How to Promote an Event: Your Step by Step Guide
An event without any guests is just a lonely room – and a lonely room is never good for business. As promotional staffing experts, it makes us sad to see a carefully planned event go off with a fizzle instead of a bang, which is why we’ve put together this guide to stop it from happening to you.
1 Month to Go
Start early, but not too early – give people enough time to build some hype, but not enough to forget all about it.
A month or so before your event, you need to start making sure that it has some internet presence, including:
- A dedicated page on your website.
- If necessary, a separate site of its own (this is especially relevant for bigger events such as conferences/conventions).
- Blog posts and social media content ‘teasing’ the event – don’t over saturate at this point; do drop some hints that you’ve got something big planned, or start to talk about how excited you are.
At this point, your content should include the following:
- What the event is all about: why are you holding it and, most importantly, why will people benefit from attending?
- All the practical details that you can be 100% sure of, as soon as you can be sure of them.
- Plenty of images and no lengthy chunks of text – don’t make it difficult for people to see what you’re offering.
- An easy way to register or sign-up for more details; collect email addresses now, as we’ll be using them in the next stage.
As soon as you can be sure of the venue and the date, take these additional two steps:
- Issue a press release or contact local journalists – any local coverage you can get is highly desirable! Similarly, you can submit articles or information to news sites for your industry, as the event may well be of interest to their readers.
- Speak to the venue itself – if appropriate, they may have their own channels to promote the event through.
2 Weeks/1 Week to Go
Grow that murmur of anticipation into a full-blown buzz of excitement.
At the two week point, it’s time to start increasing the amount of space you’re giving to promoting your event, while also targeting more channels:
- Ensure that your dedicated site or page, and your company blog, are being updated at least once a week. This can mean releasing any more details as they get confirmed or, if you haven’t got anything left to announce, building excitement with interviews from people who will be appearing, pictures of your team getting ready or even something as simple as a countdown.
- Use those emails that were collected during phase one, and those of any other subscribers you have, to send out a visual email newsletter with all the core information and links back to the site.
- Start posting daily ‘reminders’ on your social feeds – these shouldn’t be overly promotional (think more creatively than simple ‘come to our event’ posts); they should include a dedicated hash tag, plenty of excitement, behind the scenes pictures and, in the final week, a daily countdown.
The Night Before
Don’t forget that the final push is just as important as the first one.
If everything has been run properly up until this point, you shouldn’t have too much to do here – focus on practical concerns, and getting that good night’s sleep. That said, there are a couple of essentials to remember:
- Send out a friendly email to everyone who is registered to attend, with helpful details such as times and directions. People should already be able to access this information, but having it there at the top of their inbox makes it that much easier to use.
- At this point, you probably want to save your blogging energies for after-the-event coverage, but don’t neglect social: tweet @ people you are hoping might cover the event or expecting to see there, and keep using the same branded hash tag.
On the Day (and Beyond)
Relax… and just keep tweeting.
A promoter’s job is never done, and on the day itself you need to do a little more than just mingling. Good coverage on the day itself will help give you a head start when it comes to promoting future events, and allow those who attend to get more from the day:
- Keep tweeting and sharing: ideally you want multiple people tweeting live from the event, sharing what’s actually happening rather than generic, pre-scheduled content.
- This should include plenty of images – people giving presentations, new products if it’s a launch event, and plenty of shots which simply show the general atmosphere.
- If possible – and especially for events such as conferences and conventions – share your hash tag with the audience and encourage them to use it to tweet highlights from their day. When this gets traction it can be one of the best ways to get a real buzz going; make sure that you share any positive coverage that you get.
Once the event is over there are two final, crucial, pieces of the puzzle:
- A round-up on your site: create a really well-polished piece of content which champions the day’s successes, thanks those who were involved – and makes sure those who didn’t attend are keen to come next time.
- Give thanks to those who showed up or helped to make it happen – the best way to do this is via email, although once again you can also utilise social to great effect!
Ready to go? Just one last thing to put on the list: give Breeze People a call and find out how our team can join you to ensure on-the-day success!