Outdoor Marketing Events & You

March 20, 2023
Outdoor Marketing Events & You

By Roger Noel, MA

Spring is here, and warmer temperatures won’t be too far behind.  That makes now a great time to consider hosting or sponsoring an outdoor marketing event. 

Types of outdoor marketing event
Outdoor marketing events can be any event that can draw a crowd of interested people, with whom you want to learn more about your product or service.

They include:

  • Music festivals
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts
  • Golf tournaments
  • Street fairs
  • Car shows
  • Food festivals

Many pro sports teams host season-ticket-holder appreciation days during which fans get to mingle with the players and have photos taken with the players. There are activity station, auctions for autographed memorabilia, and music.  They’re fun and entertaining, they create a positive experience for the fans, and they help with retention of the season ticket holders.

Sponsoring vs. Hosting

Sponsoring an event means that you pay to have your company name displayed at someone else’s event.  This is seen a lot in sports.  For example:  The Progressive Halftime Report or Heinz Field; naming rights for golf tournaments, etc.  Obviously those are large, national companies; but you get the idea.

Hosting means that your company is responsible for producing the event.  You pay for the venue, catering, entertainment, etc. 

Benefits of hosting an outdoor marketing event

Outdoor marketing events give your company the opportunity to create and reinforce brand awareness with consumers.  They provide the opportunities for businesses to make face-to-face contact with current customers and prospects in a fun and entertaining environment.  When consumers associate your brand with a positive experience, they are likely to remember it.

There are all shapes and sizes of outdoor marketing events, but none are complete without food and beverages. However, this can get pricy.  The good news is, there are sponsors out there willing to help out.  

For example:  Your company wants to host a customer appreciation day at a local park, with food, soft drinks and entertainment.  For medium and small businesses this can be a hindrance.  In that case, consider partnering with a local soft drink or beer distributor that can donate product and lower your expense.

Food trucks are another option.  People love to have lots of food options when it comes to outdoor events, and offering a variety of food trucks will be appealing.  Be aware that some food truck operators require a guaranteed payment in advance, so be sure to discuss this with potential vendors.


Live bands are always popular.  There are probably several local bands who would love the opportunity to perform.  If live entertainment isn’t an option, hire a DJ or a radio personality.  According to a Psychology Today article, “Why does Music Evoke Memories,” by Dr. Shahram Heshmat, “music evokes powerful emotions that then bring back memories. When we listen to a piece of music from years ago, we seem to travel back to that moment. We can feel everything as if we were there.”  In other words, music helps people recall events or places…and brands.

Other entertainment options include:

  • Games
  • Giveaways
  • Contests
  • Photo booths
  • Drone piloting
  • Virtual reality

The sky’s the limit when it comes to options for outdoor marketing events.  Ideally you want to sponsor events that will attract the same demographics that are likely to buy your company’s products and services.  Whether you choose to host or a sponsor, you’ll just need to determine which type will best promote your brand and stay within your budget.  Remember that the purpose of your involvement is marketing your company, so be choosy about the types of events you consider. 

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