One of my jobs here at Boise State involves creating and presenting effective workshops and events. And one of the requirements for an effective workshop is to draw an adequate number of participants. This isn’t always easy, since there are many events here at Boise State that can sideline your potential audience. For instance, I am putting together a brand new event, called “Faculty Mashup” and want this even to be well-attended. How do I get the word out at BSU? Here are some ideas I came up with and am using to promote this event:
- Email: Mass emails should be avoided if possible. I only send emails to a specific audience . . . people I either know or feel might be interested in attending the workshop. In the process of doing this, I’m developing an email list, which is constantly evolved.
- Flyers/Announcements: Create and distribute through BSU mail services or do it yourself, an aesthetically-appealing flyer/announcement/whatever that really advertises your event. Print in color and use good quality paper. You should include a headline/leader that specifically states what they might get out of attending the event. If you have the help of a graphic designer, then you might want to create a custom logo or include artwork that is catchy and original.
- Posters: Create and distribute posters that follow the theme of your flyer if possible. You can contact the Information Desk at the SUB and they’ll give you more information about this. For an upcoming event I’m hosting (FacultyMashup), the SUB is putting up two posters back to back in the front entrance of the SUB, plus distributing about 30 flyers throughout the building. Distribute posters where your event will take place, maybe even in the room or close to the room. Put foam core on the back of your posters and place them on an easel, which can be moved around if necessary. You MAY need to get approval from this from the building managers.
- BSU Update: Contact email@example.com and ask them to post your event. The eNewsletter comes out twice a week and is a great way to get exposure.
- Incentives: Provide food if you can–this is a great incentive to attend! If you can’t provide a full-blown lunch or dinner, provide snacks and drinks and say so. If attending the event will provide them with free resources/materials, then let them know, too. These incentives should be clearly stated on your flyers.
- Telephone: Call people you know and ask them to please attend your event. They will tell you up front if they can come or not and you can remind them to register online.
- Online registration: Clearly indicate where and how the participants can register for the event. (To register for our Faculty Mashup, go to http://itc.boisestate.edu and the click “Faculty Mashup.”
- Reminders: Remind the people who registered for the event the day of the event, via email.
And finally, I have one request for BSU: PLEASE MAKE A CALENDAR OR SERIES OF CALENDARS AVAILABLE TO ALL FACULTY AND THE PUBLIC AND MAKE THEM FEED-ENABLED. This would provide one centralized calendar or group of calendars that we could access and view in a moment what is happening that day. We could search for events of our interest and see what comes up. But most importantly, we could SUBSCRIBE to calendars we are interested in and then get updates on events and new events.