Thanks to the work you’ve already done, you’re crystal clear on:
– Who the event is for
– Where to hold it
– When to hold it
– What date/time to hold it on
Fantastic! People are going to flock to your event and it’ll be a roaring success. Let’s start thinking about the follow up, right?
Well… not quite.
There’s one thing we’ve done dealt with yet, but it’s a pretty important one: promotion!
How will all these wonderful guests know about your event?
If you already have a venue – perhaps you’re a visitor attraction, for example – you’ve obviously got a head start. You can promote the event on-site via posters and promotional material so that visitors will be aware of it. Existing customers already like what you’re offering enough to visit your attraction, it’s just a question of making sure they know about the event you’re seeking to promote.
If you don’t have a venue and are holding it elsewhere, there’s a strong chance that the venue has an events calendar and will have opportunities for you to market your event on-site. Liaise with your contact at the venue to ensure that your event is on their calendar and maximise any space you have available to put up posters and the like. It’s obvious, perhaps, but worth noting: find out what their policy regarding posters is before you get any made up – there’s nothing worse than having a load of beautiful A1-sized posters, only to discover that their display cases only accommodate A2!
Use your social media channels and SHOUT ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Use any online presence you have access to: websites, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook. If you have an email list, use that. Yes, there’s a fine line between under-utilising your networks and relentlessly spamming potential visitors, but people who follow you or who have subscribed to your newsletter, for example, are interested in what you do: tell them!
Factor in the cost
With all your marketing activity, don’t forget to take into account the cost implications. Most of the things will cost money (even in an intangible sense – time is, quite literally, money, where staff resources are concerned!). If you don’t take into account how much your marketing and promotional activities cost, there’s every chance that your apparently profitable event will actually have exceeded its budget without you realising it!
As with all the other aspects of your event, timing is key when planning your marketing activities. There’s no point advertising something before the tickets are available. Drumming up interest is great, but your efforts are wasted if you can’t include a call to action with your marketing activities. Ensure that everything you do has a clear instruction “Tickets available now! Visit our website!” for example. Hitting the window of opportunity isn’t rocket science, but missing out will mean that your event never has a chance of leaving the ground.