in-Union digital signs, along with Union web special event and individual event promotion.
One of the key strategy changes for 2017 was to introduce a special early bird rate, rather than to offer a “fire sale” on tickets that hadn’t sold closer to the event start dates. The idea behind this was to reward our loyal customers & members, and those who would plan farther ahead. This approach seemed to work very well, and while we had to move marketing up to an earlier schedule in an already busy early fall, we were able to reach our ticket sales goals and were able to cancel some of the advertising spending we had planned closer to the events.