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Top strategies for boosting business sales from large local events, festivals, and concerts


As a business owner, we’re always looking for ways to increase visibility of our products and services. If you’re not an event planner, you may not understand what the direct benefits are for using local events to increase sales and generate revenue. Small businesses can use events as an opportunity to

  • Raise brand awareness

  • Promote new products and services

  • Attract to new customers

Annual conferences and large-scale events have great impact on local economies. Record attendances, lodging, transportation and food, stimulate communities, sparking a boost in revenue and sales for small businesses. The economic value and impact that conferences, and major events have on the community helps support the development and growth of local cities.

The study from the Events Industry Council (EIC) and conducted by Oxford Economics is the first-ever comprehensive report on the impact of business events. The reported was released at IMEX America, the largest biggest meeting and event industry trade show in the U.S., which this year attracted a record 13,000 participants and provided a US$19 million economic impact to the host city, Las Vegas.

The study also concluded that in 2017, more than 1.4 billion participants from more than 180 countries attended meetings and events, generating more than US$1.03 trillion in direct spending. The average amount spent per business event participant was $711, according to the report.

North America had the highest spend at $381 billion in 2017, representing 37 percent of global business events direct spending, followed by Asia ($290.9 billion), Western Europe ($266 billion), Latin America/Caribbean ($33 billion), Africa ($23.4 billion), Central and Eastern Europe ($23.2 billion) and the Middle East ($1.8 billion).

In other words, you might be leaving money on the table and don’t even know it. No worries! As usual, I’ve got you covered. Here’s a guide to help you create a business strategy that will enable you to boost sales and revenue, using local conferences and events.

Research conferences or events

Each conference caters to a very specific audience and varies in size. Some conferences may attract 300 attendees, up to 100,000. That’s an opportunity to target 300 people in your city. Rather than trying to locate customers on social media, hoping that you’ll connect with someone, events provides you the ability to target a local audience. With your ideal clients in mind, you can create tailored products, services and brand messaging.

Social Media Marketing

Don’t “skimp” on your marketing strategy. Partnering with a social media agency can help you achieve your business goals. Here’s why: investing in professional services for promoting and advertising your events, or products, can help you maximize your marketing efforts effectively. The campaign is short-term, so the investment may be worth it. The agency can help you craft social campaigns that speaks directly to your audience. Delegating this task to an expert will enable you to focus on other aspects of your business. I mean who really has time to research hash tags, create captions, pay-per-click campaigns, including posting?

Landing pages are great for collecting consumer data, building email lists, tracking and monitoring sales, tickets and bookings. Create a landing page for attendees to download coupons, sign up for offers, or get information regarding your events, and promotional offers.

Hash Tags

Hash tags are keywords used as search engine tools on social platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. Hash tags helps direct users to your social pages. Hash tags can be used to raise awareness about issues, find products and services.

How do you use hash tags? Locate search words that your audience may use to find certain topics, products or services. Incorporate the hash tags into your captions to help users find social postings. Start researching your hash tags today, to look for past events and even speakers.

Most conferences for example, have their own hash tag on Twitter. This will help you get a general idea on the demographic, the event purpose and other pertinent information that may help you promote and market your business.

Example, Afrotech, one of the largest, fast-growing tech conferences will be held in Oakland, Ca, November 7th thru November 11th 2019. Researching guest speakers, events, and target audiences, provides you with perspective on who you’re marketing to. I suggest using Twitter and Instagram to find out who is attending the events, and how you can tailor your offering to the attendees.

Community over competition

Success is rarely achieved alone. The right partnerships and collaborations can be advantageous for business owners for a variety of reasons:

  • Partnering on co-branded events or services strengthens your brands

  • Helps to alleviate the responsibilities of creating products or events. Tasks can be split, according to the capacity of each individual.

  • If fees are associated with hosting an event, each person can split the costs.

Collaborations and Partnerships

Are you getting excited about the possibilities? I hope so! Here are a few collaboration ideas that you may want to consider:

Personal Stylists, Hair, Makeup Artists, Seamstress, Tailors

Personal style is everything! I mean it determines how you feel, and how others may perceive you. Collaborating with one another elevates your brand, while offering individuals a “one stop shop” for styling conference goers from head to toe. You can create unique packages, based on services and the needs of the clients.

Personal trainers, Fitness instructors

What’s the one thing people post about on social media when traveling? “I didn’t exercise”, or they somehow “fell off track” with their fitness routine. Partner with local fitness instructors to help event goers stay on track with their fitness goals. Create packages that tailors to a variety of needs for clients; Yoga, HIIT fitness camps.

