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It’s not enough to issue a lame press release – and face it, most event press releases are stillborn – and expect people to break down the door of your event to get it. The fact is, like any B2B public relations, promoting an event requires a strategy and plan. Otherwise, you might as well be simply shouting your event from rooftops in terms of effectiveness. To get you on the right track, here’s playbook from a recent event we’ve promoted for a B2B client. PS: Note the use of multi-touchpoints.
- Create messaging for your event. It’s not enough to just talk up your event. Think about your event as a billboard. What are the key messages you want people to know about? Why should they care? What do you want your event to accomplish? Who should attend?
- Create an event website. Take the messaging you created and truly let it rip here. Post your agenda, your speakers. Make it a cinch for would-be attendees to understand your event at a glance. Create a blurb about your event. This is your “elevator pitch” about your event.
- Submit to sites such as trade publications; many view it as a public service to post industry event information.
- Be sure to link back to your event page to create some inbound links and boost SEO for your event. Post your event on LinkedIn. LinkedIn makes it a snap to publicize your event. Here’s a link on how to do just that. Don’t forget to share your event with your followers.
- Create a hashtag and tweet about your event. Use your event’s name in your hashtag and tweet about it before, during and after the event. Announce speakers. Invite people. Talk it up and get others to retweet your event.
- Issue a press release. This should be strictly an advisory -- Who, What, When, Where and Why. And, of course, link to your event page in your release. If nothing else, this will help you with the search engines. Don't forget to post the event release on your own website and put a link on Twitter and in the news sections of relevant LinkedIn groups.
- Create advance articles related to your event’s key messages and publish the articles on your industry sites. For example, if your summit is about one-to-one marketing, explain how technology is finally enabling that and explain the benefits and how to do it. Don’t make the mistake of writing about your event; instead simply reference it in your article. You can say that your event on X date is being devoted to just this topic. And, of course, have a link to your event site.
- Promote during your event. Your event promotion doesn’t stop once your event kicks off. In fact, that’s the time to tweet about it, get articles published, and issue another press release that runs the day of your event. The idea is to get everyone talking about it.
- After your event, post links on Twitter and post slides on Slideshare and on on your website. Tweet about it and post status updates on LinkedIn. Let your followers share in your excitement.
- Memoralize key moments of your event with short video clips you can post on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, your website, newsletter…you get the idea.
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I'd love to hear your ideas of promoting an event. What have you found is especially effective?