How To Promote An Event
How to raise awareness of your upcoming event – PR tips anyone can implement
You’ve undoubtedly spent months planning it. You’ve invested time and money to make it a success. You’ve worked out exactly what you need to do on the day, and who you want to attend.
I’m talking about the perfect business event.
But how exactly do you secure those all-important registrations? What can you do to raise awareness of your conference, workshop or get-together? Is there a secret to ensuring yours is a must-attend date in the calendar?
Much comes down to the success of the pre-event PR. Of course, a carefully coordinated public relations campaign will come naturally to a specialist communications agency. But there are also some fundamental – and relatively easy-to-implement – tips that everyone can follow, to ensure your event is on everyone’s radar…
Know your angle
Whether you’re one of many businesses attending a giant exhibition, or you’re planning your own event, think about why people should take time out of their day to come along. What is really in it for them? This helps you shape your ‘angle’ that should then be included in all your communications activity on the run up to the date itself.
Tell your story
However excited you are about your event, don’t leave it to chance for other people to find out about it. Make it clear what’s happening, where, when, why, how much it costs and who should make sure they attend! This forms the basis of your story.
Write the perfect press release
It may not come easy to you, but there are some simple steps you can take to construct the perfect press release (starting with booking onto one of our workshops of course!) Craft a clear, striking headline, to capture a journalist’s attention. Then, try to cover the aforementioned who, what, where, why, when and how, in the first couple of paragraphs. A journalist doesn’t want to be sold to, they want to know why the event is of genuine importance to their readers. In terms of the journalists to target, identify reporters at all relevant titles regional to the event location and the sector, such as tech, law or health, for example.
There are a number of listings websites that will publish details of your event in advance of the date. Google “Town Talk” + [the town/city your event is taking place in] and use this as a starting point, then search for more, relevant to the location or sector.
Proactively reach out to some of the people you’d like to attend, including clients, prospective customers, suppliers, journalists, ‘friends’ of your business, influencers within the sector, and any other relevant VIPs you can think of, ranging from a local ‘celebrity’ to the town’s MP. If there is a cost to attend the event, you may wish to consider waiving the fee for some exclusive guests, if their presence is particularly important.
Social media conversation (before, during and after)
Use your social media channels to attract potential attendees, the media and even potential event partners. Post content about why people should come along, interest levels to date and how to register, for example, but share others’ posts about the event too. It helps to create a pre-event community and nurtures an infectious buzz that will hopefully attract even more registrations.
Blog on your website
Whilst the media may want only one or two pieces of pre-event content from you, your own blog provides a great platform to keep talking about the event until the date actually arrives. Try to think of a different angle each time to avoid over-saturating or boring your visitors – each post should be relevant, interesting and purposeful!
Look for a press room
If you’re one of many businesses paying to attend an organised event, ask if they have a press room. This is a designated area where the event’s PR team and journalists will often gather to plan who they want to visit and/or cover in their own comms. So, make sure they know about you!
Continue to look for your next angle
Whether your event is a one-off or the first of many, ensure you shout about its success when the date has passed. A post-event press release is often as important as pre-event comms, so continue to think about your angle. You could talk about the success of a product launch, a ticket sell-out, key points made by a guest speaker, data uncovered on the day… the list goes on.
Capture photos and video
Visual media is very shareable, long after the event itself. You could even consider producing a simple ‘if you didn’t attend, here’s what you missed’ film, to encourage people to come along next time!