So your association is planning an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event. Now what? The next big step after planning your event specifics is – well, making sure there are people who actually show up to it! We’ve put together a marketing timeline for your association to make sure any event you promote – whether it’s a small seminar next week or an annual dinner with hundreds of people – will involve clear communication with members and key participants.
Here’s a timeline to follow that will set your next association event up for success.
Four weeks out from your scheduled event date, create an event on your chosen marketing platform (Eventbrite, Facebook, etc.). We recommend using a platform you regularly use to communicate with your members.
Keep in mind: by this point, you should have your venue and speakers finalized, but if not, you can always announce the meeting with “TBA” as a placeholder. Our team has created a template for you to make this first step super straightforward:
Add the title of your event here. This is a good place to include something people will remember. Here’s an example:
“See it. Say it. Human Trafficking Awareness and Response Training”
Keep it short, simple, and engaging. Invite your members and give them a few reasons why they should attend. Why is this event important? Is there any important information they may need to know? Here’s an example:
“Human trafficking can - and does - occur in many settings all over the world, but we know that there is a large uptick in human trafficking activity at large events. As meeting professionals, it is our responsibility to take notice and respond in an informed and effective way.
Learn to recognize and properly respond to the warning signs of human trafficking at your event(s) from speakers x, x, and x.
You can also offer something fun for your members to take part in (a raffle, small gift, etc). It is totally natural for people to want to feel included during events and we’ve seen little gestures go a long way by including this in your event marketing.
Once you’ve announced your event, it’s time to get down to business with marketing. Information is best absorbed by your members when they see it recurrently, diversely, and steadily.
Which platform do you use the most when communicating with your members? Finding the focal point of communication between you and your members makes a huge difference in whether they react to your content, which is why we recommend using social media to advertise your event. Using your existing accounts on channels such as Facebook or Instagram are a versatile way to get important events in front of your members, without requiring a lengthy response. They can like, comment, and share your content with just a few clicks.
This list gives you an idea of how to promote your association event on social media:
Part #1 of marketing/announcements? Complete. Let’s move on to emails.
Email sequences are a great marketing tactic to reach a select list of people. With all of your information organized into sections of bold, quick/easy to read statements, your members are more likely to engage with your emails (reply, forward, etc.). Think about which emails you are most likely to click on in your inbox. Which subject lines catch your eye? What strategies have other companies used that have inspired you to read further? Brainstorm with your team, draft up a few emails, and press send. This part of your advertising is necessary!
Emails are a little bit different than social posts, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Here’s how to promote your association event using an email campaign.
Here’s an example: “One week left to sign up for <x> event! Don’t miss your chance…”
Marketing a successful association event
Planning social media content, marketing emails, and landing pages for your association event is hard work, but with a proper timeline, all that hard work will turn into attendance in the form of smiling faces and a successful, engaging event. Thanks for following along! If you'd like to assign that responsibility to a trusted partner, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation.