So you’ve got an event coming up. You’ve been preparing for weeks and everything is in order except…the guest list. And it’s your job to make sure people actually show up to the thing. Depending on the event, there are many kinds of tactics you can employ to spread the word. You’ll need to decide on audience and goals to know your best options for promoting the event. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who do you want to attend this event? Is it a conference for professionals in a certain field? Is it a community fundraiser?
- Is this event open to the public? Is pre-registration required? Is there a fee to attend?
- What is your goal for hosting this event? To raise money? To educate?
Your answers to these questions can help guide what strategies you use to promote your event. For example, let’s say you are hosting a fundraiser to support a local community center. You may want to create a flyer you can post around the neighborhood and share with local list-serves. If you are hosting a professional conference, on the other hand, you may not get much mileage out of hanging flyers. Instead, you might focus on building out an impressive web page, launching an email campaign, or consider paid advertising.
No matter the scale, audience, and objective of your event, here are some tips for spreading the word and getting people to show.
- Social Media is key: Create a Facebook event where people can RSVP and generate excitement. Twitter and LinkedIn are also great ways to spread the word.
- Email Campaigns: Do you have a list of people who might be interested in the event? Send emails counting down to the event that drive folks to the registration page.
- Website: Does your event require pre-registration? Make sure you have a functional registration and build a site around that. Include all relevant information and key selling points (what is the attendee getting out of it?). Bonus tip: Good SEO means better search engine results and a better chance of being discovered.
- Going Local? Hang up attractive, informative flyers around the neighborhood. Focus on building community partnerships (caterers, vendors, venues) to cross-promote.
- Large-scale Corporate Event? Consider paid advertising on social media or search engines to get your event in front of the right eyes.
- Multimedia campaigns: Graphics and video content can go a long way in making your event memorable.
We can help with that last one. Creative video can enhance your event promotion substantially, and can be incorporated into many techniques. For example, posting a video on the Facebook event page for your fundraiser that explains how your contribution makes a difference will boost awareness and attendance. Or, including a video in an email to your carefully curated list of business professionals will increase clicks and generate buzz. Video is an extremely adaptable medium, and a good video that talks up your event can be plugged in many places.
Video, paired with the tactics above, can raise awareness of your event and fill seats with interested, engaged people. If you are planning an event and looking for creative ways to get the word out there, we urge you to give video a shot.