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Event Advertising - 1 Page Printable Checklist Summary
By Louis Marquette  -  a Craft Expert    about page  personal website
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Effective advertising requires work & TIME, not money. Don't 'throw money at the problem'. Below are the top ideas from 500 folks in a check-list-like format, PLEASE distribute! -Louy

__Word of Mouth – One customer can bring MANY other customer with them. Encourage it!
__Reputation – Many great shows are sought out, regardless of advertising! Turn shows into events: Name & Theme them and use the same weekend yearly! eg Annual Fall Craft Blast, 1st Sat in Oct
__Give Promotional Material Packet to Vendors - Remember, the most likely show-goer, is a previous show-goer at your show or another! When you send your vendor packets out, send each:
* Handouts - to pass out at the events they attend leading up to your event.      
* Flyers – for bulletin boards, store windows, etc.
* Postcards – for merchants to mail to their self-maintained mailing list.
* Info Stickers – many have their own postcards. Send event info stickers for their postcards.
* Entrance Coupons or Free Passes' – for merchants to send/give to their TOP clients.
* Encourage vendor promotion - Send each handouts, postcards, etc. with a unique number in it. For every one turned in, they can receive a $1.00 or a point towards a prize, etc.
* Instruction to write a press releases - Encourage vendors to write to all their local and all event local media. PHENOMENAL success reported!
__Community Organizations' Involvement - Create some type of community involvement where there is none. eg, let kids do a car wash for their charity..Offer to collect for charities & organizations. If event appropriate, offer free spots to organizations for bake sales, group craft sales, info booth, member meet, etc.
__Postcard Announcements to previous customers is essential. Collect attendees' info with a form or card signup ( w/ phn #, addresses, e-mails, & where they heard!)
__Request to use of EACH exhibitors' mailing list - Ask the size, then send material to be mailed; some may even send you mailing labels to use yourself. One vendor claims a large list that they swear promoters try to get them into shows just to use...
__Street Signs & Banners - Signs need to be LARGE, with BIG, CLEAR, EASY TO READ PRINT with SIMPLE INFO on a BRIGHT, non-white, BACKGROUND. Place signs on PRIVATE land! - Ask property owners for permission. Add a Large sign to the event premises the month before. Every organization member has a car and a yard that can hold a sign!Early and comprehensive coverage and planning is a must. Improve signs the day before, with balloons, ribbons, colored splotches, etc.
__Posters & Flyers Posters in many locations really do work, if put in right places. You MUST pick places for the right people, such as high end clothes stores for cultured craft shows. Ask businesses if you can put a poster or flyer up.. Record where you post them for removal and for subsequent years!
__Newspapers - Customers for many successful shows travel from hours around. Signs may remind locals, but only distant advertising will reach out-of-towner.... However, many said they tried newspapers, but found only certain small community papers, under a things to do section, actually bring in any new customers, others said display ads in papers which cost quite a bit never paid in added customers through the door. What works in one town, may not in another – experiment!
__Send 'Releases' to all the papers! Send multiple copies, months in advance, weeks, then days. The more ‘ready to print’, the better your luck will be! Send interesting info & photos.
__Coupons work! I'm told that coupons placed in newspapers bring in more in entrance fees than ads alone. Coupons increase the chances of it being clipped...
__Submit info separately to the Calendar Editor! Papers will not all put an event in the calendar even if it's written up several times in the newspaper or even advertised.
__Press releases to all radio and television stations & post on each's web site. A live broadcast would be optimal, ASK! I have had promoters tell me they did get this for free, so be creative and try!
__Utilize Stations' "Public Service Bulletin Boards" They need the info far in advance!
__ Internet - Find the countless free sites for your town or region.
__ Offer to partner with other local events in advertising - trade handouts, postcards, flyers, posters.
__ Many promoters visit every other local show that they can to promoter their own event.
__ Use Local Resources Geared towards Tourism / Travel / Activities
__ Many municipalities and even large apartment complexes & gated communities can and WILL add info about whats happening in the area to water bills, trash bills, etc. IF ASKED
__ Contact all local utilities for same with any directly billed customers.
__ Contacting and working with your local Chambers of Commerce and Tourism will reap benefits. Most have websites with event lists and some have Tourism Offices where material can be distributed.
__ All local to-do magazines, tourism booklets, etc. should be contacted.
Refine your Advertising! Designate greeters to ASK EVERY ENTRANT where they heard of the event and how many are in their party. Plan future advertising around proven effectiveness.

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