Event Marketing 101
Event Marketing 101
Marketing and Communications
The first step to event planning is to think about what you hope to achieve. Consider these strategic questions to help you gain the necessary focus:
- What is the goal of your event? To honor someone, present information, entertain, raise funds, celebrate an accomplishment, raise awareness about a topic or program or to get people to take action?
- Who is the target audience? Is it students, faculty, staff, the community or a combination? Does it have broad enough appeal for the public or the media?
- What message do you want the audience to receive?
- Should the group be small or large? Who should be invited?
- Is the event ticketed or require advanced registration or RSVP? What is the format?
- Will the event conflict with or be held in conjunction with other campus events?
- What is your budget?
Reserve Event Space
As a starting point, all in-person University events must reserve space through the 25Live event planning system. This ensures that your event can be added to the calendar and allows you to request necessary resources (AV equipment, tables, chairs, etc.) and link to the catering website.
After your 25Live reservation is confirmed, submit your event to the University calendar. Use the event description to note whether there is a fee and if the event is open to the public. You should also include registration/RSVP information. Events not open to the public should include the following disclaimer in the event description: “This event is open to Salve Regina students, faculty and staff.”
Submit events as far in advance as possible (a minimum of four weeks is recommended to maximize promotion). Allow two business days for calendar review and approval. Once added to the calendar, use the provided event URL in promotion.
Promote Early and Often
Allow a minimum of four weeks for maximum publicity, much more time for institutional events that require advance promotion to attract a sizeable audience. Promote continuously over the weeks leading up to your event. Use internal and external calendars, digital signage, social media, posters/fliers and advertising to promote your event. Have your event announced in subject-related classes.
All events that are posted to the calendar are included in a weekly email digest sent to the University community and public subscribers. The email digest provides a seven-day view of upcoming events.
Social media is an effective way to drive attendance at your events. Consider using all available social media platforms and customize promotional messaging to what works best on each individual platform. For additional questions regarding how to best utilize social media, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Promote events on digital signage, which is deployed at multiple locations around campus, including Gerety Hall, Miley Hall and the O’Hare Academic Building. Submit your slide through the marketing request form at least 10 business days in advance of an event and be sure to follow submission guidelines.
SALVEtoday and News Media
If your event is of wide interest to internal and/or external audiences, submit a marketing request form to initiate a SALVEtoday story and/or press release. To ensure sufficient notice, content should be submitted at least four weeks in advance of the event date.
If you are bringing a speaker to campus, please provide their itinerary (meetings with classes and students, etc.). We are most interested in capturing engagement beyond just a photo at a podium. If a speaker will interact with students during their visit, those are the opportunities we are most interested in capturing and sharing with the campus community, prospective students and alumni.
Posters and Flyers
All promotional materials posted or distributed on campus must be produced or approved by Design Services. To initiate a print project, complete the marketing request form. Only information that directly pertains to the Salve Regina community will be approved. Materials must be posted in designated areas. A University official may remove unapproved information, posters or advertisements.
Public and Community Calendars
There are several media outlets in the Newport area that accept community calendar submissions. This is an excellent opportunity to promote events that are open to the public. Typically, calendar announcements should be sent to the media a minimum of four weeks before an event. Review the community calendar for each media outlet for specific submission requirements.
Personal Contacts/Word of Mouth
Direct outreach to individuals and groups with an interest in your event topic is an effective way to attract an audience. Share the event with faculty and ask them to encourage students to attend. Ask group/committee members, students, faculty and staff to share the event through their personal networks and social media channels. Provide pre-written promotional text and photos that people can easily share via email and social media.