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Event text messaging services for entertainment venues

Want to streamline your next event with text messages? Read on to start planning your event’s SMS strategy.

Event Text Messaging Services for Entertainment Venues
Event Text Messaging Services for Entertainment Venues

What is SMS event marketing?

86% of event marketers believe that technology, including SMS, can have a major positive impact on the success of their events.

Texting can help your event or entertainment venue:

  • Message 1-on-1 with event attendees
  • Introduce mobile ticketing
  • Send post-event follow-ups and review requests
  • Send automated event reminders
  • Answer ticketing and event questions
  • Provide an emergency text hotline

But don’t just take our word for it.

Life is Beautiful, a 3-day music festival hosted in Downtown Las Vegas, switched to a texting solution with SimpleTexting and their message delivery rate increased from 21% to 98%.

Texts now account for around 25% of their ticket sales!

“With the variability and ever-changing landscape of social media, there’s value in reaching our audience where they are most likely to see and read our messages. That’s why we text,” notes Digital Marketing Specialist for the festival Kyle Huender.

So, let’s dive in and see the secret sauce to making your next event the best one yet with SMS.

How to promote your event using SMS marketing

Text marketing can help keep your seats full. Event reminders, text coupons, and giveaways are great ways to ensure your entertainment venue is a hit. But you need to make sure you have people to send your messages to!

But before you can start texting your patrons, you’ll need their permission. People have to opt in, or subscribe, to your text campaign first.

So, how do you get contacts? Follow these simple steps and you’ll be selling out the show in no time.

1. Draw them in—give your visitors incentives to subscribe.

2. Get the word out—let people know about your text campaign.

Let’s take a closer look.

Step one: draw event attendees in

Some people will be happy to subscribe simply because they appreciate your venue. Your goal, however, should be to collect as many contacts as possible: The more numbers you have, the more effective and profitable your texts become.

The key to getting contacts is offering them attractive incentives.

Here are a couple incentives proven to motivate contacts:

Hold a sweepstakes

Probably the most popular and powerful campaign, a text-to-win sweepstakes is a great way to bring in contacts. First, choose a prize: perhaps free tickets to your events or special backstage access with a special guest. Then, have visitors text your keyword to 22454 to enter and subscribe. It’s that simple!

Offer a promotion or discount

Who doesn’t love it? Offer guests an inexpensive-yet-exciting item just for joining your campaign.

💡Some ideas: a free small soft drink, a commemorative pin, a bite-size candy bar.

Your guests will love receiving discounts by text in the future. They’ll love a discount now even more. Offer 20% off their ticket price for subscribing on the spot.

Use this incentive just before a purchase for maximum effectiveness.

Promote ticket sales

Use event text messaging to let your customers know when tickets to your events are going on sale and if there are any special pre-sale events or discounts. If you have a large contact base, you can segment your audience to better serve their interests.

TODAY’S THE DAY! Tickets for STFest go out at midnight EST. See you there!

Send text event reminders

Make sure you have a full house (even if it’s virtual) on the day of your event by sending out reminder texts to your invitees. Remind them when and where the event is and how to register or RSVP, if they haven’t already.

Hi [NAME], don’t forget to RSVP at [LINK] for our upcoming [EVENT TYPE]! Let us know if you’re bringing a plus-one, and we can’t wait to see you there.

Send day-of details

Did parking plans change? Is the event sold out and you’re expecting a large crowd? Do you have last-minute details to add? Sending a text is the quickest and most effective way to alert your attendees, so you can avoid a potential disaster.

PARKING UPDATE: You have a parking space in Zone Orange, please follow the signs on your arrival – our team will be on site to offer any help necessary.

Message your existing contacts

Already have a list of people you’d like to message as part of your event promotion? Great! You can easily import your existing list to our platform. And as long as you have their consent, you can send them a text blast.

STILL thinking about last year’s STFest? Us too! The good news is, you can start getting excited for this year’s event already. Tickets go on sale 3/7/22!

