Are you organising a business event and want to get as many people to attend it as possible? Writing an effective event promotion is the key to filling the room to make the event a success. Here are a few tips to make the event promotion – whether it takes the form of an email or hard copy – an effective marketing tool to get more event bookings.
1. Start by writing an enticing headline for your event promotion.
Most business events will have one or more speakers covering a topic or related topics. Start with a headline that captures attention and addresses a challenge that your target audience can identify with. For example, if your event is about sales, your title might be Discover Keys to Boosting Your Sales with Less Stress or How to Increase Your Sales by 50% Without Working More.
For an event where I spoke about speech writing, the promotional headline included the questions:
Are your speeches and presentations interesting and memorable?
Do you feel frustrated or anxious when you need to prepare a speech?
2. After the headline, write a general background about the challenges surrounding the topic.
The background can include questions and comments about the subject matter that gets readers thinking about the challenges they are facing.
For example, one event that focused on the future of an industry had the following copy:
Do you know which major trends will affect your business in the next few years? Do you have a strategy to deal with them? How can you possibly plan without knowing all the driving forces that are changing your industry?
For one of my presentations on speech writing, I included the following background information after the headline:
The 2008 US Presidential Election showed us that public speaking is an important way to motivate, persuade and inspire people. Too often, business speeches are not interesting or memorable. In The Art of the Great Speech you will learn simple techniques that will make it easier for you to create and deliver outstanding speeches.
For another event that focused on retail business in Australia, the background included:
Australia’s retail landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Online shopping, consumer expectations of discounting, workplace relations, consumer confidence and a range of other factors have created challenges and opportunities in the industry. Is your retail business keeping up with the rapid pace of change?
These introductions after the headlines provide a topic overview and bring up the challenges that are addressed during the event.
3. The benefits section shows the readers what they will get out of the presentation to improve an aspect of their business or career.
One technique that has worked well is expressing the benefits in bullet point form. Writing an event promotion this way makes the benefits stand out for readers who skim the copy.
Here is an example from an event promotion aimed at professional speakers:
In this information-packed event, Tom Jenkins — one of the Australia’s top professional speakers — will show you what’s required to create and maintain a successful speaking business.
Tom will share his insights, tools and systems that are essential for success in professional speaking.
During the lunch session, you will learn how to:
- Plan your business to maximise your results
- Find more clients
- Get a steady flow of speaking engagements coming in
- Contact buyers and audience members for additional business following conferences.
When promoting my speech writing presentation, I outlined the benefits as follows:
In this session you will discover how to:
- Create a memorable speech in less time
- Take the frustration and confusion out of preparing a speech
- Employ ancient techniques, often used by business and political leaders, to influence your listeners and make a lasting impression
- Open and conclude your speech with maximum impact.
In the introductory phrase and the bullet point items, try to use “you” as much as possible, without overdoing it, to speak directly to your readers.
4. Write your call to action. This is what you want the readers to do next.
Interest will be high and seats are limited, so please RSVP by Wednesday 28 April on to 0403 857 273 or email email@example.com to reserve your place at this event.
If you don’t have a game plan for 2015, the Speaking Business Kick-Off Lunch will help you get started on a winning year.
Book now to reserve your place at this special event.
5. Write about the speaker to highlight their experience, knowledge and other positive attributes.
This will help you build credibility and get the readers interested in hearing what the speaker has to say. Try to keep the speaker profile short so that the readers don’t have to wade through a lot of text to learn about the speaker.
Albert Cranston, Director of Operations at NEXUS
Albert manages NEXUS’s operations, including sales and marketing, in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia-Pacific region.
A founder of NEXUS, Albert has been an IT professional since 1997 and received a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and IT from the University of Sydney. He is accredited by Microsoft and is a Certified Business Intelligence Professional.
Before establishing NEXUS, Albert led the Business Intelligence Team as Principal at Global Solutions Group in Melbourne and managed a team of consultants to implement a BI reporting system for the National Bank in the United Kingdom. He was also an Associate Graduate at Datatech, where he worked with senior consultants.
Notable projects that were implemented under Albert’s guidance include a data management system for Allied International Insurance and an enterprise-wide budgeting, forecasting and reporting system for a major international bank.
One common mistake is to put the speaker profile at the beginning of the event promotion and rely on the presenter’s bio to spark interest. This approach can work if the speaker is famous in their field. For a lesser-known speaker, however, it’s best to lead with the topic background and benefits of the presentation.
Writing an event promotion does not have to be a challenge. By following the steps outlined, you can create an effective promotion that gets results.