I just returned from a week in London. As an event marketer I noticed two things while there:
1) They know how to market shows and events
2) Group sales is very big and very good
Marketing in England is a combination of traditional and non-traditional. They understand that you need to “spread the word” any and all ways. The Underground subway (The Tube) is used daily by millions of people. They place advertising messages in The Tube anywhere commuters will be. They used traditional posters on the walls that line the escalators. You have no choice but to read them. They use the new electronic transit boards. They do grass roots marketing. They hand out flyers in a proper way. They are pushing the social network sites. You don’t see a lot of TV ads for events but you do see PR on the TV morning news shows. You do see TV promotions!
Newspapers are still a very important communications tool. Even the BBC and other TV networks discuss what the daily papers are saying. It seems everyone has a newspaper in their hand.
Group sales are a part of everything in Europe. They have tour operations down to a science. All shows, events, and attractions have relationships with tour operators. This is something that live event marketers here in the USA need to work on. Amusement parks in the U.S. live and die with group sales and tour operators. If you handle the marketing for an arena or live event, you need to cut deals with the tour operators. Every bus group you sell represents 55 tickets. We saw tour bus groups everywhere in Europe. They provide groups with a very good customer experience and offer them very good package deals. Groups are given priority access. Bus groups are dropped off upfront. Group leaders have the relationship with the venue or attraction and use it to take care their customers.