Deciding to host an event and share your expertise is a bold decision, and one that takes guts – so BRAVO if you’ve got an event slated for 2014!
Creating an event is one of the quickest ways to showcase your expertise to a group who may want to learn more about you, invest in your products or services now or down the road, or have an interest in ‘what you’re up to’, for their own professional growth. Well done, an event provides an opportunity to tell your story, up-level your brand and – let’s be honest, capitalize on your knowledge.
That said, you’ll want not just a boatload of people at your event, (whether it’s live or online) but a boatload of your target audience. They’ll resonate with your message and brand more than anyone else, and you’ll have multiple opportunities to make an impression and suggest that they become raving fans!
Here are7 Ways to Promote an Event in 2014
1. Get Talking
Step away from the keyboard, and call friends and other people in your network who may be interested in attending your event. Even if your invitation is politely refused (i.e. due to a prior engagement or something to that effect), this is a prime opportunity to make a personal connection that could pay dividends down the road. It’s also ideal for reaching people who you don’t know, since you’re offering them something. Make it an easy, no-stress phone call with no end game in mind.
2. Get Visual
Create flyers and graphics for your event, and post them in an area frequented by your target audience. You can also send these in the mail (yes, the old fashioned way with stamps) to your targeted audience with a personalized post-it note. Make sure that your graphics have a consistent look, and that the artwork can be re-purposed for invitations, banner ads, and social media. This saves time, money, and gives your branding efforts maximum exposure.
3. Get Newsworthy
Submit media releases about your event to local news stations, magazines, newspapers and industry publications, as well as on-line blogs and distribution channels. Be sure to be crisp and clear in your delivery, and include contact information for the press. If you have video, use it here as well. Above all, be media ready to capitalize on the publicity and opportunity for maximum exposure.
4. Get Dialed In
Find local radio stations and targeted blog radio networks that may be interested in an interview. Make your story compelling and be a fun and entertaining guest. By following these simple guidelines, you’ll build a loyal following, get recognized for your expertise and be able to use the recorded interview in your own promotional strategy. And you’ll probably be invited back!
5. Get Social
Use the power of social media to your advantage. Post targeted messages to your database and audience on a frequent (though not too-frequent) basis, using various platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube. You can also make a list of groups who might benefit from the event, and target them on-line. Keep in mind that it typically takes multiple impressions (a.k.a. touchpoints) before people notice a message and take action. As the best sales professionals advise: be persistent, but never pushy.
6. Get Wordy
Blog about your event, and ask others to do the same. If you’ve been a guest blogger, ask your colleagues to give you a mention and share it with their list, and do the same with your social media contacts. This not only extends the life of your promotion, but it allows you to reach beyond your traditional target audience.
7. Get Hooked-Up
If you have a room that needs to be filled, consider asking fellow colleagues who are in a complementary — but not competing – business to publicize your event to their list. Before presenting this type of opportunity, be sure that you have all the details outlined. Make it easy for your partners to promote you by providing pre-launch copy and emails, and copy for social media postings. Always strive to be a good partner, because your reputation will follow-you long after the event is over.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, if you apply some or all of the strategies above, you’ll:
- Ensure that your event isn’t a “best kept secret”
- Provide some valuable help by sharing your wisdom
- Potentially fill the room with great new customers and clients
- Have fun doing what you love!
What is the most challenging part of promoting a live event?
How do the promotional tactics differ from promoting a live event vs an on-line event?
Do you typically have a team of people to help with the event? What are their primary roles?
Let us know your thoughts — and KUDOS to those who dare to dream big, hosting their own event (live or online)!
Best of luck this year, and always!