You’ve got your venue, you’ve got your speakers, your landing page is ready, you’ve arranged refreshments – your event is shaping up nicely, and you’re sure it will be a success. However, the date is drawing closer and closer and you suddenly realise that you need to spread the word and get bums on seats. What do you do next?
Promoting your event is perhaps the trickiest part of putting one on. You can secure the best speakers in the world, but if your marketing isn’t up to scratch, you simply won’t draw in the numbers.
We’ve put together a quick guide on a few fundamental things you need to consider when promoting your event to ensure that it is a great success.
Create a marketing plan
Each stage of your event plan needs to be broken down into specific actions and timings. The time you’ve allocated for finding a venue, for example, should be broken down into things such as time allocated for research, time for making initial enquiries, time spent deciding on a venue, and the time by which you need to have booked it.
Your marketing is the same – you need a detailed step by step plan of what you’re doing when. This should include details such as a timeline which answers questions such as:
- When when and how will you launch?
- When does your social media campaign start?
- When will you send out invites?
Your marketing plan should also detail your tactics, including:
- Will you announce it with a press release or on your social media channel?
- Where are you going to post about your event?
- How will you send out your invites?
And you should also address your objectives, for example:
- How many people do you want to sign up?
- What action do you want people to take after the event?
Social media is an essential tip for promoting your event, and depending on what channels you’re on, there’s plenty of different things you need to consider. Creating a social media schedule will make sure that you post regular content. Other things you should consider include:
- Creating a Facebook event so people can click attending
- Creating a hashtag to both organise your tweets and so that people can use it on the day to facilitate discussions
- Getting your speakers or partners to share tweets or posts with their followers and friends
- Whether you want to set aside a budget to advertise your event on Facebook or Twitter
- How many times will you post about your event?
- What kinds of posts will you share?
While having a landing page, tweeting your event, and creating an Eventbrite page are all great ways to get your event seen, sending invites directly to your targets is a great way to get your event seen by the right people. There are several ways you can do this:
- Email – there are several things you should do to make sure that your email invite is effective. For example, you should make sure that your email is specific and targeted, whether that means you send to people who you know will be interested in the event or people who are based nearby. You should also remember to stick to the cardinal rules of email marketing, such as an engaging subject line and a good call to action.
- Print – we’ve blogged before about why print is still so effective. If you have enough time before your event, you might want to consider creating and sending out a print invitation. Not only do people enjoy having something to touch, but sending out a print invitation will make your invite feel extra exclusive.
- Something a little…different – Your invites are also a great excuse to get creative in promoting your event. Take a look round the web and gather a range of different ideas to see what might suit your event and audience best. This blog post by Eventbrite has some interesting suggestions, ranging from LinkedIn messages and lunch dates to the little more outlandish suggestion of creating an objection handling flow chart or tagging attendees in photographs from previous events to remind them how much they enjoyed it.
A lot goes in to planning and promoting your event, and much of what you could do depends on the size of your event, your budget, and what kind of event it is – these are just a few essential suggestions to get you started.