Promoting your event

Event Planning and Protocol
Promoting Your Event Okanagan College

Promoting Your Event

The methods you use to promote your event will depend on its purpose, the audience, the best ways to reach that audience, and your promotional resources. Keep in mind the following when determining your promotion plan.It is vital that you review and consider the implications of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) before planning and undertaking promotion.

Remember your audience

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

Best practices in communications

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 (remember, consider CASL)? In what location (physical or virtual) would many members of this audience be likely to see your materials? Do you need posters up around campus to alert students to the event or is the best way to reach your target audience through the internal e-newsletter, Inside Okanagan College?

Be realistic about who will attend – will it be invite only or will the general public be interested? If so, is a press release the best way to spread the news? If so, what is the news hook? If there is no news angle, you may want to explore the possibility of purchasing an ad or using other methods of communication through the media like Public Service Announcements or placement in event listings. If you need help determining how to best communicate your event, please contact Public Affairs.

Promotional 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 (Public Affairs) 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.

Develop quality materials

Ensure you use the official Okanagan College logo in its proper form 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. Be clear about the costs associated with attending.

Is there media interest in the event?

If your event has one or more of these attributes, perhaps media outlets should be contacted. If media interest is determined, please contact Public Affairs for support.

- Timeliness: the event coincides with one or more current events
- The event is happening locally, or is relevant to local people
- Prominence: involving high-profile individuals
- Impact: having a major effect on a large number of people
- Magnitude (again, large number of people involved)
- The focus of the event may be considered controversial
- Human interest: the event offers an opportunity for personal feature or emotional appeal
- Potential for good visuals

Public Affairs can also consult with you as you consider:

- Physical location of media members if they attend
- Whether to set aside time for reporters to talk with your speaker
- Whether media interviews should be done in a news conference or in one-on-one interviews
- Location of cameras during the event
- What backdrop can be used or created to help identify your unit and the campus
Media coverage can add perceived value to the event for participants and attendees. Consider sending media clips and/or tapes to honoree after the event

During the event

You will want to promote your program and possibly the College at your event. Be sure to have promotional materials out during the event for participants to see. Okanagan College recruiters have pop-up visual displays that can add visual interest to any event. 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.

Still have questions?

If you have additional questions related to the promotion of your event, Public Affairs can help.
Quick Links
Event Timeline
Speaking Protocol
Event Plan
Promoting Your Event
Print Materials
Catering and Alcohol
Seating Plan
Greening Your Event
Event Planning Resources
Okanagan College
Event Checklist

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