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Communications and Marketing

Event Resource Guide

Draw a crowd to your next meeting, conference or event with a finely tuned promotion strategy. Our step-by-step tips can help you spread the word where it matters most.

Whether you're just starting on an upcoming event or wrapping up the details on another, how you promote your event can make the difference between a room full of empty seats or a standing room-only crowd. Here are some steps you won't want to forget:

Steps-by-Step Tips

Step 1

Set Your Goals.

Who are you targeting? Do you want to reach students, faculty and/or staff members, the community or some combination? Are you interested in a media presence being there? Is your event more appropriate for a campus audience or a public one? Think about who would be interested in the subject matter.

What is your event's purpose? Do you want to raise awareness about a project or topic, encourage attendance, get people to take action (such as applying or raising funds) or garner media coverage? Identifying a goal will help you decide where and how to promote your event.

How many people do you want to attend? How large is your venue? Will your event setup reduce capacity? Having a goal for attendance will help you decide how widely you need to promote your event. Also consider your venue's parking situation. If you plan to reserve spaces for your speakers or guests, then you will have to pay for them.

What is your promotional budget? Knowing how much you can spend on promoting your event will help you determine which channels to pursue. Many promotional avenues are free of charge; some, such as traditional advertising, require payment.

Step 2

Gather all of your event information.

Compile an information packet. Depending on your event, your needs may vary, but think about including photos, bios of speakers, descriptions of the event or content, titles of lectures, location information, cost and contact information in a packet that can easily be shared electronically.

Step 3

Contact your campus communicator.

Your unit or college communicator can help spread your message through departmental Listservs and other internal audiences, through cross-promotion at other events and through social media.
Your college communicator can also help if you would like to explore external media options. They can advise you about whether your event is appropriate for inclusion in media advisories, press releases or the USC Daybook, which is a daily email sent to regional media.

Step 4

Add your event to the USC web calendar.

The USC web calendar serves as a central location for events hosted or sponsored by university departments. Events that are added to the calendar also are submitted for consideration for the USC Today daily faculty/staff e-news. To submit an event for consideration, you must make a request through the calendar and space reservation system 25Live. If you do not yet have access to the system, you can also fill out a submit an event form.

Step 5

Tag @UofSCEvents.

If your department is on Twitter, the university has a Twitter handle dedicated to amplifying your events. Followers of this handle have self-identified as people who are interested in the wide variety of events the university has to offer. Simply tag @UofSCEvents to increase your chances of being seen and amplified. To ensure sure you’re following university social media best practices, check out these guidelines.

Step 6

Create marketing collateral for your event.

In the university's brand toolbox, you will find templates for flyers, postcards, PowerPoint slides and more. Use these to create collateral for your event so that you may then distribute in various ways across campus and throughout the community.

Step 7

Contact digital board managers.

Digital boards serve as a way to post digital flyers in advance of events and appear in many unit and college buildings, as well as buildings with high foot traffic. Use our digital board templates to get started and contact us for a list of digital board managers.

Step 8

Distribute flyers on campus.

Flyer posting varies from campus facility to facility and sometimes floor by floor. Please check with individual academic departments prior to posting. Flyers are permitted at the Russell House to advertise student organization and university department activities. Please have flyers meant for the Russell House approved at the 2nd Floor Information Desk prior to posting.  Use our flyer templates to get started.

The brick wall along Greene Street — from the Woodrow Residence Hall to the end of the wall on the east end by the Melton Observatory — is available for banners advertising specific events. Please reach out to the Russell House Event Services office at 803-777-8182 for more information on banner rules and reservations.

Step 9

Contact related organizations and interest groups.

If you are interested in inviting the public to your event, consider contacting related community organizations and interest groups, which may help boost attendance. Also consider promoting your event to faculty members at other higher education institutions, in community church bulletins or association newsletters.

Step 10

If budget permits, consider paid advertising.

This step may be cost-prohibitive for events that do not have an entrance fee; however, if paid advertising is in your plan, contact your college communicator for advice about advertising channels and costs.


Additional Resources

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