Events present great opportunities. With a little planning on the front end, you can fully leverage an event to mobilize your target audience and move closer to achieving your organization’s overall goals.
Six easy things you can do to make your offline event pay dividends – online and otherwise.
1. S.W.A.G. (Stuff We All Get)
Ever been to a swingin’ event and receive a cool ‘party favor’ to take home? Maybe a shirt, button, bumper sticker, or koozie (hey, people still use koozies!)? Give people something to remember you by and increase visibility for your organization. Get creative – perhaps generous donors get a party pack to hand to their friends. Remember: print your website and/or social media handles on everything.
2. Capture Moments.
People love pictures. They love to be in them, they love to see their friends in them, and they love to see ‘notables’ in them. For those that are unable to make it to the event, photos help them feel as if they were there. What’s more, they see attendees – people who support your organization and whose photos provide a (visual) testimonial for your organization.
3. Use Social Networks.
Be proactive on Facebook and Twitter leading up to and during your event. Establish a hashtagfor your event to use on Twitter. Encourage a few core supporters to help spread your posts and tags. Find a minute to compose a message encouraging supporters to invite on your behalf. Make sure that someone from your organization puts up posts and pictures in real time at the event (and mentions supporters, too – after all, these people are invested in your cause).
4. Capture Emails at Registration.
Often overlooked, so it bears repeating: your organization wants and needs emails. They are key to fundraising, spreading announcements, and building name identification. If possible, bring an laptop to your event so that when guests enter they can readily enter their email address via your website.
5. Send Reminder Message.
Don’t forget to follow the ‘Save the Date’ and/or original email invite with a reminder email. People are busy, not to mention inundated with information, so a reminder a day or two out from the event will be appreciated.
Get out in front of the event on social media with a contribution ask. Set a fundraising goal for your event and let your supporters know. Don’t forget to tell your network what their contribution will help fund. Supporters are much more likely to invest if they know that their money is going to something tangible.