Today is the day.
The event you have spent so many months planning is finally here. It is your creation, your baby, and it has caused you many sleepless nights and overtime hours. You excitedly roll out of bed the morning of, eager to witness your hard work pay off in a successful event.
But the turnout is not what you expected. The room you hoped to fill to capacity is not even half full and the caterer is frantically making phone calls for help with the excessive amount of food. The reality is, all the time you spent planning was not met in marketing efforts. And although the event is fun, organized, and creative, the public had too little exposure to its existence.
Marketing an event is just as, if not more important, than the planning process. An event can be a huge success on every level, but if it is not marketed properly, it will quickly fail.
In addition to many online articles and resources to get your business started with successful event marketing, we have provided four brief, helpful tips.
1. Use Social Media – more than once. It may seem like beating a dead horse, but the importance of social media can never be overstated. Posting one status or picture about your event is not enough for the public to know about, let alone remember it. Not only should multiple posts be created, but use your platform to engage with your audience. Ask questions when you post an image for your event, such as, “Comment below if you will be attending the [name of event] this Saturday!”
You can also use social media by offering your audience incentives for marketing the event for you. Asking your audience to share the poster on their Facebook wall or tweet about it in exchange for an incentive is a great way to receive exposure.
2. Engage with the community. If your event is for the public, a lot of coffee shops and local businesses will be happy to display a poster on their community board or at their counter. Set aside a good amount of time to not only go around town, but to send some emails and make phone calls to newspapers and community event websites. You should always have a professional press release on hand for your city’s news channels and papers.
3. Budget for Professional Marketing Material. Nothing is worse than an event that lacks visual pleasing marketing material. Your flyers and event website are the audiences first exposure with the event and just like you dress to impress for an interview or first date, the first impression for your event is just as crucial. With that being said, do not waste your time trying to learn the ins and outs of web and graphic design. If you want to learn these skills, take a summer course. It is worth your money and time to hire a professional for the event.
4. Create a Calendar and Delegate the Marketing. A top mistake of marketing an event is inconsistency. Every social media post, emailed press release, and handed out flyer should be carefully orchestrated. Hire or delegate one staff member to be in charge of marketing the event so you can focus on the planning details. You should sit down together, months in advance, and create a well thought out marketing calendar. This will help with creating exposure early on, remaining consistent, and then increasing publicity as the event draws near.
These tips only begin to touch on the many important aspects of marketing an event and we hope they will further encourage you to research and properly market your next one!