If I were asked for advice on promoting my workshops, these are the actions I’d encourage organizers to take. Please use this format as a guideline and adapt it to any event.
6 Months Out
It’s never too early to start promoting an event! People need to see a message at least 7 times in order to act on it, and that message should occur over time and across multiple platforms. Start now!
- Develop an incentives package, such as deep discounts and bonuses, for early registrations.
- Create your website sales page. Ensure that online ordering is working.
- Make an announcement about the event in your organization’s newsletter.
- Add the workshop as an event on Facebook and post it to your Facebook timeline.
- Start contacting potential partners that can help promote your event to their lists.
- Create a postcard and/or inexpensive flyer. Identify key locations and happenings for placement of handouts or flyers.
3-6 Months Out
This is when you might be tempted to slack off. You think you’ve already done a bunch of marketing and that you should allow your message to percolate with recipients. Don’t do this! Ramp up your marketing efforts even more!
- Mention the event 2x a month in blog posts (ask me for a guest post or interview!).
- Post it weekly on your Facebook page – varying the time of day you post.
- Tweet it several times a week during high-traffic times.
- Cite the workshop in each issue of your newsletter.
- Send at least 5 personal emails each week to encourage other organizations to spread the word about your event. Follow up as necessary.
- Make phone calls to key alliances that can attract attendees.
- Follow up all online registrations with confirmation welcome letters. Always remember that these people are your guests and should be treated as such.
1-2 Months Out – Early registration ends
There should be a big push to sell seats right before early registration ends. This is when you will receive the majority of your sign-ups.
- Continue all of the promotions you’ve been doing for the last several months. Don’t let up!
- Send a press release and reminders to all alliances to announce the end of early registration. Don’t forget to include the key arts bloggers in your area.
- Schedule a series of 2-3 emails to your list with the early registration deadline reminder. These emails should be specific to the workshop and include no other offerings or announcements.
1 Week to 1 Month Out
- If you haven’t sold out, expand your efforts to fill the seats. You want it to be a success, don’t you?
- Send at least two more emails to your list.
5 Days Out
Relax. You’ve done the best you can, and you have a good crowd coming! Kick up your heels and relax – but only for about an hour. Then you can start tending to workshop details for your guests.
Any details you would add to this list?