Don’t forget what you’re using your texts for in the first place: event reminders, exclusive offers, text coupons…these are often incentive enough to attract contacts. Market these uses as what they are—friendly services.

Let’s move on to promoting your incentives.

Step two: get the word out about your text marketing program

illustrated image of a test message that says "Heads up, Members! This is a two-way messaging system. Feel free to text us yur questions, feedback, and photos! Reply STOP to opt-out" and a contact list called All Attendees

It doesn’t matter how enticing your incentives are if no one knows about them. For the Franchise Brokers Association (FBA) annual conference, event planner Brianna LaCaruba shares their text-enabled number everywhere — from pre-event emails to breakout session Powerpoint slides.

Even if you upload a list of attendees into your event texting platform, Brianna recommends promoting your number at the event itself. This is so that attendees can get your messages if they signed up with a different number than the one they have access to at the event.

📚 Read the other event text messaging strategies Brianna used at the FBA’s 400+ attendee conference.

Here are some more ways to spread the word:

Word of mouth: While the crowd waits for the show to start, announce your promotion over the PA system.

Displays: With such simple instructions (“Text CINESTAR to 22454”), it’s easy to place prominent displays anywhere and everywhere.

  • Got a line? Put in on a sign! A flashy sign gives people standing in line something to see and do.
  • Chances are you already advertise upcoming events somewhere. Place your text promotions here to let people know they can receive regular updates about events.
  • Put a clear and concise notice on the tickets themselves. Guests often keep them as memorabilia.

Follow these simple steps and start texting your way to a full house!

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How to use SMS for events and entertainment venues

Your business most likely focuses on the following things each day: securing bookings, communicating with vendors, managing crowds, and marketing. We’d wager that finding more efficient ways to juggle these tasks is a priority.

This results in a need for both an internal and external communication solution that works along with you and your existing tools. Bringing new software to your business can result in some serious learning curves, especially when it comes with new hardware.

But that’s one of the great benefits of texting. Not only does everyone know how to do it, it doesn’t require any additional downloads or extra steps. To text, all you need is a cell phone. And let’s face it, who doesn’t have one of those?

How to use SMS event marketing during the event

Texting is for more than just sharing messages. To give you an idea, here are some ways you can potentially use text messaging with your event space.

Run a giveaway

This is another good time for a fun giveaway. Offer a chance to win some exclusive merchandise, tickets to a future event, or even a gift card. Like your pre-event sweepstakes, all your attendees have to do is text a keyword to your number or shortcode and they’ll be automatically entered to win. 

Send a poll

The poll could be a fun extension of the event, or could be a way to gauge how the event is going and how your guests are enjoying themselves. With Text to Vote Surveys, you can give your audience an opportunity to voice their opinions and have instant access to what they’re saying.

Sample text messages for events and entertainment venues

Still need some inspiration as you get started? Take these templates to use when promoting and running your next event.

Event reminders
Keep your audience updated with weekly or monthly texts about your upcoming events.

Bloomenthal VIP members: Snag your tickets before they sell out! Hamilton is coming back October-Nov. Lottery opens 8am on Sept.1

Exclusive offers
Reward returning showgoers with exclusive text coupons and special discounts.

Exclusive Gray Theater offer: BOGO large popcorn with 2 or more Avengers Endgame tickets!

Exciting ticket giveaways
Hold a text messaging sweepstakes for free tickets to build a buzz about your business.

Thank you for entering the Grand Rapids raffle for the sold out Backstreet Boys concert. Winner will be notified 4/1.

Emergency alert notification
Share urgent weather or safety alerts instantly with your entire crowd.

🚨Attention Whitewater Center season members: the center will be closed temporarily due to tornado warnings. Stay tuned for updates.

Post-event surveys
By sending out post-event satisfaction surveys with trackable links you can collect valuable customer data.

Hey Ali! Thanks for attending the Chris Rock show last night. Would you mind filling out a quick survey about your experience?

Virtual customer service
In order to ensure a smooth event have customers text you with any needs typically managed by a waiter, usher, or manager and respond instantly no matter where your guest is seated.

