Monday, February 13, 2006

Hold Events to Market Your Business

Holding an event to market yourself can create buzz about you and your business. You don't have to hold a three ring circus to draw attention to yourself. Here are some tips.

  • Invite a celebrity- Invite the mayor or prominent person such as a well known entertainer in your community to your event. This can be a great way to attract attention to your event. If you let the media know they may even come out and cover it. Recently my wife and I held a non-profit event and had some entertainment from a folk singer that was fairly well known in our community. The media came to cover the event. Mainly they were interested in seeing the entertainer. Unfortunately he had already left and we were packing up when they got there and we missed the opportunity to get some free media coverage for the cause we were supporting which was Amnesty International. This is also an example of the hit or miss nature of marketing yourself this way. As in any type of marketing your persistence will pay off and you may get the media coverage your event deserves next time.
  • Events with other people that are close to your niche- As a massage therapist I participated in a Alternative Health Fair for a number of years. A local Reiki Therapist organized this event every year. What she would do is book the auditorium at a local community center and have us pay twenty dollars per table. The proceeds after the expenses were paid would go to charity. This event was organized and promoted mainly by the people who participated in it. This idea could work for any small business. If you are a caterer why not hold a Food Lovers Fair and sell tables to other food related companies. A personal accountant could sell tables to lawyers or investment brokers. Also information sessions could be offered throughout the day by the various companies that are in attendance.
  • Sponsor an event- You could sponsor a night of entertainment by a well known artist. Ideally at your place of business. Also your audience could be the entertainment. My wife and I used to go to a spoken word night once a month at a local coffee shop. At this event audience members would get up and tell poems. Also there would be singing and dramatic storytelling. They sold a lot of coffee those nights. They would donate the proceeds to charity. Another thought I had as a Massage Therapist was to sponsor a local fun run. I never did get to do this( I can't do it all).
So now you have an event. How do you promote it? Contact local newspapers, radio stations and your local TV station. Providing you are running a non-profit event they should be able to list you in their community bulletin for free. Make sure you know the proper timeline for your submission. Generally you should submit your posting to them at least a month or two in advance. Every outlet has a different deadline for submissions. You could also send a press release before your event. Pass out flyers to your clients and post flyers in laundrymats and grocery stores. Finally you could call a reporter to interview you or invite them to the event.

These are just some ideas to get you started. If you need any further ideas let me know. Have you held an event? Could you describe your event to us?


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