We love doing events. They are exciting, relatively easy to market and require a plan. When done right, you’ll find the advance planning makes it all worthwhile. At knoodle, we have done Salsa Festival, Fountain Hills Festival of Arts and Crafts , Great Fair, Chinese Lantern Festival and countless other events. We follow the same procedure for consistently good results- drawing crowds from 50,000 to 200,000 people.
Here are five methods of event utopia:
Start marketing/ media planning three months in advance
Begin with the calendars of offline and online publications. They often have a ten-twelve week lead-time. Send a finished press release, event notice and a photo for best results. Have a checklist to make sure the date, time, event offerings, price of admission and other important facts are included. Send out media kits with event photography, small gifts and fact sheets that highlight the event or the event’s purpose.
Reach out to bloggers
If the event is a family event, reach out to Mom Bloggers. If it is likely to attract baby boomers, make sure the boomer blogs are included, as well as those who work with senior centers, assisted living facilities and active adult communities. You can often find these blogs by searching online. Also, look at local newspapers, who most often have blogs or online content specific to events and other outings. Follow the bloggers or reporters that feature this type of content and offer the VIP status, free tickets or other enticements.
Decide which social media is appropriate
For most events, Facebook is appropriate for organic content. Don’t overlook paid campaigns that can be done inexpensively. This allows you to invite specific types of people to the event. This can be specific to foodies, art lovers, millennials or any other groups likely to frequent your event. The analytics you get will also enable you to refine your marketing, in general. If it’s a business event, Linked In is an excellent choice. Most events have a strong visual component. This makes Instagram especially relevant. Have designated people assigned to posting photography. This is ideal for both Instagram and Facebook. If the event is a draw for millennials, don’t overlook Snapchat. For all your social media, choose a specific hashtag that makes searching the event and easy task for anyone looking.
Sell the experience with video
You know longer have to wait for the local TV affiliate to show up for coverage. Create your own and place it on your owned media- like social networks, blogs, or your event or organization’s website. Even cell phones are an efficient way to connect video with your audience. Video is 8x more likely to get attention on social media than a standard post with photo.
For an optimal event, optimize
Several tools allow you to spread the word of your event to thousands of web sites in a specific, geographic area. These tools are generally news wires and allow you to add a photo, video and news story that features the event. These include PR Newswire, US News Wire and PR Web, to name a few. Costs start at a few hundred dollars for localized event coverage to $2,500 for a national presence. This also does great things for search engine optimization, making it easy for people to search your event online and find you.