Putting together an event on your college campus can be a daunting task for the uninitiated. Someone who has never booked or promoted an event may think that you just announce an event, put up some posters, and people will come to the event if they see the flyers and think it sounds interesting, but it almost always requires much more effort then that. Putting up a banner for the event in your student union may catch a few eyes, but for many first time promoters, that is where the event promotion begins and ends, so the event will almost certainly get lost in a sea of posters and banners. Based on my eight years of event booking and promotion, these are four tips to get your event more exposure and help you get butts in seats. These are not the only things you can do, but it's a great start!
2. Targeted Online Promotion
On the note of knowing your audience, it isn’t just enough to have physical promotion. Targeted online promotion is just as important. Once you know what people you are trying to reach, cruise around instagram and twitter for hashtags on your campus that are relevant to your event and see how you can incorporate them into your promotional posts. Paying for online advertising on social media can be helpful, but it is not the be-all end-all of online promotion. Boosting posts on Facebook can help, but don’t over-do it by doing it with too many different posts. Also look for Facebook groups for students on campus for events and networking that you can post about your event on.
3. Interactive promotion
When talking about online promotion, you also want to have an element of interaction. Instagram raffles/contests are often a great way to get the word out about your event to a much wider swath of people. If your event has an admission fee, have an IG raffle where users post the flyer for the event and tag a friend in order to be submitted for free entry for two. If the event is free, think of another sort of raffle or contest that can get people promoting your event on their own social media profiles.
4. Campus Coordination
Involving your school in the promotion process can also be a vital tool. Many colleges have an official event list on their website, which can be an invaluable tool for helping bring in freshman who are looking for ways to meet new people. For events that tie into the curriculum of any classes, it also a great idea to talk to the professors of those classes to see if you can work together to have the teachers assign extra credit for attending your event. Getting the extra boost of students needing a small grade bump is a fantastic way to get more eyes and ears for your organization. Making a signup sheet that you put on the welcome table at the end of the event is a great way to make sure people stick around.
Following these steps will help build your event turnout in a big way. Just like anything else, the success of your event is directly correlated to how much work you put into its preparation.