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ILEA Quick Tips for Event Planners: April 2018

How to get the word out and build buzz around your marketing events via Facebook.

Social media for public events is as much a part of the planning process as booking the venue and curating the program. But while some organizations have staff dedicated to managing an online presence, many event planners inadvertently end up being responsible for event marketing.
 
Here are a few best practices for maximizing the reach of your event on Facebook:
 
  • Give guests the ‘look and feel’ with a banner image using either a professional photo or a graphic. If it’s a first-time event, quality pictures of the venue, shots of the food, or the speaker in action will work, too! Avoid using stock photos whenever possible, especially of people, and limit text for maximum reach on Facebook. Find up to date image specs for all social media platforms here.
 
  • Create a short and snappy event description that can be used across multiple channels so you’re not having to rewrite for different platforms. If you push from one platform to another (e.g. sharing an Instagram post to Facebook) be sure to update any tags in the post on the new platform.
 
  • Utilize Facebook’s ‘Add to a page’ option. This is a great tool for events involving multiple organizations or vendors, as you can have the event show on everyone’s pages without giving access to the event page as a co-host.
 
  • Is your event new or newsworthy? Dedicate an hour to compiling a list of media contacts in your industry and send them a quick personalized note when you have a new event to share. You don’t have to spam 500 journalists, you just need four to six relevant contacts. Make it easy for them to write about your event by including all the pertinent information in a useable format.
 
  • Facebook boosted posts are an extremely cost effective way to reach thousands of the right people. Focus on geographic location, age and/or gender for your target audience. But be weary of defining an audience much more than that or else you may end up missing out on potential engagement.
 
  • Publish an event six to eight weeks out to give it time to build traction organically. As well as sharing the event to your page, also be sure to post in the days leading up to the event with increasing frequency. It keeps the event top of mind for attendees and gets them excited if you post sneak peeks, behind the scenes images, and so on. Typically, once an event gets 1,000 interested or going, you’ll see the engagement really snowball from there.
 
Hayley Matthews-Jones is the founder of Minneapolis Craft Market, a mobile marketplace featuring designers and makers of the North. The market was named Best Emerging Business at the 2016 Metro Independent Business Association Indie Biz Awards; Most Likely to Succeed in Retail 2017 by Minnesota Business magazine and is nominated for a 2018 Minnesota Star Award for Best Public Event. Hayley has fifteen years of events experience, and currently serves as Director of Communications for the International Live Events Association - Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter; the Co-President of Women Who Whiskey – Twin Cities Chapter; and has been recognized by industry peers with Minnesota Star Awards for Best Nonprofit Event Planning in 2016 and 2017.

International Live Events Association (ILEA) is the new name for the International Special Events Society (ISES). ILEA represents and supports more than 5,000 members globally — industry professionals who do business together, share knowledge, nurture talent and progress the live events industry. For more information on how an ILEA professional can help you with your event, please contact info@ilea-msp.org.