Events in a Flash: How to Promote an Event in Ten Minutes

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on November 16, 2010 in: Business Marketing, Tips in 10, Tools & Resources

In your business you’ve got regular, ongoing content that can be posted for general consumption – like blogs, articles, ebooks, and that kind of thing. But sometimes you want more:

  • You want more interaction
  • You want more effective positioning
  • You want more promotion
  • You want more of your personality injected into your relationships
  • You want to put your finger on the pulse of who is listening

… And an event can do that.

In this article of Tips In Ten I’ll give you a few ways to promote your event. If you have all the details already worked out, you can do a fairly significant amount of promotion in just ten minutes thanks to a variety of social media tools.

What kind of events am I talking about?
An event would be any time-specific situation where you gather a group of people together. Events could be online or offline or a mix; anything from a teleconference, teleseminar, or webinar to a face-to-face meeting or an after-hours networking event at a local cafe. It could be a large event or a small one. It could be an open-invitation event or a closed invitation event. It all depends on your business and your market. Here are some examples of events I’ve seen or participated in:

  • A time management coach who is trying to create some local interest for his or her coaching services might put on a free seminar at a local library.
  • A social media consultant who wants to introduce newbies to the world of Twitter and Facebook might put on a webinar.
  • An entrepreneur who has a big list of clients might rent out a café or bar one evening and invite people for some networking and finger food.
  • A freelancer who is just starting to work with a brand new client and wants to meet his or her team for the first time might hold a teleconference to introduce themselves.

If you are looking for some effective ways to grow your business, consider the following kinds of events:

  • Phone-in teleseminars where people call or email their questions and you answer them.
  • Seminars (or webinars) where you dish out advice on hot topics that people need answers about.
  • A collection of speakers or experts who can share insights or field questions.
  • A networking event where like-minded people share and connect with each other and promote themselves.
  • Webinars to walk people through a complex idea or situation where showing is more effective than telling (and where showing a bunch of people at once is faster than showing them one at a time).
  • Meeting a group of people at once (such as in a project management setting or a sales presentation).

So there are a lot of reasons to have an event. Use your imagination and create regular events to grow your business.

So, let’s say that you have an event and you want to promote it to get people to come to it. What do you do?

What you need before you promote it
You need to set up the event. Know the date, time, venue (Online? Offline?) and how people can get there or connect to it. You need the topic and a compelling title. If you’re creating an online event, don’t forget to keep time zones in mind. (Scheduling a meeting for 9AM Eastern on a weekday might sound like a great idea to get a good start to your day but you won’t make any friends with the people in Pacific Time who are just crawling out of bed and trying to get breakfast for the kids.)

I won’t give you a lot of details on how to develop and create an event because this Tips In Ten is about promoting your event, not setting one up, and those details really depend on how you are going to deliver your event. But you need to do that part first.

Then, write down these four things and they will become the core of your ten minute promotional blitz:

  • What: What is the event called?
  • Why: Why should someone go?
  • When: When is it?
  • Where: Where do they go or click?

Now it’s time to promote your event.

Promoting your event in ten minutes

Email your list. (Duration: 2 minutes). Obviously, you should email your subscribers, clients, and prospects with short, friendly invitation. Something along the lines of: “You’re invited to my teleseminar on time management next week. We’ll talk about the 5 ways you can get more time out of your already busy day and the 3 resources you absolutely need if you hope to be more efficient. To attend…”. It’s clear and straightforward.

Blog about it. (Duration: 1 minute). Easy: Copy and paste your email into your blog. Maybe add some flair (or don’t if you’re pressed for time). Again, you’re just communicating the what, why, when, and where. If you don’t have a lot of people to invite, you may need to write a little more sales copy into your work to “sell” your readers on why they should be there.

Tweet it. (Duration: 15 seconds). Easy. Just tweet the main benefit, the date and time, and how to get there. Or, if you don’t have enough space in your tweet, try something like: “Free webinar on time management” with a link to the blog post you just wrote (above). Schedule regular tweets to promote your event.

Post the event on Facebook. (Duration: 2 minutes). Facebook is an easy way to promote events to friends and fans and the general public. Sign in to Facebook. On your home page, you’ll see “Events” on the left:

When you click on it, you’ll get to this events page:

Click the “Create an Event” button. And that will take you to the events creation page:

On this page, just follow the instructions, most of which you already determined when you were setting up the event. Add a picture if you want. You can select guests from among your friends, invite others with an email address, and add a personal message if you’d like (which you can rip off from the email you’ve already sent out). Choose whether or not to make it a public event and whether or not to add the guest list to the event page. When you’re done, click the blue “Create Event” button.

… And you’re done. Easy!

Post the event on LinkedIn. (Duration: 3 minutes). LinkedIn has a similar event creation interface so if you are holding an event with a business purpose, LinkedIn gives you exposure to a wider audience. Sign in to LinkedIn. Along the top of your Account interface is this menu:

Hover your cursor over the “More” link and you’ll see “Events” on the list. Click it and you’ll end up here:

Select the “Add an Event” tab (as shown) and simply put in the information you’ve already been disseminating elsewhere: The name of the event, the date and time, the venue name, etc.  And if you click on “Add more details”, you get the following:

That’s it. It’s pretty easy to get your event out there in front of your prospects and clients and generate an audience.

Of course there’s more that you can do if you have more than ten minutes to spend (or if you delegate this part to someone else).

Check out social media event sites like:

www.eventbrite.com
www.meetup.com
www.eventful.com
www.upcoming.org

These event sites might be appropriate for you (although some of them are more applicable to in-person events than online events).

Heather Recommends:

Running a business can be busy, challenging work. I can help you become more productive and successful. Find out how.

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