If you’re planning to participate in a community event to promote your business, you probably have a swarm of questions spinning around in your mind. How do you get the word out about your event? How do you maximize the impact of the event when you’re there? How do you follow up with your audience?
Before thinking about what you’re planning to do before the event to promote it and what you’re planning to do to after it, the best way to get focused is to get clear on the details of the event itself.
How to Get Noticed at the Event
First, get a clear idea about what product or service you would like to promote at the event. For instance, do you want to brand your company, sell a particular product, or introduce visitors to your line of products?
Second, understand the structure of the event. Will it be indoors or outdoors? What kind and size of booth you get for your money? What type of crowd size, weather conditions, etc, can you expect?
Third, think about branded tents, signage, logos, color schemes and other ways of attracting attention. One source of getting custom signage for your brand is Instent.com. Once you’ve talked to the organizers of the event, you’ll be more aware of the best way to advertise at their community event.
How to Promote your Event
Probably the best way to promote your event is through the tools of online marketing.
1. Create blog posts about the event.
Since you’re planning on participating in an event, it only makes sense to dedicate a few blog posts to it. Blog about your participation in the community event before, during, and after it. Before the event, share the excitement of preparing for it, then after the event share the fun you had with it.
2. Build a team to coordinate all the details.
Instead of just organizing the event with your senior staff or delegating it to the marketing and sales department, create a volunteer team from all levels of your organization. In other words, use the event as a way to build up your corporate culture.
One way to keep everyone on the same page other than scheduled meetings is to create a dedicated group email about the event to coordinate what everyone involved in the event team is doing to prepare for it. You can also use collaboration software. The idea behind using online collaboration techniques is to remind everyone of their own roles and make all team members aware of what everyone else is doing. This transparency makes it easier to spot any potential problems or delays in preparing for the event.
3. Deploy social media to promote the event to the general public.
Use social media to build excitement before the event as well as keeping people abreast of what is happening during the event. Besides writing short posts, use plenty of photos—perhaps, photos of your team preparing for the event and photos of the turnout at the event. It’s also a good place to share your event link.
Communicate on multiple channels rather than just one. Instead of just using, say, Facebook, also use Twitter, Instagram, Google plus, and LinkedIn. Find ways to encourage attendees to share their experience through their own social media pages. One way to do this is to make a hashtag on Twitter for the community event.
How to Follow Up After the Event
1. At the event, provide special offers for discounts on products if they buy it at your booth. After the event, follow up on those who took advantage of the special offer and even throw in a bonus.
2. At the event, conduct surveys so that you can get to know your audience better. After the event, collate all the results from the survey, and, if appropriate, share it with business partners, employees or customers.
3. Make long lists of what you learned from the event. Analyze what you did well and what you could have done better. This information will be useful for your next event. If you don’t record what happened, you will forget and you will have to launch your next event without the wisdom of hindsight.