Over the last few months, I have presented at and participated in various events. I have had a wonderful time, and the organizers did a fantastic job of managing the many small and big details. Each one of the events was a great success. And, of course, I wanted to support the event organizers in their quest to promote their events. I wanted to let everyone – you, our company’s fans on Facebook, readers of Above the Noise and my followers on twitter, know about each of the events. I would have loved to tweet (post on Twitter) about them multiple times per week, and to also share the information with my other Facebook friends.
One problem though, no online location.
Every one of those activities would have required a URL, a link, a web page, etc., to point the audience to a spot or corner on the web to learn more about the event and to register, or at least obtain all the information on how to register.
Your event’s website, or at least web page, needs to have all the important information available for instant reading, right there on the spot. Don’t bury it in a PDF that requires me to download and open an additional program, or that you send around via e-mail. and, don’t hide it in a flyer graphic.
Online promotion is about easy, fast access. Everything else slows the process down, and diminishes the visitor’s interest, who will then be off your event and on to other things. The chance for them to come back and register and buy tickets are slim, unless you catch them online, again.
Write about the different aspects of the event in short segments, post them in a blog, and every time you release one of those informational nuggets, you create another online buzz about the event. Even if your organization or your company doesn’t have a social presence, at least make sure that your partners, sponsors and champions have a place to point their online activities to your website.
Ideally, you should keep your online audience and friends abreast of the progress of your event preparations. People like to hear about the details and will appreciate your hard work. Celebrate every milestone on your project plan: venue booked, menu selected, new sponsor found, new presenter confirmed, updated bios available, schedule finalized, etc. Every item will give you opportunity to provide your partners a little more exposure, and everyone appreciates the link back to their site and the kudos you publish.
Your event partners, be they volunteers, sponsors, presenters or staff, will be very grateful that you make your event information available online. They, in turn, will take care of spreading the word online. Let them!
You need an events page fast!
Every event organizer, at some point, is overwhelmed by the shear amount of details she has to pay attention to. So, you need to get your online events page/site done fast. You might run into roadblocks, though: the organization’s website is not setup for easy adding and editing of pages, the web developer charges too much, the web content producer is not available…
Here are a few online places you can setup an events page fast, and with no money upfront.
It’s probably the best online event registration tool right now. It allows you to enter as much information as you need to provide about an event, upload photos, and allows for sharing and spreading the link over the social web. If you have a PayPal account, you can have your participants register and pay online, but you can also use it for attendee administration, who pay by check or at the door.
Your events page can be augmented with all kinds of graphics, and also has a News & Updates? section you can use to post additional information as it becomes available.
The site will help you send e-mails to your attendees, as well as have them print tickets and name badges. This is a great site for any stand-alone event.
Should you have your e-mail marketing system set-up via MailChimp , you will see some great synergy and integration features coming your way.
For free events, Eventbrite is free of charge. If you charge an admission fee, Evenbrite will take a cut. At the time of this post, the Eventbrite fee was 2.5% of ticket value + $0.99 per ticket. If you allow for online registration via credit card, credit card charges will apply as well.
Worpress.com is a free service that lets you setup a website & blog within minutes. The vast amount of templates allow for a fairly attractive design. And, by the end of the event you will be able to export all your content and move it to a permanent place, should you need to integrate it into your corporate site.
All posts are optimized for online sharing and search engine optimization. You can create surveys for your potential attendees, or allow for guest posts. You will love the feature to send your post via e-mail to the website, including images.
This is another free blog engine that allows you to post via e-mail or via mobile phone to the site, and autoshares content over the social networks. Again, the templates are pretty enough to support your efforts to write about your event, get things done fast and concentrate on the other fifteen thousand details for the offline happenings.
Link: Explore Posterous
Face it: You don’t have to make a fuss about putting your event online. At a minimum, use one of the free tools mentioned above, and setup a one-page website. You only need to make it easy for your champions, advocates, friends, sponsors, and partners to