What if you decided to throw a party and no one came? That’s the nightmare that haunts brands as they prepare and invest in an event to drive product awareness and sales leads.
Here are some tips for getting people on board, based on our experience managing marketing campaigns to promote such Chattanooga TN events…
– Leverage Social Media Channels: Setting up a dedicated Facebook Event from your organization’s Facebook Page can give you a great tool for reaching those who might be interested, plus it allows you to have a way to RSVP how many people to expect. You can pay to promote posts to the Event Page (targeting specific demographic groups) and send notifications to those who indicate an interest in attending – an important step if you’re forced to announce last-minute changes. If selling tickets in advance, a service like EventBrite handles this for you in exchange for a fee added onto each ticket. Twitter and Instagram are also useful, especially when you will need to get out frequent, small bits of information or have something particularly visual to promote.
– Have Your End Goals in Mind and Create Incentive to Attend: Ask yourself some basic questions. Why go to this trouble? What is the end result you want from your efforts? What will give someone the motivation to stop anything else they are doing and take part in your event instead?
– Dedicate Event-Specific Hashtags (such as #bubbaBBQ2015, for example) and Let People Know What They Are: These allow social media users to participate in a specific conversation or share photos from a common space or event, but you need to announce them in advance on your website and use them in your social media posts so others can pick up on what to use.
– Use a URL Shortener like Bit.ly: If you want people to share a web link, you’re better off using a service like Bit.ly that can create a custom URL that you can paste and others can more easily type into a browser address bar than some long, complicated web address.
– Put Together a Press Release: You can put “just the facts” into a statement and email it to local media if you event impacts a wide swath of the general public. If it only interests a very narrow group, you might be better off using other offline tools such as flyers.
– Get on Events Calendars: There are several websites that publish things that are happening, often weeks in advance of an event. Identify which of these are popular and submit with the location, start and finish time, any costs or pre-registration deadline, and any other details that participants will need to know.
– Use Visuals: Sometimes you need a “photo op” to add impact to your press release or social media posts. A professionally designed logo or an image of someone preparing behind the scenes can generate interest and prevent you from repeating the same message over and over without any variety. If you are unable to get a quality original photo, there are website selling stock photos that might be appropriate.
– Prepare for Your NEXT Event: Prepare for the worst while hoping for the best, then react whatever happens. If the event does not live up to your expectations, ask yourself what you could have done differently so you can apply that lesson next time. If you have a great response, make sure you have contingencies in place to help those who wanted one of your free samples before you ran out or did not get to sign up on the scene. An email newsletter list (with some incentive to sign up) can help you leverage the success of Event One with preparation for Event Two. Make sure you get photos capturing the crowd and announce a winner on social media if you had some sort of giveaway.
These are a few suggestions for organizing a successful event. Riverworks Marketing Group is available to help you with these tasks and your messaging. Call us at (423) 710-3866 to arrange a conversation about your brand and its event.