Hello, I need wheelchair assistance at door 2
Right away, Ron will be over in one moment.

Send reminders or schedules
For multi-day events or conferences, stay connected with attendees through custom keywords.

#SmallBizConference attendees: The networking lunch begins in 1 hour in the Roosevelt room!

Connect with staff during events
Improve teamwork and ensure everything is running smoothly by sending updates in real time to staff members.

Filmore team- please make sure you’re in opening stations. Doors open in 2 minutes! 🎉

How to collect feedback using text messaging for events

The event may be over, but your audience is still warm. Tap into their excitement while the event is on their mind and find out what they think needs improving. Whether you hosted a stand-alone event or a recurring one, feedback is your secret weapon to being even more successful in the future. 

With your contact list ready to go, you can use this guide to send out NPS and Review requests. If you decide to do this, make sure you follow our guidelines to get as many responses as possible: 

  • Send the texts within a few days of the event so that it’s still fresh on your contacts’ minds.
  • If you send a follow-up text, don’t wait too long between text messages.
  • Don’t use pushy or aggressive language, and never confront negative feedback directly. Direct complaints to a support team where necessary.
  • Use MMS, images, and incentives to increase your response rates.

The trick is to be timely and polite – show your audience you appreciate their feedback. A thank you goes a long way.

Why is text marketing so successful for events and venues?

98% of text messages get read. And sometimes just getting eyes on your marketing materials is what you need. But when it comes to consumer preferences around events, texting hits on all the sweet spots across multiple demographics.

  • 75 percent of consumers would like to have special offers sent to them via texting.
  • 90% of business leads would rather receive a text message than a phone call.
  • SMS produces engagement rates 6-8 times higher compared to email
  • According to a Nielson study, 56% of people surveyed would rather message a business than call customer service.

One of the most accessible aspects of text marketing is the pricing. You may not have the budget or the scope/size of events of a professional football stadium. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to deliver the same level of customer service and experience!

With text marketing, you pay for what you need, even if that’s just a few messages a month. But each account large or small still has access to the features that make text marketing pop.

Useful venue text message marketing features

  • Templates & Duplicates: Save time by reusing your frequently sent messages, campaigns, inbox replies, autoresponders, and keyword confirmation messages. No more repetitively typing out your hours or monthly event schedules!
  • Segments: Segments make it easy to add audience targeting to your text marketing strategy. Segment customers according to what they’ve attended to make sure you send them upcoming shows or events of interest.
  • MMS Marketing: Sometimes the best way to market your events is by giving people a sneak preview. MMS lets you enhance your text message campaigns with event images, videos, and other rich media. You get up to 1,600 characters of text, too.
  • Recurring Campaigns: Write, customize, and schedule a recurring text message to send on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis for any length of time you need.

And that’s only the beginning. You can explore all the features we have to offer right here.

SMS for virtual events

COVID-19 sent the world into a tailspin with millions of in-person events suddenly encouraged to move online.

But in the spirit of adapt, improvise, and overcome, virtual events have become all the rage. Thanks to a variety of virtual event software, it’s possible to host everything from meetings to large-scale conferences all from your living room.

Texting makes the perfect addition to every virtual event thanks to its speed and responsiveness.

With 90% of all texts read within three minutes, it’s one of the best ways to reach your audience during a virtual event right when you want their attention.

Some popular ways folks have worked texting into their virtual events strategy include:

  • Encouraging RSVPs
  • Sending reminders
  • Sharing itineraries and speaker lists
  • Sending program notes
  • Giving program updates
  • Sharing event photos with the group
  • Collecting post-event feedback
[Read: How to Host a Virtual Career Fair or Hiring Event]

Get your entertainment venue started with texting for free

If you’re ready to give text marketing a try, we encourage you to sign up for a free trial account with us.

And yes, it’s really free. No credit card, no contract, just free.

When you’re ready to upgrade to a paid account, just change your billing plan from the dashboard. Simple!

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Try SimpleTexting’s free 14-day trial to see if event text marketing is right for your organization.

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