Hosting your own event or fundraiser can be very exciting, but there is a lot of hard work involved too. One of the biggest tasks that you will have is finding people to attend. A good turn out will no doubt be the ultimate aim.
Whatever the event that you are hosting is, having a promotion strategy will be vital. If you have held similar events or fundraisers previously, then you will have some experience, plus, you may be able to invite previous attendees.
If this is your first event or fundraiser, or whether you are trying to build up the attendance on your next event, here are some tips.
Understand What You Are Promoting
The first thing that you need to do is work out what it is you are promoting, and work out the message that you want to get across. If it’s a fundraiser, what is the cause? What is the target that you’d like to raise? How will this be spent? And what form does the event take? A fundraiser could be a dinner party, a show, or even an auction. Being clear about what is on offer is vital when it comes to deciding on your message.
Be Clear And Concise
Whatever you are offering, make it simple and easy to read. If your potential attendees have to wade through lots of information in order to get to the relevant information, then they won’t read it.
While there may be lots that you think the event can be sold on, focus on the most important aspects first.
Using Social Media As A Promotions Tool
The first place to head to when it comes to promoting your event will be social media. If you already run your own Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts, and have people following you or your organization, then this will be a great start and you already have some people to target your promotional material toward.
Create an event page on Facebook, and make it public. This is a great tool because users can interact with the events page and as such allow it to widen its reach. You can, of course, promote the event on all of your social media channels too.
Create a hashtag for your event, and then use it as much as possible. Find ways of getting other people using the same hashtag and try and get a bit of a buzz around it.
You could choose to pay for a sponsored post to promote it. You can set the specific demographics including location, age ranges, and interests of the people you’d like to target with the post.
Find a way of wording your post that encourages users to comment on it. This interaction will mean that the event ends up getting shared onto the news feeds of the friends of people who have interacted with it too.
How Relevant Is Email Marketing?
You may worry about sending out emails to people who may be interested in attending your event. Your main concern would be that most people have inboxes that are very often stuffed full of unread advertising emails. Why would yours get noticed?
Whether we open our emails or not, we still scan the headlines, and, when one does attract our attention, we will open it. If you have a mailing list, then sending out invites via email using a mailing service such as Mailchimp will mean that you can track your campaign and see how many have received the email, and how many have opened it. This information is useful as it shows the effectiveness of your email marketing list for future use.
Creating printed materials such as posters and flyers can be very effective, but there is obviously a cost involved, particularly if you are to create professional-looking materials.
Decide on where you are going to put posters up and ensure you seek permission first. Local businesses can be a good place to have advertising put up, and many cafes, supermarkets, and local amenities have noticeboards for upcoming events.
If you plan on flyering, again, seek out permission from whoever’s land you are on. Town and city centres may require permission from the local council. Flyering can be effective, as you are giving people a physical reminder that your event is happening.
Work The Local Angle
Appealing to the press is a good way to go when trying to attract attendees. Writing a press release and sending it to any relevant papers may mean that the event will get a write-up. If there is a local angle that can be played to gain the interest of the press in the area, use that in the press release. Offer up a couple of complimentary tickets to their reviewers too, and you may find that you get some coverage both before and after the event.
Similarly, it might be worth sending emails to any local bloggers that might share the event with their followers. Offering complimentary tickets to an influential blogger may mean that you gain exposure through them shouting about the event on all of their channels.
Make Sure Tickets Are Easy To Obtain
You want your attendees to commit as early as possible by buying tickets. In order to make sure that they do get their tickets, use a website that you can sell your tickets through and make it as easy as possible for them to pay. Ideally, pick a ticketing site that allows them to have an e-ticket so there is no print out needed. Look for a site that accepts PayPal and all major cards, that way you will be making it very quick and convenient for people to pay.
On the run-up to the event, don’t forget to really go to town on reminding people that it’s coming soon. Have a countdown, and if tickets are selling fast, let people know. Social media is a great place to generate this level of hype as you get close to the date.
Thank you for reading
If anyone you know is looking for something a little different, please send them my way 🙂
Grant Saunders Stage & Comedy Hypnotist
North of England Entertainer of the year 2019