The greatest event in the world isn’t appreciated unless anyone and everyone knows about it. Here’s a list of 20 ways to get the word out about your event. Start with standard information (event name, date, time, place) then add some text about what makes it special: headline entertainment, noted speaker(s), charitable benefits, etc. (See the accompanying “Ask the Expert” article on how to do this.) Once this information is set up, it’s easy to insert it in the following promotional vehicles and get people interested in attending.
Event Promotion Checklist
1. Email: Send an email to all your targeted lists. Use your current email system (Outlook, for example), or have the information designed in an online email system such as Constant Contact, Open Moves, etc. Emails are easy to personalize using these systems. But don’t overdo the number of emails. Three well-spaced emails are recommended to get your audience’s attention without annoying them.
2. Twitter: Tweet your event to your constituents before, during and after the event. Give your audience nuggets of information about the event to create intrigue and anticipation. For instance, there are only a few seats left, a description of a grand auction item, the chef can tweet that he’s preparing the food, the florist is delivering the flowers, the weather report, etc.
3. Facebook: Post the event on your Facebook timeline as “Status Updates” counting down to the event, and under the “Events” area. For added effect, boost the post to thousands of people on Facebook for a nominal cost ($15.00 per post).
4. LinkedIn (Groups): Professional groups you belong to will may also share an interest in your event. Post the information on each group’s LinkedIn page as well as your own and your organizations’.
5. Print and mail personalized invitations. Formal invitations still have cache.
6. Newsletter: Include a notice of the event in the newsletter with a button or banner ad linking to the information and registration.
7. Website: Post a notice on the Home Page as well as under the “Events” section.
8. Blog: Write several blogs about the upcoming event to build excitement. Post the blogs on the website, on LinkedIn, Facebook, email, etc. Talk about how the event will have an effect on people’s lives: for example, how the money raised will be used to benefit others.
9. Press Release: Create a press announcement with all the pertinent information about the event: time, date, place, organization, purpose, sponsors, key elements that will make it stand out. Send to all the local media via email.
10. Reach out to the media: State and local media typically have an events section both in print and online. These include state and local:
d. Radio Stations
11. Telephone: Pick up the phone and call people. They all like that person touch.
12. Email signature: Include a link to the event in your email signature.
13. Public Service Announcements: Provide a 30 second script on your event and send it to area media. It’s fairly common for the host of your event to be from a radio or TV station, so start with theirs.
14. TV Appearances: Contact your local news team about your event. Most TV stations have short segments on their morning newscasts for personal interviews on upcoming events.
15. Partners: Team up with others to promote the event (major sponsors, contributors, etc.) Just send them the materials you’ve already created to post/insert into their print and online publications, include in their enewsletters.
16. YouTube: Post video clips from last year’s event and include the link in your communications. For instance, illustrate how your organization benefits the community.
17. Online Event Listing Sites:
a. Tweetvite makes it easy to create invitations for events you’re hosting or to find local Tweetups (events) in your area.
b.Eventful (Lists all types of gatherings in your local area) http://eventful.com/hartford/events/categories/fundraisers
18. Word of Mouth: Tell everyone you know and meet about your event and drum up some excitement. Provides great credibility when people are buzzing about an event in person.
19. Posters: Yes, the printed kind, with a QR code so people can instantly go to the website for more information.
20. Paid Advertising: Place a banner ad or print ad in your local newspaper. Yes, it’s not free, but you could get a discount and people still do read the newspaper.
Lastly, ask guests where they heard about the event and keep track. That way you’ll know what marketing activities work best to promote your event next year!