You know that sigh of relief you get after an event you planned is over? You’ve seen all of your hard work come to fruition, and all that’s left to do is tie up loose ends.
I had one of those moments recently. After months of planning a Non-Profit Fair, with the purpose of connecting students at the University of Louisville to local nonprofits, over 50 nonprofits were represented and over 300 students attended. Like most events, the fair’s success was based on attendance – and we’d call it a huge success.
Attendance is a great way to measure the impact of your event. It can also be the most nail-biting aspect. And if your event is open to the public or a large group, then you may be left asking, “Will people show up?”
If your event isn’t “invitation only” then there is only one good way to ensure your event has high attendance – good marketing.
3 Tips and Tricks For Marketing Your Event
1. Use event management platforms
At The Squad, we are big fans of Eventbrite, which helps you organize and promote your event. Eventbrite allows you to create an event listing page that shares the details of your event and even lets attendees RSVP or buy tickets.
It is a great tool to use for public events because anyone can find it and RSVP. Listings on Eventbrite are normally categorized by industry or purpose of the event, so people who find your event in a search are more likely to be interested in it. Holding a private / invitation-only event? Eventbrite is great for that too because it has the option to make the event page private, and only people who you share the link with can view it.
Utilize Eventbrite for:
2. Create a social media campaign
Almost everyone uses social media these days, even grandparents stay active on social posting cute pictures of their grandkids. The large amount of users makes social media a great place to promote your event, but one or two posts leading up to the big day won’t cut it. Good social media marketing is dependent on frequency and consistency.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours every day to get your event out there. Tools such as Facebook’s scheduler and TweetDeck can help you create a social media campaign that doesn’t require actually going on the platform every day to post.
Facebook Scheduler (not available on personal pages) is a simple way to schedule many updates at once. Start by creating your post like you normally would, then instead of clicking “post” select the arrow next to it which will give you a drop-down that lets you select “schedule.” In the scheduler, you will be able to choose the date and time that you want your post to be sent out.
TweetDeck works in a very similar way but is a tool outside of your normal Twitter interface. Log in to TweetDeck the same way you would log on to your Twitter. The platform will automatically set-up different streams for you to monitor your Twitter activity, but what you’re really concerned with is the blue “New Tweet” button on the left sidebar. When you click “New Tweet,” you can create your tweet like you normally would, then hit “Schedule Tweet” to choose the date and time.
Using these tools you can schedule multiple social media updates to promote your event. So take an afternoon and schedule away! Then you’ll be set on social posts for the entire time leading up to your event.
Just remember, it is important to use a variety of engaging content, including images, text, and videos. And don’t overdo it. Promotional posts should be mixed in with an array of other content not related to your event. Avoid promotion overload by following these guidelines:
- Schedule 2-3 promotional posts per week on Facebook, then as the event gets closer you can increase the frequency of posts. In the few days leading up to the event, it becomes more acceptable to post almost daily about the event, just make sure to vary your content.
- Twitter posts can be more frequent and you can begin by posting 5-7 per week about the event, then in the days just before the event, you can increase the frequency to 1-2 times daily.
3. Send out emails
Email can be a great way to reach people who have already signed up to receive content from you and who might be interested in your event. Tools like MailChimp let you send emails to lists of up to 2,000 subscribers for free.
Email is perfect for promoting professional events such as:
- Open Houses
Email marketing should remain professional, and shouldn’t be an information overload. By keeping your email short and sweet people are more likely to read it all the way through. Keep it short by linking to your event listing from sites like Eventbrite or including social media links where people can follow you to get more updates.
Of course, all event promotion can be supplemented by posters, flyers, and yard signs, but in professional settings, there is not always an efficient way to display this traditional material to the public. You can save time and money and reach more people by utilizing digital marketing tools.
If marketing your event seems overwhelming, or you’re in the business of hosting frequent events, explore The Squad’s social media marketing and email marketing capabilities. We can streamline your event promotion and help you increase the amount of people who hear about your event to ensure attendance equals a success.