Event planning guide: promotion of your event
You've planned your event now, so how do you go about making people know that it's all happening and that it' THE event they're supposed to find themselves on the day? Here's a breakdown of suggestions for your next event promotional efforts.
Preparing promotional material for the event
Here's where we start. Take a notebook, get your co-organisers or helpers around the table and plan each other's' roles carefully. What you need to consider is:
Promotion channels: what channels are you going to use? Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and do you have any other channels & does it make sense to use them for this event?
Promotion tools: you can use all of the above as is, or look into management tools like HootSuite, Buffer and TweetDeck to help you monitor social media better.
Promotion roles: is there one person looking after all channels, or is one person doing promotion and another answering all queries? Decide on the roles now.
List media you need: pictures (always high definition), videos, blog posts, Facebook post - list all the media you think you will need for the event promotion before, during & after the event.
Contact list: email list, related Facebook groups, Twitter communities, important people within your community. Gather all possible contacts together, so you have them at hand when needed.
PR packs: prepare PR packs for journalists with press release about the event, high-quality photos and possibly video material.
There's a lot of things you can do in order to get people through the door for your event before it starts. Creating the event itself is only a small part of your journey. Luckily, there are some proven techniques to getting your event noticed:
- Share on your own: start with sharing the event on your own social channels and sending email invitation to your existing contact list.
Share on other media: ask your friends to share the event on their social media. Know someone who is considered a person-in-the-know? See if you can ask them to share the event. Ask all participants, speakers, band members to share it with their audience.
Define your community stars: do you know anyone who can be related to your event and has a large social following? See if you can get in touch with them, invite them to the event, get them talking about it.
Schedule content: schedule some of the content you know you can sue during the event. This will free up your hands and give you an opportunity to gather more content at the event itself.
Reminder posts: post pictures, interviews with participants or testimonials from past events to entice your audience to attend and to remind them about how exciting your event is going to be.
Give out free tickets: run a competition on your social media and award the winners with free passes for your event. This is a great way to create re-engaging posts that will keep the awareness for your event going.
Promotion on the day
This is when your game is up. The day has come, you should have your hands full with welcoming guests, looking after participants, managing the rest of the people involved. However, you still have to promote your event for the future interest and to keep your guests engaged. Hope you have assigned that person/people to manage your social media. And if not - fear not - with proper goal you can still manage some of these on your own. Here's your game plan:
- Check the tech: want people to talk about your event? Make sure they can connect to WiFi and know how to do so - leave notes in various places around the venue with wireless access info.
Get people talking: use the same info boards to give the guests your social media contacts & ask them to talk about the event. Maybe add a little ice breaker question to the mix?
Check-in perk: add a perk (free coffee, drink, wristband etc) that guests can get if they check-in at your event online.
Capture testimonials: take pictures or short videos of the participants & guests and ask them to comment on what they think about the event. You can use some of this now or later for the future event promotion.
Post "action" pictures: create social posts with pictures from the event as it happens. Announce every participant taking the stage with a little snippet of what they're talking about or what they're doing.
Monitor social media: to create a conversation you have to reply to other's social posts. Reply to mentions & resolve issues asap if any occur.
Hooray! Your event was a success. No matter how big or small - a success nonetheless, especially if it was your first one. Now, what can you do to keep the interest going and to get people to come to your next event? Here's a start:
- Publish slides: if there were any presentation slides involved use SlideShare to share the slides from the day. Some of your following might be looking for it, some unrelated people might be interested in the topic.
Post event media: video, blogpost, pictures - post them all. Allow people to tag themselves at your event pictures and videos.
Use testimonials: sparsely use the testimonials you have collected at the event to entice interest for your next event.
Say "Thank You": send a "Thank You" note to the guests via email or in a Facebook post. Thank them for participating, share links to all of the above and ask for feedback to find out what their real experience has been like.
Keep on monitoring social: people are going to be posting about your event even after it's finished. Make sure you keep the conversation going.