So, you’ve decided to join the party and host your own Alberta Culture Days event. Great! You’ll join hundreds of groups across Alberta as they share their piece of Alberta’s culture with their community and visitors. Hopefully you’ve got a good start on a great event, but how do you get people to come to your event? Here are five tips to help you get the word out.
The first step in getting the word out is deciding who you want to come to your event. Once you decide that, think about how those people get their information. Do they get it from the local news? Can you reach them by strategically placing a poster at your local store? Are they active on social media? All of the above? Armed with this info, you’ll be in a good position to take the next step with these five tips.
1. Put your event into the Alberta Culture Calendar
Yesterday we showed you the five steps you need to take to put on a Culture Days event in just two weeks , and one of the tips was to put your event the Alberta Culture Calendar. We can’t stress this point enough. The Alberta Culture Calendar is the official record of Alberta Culture Days events. If someone is looking for something to do during Alberta Culture Days, the first place they’re going to look is the Culture Calendar. People can easily find local events, including yours right after you put it in the calendar, using the event finder, which can search through specific categories (like Alberta Culture Days) and towns in Alberta. Handy!
The Culture Calendar is also an app for iOS, so you can capitalize on folks on the go looking for a cultural event to be a part of during Culture Days weekend.
Do you like posters? How about FREE posters? Just like when you advertised your lemonade stand when you were a kid, posters are a simple and effective way to let people know about an event. If you head over to Albertaculturedays.ca, you can find free poster templates that you can use to promote your event and make it look official.
You can also find the official Alberta Culture Days wordmarks for any other products you create, web ads for some online advertising, print ad, media notice and news release templates for getting in touch with the media. Which brings us to…
3. Get in touch with the media
This can be particularly effective if you live in an area outside of Edmonton and Calgary; media for smaller outlets are always on the hunt for interesting local stories that showcase the community. If you make it easier for reporters by calling them, you increase the chances that they’ll give you some publicity. Pro Tip: Don’t wait until the day of your event to call media. Find out when your local paper publishes and call them a couple of days before hand.
On the day before your event, fill out the media notice template and send it via email to every media outlet in your area. You can find their addresses online, but if you can’t, a call to the station should work. Try to send it at least 12-24 hours before your event starts to give them enough time to organize their schedules. Then on the day of your event, send your news outlets your news release (using the handy template) talking about your event and your organization. Throw in a couple quotes from happy visitors about how great your event was and you should be in good shape for some excellent media coverage.
Another way you can involve the media is by submitting an editorial column, or letter to the editor talking about your event. And don’t forget to put your event in the community calendars of your local media. Sometimes that can prompt reporters to check out an event, too.
Social media is a great way to quickly share a lot of information and get the buzz building for your event.
If you’re already established and have a bunch of followers on social media platforms like Facebook, twitter or YouTube, you’re already ahead. Don’t be afraid to talk up your event like crazy on your channels. If you have a website already set up, make sure your information is up-to-date and as interesting as possible, and then use your social media to push people there.
As you put out your messages about your event, don’t forget to include the hashtag #ABCultureDays. That’s the tag that everyone looking for Culture Days info will be watching – so you’re sure to get a few eyes on your info if you include it, and you’ll also increase the chances of retweets from @AlbertaCulture!
If you don’t have any social media accounts, they’re pretty easy to start (every channel’s site will pretty much walk you through the whole process.) For beginners, you can’t go wrong with the two classics: Facebook and Twitter. They’re pretty easy to use, and these days, pretty much everyone is on them.
5. Talk about it!
Word of mouth is probably the best way to tell someone about what you’re doing. Tell your friends, tell your family…tell anyone who will listen that you’re hosting an Alberta Culture Days event! After you’ve printed all those posters, or made all sorts of neat swag items with your logo all over them, take them around to local businesses, community leaders or your local artists and use it as an opportunity to talk about your event. Even if they don’t agree to hang your poster or take your swag, they might tell someone else about your event, and that person may tell someone else! Or if you’re really lucky, they might decide they want to be involved in your event somehow, which is always a bonus.
The best piece of advice for any Culture Days celebration is to make sure you have a plan. That goes for talking about your event too. And don’t be afraid to enlist friends and family to help you out. But most of all, make sure that you have fun! Good luck!