Event Text Messaging Services for Entertainment Venues

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What is Event Text Messaging?

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 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?

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

Sample Text Messages for Events and Entertainment Venues

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

Today 11:34 AM
Bloomenthal VIP members: Be sure to snag your tickets before they sell out! Hamilton is coming back into town October-Nov. Lottery opens 8am on Sept.1 http://txt.st/HSNRAS

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

Today 2:00 PM
Exclusive Gray Theater offer: BOGO large popcorn with any purchase of 2 or more Avengers Endgame tickets!

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

Today 10:15 AM
Thank you for entering Grand Rapids raffle to win tickets to 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.

Today 11:24 AM
🚨Attention Whitewater center season pass holders: the center will be closed temporarily due to tornado warnings in the area. Stay tuned for updates.

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

Today 4:00 PM
Hey Ali! Thanks for attending the Chris Rock show last night. If you have two minutes would you mind filling out a quick survey about your experience? http://txt.st/HSNRAS

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.

Today 6:45 PM
Hello, I need wheelchair assistance at door 2
Right away, Ron will be over to assist in one moment.

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

Today 8:00 AM
#SmallBizConference attendees: A reminder that 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.

Today 6:55 PM
Filmore team- please make sure you’re in opening stations. Doors will be opening in 2 minutes! 🎉

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.

Text Marketing Features Useful to Your Venue

  • 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.
  • Text to Vote Surveys: Let your subscribers help you decide what they’d like to see in your space! Get instant feedback from customers with a text poll. Set up multiple choices and even share the real-time results with your participants.
  • 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]

Getting Guests Signed Up

You’ve seen how text marketing can keep your seats full. Event reminders, text coupons, and giveaways are great ways to ensure your entertainment venue is a hit. But creating the perfect text is only the beginning. You need to make sure you have people to send it 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 subscribers? Follow these simple steps and you’ll be selling out the show in no time.

1. Draw them ingive your visitors incentives to subscribe.

2. Get the word outlet 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 subscribers as possible: The more numbers you have, the more effective and profitable your texts become.

The key to getting subscribers is offering them attractive incentives.

Here are three incentives proven to provide contacts:

Sweepstakes and giveaways: Probably the most popular and powerful campaign, a text to win sweepstakes is a great way to bring in subscribers. 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!

Check out our Text-2-Win feature for quick and easy SMS sweepstakes.

Free stuff: 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.

Instant discount: 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.

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 subscribers. 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

It doesn’t matter how enticing your incentives are if no one knows about them.

Your audience is already receptive. People come to your entertainment venue to watch, listen, and experience, so it shouldn’t be a challenge to get your message across.

Here are just a few 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 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!

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.

You’ll get 50 messages plus your own custom keyword.

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!

Interested in more industry guides? Read about text message marketing for restaurants or spas and salons.

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