But in order for it to be successful, you have to promote the hell out of it!
You don’t need to have all the plans perfected before shouting it from the rooftops. Most events fail to draw attention because the “brainiacs” in charge insisted on waiting for just the right moment. In today’s digital age, if the event is cool, people will share it. If you worry too much about the logistics, and don’t actually start building awareness, you’ll have a kick-ass event with a not so kick-ass attendance! Plus, if you tell everyone about it from the jump, you’ll have to go through with it. There’s no turning back once the word spreads.
That’s what makes it so exciting!
Tweet, post, blog, +1, do whatever you have to, on as many platforms as possible, to ensure maximum exposure. Create an event page on Facebook! Write a blog post that describes the event, and develops some sort of story line that viewers will feel obligated to follow. Just like a hot, steamy scandal on a soap opera, people will want to hear what’s going to happen next. Be dramatic! If the event creation back tale is pretty lackluster, you’ll have to find a way to be creative. Put your thinking caps on, and get all Twilight with it! Each post should resemble an episode that eventually leads up to the season finally. Your event will morph itself into a social scene that can’t be missed!
The number one most shared content on social media continues to be pictures. Pictures are shared so aggressively that an entire social site was developed just to host the massive amount of visual entertainment. Pinterest grew so quickly, that many experts over estimated it’s potential and labeled it as the only social sharing site that would overtake Facebook. While it’s numbers were impressive, it failed to knock the social giant off its thrown. But the shear fact that Pinterest exists, is proof that pictures have the potential to circulate the webosphere at record speeds. With that in mind, it’s imperative that you post pictures of event brainstorming sessions, prop creations, venue decorating, and a ton of human interaction. We all have a natural desire to witness what’s going on behind closed doors. By giving your fans a sneak peek, you are ensuring that they will be thirsty for more!
Now is the time to enlist the help of everyone you know! Get them on board with all of the social sharing. What I found really works, and is great for those that brand themselves as “disconnected” from social media, is to author a simple email that describes the event, date, time, and any other additional details. Send that off to as many people as you know. This is where generating a database of customer’s contact info comes into play. Especially, if you draft an “early invite just for you” type email. People love feeling like they are part of a group. It’s a basic humanistic desire to feel connected to people that share common interests.
Limiting the amount of people allowed to attend, creates an overwhelming need to be included. Every event will be limited due to physical space, fire code, or those pesky city ordinances. Use that to your advantage, and advertise to the possible attendees that their rapid action is required to ensure they can actually get in! If you don’t include a sense of urgency, and a strong call to action in your promotions, then people with wait until the last minute to sign up or buy tickets. That will lead to poor planning on your part, and could force you to either turn people away or refund ticket sales. Reducing the timeline always leads to more sharing on social media. Think about the last time you’ve heard an advertisement on the radio; “Act Now”, “Only 5 days left”, “Time is running out”. You hear those statements so often, because they work!
Radio and print ads still draw some reaction from the less tech savvy crowd. Try to wiggle your way into a free spot on the radio, or take out some small cheap ad space in the classified section of your local paper. The goal here, is to not spend a ton of cash on promotion, but spend the majority of your allotted funds on creating an awesome event. Most event planners do the opposite. They spend so much money on promotions, that when when the herds finally roll in, they are disappointed with the star of the show…the actual event! Be smart when leveraging the possible exposure on radio, and within the pages of print. It could generate a ton of buzz, but it could also leave you in the poor house. Make your ads stand out! Think outside the box. When it comes to getting noticed in today’s busy culture, weird is good.
Theme parties are still my favorite! 80’s are the best in my opinion 🙂 Either way, by developing a theme, you actually instill a little friendly competition amongst those in attendance. Everyone wants to have the standout costume, or sexiest dress. Think of how far in advance some people plan for Halloween parties. Planning will build anticipation, and anticipation will maximize attendance. Nobody is going to spend time thinking about what to wear, and then fail to show. They have already mentally committed to being there. Plus, themed events give everyone a chance to be someone, or something, different for a night. We all want to experience a life lived as someone else. It’s natural for us to fantasize about what it might be like to be a vampire, zombie, celebrity, or the President of the United States. Give them an option to fulfill their desires, and build your event around a theme.
So the next time you want to reignite some social buzz about your business, consider hosting an event. But don’t just host a lame meet and greet. Build an insane amount of chatter, and create something that’s totally off-the-wall cool!
Your bank account will thank you!
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