Promoting Your Next Campus Event: Our Top 5 Publicity Ideas
As a member of your college or university’s student activities board, it’s tempting to think that only real responsibility is planning and hosting events. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Maybe you attend a NACA conference to find entertainers, or you brainstorm ideas for campus events with your fellow student activities board members. You’re careful to make sure that your college event ideas coincide with your limited budget, and you get plenty of student volunteers involved to ensure that you can pull off the events themselves.
Easy! Except this picture is missing one important element. That’s right: we’re talking about promotion.
If you don’t promote an upcoming event, you can’t expect it to be a success. On the one hand, the thought of having to promote an event after already putting so much work into planning and organizing it can seem a bit daunting. Who wants to do all of that extra work? But on the other hand, just think of how unfortunate it would be for all of that hard work to go to waste. Weeks of planning, tons of meetings, major budget expenditures…and then no one shows up to the event. Not exactly an ideal scenario.
Fortunately, though, promoting your next big campus event doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. In fact, publicity is all about strategy. If you take the right approach and use the right channels, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Ready to learn more? Keep reading for our top 5 college activities publicity ideas.
These days, it almost goes without saying that social media is essential to the successful promotion of anything. Events, products, services, whatever it might be — social media has to be a part of your strategy.
That said, though, a lot of people don’t actually have a coordinated strategy when it comes to social media. They post something here, something there, and then cross their fingers that things go as planned. That’s not a strategy, though. That’s just hoping!
When you use social media for publicity purposes, it’s important to set up a strategy ahead of time. Take stock of all of your current social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and anywhere else that the student activities board maintains an account. Next, set up a posting schedule. It’s important to post more frequently the closer you get to an event. And don’t forget: you need someone posting during the event, too! You’ll pull in last minute stragglers, and anyone who misses out will be reminded of the fact that they need to keep an eye on your social media accounts for future event announcements.
If you’re hosting a ticketed event, giving away a pair of tickets is a great way to promote it. And if your event is free, a giveaway is still an excellent option for promoting the event itself.
Choose something related to the event — for example, a T-shirt from a band that’s playing a concert on campus in a couple of weeks — and announce the giveaway via social media. Be sure to get photos of the winner (with their consent, of course) and post to social media to draw even more attention to the event itself.
Building relationships with other campus organizations is important for event cross-promotion. You can’t do everything yourself, and the student activities board has limited resources.
Connect with organizations on campus and ask if you can make an announcement at one of their meetings. Send representatives from the campus activities board to these kinds of organizational meetings and make announcements about upcoming events. This one-on-one engagement is a great way to connect with people who might otherwise miss out on the announcement.
Social media is important, but don’t forget about YouTube! If you’ve got a big event coming up, consider launching a YouTube channel and posting videos about the upcoming event. Share these videos via social media, or send them out via email to your mailing list. Which brings us to item #5…
We know, we know: email is a little old fashioned these days. But believe it or not, email marketing still outperforms social media in 2018 in terms of effectiveness for marketing and promotion.
Setting up a mailing list is easy with platforms like MailChimp. If you haven’t been collecting the email addresses of past event attendees, now’s the time to start! In come cases, you may be able to speak with campus administration about sending out campus-wide emails to announce particularly important events.
Now that you’ve got your publicity strategy down pat, it’s time to plan some amazing events! With ArtistHub, finding awesome entertainers for your next campus event has never been easier. Browse through our roster of musicians, comedians, speakers, and more, and book directly through the website. Click here to sign up for your free account!