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11 Tips for Marketing an Event or Program

Just about anybody can use a few good tips for marketing an event or program.

Young auteur with a bullhorn

1. Use the media

One of the media’s charges is to inform the public of what’s going on in the community, aside from car wrecks or Kardashians. A simple who, what, when, why, how media advisory should land your event in the outlet’s calendar section, and a news release (if appropriate) could result in an interview or article.

2. Give it front page real estate on your website

Most websites are static. Two things typically add a little dynamics to a home page – news and events. Getting your event information teased on the home page shouldn’t be a difficult sell. Just be sure to give plenty of notice (unless you hold the keys to the content management system). Also, if you feature online registrations, make the “register” button highly visible.

3. E-mail it to your customer list

If you manage programs or events, you likely have compiled a database and use it to communicate with your customers. Use it again to promote your events. You might send out a special one-time announcement with links to event information/registration form on your website, or include the event information in an e-mail newsletter.

4. Promote it on your social media

If you’ve set up social media accounts, this is how you can use it to your organization’s advantage. Here are some tips for marketing your event on Facebook and Linked In.

5. Tease it at the end of any prior events you are holding

Captive audience – check. Existing customers – check. Opportunity to up-sell – check. Always, when appropriate, close your most recent events or programs with a reminder about your upcoming event.

6. Include the event details/web info in your e-mail signature

In most e-mail programs, you can create a signature – typically your name, title, contact information and company logo. Edit it a few weeks out (or whatever time frame makes sense) from your event to include a line about the upcoming event linked to your website details/registration.

7. Ask any partners/sponsors to co-promote

If you have a partner or sponsor, ask them to follow as many of these 11 steps themselves. If your event might benefit from a partner or sponsor, think about pursuing such a relationship to double your promotional efforts.

8. Talk it up via word of mouth

Not that everyone wants to hear you talk about your work all the time, but it doesn’t hurt to share information about the upcoming event in conversations, especially with audiences that might be interested in your offering.

9. Blog about it

Technically, this could fall within the social media above, but it’s big enough to deserve its own number. Not only does this platform give you a chance to promote the event, but it also invites feedback and improves search results. You can link to all sorts of topics related to your program/event, you can profile the presenter/speaker (if appropriate), and you can always link back to your event info/registration. Also, find relevant blogs, and where appropriate, post comments about your event in their comment sections.

10. Leverage speaking engagements

This one isn’t quite as easy as the others because public speaking is usually near the top of the list of things that people fear. If it is any comfort, the speaking engagement doesn’t have to be the local morning show, it could be at a rotary club, chamber of commerce, etc. Pick what might be advantageous for your event, see if it would be of interest to the targeted group, and go from there.

11. Include a special offer or drawing

If you have the resources to give away a 2012 Corvette to one lucky attendee, the other 10 items on this list probably won’t be that important. If not, a gift card, a free registration to your next event or something relevant to your subject matter (e.g., a book on the topic) might be that little extra that moves customers off the fence.

Time is about the only barrier to leveraging all the above to market your event or program. So, get started as early as possible, and make sure the message is consistent throughout. As always, if you have some tips to share, contact us!

Article By:

Susie Isham

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