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Event Promotion Plan

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Brissie to the Bay is an event that is geared towards raising funds to help people live with multiple sclerosis. It has been a part of the cycling history in Australia for the past two decades. Majority of people love it because of the exciting and conducive environment they enjoy. The event has come from far, to record positive results in recent years. It attracted a small number of 80 riders when it was first held. However, the event managers have earmarked this year’s event to break more fundraising records.  In 2013, the event will be held on June, 23. It is expected that approximately 5,000 participants will take part in this annual event. The Brissie to Bay event is expected to raise around $1.2 million. Anyone interested can participate in the four different races around Brisbane in Australia. For example, a family friendly race covering around 10km will be held around the Brisbane Riverside. Other races will be held from Balmor and back, and Wynnum and back. The most challenging race covering 100km will be from Wellington Point and back. These different race courses assure that any interested rider will enjoy an event of the lifetime and will be willing to support the initiative of helping people living with multiple sclerosis. One can get more information about this event by checking their website at http://www.brissietothebay.com.au/index.php.

Assessment of the Market

Internal Analysis (Strengths and Weaknesses)

The event managers possess several strengths including the locating their event in an area that attracts large number of tourists and a high population growth. The event focuses in fundraising money to help people live with Multiple Sclerosis. Therefore, people are an integral part in the achievement of the financial target of the organization. The area has a high population that if when convinced, can participate in the charity event of raising funds for the needy people. Also, Brissie to the Bay is a well-recognized brand in the domestic charity events. It has the capability of attracting large numbers of volunteers to participate in this self-sacrificing event.  Currently, Australia is the most preferred destination for many tourists. Therefore, they can be persuaded to participate in the event to help raise massive funds for this noble purpose (Solomon, 2003). The event is located in an area that has abundant nature and attractions that may attract a lot of volunteers. Also, the Brisbane area has a wide range of leisure places that is surely attracting many people.

However, the event managers are faced with several weaknesses in their efforts to meet the $1.2 million financial target. Tourism is not adequately recognized, and this should be marked as a major weakness of the event. This is because the managers of Brissie to the Bay event primarily rely on the high number of tourists to raise funds for its course. The lack of security in some parts of Australia can be also regarded as a weakness since tourists would not be encouraged to come and participate in the cycling event. The lack of clarity between the departments in charge of different aspects of the event is a true concern for the event managers of Brissie to Bay. Some departments are clearly side-stepping the functions of the others and this can bring animosity and discomfort within the organization. The lack of support from the community is a worrying issue that might lead to a miserable failure (David, 2005). Lastly, another weakness of the event is the shortage of volunteers. In order to reach this year’s target of 5,000 riders, more people should be willing to participate in the event.

External Analysis (Threats and Opportunities)

The organizers of the event enjoy a couple of opportunities. For example, the prospect of global political instability in other countries boosts the number of tourists visiting Australia. Hence, more people can come and participate in this noble event. Population growth in Brisbane is increasing each day that increases the number of people who are likely to participate in the annual Brissie event. Major Airlines operating in Australia have lowered their travel costs, and this is an opportunity for the event to attract more people from other countries. A greater consciousness among the Australians in acknowledging the pain undergone by people living with MS can be regarded as an opportunity to make more people be willing to participate in the event to fundraise for these people. Another opportunity is the increase in the usage of new technology all over the world. In most cases, this increases awareness amongst many people in regards to the effect of Multiple Sclerosis and how one can participate in an event aimed at raising funds to help people live with the ailment. Also, the presence of new media technology presents an opportunity of reaching out directly to more people and persuades them to participate in this event.

However, the event managers of the Brissie to the Bay event are also faced with several threats that may hinder the achievement of the set targets. For example, the increase in prices for fuel could increase the costs of travelling to Brisbane. Majority of the people will not be willing to participate in the event fearing high travelling costs. Higher expectation amongst the riders concerning the terrain of the road can be a threat to the achievement of the set targets. If people are discouraged by adverse terrain, they might not be willing to participate in future events. A high population growth can also put a strain to the organizer’s efforts to have an effective cycling event. Therefore, this will hinder the achievement of the set financial target of $1.2 million. Another threat is the use of a multiple destination approach in passing the message to more willing participants. However, this may lead to destruction of vital messages which isn’t beneficial to the event (Blattberg, 1990).

