The peacock was dancing in the jungle. Nobody saw it.

Urdu Proverb

Urdu Proverb Quote The peacock was daning in the jungle. Nobody saw it.

Event Marketing is an integral part of event management. Even if you have enough participants it is a very good idea to use every occasion to brand your organisation as well as to spread your message.

You should be doing this before the workshop begins as well as after it. Or as the German soccer player and manager Sepp Herberger (1897—1977) said, ‘After the game is before the game.’ Your next workshop will come and more people will have heard about you. If people say good things, then potential participants are more likely to join.

Most of the tools and channels of communication addressed below do not involve investments of money, simply time. Allocate enough time in your preparation phase!

You should choose the appropriate tools and channels of communication on the basis of your Target Audience Analysis.

Corporate Design

Corporate Design (CD) is part of the Corporate Identity (CI) of an organisation. This is how the organisation is perceived, what it stands for and how it communicates. CD is the visual part of internal and external communication. You should apply the principle that form follows function: products must be useful and easy to handle, but nonetheless recognisable. The recognisability is created by the use of a logo, font, colours and proportions etc.

TheWorkshopLeader.com in the characteristic font Haettenschweller and a strong blue.
TheWorkshopLeader.com in the characteristic font Haettenschweller and a strong blue.

In order to brand yourself and to be recognisable, all your products should feature the same elements. This includes your invitations, Participant List, certificates and banners, etc. The effect is created through repetition, repetition, repetition.

This blog or the E-book, for example, uses the CD of TheWorkshopLeader.com: the logo is there, the font colour is defined and remains consistently the same (font, border of photos and other layout elements). So, after a short while it’s recognisable wherever you look at: E-Book, YouTube channel, Facebook community etc.

It helps your branding, as well as the orientation of participants, when the banner image or the whole banner is used on the Program, in any online communications including emails, printed invitations and so on.

My Message — AIDA

The AIDA principle has been a basic marketing tool for at least a century. Every TV spot or radio message employs it. Every billboard or poster is based on it. Every brochure or homepage applies it — and if not, they fail to deliver the expected results. AIDA is simple, effective, and applicable to all marketing projects. It is an acronym for:

Attention Interest Desire Action

Attention: The precondition that somebody sees your message is that she or he sees, listens, or watches the advertisement or event announcement. Accordingly, you have to attract attention. This gets harder and harder in a world in which people are constantly bombarded by information and messages. You have to break through the wall of noise. You can attract attention by using an unusual picture [see Photography], an unusual video or an unusual sound bite.

Interest: Once someone notices your advertisement, he or she must be motivated to read or watch it. The first sentence needs to be short, concise and attractive. You need to pitch your language and register according to your target audience, i.e. your participants. It’s useful to have key words and topics that will appeal to your participants.

Desire: It is not enough just to have someone read your message. Why should he or she come to your event? Why should someone leave his or her comfort zone? What will move him or her? The answer is desire. Without some perceived personal benefit it is unlikely that you will convince anyone to act. And as everybody is motivated by different factors, it is a very good idea to base your promises on the strengths and weaknesses of your target audience [see Communication/Target Audience].

Action: Even if you have achieved the three preceding steps, people often forget to direct their audience to a specific course of action. This means that all their efforts in attracting attention and arousing desire will have been in vain. You will need to guide your audience to do something specific. What should a possible participant do?

5Ws

Your announcement should always contain the famous five Ws:

  • When does it take place?
  • Where is it?
  • What is it about?
  • Who should apply?
  • Why is it worth participating?

Be precise and guide the action thoroughly in order to avoid extra work for yourself in the form of unnecessary phone calls or email enquiries! [To adjust your message better: aCommunication]

Homepage

A website is the backbone of your communication including marketing.
A website is the backbone of your communication including marketing.

A homepage is the backbone of your company’s or organisation’s communication with your target audience. Your website should give basic information about your personal or organisational background. It should also provide an opportunity to get in touch with you. Importantly, it also acts as a shop window for your current activities — if you fail to update, it suggests to the casual observer that your organisation is inactive. Don’t neglect it!

Details of every event that you have organised should be outlined here in the form of a small report with one to three photos. You will find tips for writing web articles below. This is the place to announce future events and to call for applications. The event announcement comprises the 5Ws [anext section]. Don’t forget to take the announcement from your website once the event is over!

