2015 Buck Off Rail Jam – A Study in Event Marketing

We live in a crazy, fast-paced world. And in Southern California, just step that up one notch and look at all of the events that go on seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.  Marketing an event poses a different challenge than touting the benefits of a skin cream or the speed of an internet connection.  Your opportunity to get it right or lose out has a small window. After it’s over you have no additional chance to sell more tickets!

This past weekend our client, Mountain High, hosted its pre-season kick-off event.  It’s a community party in the town of Wrightwood, California, in the mountains above Los Angeles.  The day includes, among other things, a snowboarding competition with snow made from 60 tons of ice brought in from LA and shaved into snow on the spot.  Our goal as their PR agency?  We want people to show up, enjoy the day and buy season passes to ski Mountain High’s three mountains during the coming winter season.

Saturday’s Buck Off Rail Jam was a great day.  The weather was perfect, snow making was flawless, competitors enthusiastic and the crowds enjoyed the day in the sun, eating, drinking and being entertained.  And what is behind this crowd?

  • Extensive social media outreach to alert potential skiers and snowboarders to join in the fun
  • Earned media coverage on TV, radio, print and online prior to the event
  • Email marketing to a large database that has been collected over many previous winter seasons
  • Selected mainstream advertising in Los Angeles

Relying on one form of marketing to deliver crowds and available tickets for an event is risky.  It’s the combination of good communications that is most successful.  And the program should be developed with a plan based on budget.  Some things are more expensive than others – very effective if you have the money, but out of line if you can’t expect a good return on the investment. 

Now we’re looking to Mother Nature to deliver an abundance of snow into Southern California this winter by El Niño!

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