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis provides a summary of the fundamental challenges facing the event managers of the Brissie to Bay event. It contains key elements of internal analysis i.e. strengths and weaknesses. Also, it contains the elements of external analysis i.e. opportunities and threats (Sadler, 2003).

Strengths

v  Based in a highly populated area

v  Well-established international brand

v  Based in an area perceived as a safe tourist destination

v  Enjoys significant contribution from tourism

v  Low travelling costs to the event

Weaknesses

v  Decreased number of people interested in the event

v  Shortage of volunteers

v  Lack of role clarity between the different departments in charge of the event

v  Importance of caring for people living with Multiple Sclerosis is not sufficiently recognized

Opportunities

v  Greater public awareness on the state of people living with MS

v  Innovations in transport technologies in regards to cycling

v  Increase in worldwide use of technology

v  Increased population growth in Brisbane

v  Low air travel costs to Brisbane event

Threats

v  Increasing fuel prices to Brisbane

v  Multiple destination approach to spreading of the message could lead to fragmentation of the message

v  Higher expectation amongst participating riders

Target Market

Consumer Information

Brissie to the Bay event is primarily targeting all the people who might be willing to participate in helping the needy. It has developed strategies that will go to a great extent in welcoming more people. The event does not discriminate against anyone willing to participate. Even children can participate albeit in a shorter race of 25 km only.

The market selected by the event managers is critical for achievement of the set targets. The marketing decisions of the organizers are entirely aimed at reaching the set financial target of $1.2 million. People are different and therefore, the organization seeks different ways to meet their needs. The organization recognizes the importance of different age groups and hence, it has set up different races for them to participate in.

Market Segmentation

The event managers have to use market segmentation in order to reach its targeted market. This approach is currently gaining prominence whereby they are segmenting the market according to the characteristics of the customers (Taylor, 2001). In this approach, it has to divide its broad market into three segments i.e. adult, child and family. All members of these different market segments pay different cost for registering for the race.

Marketing Mix (4Ps)

Place:  the Brissie to Bay event will be held in Brisbane in Australia. The event is hosted on an area with good terrain for riders to enjoy the cycling experience. Also, the area is suitable for the charity event because of the security provided by the local authority. Being located in a secure, convenient and easily accessible location is an added advantage to the event.

Promotion: the event will use different promotion channels to reach out to many people all at once. For example, the event managers will buy airtime in leading radio stations in Brisbane such as 97.3 FM, Nova 106.9 FM, Planet radio and 99.7 FM, to advertise about the event. Also, they can advertise the event on TV stations such as ABC Brisbane, ABC News 24, SBS One, 7mate, and ABC kids. The majority of the advertisements should be scheduled during the evening hours for exposure to a larger audience. In terms of magazines, the event managers can purchase advertising space on leading magazines such as Pacific magazine, Inflight magazine and Brisbane News. The entire promotional budget will be approximately $50,000 and will be factored in the overall budget of organizing the event.

Price: The event charges diverse prices for different categories of participants. These prices are clearly highlighted under the market segmentation section. For example, the children are charged between $30 and $50. Adults are charged anywhere between $50 and $100. However, the family is required to pay $130 as registration fee.

Service: the Brissie to Bay event is aimed at fundraising money to help people living with Multiple Sclerosis. The event will target people from different age groups who will participate in this annual event. The event managers have packaged their product in order to target volunteers who may be willing to participate in this charity event.

Objectives

Overall Business Objective

The main objective of the event is to raise funds to help people live with Multiple Sclerosis. It is targeting to collect $1.2 million to go into this noble activity of helping these needy people.

