Telecommunications regulator Ofcom has hailed the UK as a “smartphone society’, leading to more businesses thinking of ways to connect with their target audience via mobile devices.

In 2018 there are now more ways than ever to connect instantly with an audience and when it comes to planning an event or festival, SMS provides the perfect opportunity to achieve this.  A wider range of events ranging from virtual to free are becoming more popular as mobile use increases.  We found 100% of 37 million opt-in text users were open to marketing compared to a mere 9% of 30 million Facebook users.  If it’s more expected to be marketed to via SMS, it won’t be such a challenge to maintain engagement.

As businesses are shifting their focus from revenue and looking at community building, using personalised text messages and real-time communications is a valuable way to stand out in contrast to the congested Facebook feeds.

It’s also important to remember that timing is everything and although the text channel is open 24/7, the hours between 12:00 and 15:00 are the most effective time for a business to send a text message.  Research from Eventbrite found that the next generation view events differently to their elders with 80% making sacrifices in their own lives just to attend a festival or event, with this in mind it’s imperative for a business to change with the times as well.

Say no to no-shows

If your event has a maximum capacity and it’s sold out, SMS is the ideal solution for tackling the issue of no-shows, as well as preventing others from missing out.  Events teams can use SMS to send reminders to ticketholders, including the date and timings. Similarly, using simple reply service is a quick way to encourage responses from those who might not be able to attend.  Should customers now be unable to attend, an SMS reminder can be sent to those who missed out on tickets the first time round.  Even if you are holding a free event that has a capacity limit, SMS is ideal for getting in contact with people on the waiting list.

Engaging with ticket-holders

Sending out reminder texts is also a great way to drum up anticipation and interact with consumers on the run-up to an event, it will help build excitement and you can also use it as an opportunity to integrate and drive online engagement. Encourage social media interaction and capitalise on upsell opportunities with sneak peeks at the latest merchandise using imbedded links.

Reminders can also include other content such as updates on directions, weather or details of restricted items to decrease the chances of any security hold ups.

Say goodbye to lost tickets

Firstly, using SMS to distribute tickets is not only a great way to make your event eco-friendly but it also pre-empts the issue of attendees losing or forgetting their tickets. It’s not uncommon for the majority of people to keep their smartphones by their side for more than 16 hours, a clear sign that mobile devices are essential in day-to-day life.  If your customers will already have their phone on them, it makes far more sense for their tickets to be stored there!  Last year 40% of people aged 16-54 purchased their tickets online, allowing a streamlined online journey that is convenient for the ticket buyers.  There’s no need to print off tickets or collect them from a box office, everything is contained in the palm of your hand!

Receiving post-event feedback

Customer engagement doesn’t have to end after an event, you can encourage your customers to share their experience through mobile surveys.  They can be distributed via text to request feedback and you can even include your businesses’ branding, dynamic drop-down boxes and star ratings.  Here at Textlocal, our ‘Survey Logic’ allows businesses to send more complex surveys that are bespoke to every customer and are response-driven to help improve end-user experience and retain engagement.

SMS reaches 100% of the mobile audience, putting this specific channel at the forefront of marketing communications. The power of SMS is increasing on a daily basis and when it comes to events management it is the ideal opportunity to stay connected with guest lists – from your business becoming eco-friendly to avoiding the issue of lost tickets.  Contact our team to discover how SMS can help streamline your events.

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