Why You Should Be Running In-Event Text Promotions

There was an era in the distant past in which smartphones weren’t part of our lives.  When we went to an event we were captives, and other than conversations with our friends, we were generally “present” at an event because we had no other options. 

Of course, this is no longer the case.  Smartphones have come to dominate so many parts of our lives where they were never present before.  We use them to navigate our way through unfamiliar neighborhoods.  We use them to look up reviews of restaurants and/or book a reservation.  Every now and then, we even use them to make phone calls!

Hence, a large majority of those present at your event are going to have smartphones with them.  Those smartphones are going to contain all the apps and distractions that regularly exist outside of your event as well.  But rather than be discouraged by the competition, you should lean into it!

Brand Halo

Remember that whenever a brand engages at an event, they are associating with that event.  If you are sponsoring or hosting an event to boost cancer awareness, the attendees will be oriented towards that cause, and when they hear that your brand is supporting the event, they will associate the good feelings that they already have towards their cause with your brand.  If you’re a sponsor of a sporting event or team, the fans at the event will appreciate a brand’s “support” of their team.  

Running promotions at an event allows you to grab some of the social capital that fans have already brought with them, directing them towards you and what you are promoting.


While it’s true that baseball fans might be there to watch their team, most attendees at events are not there ONLY for the event.  They are there for an experience.  Those experiences can include:

  • Time with friends and family
  • Learning something new
  • Enjoying some delicious food and drink
  • Playing games 
  • Buying merchandise

As long as you are promoting something that allows them to be at the event but also enjoy a broader experience, you are likely to get good participation.

But this isn’t just an opportunity for those you are trying to promote to; it’s an opportunity for you.

In-event text promotions, when done correctly, are a rich source of data about the people you are trying to reach.  One of our clients was trying to launch a new beverage, and when they did in-event text giveaways, they were able to find that 33% of everyone who tried the beverage was willing to buy it outside of the event. 

For this particular client, that means that they were able to acquire new customers who had no idea that they were going to be “acquired” that day.  They simply were at an event, saw an opportunity to try a beverage, and decided they really liked it. 

Texting is Easy

While there are many ways you can run in-event promotions, texting’s metrics are scarily good!  Here are just a few of them:

  • 50% of consumers say they would opt into an SMS loyalty program if they were offered flash sales, deals, or coupons in return
  • 33% of SMS recipients react to CTAs in SMS marketing messages
    • Of those, 47% end up making a purchase 
  • 59% of consumers reply to a text within 1-2 minutes
  • Consumers are 4.5 times more likely to reply to an SMS marketing message than a marketing email.

With the always-on, always-with-us nature of smartphones today, brands are truly missing out on a great opportunity if they don’t run in-event text promotions.  They have the opportunity to:

  • Bask in a brand halo
  • Upgrade the experience of attendees
  • Get fast response and rich data 

Want to know more about how to use fan engagement software for your event?  Give us a call!