SMART Promotion Objectives

The organization has several promotion objectives that drive its performance throughout the year. These are:

v  Service the state of Brisbane equitably

v  Promote the Brissie to the Bay event as the main sponsor in helping the needy

v  Best practice performance in all the core competency areas of the organization

v  Support those people living with Multiple Sclerosis

v  Champion for the right of people living with multiple sclerosis

v  Effective use of technology

v  Provide a conducive environment for the riders’ participation

v  Maintain and grow the Multiple Sclerosis profile in Australia

v  Support the activities of Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia

v  Maintain and grow the organization’s financial capacity to fund the event

Promotion Strategies

The event managers formulate different promotion strategies that will position the event well in the market. In order to achieve the set financial targets, communication and brand strategies are central. All of the strategies are designed according to the objective goals and market segments of the event understating of which is detrimental to the success (Perreault et al., 2008). Some of the strategies that can be used to great effect include:

Create a memorable event. It will always be ringing in the minds of many people. Hence, when a new event is held, people will not hesitate about participating. Therefore, the organization should focus on creating a memorable occasion that is sure of having an impact on its participants. This type of marketing is best suited to such an event that focuses on attracting people from different market segments i.e. children, adults and family.

Partner with a big, reputable organization. If the partnership works effectively, both will reap great benefits. In this case, the charity organization will get instant exposure to a larger audience who will be willing to participate in the noble events. For example, partnering with an international organization such as UNICEF will bring enormous benefits to the charity as it will be able to get clients from all of its market segments. Therefore, the charity organization should take this partnering strategy and use it to expand its market base and reach its financial targets.

Join a collaborative commercial initiative. The organization should create an alternative channel to raise money. In case the organization does not have marketing budgets, it can use the existing online platforms to raise funds for its noble course. The transparency of this online platform is an added advantage to the organization (Langemack, 2007). It enables the organization to articulate monetary amounts raised and determine where they are going to be utilized. This strategy is very efficient in targeting all the three market segments of the organization and reaching the financial target of $1.2 million.

Be in the right place at the right time. The organizers of the Brissie to the Bay should always be alert and position themselves in the right place to market their event. For example, attending other festivals held in the Australia is a good channel of reaching out to more people to join this noble course. Other festivals provide a strong platform for creating awareness amongst different categories of people (Allen, 2008). In this case, the organization reaches its target market and raises enough funds to cater for the needs of people living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Action Plan

Methods To Implement Promotion Strategies

By When

Resources Needed

Barriers

Create a memorable event

Early April

Team meeting time

Coaching in setting up strategies

Time to formulate the strategies

Allocating time to meet

Team reluctance to contribute

Partner with a reputable organization

Early May

Meeting time

Allocating time to meet

Arguments over the best strategies

Join a collaborative commercial initiative

Mid June

Team meeting time

Literacy amongst the organizers

Reluctance by some people to assist in strategy implementation

Being in the right place at the right time

End July

Training materials

time

Resistance

Overall Promotion Budget

Promotion Strategies

Identification Of The Budget

Overall Promotion Budget Allocation

Create a memorable event

The organization needs to create a huge and memorable event. This will require a lot of resources such as public systems, event organizers and renting a location.

$10,000

Partner with a reputable organization

This would not require lot of funds. A small amount of money will be needed to buy documents to formalize this initiative.

$1,000

Join a collaborative commercial initiative

This will require additional expenses in the purchase of computers and Internet subscriptions

$30,000

Being in the right place at the right time

This will only involve travelling costs to different festivals. Also, it requires printing of small business card of the organization.

$15,000

Promotion channels (TV, radio, Internet and magazines)

The event will be advertised in popular TV stations, radio stations and magazines. Hence, the promotion of the event will incur a huge cost.

$50,000

Monitoring and Evaluation

The organization will mainly use questionnaires to measure the achievement of its set objectives. They should be listed in a questionnaire and the managers of the organization should be asked to gauge the level of achievement of each objective. After all questionnaires have been filled, an analysis of the data is to be conducted to determine how many objectives have been achieved.

A survey should be used to track the success of each type of media used to reach out to different market segments of the organization. Surveys can be administered online or through the use of the telephone (Webb, 2004). The respondents should be asked whether they have received information about the Brissie to the bay event and through which specific type of media. Later, the organization should rank the responses to determine the most effective media in spreading the message about the event.

Appendix

The target market comprises primarily of people between the age of 5 and 50. These are the ones capable of riding through different terrains. Also, they are more likely to be financially capable of paying the registration fee.

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