Have a Plan!
OK, you’ve planned your big event. You’ve booked a great speaker and maybe a band. Maybe it’s a youth event and you’ve made a great deal with a local pizza joint. In any case, you’re looking forward to lots of people coming, and eventually having fond memories of the lives that were touched by all your efforts.
So often, lots of effort goes into planning the event, but very little time is invested in a marketing plan. Someone throws up some posters, it’s printed in the bulletin, and it’s announced on Sunday morning. The big day comes and, guess what? It’s a mediocre turnout. At the next staff meeting, everyone sits around wondering what happened. “Jim said he had to work.”, “I wish we would have known there was a football game.”, and the ever popular, “People just aren’t as committed as they used to be.” come out.
That’s why it’s so important to have a marketing plan, a road map for how you’re going to get people to your event. The following will help you as you map out your plan:
1. Summary. Write a brief summary of what you wish to accomplish.
2. Goals. What are you marketing and what are your attendance goals?
3. Analysis. What’s the culture? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are the assets you can leverage? What are you competing with?
4. Media. List the different forms of media you’ll be using. Drop cards? Facebook? Radio? Email?
5. Time-line. When will you start implementing what? When will you start announcing? When do emails go out?
6. Creative. Get “outside of the box” ideas. Maybe a funny skit to promote your event. What about grass roots efforts? Brainstorm together and see what you come up with.
These are just a few questions. The important part is that you start planning deliberately instead of your marketing efforts becoming an after-thought. You’re planning a great event. Let your marketing efforts be worthy of the event.