One of the biggest mistakes you can make when planning an event is forgetting to promote, or not promoting to the correct audiences and channels. You can work tirelessly to execute a flawless event, but if your attendance is low or lacking strategy, the success of your event can suffer.
Who are you trying to attract as an attendee? What age and gender are you targeting? Are there certain habits and characteristics you are looking for?
- For example, if you are planning an event to support an animal shelter, you might target young families looking to adopt their first pet. If you’re planning a high-profile fundraising gala, you might want to attract local influencers and celebrities in the community, and those who have the financial ability to give.
- Sometimes, the goal isn’t to get as many people through the door as possible, but to attract the audience that has a strong connection to your mission and are able to engage with your event in the way you are looking for.
- Create an “attendee persona.” This might sound silly at first, but trust us. Make up a name, find a stock image of your ideal attendee, and create their backstory. What is their family structure? What career field are they in? Where do they live? What are their hobbies? What are their values? Creating an attendee persona can be a productive way to imagine the audience you’re targeting. With this persona in mind, it can be a lot easier to pick promotional avenues.
The next step is to deep dive into the goals you are trying to reach with your event. Are you raising awareness for a cause? Celebrating an occasion? Raising funds?
- It is important to set goals before you begin promoting your event to ensure you are spending time and money on marketing tactics that will help you achieve these goals. There are many different ways to promote, but selecting the right ways based on what you’re hoping to achieve helps to keep you on track.
- Equally important to goal-setting is sticking with the goals you create. Keep your goals in mind with each tactic you decide to add to your event promotional plan. Remaining goal-oriented throughout the promotional process will help you to eventually evaluate the success of your event.
- Make sure your goals are realistic and timely. It’s important that your goals are achievable so you can measure the growth of your organization. Goals should also be timely and relevant. Goals should be set to be achieved in the near future, and related to your event.
Promotional Calendar & Avenues for Promotion
Once you have identified your goals and target audience, you can begin to build your promotional calendar.
- Lay out your promotional content, channel/platform, and budget by date in an organized calendar.
- Choose avenues for promotion that align with your audience and goals. Brainstorm what channels your audience is actively using. Are they on social media? Do they read the newspaper? Listen to the radio?
- Make sure the copy of your content is succinct, uses keywords, and draws attention to the event.
- Use bold words and imagery to attract people to your content.
- Utilize your resources. Do you have access to influencers? Ask your event’s speakers, sponsors, and supporters to share promotional content about the event.
- Measure the success of your promotions, so you can improve for the future. You can easily track social and website analytics, as well as measuring the ROI of any advertisements you placed.
Promoting your event is an important step to creating the results you want to see. Target your audience, set goals, and create an organized promotional calendar. With these steps complete, you’ll be sure to see success at your next event.
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