There are many creative and practical ways to create buzz about your event, and the internet is one of the best places to do so with little or no budget.
Paul Koziara, Ottawa Festivals
Anyone who has ever worked to organize an event knows that marketing campaigns can have a lot to do with its success or failure. Proper promotion of a festival, special event, or fair requires strategic advertising in order to create hype and attract audiences.
Spreading the word and reaching target audiences is not always an easy feat! Costs associated with traditional advertising such as radio, television, and newspaper are often in the thousands of dollars. Though some organizers have the means and capital to take advantage of high-cost, high-exposure advertising, the majority do not have budgets that allow for conventional mass media marketing. But there is good news, there are still many effective ways for promoters to create and disseminate their messages no matter the size of their coffers.
In addition to grassroots marketing techniques like postering and handing out flyers, new media such as blogs, websites, and social media have proven to be very powerful tools for advertisers. Through the use of digital technology, individuals are able to create influential marketing campaigns that are tailored to and shared with target audiences. Websites are easier to setup than ever and are a fantastic way of sharing information and directing traffic to social media channels. Facebook and Twitter allow for a quick two-way flow of communication which helps maintain interest about a given event. Press releases and newsletters can be easily distributed to a high volume of people through e-mail. There are many creative and practical ways to create buzz about your event, and the internet is one of the best places to do so with little or no budget.
Regardless of budget size, every event can benefit from good exposure. The more often people see your name or logo, the more opportunity to spark interest and attract them to that event. Online, there exist collective networks of event listings which provide information to visitors. Some of the sites allow people to vote for their favorite festival which can help gain even more recognition for a given event. The following is a catalog of websites that offer FREE event listings. If you are an organizer or promoter, I suggest you check them out and add your event to the list:
- WestJet Fun n Festival Series
- Ontario Festivals Visited
An important element of marketing is to keep the information you’re presenting up-to-date. Ensure that listings and websites are current with event dates and schedules, upload recent pictures if available, and keep sponsors happy by having their logos published on your site. Outdated information can lead audiences to believe that the event is being poorly organized, resulting in smaller turnouts.
The internet has allowed for novel ways of communicating and marketing. It permits people to become creative with ways of getting their message across. If you are trying to promote an event but do not have the means to invest in TV or radio advertising (which might not always be the best option either, depending on your target audience), don’t fret. Make sure your website is functional and up-to-date and stay on top of Twitter and Facebook to ensure the conversation keeps rolling. Come up with a plan of action and begin marketing to the masses. There is nothing to lose and only exposure to gain. As Mark Twain once said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”