Offer special pricing for individual training sessions. Start filling your calendars early to reserve spaces for classes. Find a location that’s easily accessible for clients. Divide the costs associated with renting a space if necessary. Speaking of costs, now may be a good time to invest in marketing your services. Investing in professionally created campaigns can help create cohesive brand messaging, that speaks to your audience and represents each person’s brand. It also helps to reduce your out of pocket expenses.

Artists and Art Galleries

We all know that it’s customary to host art exhibits in galleries, however, partnering for a special local event can be beneficial for both parties. Perhaps you can negotiate pricing, for hosting the event in the art gallery space. Work with art gallery owners and curators in collaboration to promote and market the event, splitting the costs associated with curating exhibits (food, wine, DJ). Cross-promote the event on social platforms as well as your existing email lists. Most galleries have an email list to update subscribers about upcoming events. Contact your local visitor’s bureau and tourism board to update the website with your event.

Online clothing stores, retail stores, and fashion entrepreneurs

Pooling resources together to execute group economics enables individuals and groups to achieve their financial goals. Create a “fashion collaborative”. Yes, it’s a made-up term, but let me explain what I mean by “fashion collaborative”. Most online stores and even some department stores offer a variety of products, including brands. Just step into any Nordstrom or visit an online clothing store and you’ll see a wide range of t-shirts, jeans, and shoes.

Collaborating with fashion designers, online clothing stores, and boutique owners is an innovative way to bring your products, to customers, creating a unique shopping experience. Partner with local brands, create a unique brand name for the temporary store. Find a popup retail location or partner with a storefront business to host the event. Map out the city to find opportunities to host the popup event closest to the conference or festival. Research websites to book spaces on sites such as peerspace, or Airbnb Invest in marketing the event. Who would this ideally be suited for?

  • Hand makers

  • Jewelry designers

  • Fashion designers

  • T-shirt brands

Chefs, Caterers, Party Promoters, Event Planners

Who doesn’t love a good meal? Conference goers need to eat and what better time to enjoy the local cuisine than when attending an event. Use this opportunity to collaborate with party promoters, event planners and local Chefs to create an exclusive dining experience. Decide on a budget for the event. Create a menu. Choose a location, preferably near the actual festival or conference. Cross promote the events with your existing customer email lists and on all social channels.

Food trucks, Food Carts, Caterers

The city of Oakland, California hosts “Off The Grid” a monthly food event. The food festival brings thousands from all over the Bay Area to the Oakland Museum and other locations. Foodies enjoy their favorite food trucks, while tasting a variety of cuisines. After stuffing their faces, attendees can tour the museum while checking out the latest exhibits.

As a food truck owner, cater, and food entrepreneur, you can collaborate with local businesses to create your own “food event”. Pool your resources together to host an event, curated by the group. This strategy enables entrepreneurs to eliminate the competition that is often found at most food festivals.

Need space?

Your local Co working spaces offer a variety of options for hosting events. From kitchen space, to conference rooms. The prices are pretty reasonable and accommodate guests comfortably.

Barbers, Hair stylists and Nail techs

Are you a mobile nail tech? Perfect! Conference goers will need your services. Most event attendees will be staying at hotels, which makes it easy for you to access clients. Create promotional offers, packages and services for day of services. Use hash tags to find guest speakers and attendees. Tag visitors or send an email promoting your services. Incorporate hash tags into your captions on Instagram and Twitter to advertise your promotional offering. Don’t want until the day of the event to start promoting your services! Start booking clients now to fill your calendars.

Photographers and videographers

Want to earn some extra cash? Conferences, music concerts and festivals can help you generate additional income. Reach out to organizers of conferences to offer your services. If you live in a major city, there are unlimited opportunities to promote your services. Research guest speakers and influencers who may be coming to town and offer your photography services.

Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops

A popular festival just rolled into town and guest what? Your restaurant is packed! Good right? Not exactly. There’s nothing worse than an understaffed restaurant during a major event. The unexpected influx of guests can be overwhelming for both staff and customers. To prepare for the big day, research in advance upcoming conferences, festivals and concerts. You may want to create a calendar as a reminder of the upcoming events. The calendar can also be used to create a schedule for the staff to prepare for the crowds.

Create promotional and advertising campaigns to bring foot traffic to the restaurant. Use relevant hash tags in your captions on both Twitter and Instagram to ensure your posts are seen by customers looking for local restaurants. Tips for preparing for the “big day”:

  • Encourage guests to make reservations to secure a table

  • Offer take out delivery options

  • Provide catering services for out of town guests who may want to enjoy their meals outside of the restaurant.

Incorporating local events, festivals and concerts into your business strategy, will enable you to boost sales and revenue. Research upcoming conferences, festivals and concerts in your city. Create a strategy for driving traffic to your business. Partnering with local small businesses allows you to split the costs associated with hosting an event, including tasks. Hopefully, the tips I’ve shared will help you boost business sales from large local events, festivals, and concerts.

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