April 22, 2016

Jess from Indeedy Musical Bingo shares insights on building a successful event

Following on from our interview with London based DJ, BEC, it’s time to meet another mover & shaker in the event industry. There is always a lot to be learnt by hearing from fellow event organisers and Jess certainly had a few gems to share. Enjoy.

Jess Indeedy and her husband DJ Helix have been running their insanely fun Indeedy Musical Bingo event for 9 years now. The event has jumped from strength to strength since it’s inception with success in London, New York and Sydney. From performing at regular bar nights to corporate events, and major UK festivals including Latitude, Secret Garden Party and Wilderness, the Indeedy team are going about things the right way and come fully equipped with useful knowledge to impart on other event organisers. We were fortunate enough to sit down with Jess on a sunny afternoon at Shoreditch House and pick her brain.

Jess, being a singer/presenter, and DJ Helix being a… well… DJ, were both very much present in the London club night scene when they were approached by a pub group (that have now gone on to create Field Day London) to put on an interactive event for a day festival. Naturally, music and bingo came to mind and Indeedy Musical Bingo was born (if you haven’t caught on already from the event title, it’s like regular bingo but with song titles listed on your card and as DJ Helix spins the tracks, you cross them off! Oh, and they have dancing grannies to pay homage to the more traditional bingo community).

For an event with such a fun exterior, it was really great to get the low-down on how Jess and her team go about their marketing and promo. It’s a well thought out, professional approach which Jess takes very seriously. “What we always really think about is who our ideal customer is and think about every single aspect of who that person is. What they like, where else they go in London, where they buy their clothes, what they like to drink, every single thing. I think about this person and I give her a name and really talk to her specifically in everything that we do as a business.” This type of approach will naturally make the actual implementation of marketing campaigns a lot easier as you’ll have already developed the foundation to build campaigns around.

In terms of the channels Indeedy Musical Bingo focus on it’s not a surprise that social comes in at number one. “Social networking has made (promo/marketing) life so much easier and the actual data you get from that is evidence which you can analyse.” Jess has very rarely spent marketing budget on social media posts and prefers to use her channel to tell a story rather than ‘hard-sell’ her fan base. “We have different types of posts. We try and mix it up so it’s not always ‘sell, sell, sell’. We’re only around 20-30% ‘sell’ (posts) and the rest of it is story telling, fun things going on in London etc. Basically anything that we would actually like to read.” This is a great note to those event organisers who aren’t quite using social channels as platforms to showcase your event personality and connect with your audience on a deeper, more authentic level.

Google Analytics is a term you’ll often hear flying around the ticketscript office as we are big believers in utilising customer data in order to produce more tailored marketing campaigns, save money on unnecessary expenditures, and ultimately make better, more informed business decisions. That’s why it was a pleasant experience when I broached the subject with Jess. “I’m really into Google Analytics. I check it every day.” Music to our ears! “It’s really important to track which websites people (customers) come from who ultimately end up buying tickets. Whatever the online behaviour of those individuals, we need to ensure we replicate that part of our campaign to generate more sales.”

Halleluyah! Between her love for social media and Google Analytics, it seems Jess is well and truly in our good books.

As I discovered that Jess had a background in media and advertising, it made sense of her natural interest in smart marketing. She was also very aware of the strength of building a customer database and speaking directly to that audience via email. “One thing that really helped the success of my business was growing our newsletter mailing list. I see this as an opportunity to send our fans a really honest, personal, loving, monthly newsletter of not only Indeedy Musical Bingo news, but also things I’m loving in London like a new donut shop or pizza restaurant.”

With the amount of emails the average consumer receives today it is so important to create something tailored and specific to your audience. If not, the chances of cutting through your customer’s inbox and being the one email that they prioritise is going to be very low. Conversely, Jess has found great success with her method. “Every time we send a newsletter, an event sells out. They (fans) really respond. I also give them all sorts of treats, like inviting them to our luxury private members club gigs so they really do open it and read the content. I can’t wait to send out the newsletter each month.”

Jess’s passion for her business is a testament to Indeedy Musical Bingo’s growing success and really does showcase the fact that you need to be invested in the type of event you run in order to find true satisfaction in what you do. “I feel like our audience is a mirror of myself, they’re into what I’m into. I feel really connected to them. I think if you’re going to put your face at the forefront of your business you have to really open up and share yourself with your audience, otherwise you’re just another robotic business. There’s nothing for them to really sink their teeth into.”

As far as we’re concerned, there are a lot of learnings to sink your teeth into from the insights provided by Jess. She was also kind enough to sum up her top five tips for event organisers just starting out (but are also good checks to put in place for event organisers of all levels and stages in your business).

  1. Find a way at your event to retain people’s email addresses for your newsletter.
  2. Know who your ideal customer is and talk to that one person in everything you do.
  3. Infuse your true personality into your business so it’s easy to stay authentic.
  4. Make sure the type of event you run matches with your values and is something you’re passionate about.
  5. Invest in staff that you want to spend a lot of time with and can have fun with.

Written by Mark Kelliher