We’ve been hearing from a lot of people at colleges and universities across the country that numbers were down for their events last year.
If this sounds like a conversation you’ve been having on your campus, we are here to help! We want you to win big with great events AND people in the seats to experience them.
Marketing your events is crucial for attendance. In addition, it will create buzz around your events and get people excited about what is coming next. Follow our tips and tricks (and feel free to download the Marketing Timeline) and let us know how it works!
CONDUCT YOUR MARKET RESEARCH
- What do your students want to see?
- Are they more likely to stick around and watch a full show, or have an experience that lasts 15-30 minutes and can move on with their day?
- What time works best for your population?
- Are they good at coming back out after classes and dinner?
- Are lunch shows better?
- Do you have a non-traditional population that would prefer family-friendly activities?
Make sure you are meeting your audiences where they are and providing what they want. Surveys are always a great tool, too! Set up a table while people walk through high traffic areas and offer something small as a thank you for their time – a cookie, some candy, slap bracelet – it doesn’t have to be big – it just has to be something.
CONFIRM EVENT DETAILS
Check with the person in charge to get all of the information you’ll need for the posters, social media posts, and more! Double check with the artist or agency to make sure you are using the correct photos and the resolution is high enough.
Once you have your images made, make sure to pass it by the artist or agency for approval – plus, they love to see what you’ve created!
ASK ABOUT THE EXTRAS
Reach out to the act or agency and see if they can make a video special for your event – announcing they’ll be there and maybe a little about the show!
Once they are on site, will/can they do a teaser? This is a great way to drum up people who may not have known about the event or was on the fence. Remember – a personal invitation is always the best way to get people to your events.
UTILIZE ALL PLATFORMS AVAILABLE
Do you have a radio station on campus? Let them know! Have you asked your school newspaper about a regular column with updates on your upcoming eventS? Ask! Can you print out some information about your events and post them where you have a captive audience (inside the bathroom stalls, on the tables in the cafeteria)? If you have a campus-wide texting app, push out some fun content with gifs and info!
Always think about how you can get the word out in a fun way that conveys the details of the event. Show what to wear in an OOTD post. A video clip of the show so people know what to expect! In this post-COVID world where social anxiety is a very real thing, the more questions you can answer before the event, the more people will feel comfortable coming!
And, once people get on site, continue to utilize social media by encouraging posting to try to increase attendance while it’s happening. It’s also a great idea to take advantage to use your audience to hype the next event. If you have a big announcement, promote the fact that it will be done at the end of the event – first to know can be a big deal – harness that excitement!
TAKE THE TEMPERATURE
Make sure you ask people after the event what they thought – what else would they like to see?
Surveys can be helpful, but they are difficult to see a return as people are so busy. Catch them in the moment and they’ll have a lot more to say – heck, you can even use video and put something together to highlight the cool things your organization is doing!
If you’re in need of a timeline to help put things in order, we’ve put one together for you to use. Check it out and let us know how it works for you. And if you have a marketing plan that works, we’d love to hear all about it!
And as always, we are here to help brainstorm ideas to engage your students and identify events that will work the best for your campus.
Marketing Timeline for Schools
Download our Marketing Timeline for Schools for a quick reference tool when determining a marketing strategy for your calendar of events!