Organizing an event isn’t easy. When you have the first meeting about it, the event seems like a great idea. You’ll invite some big speakers, have a clever theme, lay on some great food, and invite everyone who is anyone in your industry. It will be awesome, right? Unfortunately, that enthusiasm rarely lasts long, and eventually the fear will set in. What if no-one turns up? What if the catering is rubbish or the venue’s Internet goes down?
Those last two issues are beyond anyone’s control, but here are some marketing tips that will help you drum up some buzz for your next event.
Don’t Underestimate Bloggers
Bloggers have a lot of influence these days. If you want to reach a wide audience, encourage bloggers to talk about your conference. Be sure to read what they have to say, too. Pay attention to the feedback that bloggers offer, and talk to them in the run up to the conference. If bloggers feel that you’re listening to their ideas, they will be happy and you will benefit from their feedback and good PR.
Use Social Media, Actively
It may sound like a cliche but with social media you really do get out what you put in. Adding a +1 and a Tweet this button to your website does not count as “using” social media. If you want to market your event via social media you will need a strong presence on the main sites. Set up profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest and any niche sites which relate to your industry. Check the accounts every day and engage in conversations with the members of each community. Post different updates to each sites – remember that many people have accounts on multiple communities and they’ll get frustrated if they see you cross-posting every update.
Find Good Sponsors
Good sponsors are hard to come by, and if you find one you should treasure them. The event – sponsor relationship should be far more than an arrangement where the sponsor gives you money and you print their logo on your promotional materials. Take every opportunity that you can find to promote your sponsors (without alienating your attendees), and ask your sponsors to do the same for you. Many companies have large mailing lists and a lot of contacts and they would be happy to work with you to promote your event because they’ll benefit too.
Talk about the Cool Things You’re Doing
Major events have the luxury of saying “We have something awesome lined up for Friday night!”, but smaller event organizers shouldn’t do that. Instead of planning “an awesome surprise” for the people that turn up, talk about the big things that you’re planning. A huge guest speaker, an after-conference dinner cruise, or a big product reveal is the sort of thing that you should be talking about to bring in the crowds.
Organizing a big event means making a lot of noise. If people don’t know about the awesome things you have planned, why should they take time out of their busy schedules to attend your event?
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By Boris Dzhingarov – Follow him on Google+.