How do you let people know about your event?
The traditional way is to create an eye-catching poster and post it everywhere people are likely to stop and notice or wait and kill time (such as bus stops, elevators, and bathrooms).
- Write and send a press release to all print and online publishing sources.
- Write and send a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to radio stations.
- Mention the event in newsletters.
- Convince those with huge networks and connections to help you get the word out.
- Do a tit for tat. If you help me promote my event, I will help you with yours.
Before you get all excited about the different ways to let people know about it, be sure you have something to offer. Why would anyone want to come to your event? What would they get out of it?
Don’t let music play on deaf ears. If it’s fish you’re looking for, why climb trees?
People who love music will listen to the radio. Do you know how to write a PSA?
People who browse calendar listings will be looking for things to do. Do you know how to update newspaper and website calendars?
The nontraditional way of getting the word out is to do all of the above early enough, frequent enough, and ALL AT ONCE.
Yes, people need to hear it from different sources to be confident that it is indeed happening and that other people will be going.
These days, there are too many things (news, hobbies, work, events, rumors, gossip, people, etc) that preoccupy people’s time and attention. To get people to come to your event is a daunting task. How do you lure them away from all these other competing events? How do you get them to first of all, pay attention, so that they know about your event?
One way is to get people talking about it. Involve as many people as you can. And ensure it’s the only event on that day, at that location.
I suggested to my colleague to get his photography students to take pictures of my piano class that also meets on a Friday afternoon. He offered to get his Tuesday/Thursday design students to use those photos to design posters for my piano workshops and concerts.
After the posters were made, I asked professional artists and teachers to look at the results and “vote” on the best. I arranged with another department to print the posters. I got permission to hold a poster exhibition and printed the best posters for distribution and posting elsewhere.
But that’s not the event itself. These are activities leading up to the event, which are used to develop an appetite for the event: piano ensemble poster exhibition.