The formula for event promotion is unique to each event, but the basic principles generally stay the same. Here’s a basic guide to get you started, and a refresher for folks already experienced at event organizing.
In the Free Space zine library, we have an entire zine called How to Promote Events, written by the Beehive Design Collective. Come take a look! It’s also available for download at this link:
How to Promote Events: Radical DIY Guide
- Time is the #1 ingredient to a successful event.
- Find a committed group of folks to help with promotion. Do not just rely on the venue – it’s your event, not theirs!
- A gig you’re bringing from out of town cannot be one of the main promoters – you know the community, they don’t.
- Confidence and enthusiasm are key! If you don’t believe your event is awesome and important, others won’t, either.
- Use multiple methods – people are more likely to attend an event if they heard about it in different, independent ways – like from a friend, facebook, and a flyer.
- Nothing can replace REAL PEOPLE NETWORKING – face to face communication.
- Start Early! Your event isn’t dead in the water if you don’t start promo as early as possible, but having your plan in place as early as possible is important.
- USE ALL THE STEPS you can – there’s no one magic button for promo.
Checklist for Events at the Minnehaha Free Space
Here are some promo steps you might consider for events at the Free Space. Not all will be applicable for every event… use as many steps as are appropriate. The bigger your event, the earlier you’ll want to start.
- Email announcement sent over your group’s listserve 2-4 weeks before event?
- Posted on your group’s website?
- Sent to websites/forums/etc of allied groups (like Transition Town groups for an environmental event)?
- Posted on online calendars (like TC Daily Planet, or City Pages and Vita.mn for entertainment events)?
- Facebook event made?
- All group members invited their friends?
- Follow up email announcement week of event? Sent to Progressive email Calendar for Political Events?
- Personalized email from organizers to friends sent?
- Asked allies to send over their email lists?
- Posted on group members Twitter/other social media accounts?
- Submitted to City Pages event calendar if 2-3 weeks in advance?
- Submitted to MN Daily if involving a student group? (week before or sooner)
- Submitted to community newspapers (Southside Pride, the Alley, etc.) depending on location/topic of event? (deadlines usually a month or more in advance)
- Possible to advertise via a KFAI PSA (charitable/non-political events), or do an interview for KFAI show?
- Press release written/sent week of event, if notable to local media?
- Poster made?
- File posted online for others to download/print?
- Hung 2-3 weeks in advance at…
- Radical spaces
- Coffee shops/Cafes
- Music venues
- Other applicable places/venues?
- (If on campus) U of M 1-2 days in advance or same day?
- Leaflets made to hand out to friends/contacts/at rallies (for a political event)?
Real People Networking:
- Invite people in person?
- Announced/leaflets distributed at similar/allied events?
- Text messages to friends on day of/day before event?
Things the Free Space can do for your event (ask us!):
- Send announcement over our email list (you provide the blurb)
- Hang posters at the space and list on our wall calendar (you provide the poster/leaflets to set out)
- Write the event on our sandwich board to set on the sidewalk the day of the event
- We will usually plug upcoming events when we give our “spiel” at prior events… but folks will be more likely to attend if they see an organizer like you inviting people yourself! Check our calendar to see what events at the Free Space might be related.