Last year you spent months putting together what should have been a blockbuster community event but when the gates opened, you had, shall we say, a little too wide of lanes in the parking lot. You had a clever theme, all the right vendors, but somehow promotion was lackluster by comparison. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. We’ve assembled a few ways for you to boost promotion and attendance at your next special event.
Check The Date
Competing for a particular day with a larger organization, cause, or a traditional family holiday makes it hard to hit the numbers from the get-go. Before you line up your vendors and performers, check the community calendar and call other organizations in the area you know plan events in the same time period you’re considering. Coordinating days with them can benefit the attendance of both events.
Create Opportunities for All Demographics & Ages
Targeting adults in the 25-50 range without planning activities for the kids will likely be a bust. Similarly, be sure your programming for main-stage performers is age-appropriate for the time of day. Family-friendly during the day and can be a little more adult-oriented when the sun goes down. Also, be sure to plan your layout and seating and shade opportunities (outdoor) with seniors and disabled persons in mind, and include the diverse activities in your promotions—both electronic and physical.
Make It Easy Access
Some events fail due to limited parking/access. If you’re planning on drawing a large crowd, coordinate with neighboring businesses, schools, and churches to use their parking lots and plan shuttle buses to run throughout the day for off-site lots. If you’re charging an entrance fee, space your ticket booths far enough from the entrance so lines aren’t confused.
Show Your Cards
You know your event is amazing, but does your target audience? In your advertisements, highlight your featured performers or attractions. Whether it’s a local well-known cover band, comedian, or artist, put it in your digital, print, and broadcast promotions—their individual following becomes your following. The “surprise guest” is fun, but likely won’t have the same draw as announcing the performer with 8,000 (or more) social media followers in your market.
At the end of the day, the goal is to make your event inclusive and accessible, and communicating early and often is a great way to keep your event on the community radar. Need help creating boundaries and barricades or a perimeter fence? Get in touch!