Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Tips on Marketing Your Events

Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County businesses and organizations consistently put on wonderful events for our community members and visitors. Unfortunately, when there are so many great events, it’s easy for your event to get lost in the shuffle. Use these marketing tips to maximize your reach!


Social

  • Create a Facebook event with links back to your website
    • No Facebook page? This is a great time to make one!
    • Regularly update the event page with news and information about the upcoming event
       
  • For more social engagement, create a short teaser video for social media using footage of a previous year’s event
    • If this is the first year of your event or no video footage is available, use a video app like Legend or Adobe Spark to liven up video consisting of just text and still images
       
  • Create an Instagram and Snapchat geofilter for the event to encourage your guests to share photos and videos
     
  • Use a hashtag (#) for your event to encourage your guests to share photos
    • After the event, you can use the hashtag to easily find guests photos and (with their permission) share them
    • Be sure to promote the hashtag so guests know to use it! Include it in emails, social media posts, and printed materials leading up the event
    • If screens will be present at the event, use a hashtag slideshow app or website to stream live photo updates from guests posting photos with your hashtag
       
  • Another way to encourage photo sharing is to rent a photo booth or set up a photo backdrop with props related to your event
     
  • During the event, live stream a short, but entertaining, portion like the presentation of an award, a raffle drawing, part of a performance etc.
     
  • After the event, share photos on social media and send out a thank you email to guests
    • Include photos in the thank you email
    • Remind guests to follow your social platforms for updates on future events
       

Calendar Listings

  • Submit your event to the Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau calendar
    • When your event is submitted, it’s posted to our website calendar (reaching members of the community and visitors) and it’s included in our weekly newsletter! In the last six months, we’ve had an average of 5,517 unique visitors to our website each month, and we send our newsletter out to more than 2,700 subscribers!
    • County events are published to our calendar as well as the county’s community calendar
       
  • Submit your event to local news calendars and websites like Eventbrite
     

Your Network

  • Reach out to your network of customers, donors, or clients with an email or printed invitation
    • An email will be more cost effective, but if you want to assure your invite isn’t lost in someone’s spam folder, snail mail is the way to go.
       
  • Reach out to your industry partners and ask them to share your event on their social pages or website where appropriate, just be sure to return the favor in the future!
     

Think About the Future

  • During the event, take photos and video you can use to market future events
    • You may want to have photo release forms on hand if planning to use photos of guests in future marketing materials
       
  • Keep your event materials color coordinated and make sure your logo and website address are always included
    • Repetition is key; branding repetitively will help people remember you when you advertise your next event
    • If using a hashtag, include it in all materials as well


And last, but not least, don’t forget to work with us at the Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau! It is our pleasure to provide you with a free service, connecting you with perfect venue and hotel partners. We also can promote your events on our website, in our newsletter, and sometimes even on our social media pages along with providing you brochures, visitor guides, and postcards as goodies for out-of-town guests coming in for your event.
 

Hosting a sporting event? Check out more great tips from Sports Planning Guide’s 60 Emerging Social Media and Traditional Marketing Tips to Grow Your Events.

This post was originally published on January 17, 2019 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.
 
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