Marketing Your Event, Part 2

This month, we continue with a question asked in October: “My event is going to be rockin’! How can I best market my event so everyone can enjoy it?” Read Part 1 here.

Jenn:

Off-Campus Resources
Just a reminder – certain policies may affect your plan to advertise to off-campus attendees.  I’d recommend double checking with your event venue.

  • Social media is here to stay, so you best get with it!
    • If your organization has a website, information about your event should be on it.  In this day and age, the internet is often the first source someone uses to locate information.
    • Facebook – Create an event page from your individual account or organization page. Encourage everyone you know – fellow club members, classmates, your uncle – to invite their Facebook friends to the event. The more people who know about the event, the more likely their friends will know, too.  Facebook can also do promoted posts and ads if your budget allows for the paid features.
    • Twitter/Instagram – Cross market your Facebook event page or event website with pictures on Twitter and Instagram.  Highlight the benefits for attendees – especially if you’re offering door prizes and free food.
    • Create a hashtag for the event that can be put on your marketing pieces.  It’ll allow for marketing before, during, and after the event.  It’s a great way to engage your attendees as well as keep track of what people are saying.  SUES recently employed this technique when marketing for the Student Union 5th Birthday celebration. We used #high5SU on multiple marketing pieces and enjoyed seeing everyone’s posts on Instagram and Twitter!
  • Community calendars sponsored by local news stations and publications are a great, free opportunity to advertise to the greater Las Vegas Community.  Some to consider include:
  • Is your organization part of a larger state-wide or national group?  If yes, reach out to them to see if you can share resources.
  • Work with local organizations – chambers of commerce, travel organizations, convention and visitors bureaus, and government groups.
  • Work with businesses that surround the venue or ones that already support your organization.  Perhaps you can hang a poster or leave a stack of fliers.

The Extra Mile
Here are some additional ideas that can give you that added bump up in attendance.

  • Advertise your upcoming events at your current ones.  If you’re working with partners and co-sponsors for an upcoming event, make sure they are advertising at the programs they’re putting on, too.  This could take the form of making announcements during the current event, hanging posters, and giving out fliers or event swag.
  • Give out freebies as advertisements for the event.  For example, give out chocolate bars to advertise your upcoming camping trip where you’ll be making s’mores.  We once had a clothing company give out free pairs of socks in anticipation of a clothing sale they were going to have later down the line.
  • Do you have event-related t-shirts or buttons?  Have your planning committee wear the items as they can serve as mobile advertising options.  Everywhere they go, the message will also go.
  • Do a contest or game before your event.  Arrange a scavenger hunt and the winner receives free tickets to your event.  Using social media as part of the contest or game exponentially increases your engagement with potential guests.Mobile Event App
  • If you have the funds, work with a mobile app developer.  Putting up a list of conference sessions or a performance schedule will motivate attendees to show up as well as have inform them ahead of time.  Information related to parking, sponsors, or menus can already be in their hands before they even get to your event.
  • Last, but not least, directly hearing about an event is still one of the most influential methods to grow your audicence.  Of your circle of acquaintances, are there people who you know will benefit from attending the event?  Share that insight with them one-on-one.  It shows that you care about the other person and who best to share the spirit of the event, but you–the organizer?!

With marketing an event, there is no right or wrong answer – stick to the audience you’re looking to attract and be mindful of your budget and any policies for the best results.

Other Resources
UNLV Posting Policy

Event Marketing: How to Successfully Promote Events, Festivals, Conventions, and Expositions (The Wiley Event Management Series)

Each month we’ll be answering your questions!  Ever wonder what microphone to use for a musical performance?  Don’t know how best to select a catering menu?  We’ll assist you with some of your event planning quandaries and get you on the road for a successful program.  Message, tweet (@UNLV_SUES), or comment here to send us your questions!

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