Organizing an event is one thing, but getting the word out about it requires an entirely different and unique set of efforts.
Your best shot at promoting your event successfully? Making one solid and well-implemented media plan.
The best way to evaluate what goes into your media plan will depend largely on your target audience or market. Have a clear idea of your attendees’ profile, and you’re well on your way to creating an effective promotional strategy.
Online — and often cost-free — tools have become so conveniently available for event managers. Offline efforts are not to be discounted, however, as a certain percentage of your target attendees might still be best reached through traditional marketing media such as TV, print and radio.
Here is a list of promotional efforts that you might like to try, whether individually or altogether:
1) Partner with newspapers, magazine publications, radio and TV networks
Choose those that will best reach your audience, and make a formal request to have your event featured at least 2-3 weeks prior to the date. If they are open to offering publicity free of charge, then that would be the most ideal scenario; however, if advertising fees do apply, try to ask for a discounted price, so as to help defray your marketing costs. Don’t forget to offer them a publicity package in return, so that the tie-up adequately benefits both parties.
2) Reach out to your market through social media.
Create an official Event Page and have your team invite as many Facebook members that fit your target demographic.
3) Other online efforts are a must.
This does not only apply to Facebook, but to other online tools and applications as well, such as Instagram, Snapchat, your event website, and even good old email, if it applies.
4) Make sure you come up with an official #hashtag for your event
Create one that is visible across all platforms of marketing, online or offline, and one that is relevant and easy to remember. This will increase excitement, association and recall amongst your target audience.
5) Organize a series of offline events early on
This is so promotion happens at least 1 to 2 months prior to the actual event. This may include holding a press conference or enticing “early bird” offers if your event involves ticket selling.
6) Try to create an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement within your very own team, and amongst your suppliers and performers / speakers.
This may surprise you, but if you are able to successfully do so, they could potentially become your very own “army of promoters”, whether through social media or through simple word-of-mouth. Individually, it might not seem much, but combining your network of contacts may help boost event promotion without you realizing it.
7) Embrace creativity and welcome ideas from your team on how to get the message to your audience.
Who says traditional media and/or social media are the only ways to promote your event? Who knows, guerrilla marketing might prove to be an interesting choice.
Find the right mix of promotional tools and communicate your message well, and your event will get the attention that it deserves!