Events in small towns are often a collaborative effort amongst small businesses, local leaders, and amazing volunteers. It takes months of planning and a lot of commitment to make any event run smoothly. To make sure all that time and effort is worth it, you want your event to be a success. On any given day, people have the choice to do hundreds of different activities - how can you make your event stand out in their mind? We’ve helped plan many events over the years, so here are our best marketing tips for your next event!
1. Plan Early
To ensure that you are giving enough time for people to plan and get excited, you must start planning early. You don’t want to announce your event the week before it happens - people will already have plans! Think of how quickly you fill up your social calendar and use that knowledge to your advantage. This will also give out of town guests time to plan a trip for the event!
2. Design Custom Marketing Materials
Your event is unique, and you want your marketing materials to be too. Make sure you invest in custom flyers, social media images, and ads to promote your event. This will make it look professional and well planned. It will also give your event an identity – this is particularly helpful with annual events so people will recognize it year after year and want to come again.
3. Spread the Word – Everywhere!
To get the word out about your event, make sure you get creative when it comes to where you are marketing. One tactic we use to target local families is to give flyers to schools – they will send the flyers home with their students, allowing the parents to see it as well. This ensures the marketing materials are directly placed in the hands of the people you want at your event. Make sure you also market on more traditional platforms like social media, local news sites, chamber calendars, radio stations, and hang up good old-fashioned flyers around town.
4. Get People Involved
Ask members of the community to help with the event by setting up, tearing down, or running part of the event like a game or activity. It will make them feel more involved in the event and want to promote it to others. The more pride the community has in the event, the more they will want to make it successful. They will spend time helping and inviting others they know to do the same. Plus, you get extra help!
Now that we have covered what it takes to market an event, here is a cheat sheet of the different pieces of marketing collateral you will need to promote your event. Use this list as you plan your next event and get creative!
· Posters to hang up around town
· Social Media Share Image
· Facebook Event Cover Image
· Half Sheet Flyers for local schools
· Banners and Signs for the day of the event
· A-Frames to set up a couple weeks ahead of time at locations with lots of foot-traffic.