Marketing

Taking the Puzzle Out of Event Marketing

0 Comments 20 October 2010

puzzle pieces Taking the Puzzle Out of Event MarketingAbout a month ago, we at Puzzle Warehouse put plans in motion to open a retail location for our previously online-only jigsaw puzzle store. Of course, every good store opening needs a Grand Opening Extravaganza to rally local interest, so we began planning a puzzle party to rival all others. We had plenty of puzzles—just needed people to play with them.

We couldn’t really start marketing the event until we set a date, and when we finally did it was October 30, only four weeks away. When you have a month to publicize an event, you pretty much have to throw everything you’ve got at it. Here are a few tips for promoting an event through social channels, and how to get the most bang for your buck—especially when you’re on a tight deadline.

Event Calanders
When you’re on a tight schedule, you may not have much luck promoting the event in local event guides and niche publications, unless you are extremely lucky and they happen to have an issue coming out between now and the event. Thankfully, the Internet is definitely your friend. As soon as you know a place and time, make a Facebook event. You can add details later, as you figure them out. Next target should be the online event calendars for the local papers, magazines and community centers. Many of these will allow you to make an account and add the event yourself, others will require a well-placed e-mail.

Keep it Local
Don’t waste your energy on marketing to anyone who isn’t within driving distance of your event. Focus on local papers, community newsletters, local bloggers, relevant groups or clubs, and even the local news and radio stations. Also, don’t underestimate the power of a personalized e-mail or letter. Simply sending a press release out is like sending out your resume with no cover letter — you’ll likely just get lost in a pile. Write each person or publication their own note, explaining why they, specifically, should be psyched about this event.

Save the Tweets
Definitely tease the event via your Twitter account in the weeks leading up to the event, but save the really heavy tweeting until about one week before. Otherwise, people will likely get annoyed and tune you out. Instead, spend some time building your local following. Then, when the time is right, go all out. It may help to run a small contest or giveaway that will somehow entice people to attend. Example: for every 15 people who RSVP via Facebook, you give away a prize.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to one heck of an event. And now, time for me to start working on puzzle-themed refreshments. Jigsaw cookies, anyone?

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