October 8, 2014  •  by Jane Carter

Week 1: Sticking out like a Sore Thumb

(Author’s Note: This is part of a 5 email mini-course for planning a New Years Eve party. If you’d like more actionable tactics for throwing an NYE event, click here.) A few weeks ago, I took a vacation to an island in South Carolina. It was a tiny island but there was a bustling bar district within walking distance of my place. The first night I ended up at a bar called Poe’s Tavern. Themed after Edgar Allen Poe, the bar played audio of his books in the bathroom. It was actually a pretty cool place and a different experience from everything else on the island. I dropped in at a couple of the other bars but always found myself coming back to Poe’s. It helped that they weren’t shy with their pours either.

See if you can find Poe’s head. Creepy stuff!
The Poe’s experience is what to aim for when choosing a theme for your NYE party. Planning a New Years party is different than your typical event for 2 reasons: 1. EVERYONE that likes to celebrate and have a good time will be doing SOMETHING that night. This is great because it gives you a jumbo audience to attract from. EVERYONE that owns a bar, manages a venue, or coordinates events will be planning. SOMETHING that night as well. This is not as great because that jumbo audience can now cherry pick from many of parties to go to. Sticking out like a sore thumb is key.  Going back to the Poe’s example, I had a lot of bars to choose from. All the options essentially offered the same thing: beer and food. Poe’s stood out because of its unique selling proposition. To me, “Come drink where Edgar Allen Poe was stationed in the army” sounded a lot more appealing than “We serve beer and chicken tacos”. In a commoditized market, the guys that win big are the ones that build a brand around their product. You need to build a brand around your New Years event. Creating a theme is the best way to start. Week 1 Task: Find Your Theme (Aka Your Unique Selling Proposition) Your theme is closely tied to the audience you’d like to attract.  If your target demographic is an older crowd, it be a bad idea to create an electronic dance themed party with glow sticks.  Your party needs to stand out but also be relevant to your audience. In search of a theme, brainstorm what type of audience you’d like to attract. You might already know the answer to this which will give you a head start. To help find your audience, create a customer persona bucket. Here’s a basic persona bucket spreadsheet you can use.  Just copy my version to have your own. Filling out this sheet forces you to think critically about your audience.  By doing this, theme ideas should begin formulating in your head.  I added some examples but you should change up the columns any way you like.  The key is to gather as much actionable info as possible. We will also be using persona buckets to fuel your online marketing efforts. Cheers, Jack P.S. Here’s a link dump to help you generate theme ideas:]]]]> ]]>