The 10 Biggest Lies in Events Marketing

There are plenty of innovators in the events industry. People that care about how they deal with customers, partners and management. Then there are others who simply do not care and would do everything it takes to sell a ticket. Here is a collection of their most recurring lies.

When the day of the event approaches and we’ve sold just few tickets, the temptation to lie is almost irresistible.

With such a time sensitive service, pressure is almost unbearable for some. A great event professional is an individual who is able to manage such pressure with honesty and integrity.

Whenever an event professional of such breed receives marketing material with certain calls to action, she immediately knows it’s a lie.

Here is an overview of the most recurring lies told by unscrupulous event marketers:

1. Space is Limited

No it’s not!

Creating scarcity drives people to act. This is one of the most frequent calls to action in event marketing.

In some situations space is indeed limited. In others, attendees will buy the ticket and find themselves in an empty room.

Limited space is usually a condition of very popular events. Using space as an advertising message means that something suspicious is going on.

2. Tickets are Going Fast

I received an email with such call to action just a few days ago.

If an event has a $3,000 ticket fee, sorry I don’t believe it.

This can also be the case of poor marketing. If tickets are indeed going fast, highlighting the benefits of attending, that made it sell fast on the first place, may be a wiser and more truthful strategy.

I am prone to think this is often an attempt to allocate empty seats.

3. For a Limited Time

I am totally fine with techniques such as early birds. Nevertheless, if I buy an early bird, I will go back to the event website and check what’s the ticket price a day before the event.

To my horror sometimes the price is even lower than early birds. Simply because tickets were not allocated.

As an attendee, this pi$*es me off big times.

4. Only on Facebook

If an event social media strategy involves giving discounts on specific social networks, fine, I am down with it.

What I often see instead, it’s double lie attempt.

First, if an offer is only for Facebook, the same offer should not be available on Twitter. This makes Facebook users go “meh” to say the least.

Second, the offer should not be on ANY other marketing channel. No email blast, no brochure. Ever.

5. Our Event Reaches 1 Million Industry Professionals

This is more of a B2B lie. It is often seen when trying to sell advertising reach to sponsors.

In some (but very few cases) popular events do indeed have such huge reach.

In other (more frequent) cases, the organizer just bought a random mailing list of individuals who don’t care and are not engaged at all. What they sell is a meaningless number.

Almost comparable to those who show proudly their 100k followers on Twitter. Mostly bots and fake accounts.

6. We Feature Interactive Sessions

A 10 minute Q&A at the end of a 50 minutes frontal presentation is NOT interactivity.

Such a statement would make people like Jeff Hurt sick to his stomach.

The concept of interactivity is now supported by a fantastic community of event designers who study how people interact during events to improve live experiences.

Before using the word “interactive”, a thorough research is needed.

7. The Biggest Event in The Industry

Biggest events in the industry do not need to say they are “the biggest event in the industry” to sell themselves.

Usually attendees know.

You may notice a particular lying angle when the marketing department puts an asterisk next to the statement, specifying according to what metric.

When I used to live in Australia, lots of unknown gigs where the largest in the “Southern Hemisphere”.

These events prefer to show their size instead of the real value of attending. Maybe because there is none.

8. Members Only Event

I am fine with that. As long as they stick to it.

Offering a non-member fee, betrays the previous statement. Whenever you spot such situation, you should immediately realize the event is trying to capture you in their marketing net.

9. Attend to Become an Expert

This is a recurring “why you need to attend” section statement.

Events are usually limited in time. One day workshops that promise attendees to transform them in half an hour are just, well, telling a lie.

Those working with events in education should be wary of the language they use and promises they make.

10. Connect With Potential Partners and Clients

Networking is usually a big seller for events.

If there is no effort by the management to offer tangible networking opportunities, a lie has been said.

Event professionals should provide actual networking possibilities for attendees. Leaving it to the attendee’s networking skills alone is not fair.

There are lots of customers who want to do business but may be introverts or simply do not know where to start.

Any statement of networking benefits not followed up by a proper attendee empowerment strategy is just a marketing statement.

In Conclusion

What can I say to conclude such a post. Let me think. Oh wait, here it is:

Be honest in what you state as attendees are not stupid. Lies may trick them once but that is it. Planning a business or a profession on tricks is not a viable strategy.

So let’s be honest, deal?