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Promoting Your Event

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The methods you use to promote your event will depend on its purpose, the likely audience, the best ways to reach that audience, and your promotional resources. Keep in mind the following when determining your promotion plan.

Remember your audiences

What groups of people will have an interest in this topic? Who would benefit by attending this event?

Brainstorm: Communication vehicles

What is the best way to communicate information about your event to your primary audience? How do members of this group receive information? Can you reach them by e-mail? In what location (physical or virtual) would many members of this audience be likely to see your materials?

A useful list of promotional vehicles can be found in "The Resource: RSO Marketing and Advertising" (pdf) developed by Melanie Hogendorp in the Office of Registered Organizations. (This site also links to campus policies on ad placement.)

See a list of Public Affairs’ campus outreach vehicles.

Promotion meets budget

What promotional vehicles offer effective, cost efficient ways to communicate with your primary audience? The best methods are those that allow you to directly communicate with your intended audience. For instance, word of mouth can be a very effective way to promote your event.

Consider your timeline

The development of advertising pieces, news releases and other materials takes time. Be sure to talk to the team producing those materials about how much time they’ll need. Promotional materials should be delivered a minimum of one to two weeks ahead of your event. If your event requires registration, deliver materials a week or two before the registration deadline.

Create high quality materials

Use one of the official campus logos if your event is tied to the campus. Determine the core message about this event and state it clearly throughout all promotional materials. Remember that the first impression gained through the promotional materials will greatly influence whether people ultimately show up.

Creative Services can help you develop quality promotional materials.

Is your event newsworthy?

If your event has one or more of these attributes, perhaps media outlets should be contacted:

Complete this form to ask the News Bureau to consider sending a media advisory regarding your event.

The News Bureau can also consult with you as you consider

Promotion at the event

You will want to promote your organization and possibly the University of Illinois at your event. Be sure to have promotional materials out during the event for participants to see. Public Affairs offers free and at-cost promotional items through Illinois in a Box. These resources are available to faculty and staff members who are engaging external audiences.

Consider collecting the names of participants at your event. This contact information may give you a chance for direct communication with members of this audience if the event recurs.

I still have questions!

If you have additional questions related to the promotion of your event, Public Affairs offers free consulting. You can complete this form indicating you’d like assistance and someone from Public Affairs will contact you.

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