How to Promote an Event, NOT!

I know what you’re thinking. Shouldn’t I be writing more about how to promote an event versus how to not promote an event? Perhaps, but I have been receiving so many invitations to meeting and event planning events that I started to take notice to the ones that were most effective. But, by looking at the good ones, I started to realize there are an awful lot of event invitations that are just plain bad. And it’s not that they’re bad in design, or even grammar for that matter. Rather it just seems that, sometimes, the event promoters aren’t interested in their own event.

It’s not that I want to focus on the negative ways to promote an event. But, by looking at some bad examples, you might just get some take away points on how to promote events properly.

There Are Many Ways to Promote an Event

There’s no doubt that we live in a digital age. My very job is a prime example of that. And, if you’re like most, you probably have yourself a twitter account, LinkedIn account and perhaps at Facebook page. Then when you’re promoting an event you put the information on your social media accounts and reach out to all of those that are following you. Presto, an instant audience.

Of course social media is a prime vehicle for promoting events. If done properly. One thing that you need to make sure when you’re promoting an event on social media is that the people following you (or liking your page, or friending you, etc.) are related to the industry that you’re promoting. If you only use Facebook for your personal friends, you may not want to promote your event to them if they have nothing in common with the industry. Keep your personal accounts and your business accounts separate.

You may also want to consider good old fashion telephone calls or perhaps mailing an invitation to your event. I can honestly tell you that I get so few mailed invitations that when I actually do get one I notice it.

Three Examples of How Not to Promote Your Event

As I said at the beginning, I want to use this post to highlight a few examples of ways not to promote your event.

  • Those Personalized Tweets. Have you ever received an invitation on twitter that seemed very personal from one of your followers? Well, one way to check the sincerity of the tweet would be to go to the account holder’s twitter page. Did the very tweet that you received also get sent to hundreds of other people? What people fail to realize is that it doesn’t take much to determine if your tweet was really meant for me or were you just spamming your followers.

  • You’re Not Mentioned on the Invitation. I”m sure you’ve received an invitation with the salutation “Hello,”. Did your name get dropped off? Probably not. Remember when we used to receive e-mails that look like they were being sent to the sender and your name was in the BCC line. So obviously they’ve compiled a list (probably not an opt in list) and sent the same e-mail to themselves, BCCing everybody that they wanted to invite. Not a great way to get someone’s attention.

  • Does the Events Seem like There Aren’t Real People Promoting It? Here’s the scenario. You get an invitation for an event, webinar etc. and you’re taken to a webpage to sign up for the presentation. But once you’re on the sign-up page you get a feeling that there aren’t necessarily humans behind the event promotion. Before going any further, I would suggest that you check the contact info on the website. I always raise the red flag when I cannot find any information about the site’s owner(s) or where they reside.

If you’re looking for ways to promote an event the best rule of thumb is to keep it personal. It’s important that you’re reaching out to the right audience. Be respectful of the person receiving your event’s invitation. Following the Internets basic protocols (opt in lists, respectful of opt outs etc.) is another way to ensure that you are on the right track to promoting an event properly.

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