It’s getting to be that time of year again. No, we’re not talking about proms and graduations–although there are plenty of those going on right now. We’re referring to chamber golf tournament marketing time!
If your sales have been a little stale, we’ve got some fresh ideas for you.
Recently, on the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Facebook group, a chamber pro asked for ideas on how to get sell more tickets and get more participants registered.
His chamber had fantastic sponsorships and raffle prizes but he was having a hard time registering golfers. The following are some helpful suggestions from the chamber community. Some of them may even work for other events.
But before we get into ways to sell more tickets with creative golf tournament marketing, let’s talk briefly about events.
Why a Golf Tournament?
This is neither a condemnation or a recommendation for hosting a golf tournament. But if you’re having difficulty selling tickets to golfers, there are a few questions you should ask:
- Is this tournament (or event) still valued in the community? Are people still responding to and excited about it?
- Are there too many similar events in your area?
- Are you sharing what’s in it for them?
- Is your 2022 golf tournament still the same as your 1988 golf tournament?
- Does your golf tournament marketing fit your audience? Interests change. You have to readjust marketing and programming occasionally.
It doesn’t mean your event is a failure if it’s no longer a good fit for your target audience. Just as a popular TV show runs its course, your event may have done the same.
If you ask yourself these questions and you’re sure it’s still a good event for your chamber and your members, try these ways to increase ticket sales.
Leverage Creative Golf Tournament Marketing to Increase Ticket Sales
The chamber pros know that golf tournament marketing can become stale, so they offered some great ways to increase ticket sales and participation.
Spend Money to Make Money
Michelle Greenwell suggested, “I would do a Facebook boost and spend up to $100 making sure you get more golf teams. Everyone signs up to do everything the last minute.”
It’s difficult to rely on social media avenues to spread the word about an event unless you spend money. In ads, you can target specific groups who would be a good fit. Advertising this way may even bring in new potential members as it will reach golfers in the area and not just chamber members.
Speaking of targeting…
Go Where the Golfers Are
You can spend all day telling a member what’s in it for them. But at the end of the day, if they hate golf, they’re unlikely to buy a ticket from you. Don’t waste your time.
Look for people who already enjoy playing or hanging around the golf course. Look for “warm leads.”
Pro Tip: Some chamber pros have come to realize that golfing isn’t for everyone. In those cases, they have either done away with the event or reworked it. Some host mini-golf tournaments or fun holes. Others have changed their golf tournament marketing approach to ensure everyone realizes they don’t have to have played the Masters to have an enjoyable time. Many tournaments have moved away from the die-hard golf audience to hosting a more mainstream networking event of drinks and do-overs. Host something that fits your audience.
In order to attract golfers, Michelle Greenwell suggested chambers “Put flyers out at the golf course and make sure they (the course marketing staff) are assisting with marketing as well. If you don’t have them tagged as co-host on your FB event…do that now.”
While you’re hanging flyers don’t forget your town’s public bulletin boards and other places golfers hang out (maybe a member golf store?).
While you’re approaching warm leads, touch base with people who have joined you in the past. As Heather Lawson said, “Sometimes it’s just a matter of asking.” Send out a “We miss you” email to get them thinking about the fun they had last year. You can even include some pics from your last event.
Leverage ALL the Media
Social media is great, but don’t forget about leveraging the outlets we used to turn to on a regular basis. This includes the local news stations or radio stations, if you have them. Send the information to the media and ask that they add it to their free community calendars.
Jo Schmeiser shared a creative idea for a foursome. “We’ve given a local radio station a comp team and in turn they provided trade advertising…they had two on-air radio employees play and had a contest for two listeners to join their team.”
Doing It the Old-Fashioned Way
If you are not a big fan of the phone, I have bad news. Sometimes getting more ticket sales requires reaching out and ensuring the person at the end of the line knows about the tournament. It’s hard to believe with social media, your newsletter, blog, website, advertising, etc. that anyone could forget or not know about it but they can and it happens.
As Elizabeth Smith admitted, “I am having to pick up the phone and call or text to ask people to play, or just a ‘Hey I noticed you haven’t signed up yet.’ Every one of them says they didn’t know it was going on.”
Offer a Hole-in-One Prize
There are many vendors that offer a Hole-in-One prize purchase. For very little money (under $200) you can buy a prize that will only be awarded if someone gets a hole-in-one. It’s a long shot (bad pun) and that’s why buying the prize is affordable.
Open Up a Women’s Division
Everyone will golf together but you offer two prizes for each designation–Men’s and Women’s. A good reason to do this is increased exposure.
Michele Hummel shared about her experience offering a Women’s Division, “We had four women last year that nobody even knew; they just saw the tournament online and signed up.”
Do you have a creative golf tournament marketing idea of your own that has helped you increase golf tournament ticket sales? Join the conversation on Facebook and share it with the group.