How The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show Uses Text Message Marketing!
How text messages are changing operations for the most prestigious horse event in the world!
Today we spoke with Robert, the Public Relations/Marketing/Corporate Sponsor Coordinator with the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show.
If you know anything about Arabian horses, you know the Scottsdale Horse show is the place to go.
The show started in 1955, and counted only 50 horses and a dozen trainers and owners. Now the event hosts 2,200 horses, over 1,300 owners, provides over $2.5 million in prize money, and employs 400 people with an additional 600-800 volunteers.
Just to give you a sense of size and scope, In 2015, over 320,000 visitors attended the 11 days of the event. An additional 450,000 people watched the event over live video feeds.
This event is so important, horses are flown in from all over the world just to compete.
What’s more amazing is how the show isn’t just for horse people. Along with the show comes an amazing shopping expo too, with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
The event is held every year in February, and you can no doubt see why it’s the premiere Arabian Horse event in the world!
Using Text Messages At The Horse Show
With over 1,000 exhibitors, Robert explained how they’re now using text messages to communicate. They’ve shifted almost entirely to sending text messages instead of email.
Robert used to send email for communication, but he noted, most of the emails went UNREAD!
“Emails end up in SPAM or just never get opened.” Robert exclaimed “but these text messages get read!”
In 2020 and 2021, this is even more critical with the Covid Virus still a threat.
Using text messages helps limit contact between staff and exhibitors.
What kinds of text messages are they sending?
The biggest challenge is communicating Scheduling updates and changes… This keeps everyone on the same page which is critical with such a big event.
Robert also sends daily class rosters. This eliminates the need for the competitors to visit the show office… again helping them run a socially distanced and contactless office.
Robert explained they used to use a peg board to display show times, class rosters and event schedules. But that encouraged people to gather around the boards…
Now all of that information is passed along in text messages.
Why The Arabian Horse Show Uses Betwext for their Text Marketing Needs…
Here’s another trick Robert uses to make his messages even more effective…
The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show has plenty of variations in their Performance Disciplines.
For example, the horse show has categories for Country English, Driving, Cutting Horse, English Pleasure, Jumping, Reining and Dressage, just to name a few.
Smartly, Robert has created a separate group for each discipline.
He can then instantly communicate show times, class rosters, event schedules, changes and updated times to a select group of competitors.
Robert is able to text them a quick update that he KNOWS they will see!
Text messages have a 90% read rate!
But that’s not all…
More Ways To Use Texting
Text Marketing is simple, fast and an easy way to encourage engagement and activity.
For example, Robert might discover a class has only 2 or 3 entries… but the prize money might be available to the top 8 finishers.
How does he get the word out?
He sends a text encouraging entries into those particular classes.
This encourages exhibitors to pay entry fees for new competitions, driving additional revenue for the organization!
The entry fees depend on the class type, fees range from $0 – $650, the class that costs $650 has a $20,000 payout!
“Betwext is a HUGE communication tool!” Robert explained.
Using Text Messaging to Organize the Auction
The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show Auction typically has 150+ horses.
It’s worth mentioning that the winning bids last year ranged from $1,100 – $22,000. So it’s a critical event…
The auction is famous for changing auction times for specific horses… and letting everyone know the changes is critical! Texting helps everyone adjust their schedules so they don’t miss something important.
Using text messages this year to pass along auction information will be yet another text marketing use!
How To Get People On Your Text Messaging List
Robert is very wise in how he gets the authorization to text participants. He has them opt-in when they sign up for the event.
It’s a big value add for all participants, and nobody has complained about getting these text messages. Remember, never text anyone who doesn’t give you permission! Opting in is a text message marketing best practice – and the law!
I asked Robert if he would recommend Betwext and Text Message Marketing and he said “I would!”
“It’s a great way to get messages out efficiently and I LOVE the scheduling feature. Texts go out even when I am on vacation! I don’t have to be in the office for everything to run smoothly!”
What a great way to use business texting!
Note: all case study participants received texting credit for their time.
The Ultimate Guide to Text Message Marketing
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