Social Media

Social media offers huge opportunities for you to network as well as to promote your activities. As with your homepage, social media is an opportunity to announce your events as well as to report those, which have already happened, but using slightly more informal language than a homepage. It is best to

Marketing is unthinkable without social media today.
Marketing is unthinkable without social media today. Here the TWL Twitter account. 

write short, pithy captions to accompany pictures rather than lengthy chunks of text. To accompany the announcement it’s useful to create a Facebook Event. Again, nice pictures and a few interesting lines will attract attention, generate interest and — with luck — make people want to attend. In social media messaging, the proposed action should still be guided according to the principle of the 5Ws [see AIDA].

Web 2.0 (social media as opposed to the previous static Web 1.0 like a website) is interactive. This means that you can and should engage with your audience in the form of messages, comments and likes. People can recommend your events to their friends who can pass it on to a wider network of people. This means that your messages will go viral if your content is attractive.

You should remember that once you decide to get involved in social media it becomes an obligation: your friends and supporters will expect updates, answers and reactions. There is no point in having an account and not interacting with it. This can become very time consuming. We would suggest that you use your time sensibly but make sure that you do not neglect social media.

Press Invitation

Sometimes, I hear NGOs complaining that they don’t get any press coverage. Of course they blame journalists, media companies and overall the corrupt system. They never consider that it might have something to do with their own failures. Personally, I have experienced the opposite: generally media is open-minded and willing to cover your event — if you stick to some basic rules.

First of all, Public Relations (PR) is about having a relationship as the name indicates. Building up a relationship takes time and trust. You should not expect a reporter to come on your first call — they are not your employees who will act on your request.

A press invitation can multiply your marketing efforts.
A press invitation can multiply your marketing efforts.

Second, a journalist needs to be shown that there is some benefit in coming before he allocates some time in his busy schedule. Don’t forget to emphasis that there is a personal benefit. A journalist, like any other person, wishes to be respected and taken seriously. As media people often receive quite a lot of exposure, the level of attention they receive is often higher than that of people outside the public eye. Take that into account! Be gentle, respectful, and respect them and their work.

Third, there must be a benefit for the job! The results must be worth the time spent. That means there must be interesting photos to take, as well as good and interesting content. Any superlative is always a good hook: the first, the last, the biggest, the smallest, the most exciting. But stick to your promises, otherwise you lose trust and the journalist won’t come the next time.

High-profile guest speakers often provide an excellent reason to come. A journalist’s interest in the high-profile guest may be connected to something other than the workshop, but it’s an easy occasion to meet them without the hassle of setting up an interview. Take adequate steps to make an interview possible.

Fourth, make it easy for them. The invitation must clearly state the timings and venue. The best method is to send a Programme along, so that an interested journalist can decide when to come. Don’t expect them to stay for the whole event — unless it’s a training course for journalists! Providing a map should help make it easy to find the venue. Provide the details of a contact person (including mobile number) for questions in advance. Give them a hook early on by suggesting a news angle or providing a teaser text. A factsheet on your organisation or company along with profiles of the speaker as well as a press release eases his or her writing – and is your opportunity to influence the outcome!

Press Releases

A Press Release is the classic tool of Public Relations (PR). Companies, institutions and organisations send them out mostly in electronic form — email or fax. Nonetheless, printouts should be available at your event, too.

Press releases might be taken in - if you have created relations and trust before.
Press releases might be taken in – if you have created relations and trust before.

Hundreds of press releases might reach an editor’s inbox every day. Therefore, you should ensure that yours is a careful balance between serious content and eye-catching headlines. A Press Release is an integral part of your Corporate Design. They should always follow a standard template, which incorporates your organisation’s branding to ensure that they are instantly recognisable.

The line spacing should be 1.5—2 and a large indent in order to enable editors to write on them directly and thus partially reuse your text in their article. Because many journalists are too lazy or don’t have the time, they often reproduce, i.e. copy&paste, press releases. This provides an opportunity to you for having exactly your wording printed in the newspaper.

Furthermore, press releases should include all possible contact details. Journalism is a speedy business and editors may have to reach you immediately.

The content has to include all 5Ws [aAIDA]. Make the wording short and precise. The language should be interesting, too [For further tips: aWeb Article].

It’s recommended that you have other material from the workshop available for journalists, too, including transcripts of speeches, handouts and presentations.

Email

Emails are free. But this doesn’t mean they don’t have value. Quite the opposite — by creating different mailing lists based on areas of interest you will be able to invite all the relevant people you know with

Email is one of many marketing tools for events.
Email is one of many ma