May 27th, 2015

Tennis Event Marketing: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

General News Adult Tennis News Youth Tennis News

Laura BowenBy Laura Bowen, USTA Florida Director of Marketing, Communications & Membership

One of the questions I get asked most often by providers is “How can I get more people to attend my tennis event?”

Whether it’s a festival, Play Day, or tournament, we all want to max out on attendance. But achieving that goal requires some solid planning before and beyond the actual event, and getting outside of the usual channels. Here are a few quick tips to help you plan for a bigger (and better) tennis event:

1.      Think about your consumer.

Who would be interested in your tennis event? Why would they want to attend? Don’t be afraid to narrow your audience. People want different things, and trying to be all things to everyone often muddies the value proposition.

2.      Find out where your consumer is already going for information and activities.

For example, if you are looking to bring in new participants, hanging posters at your tennis facility is likely not going to reach a new audience. Think of where those consumers are going now and build a presence in those channels. Are there major community events in your area that naturally attract this audience? If so, create an experience at those events that will help promote your play opportunities. Avoid scheduling your event on a date when you will compete with another more popular event.

3.      Offer an incentive for those who register early.

Promotional products are best applied to get people to register for a current event and attend future events. Think about what your minimum participant count is and offer an incentive (food, drink, giveaway item) for that number of registrants. Not only will you seed the pot, but it will help you know early on if you might need to cancel or reschedule due to low participation.

4.      Use the current event to sell the next one.

The best opportunity to sell your next event or play opportunity is at a current one. Once participants (especially new players) leave your event, getting them to return becomes incredibly difficult. Be sure to have another event scheduled, or better yet, use your event as a kick-off to regular play opportunities and encourage them to sign up on the spot (at a discount).

5.      Technology is your friend.

Using an electronic registration system for your event will help you capture information on your participants that you can use to communicate with them before and after the event. Social media ads are a great way to expand your reach at a very low cost. Of course, getting the participants engaged in social media during the event itself is another great way to cross-promote and reach people for future events. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are all great tools to show how much fun your event is. Be sure to promote your next event while posting about this one.