Over the past two weekends, we ran four “Big Events” in the bairros of Namicopo and Namutequiliua. The Big Events are, as the name suggests, big promotional events to further promote LPG and VidaGas products. We had music, theatre, dancing, and giveaways among other things to entertain and educate people about LPG. We selected high-traffic locations within the bairros and days on the weekends as many households go out to the market to do some shopping.
We completed three Big Events in Namicopo and one in Namutequiliua. In terms of the turnout and reaction from the audience, the results were fantastic. People were glued to the Theatre Group’s performance that effectively demonstrated the difference between using charcoal and LPG, and the music definitely got people up on their feet! Attendance was well over 200 people and included a lot of children. Although they don’t have the direct purchasing power, children are an important part of our marketing campaign as they can spread the message about our product very effectively. Not to mention they’re more open to using new technology as well and will form our future customer base.
Although we can say that our first few Big Events were successes based on attendance and entertainment, there is significant room for improvement. One of the biggest issues that we have to the address for our next Big Event is how do we convert the audience’s interest and knowledge of LPG into actual sales? Of course it’s nice to base our success based on the number of smiles and applause, but our bottom line (no pun intended) is to sell LPG. We did have a number of kits available to be sold at the events but we didn’t sell as many as we’d hoped. Perhaps we were all too focused with running the event according to the plan, but our next event must be able to capitalize on potential sales.
Fortunately, we are planning on running another 21 Big Events over the next 3 months so there are plenty of opportunities for improvement. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this is a learning experience for all of us and hopefully we will have a refined and effective format for Big Events by the end of this project. Please post your comments and suggestions on how we can improve our future events!
-Peter Nakamura is currently based in Nampula, Mozambique to coordinate a project funded by USAID to help individual households gain access to propane.