Make Internet Promotion Important
The Internet truly is now.
On an average day, 68 million American adults go online, 30% use a search engine to find information and 27% get news.
It is anticipated that by the end of 2005 that more dollars will be spent on Internet advertising
than on the major TV networks.
Today, people expect to be able to find your information on the Internet.
There are many many thousands of people searching the net daily for festival information.
These are festival goers and festival vendors. At FestivalsandEvents.com, we have had requests
from people to remove their phone numbers because too many vendors were calling them for information.
There is one primary reason that promoting your festival on the Internet
may take a back seat.
Make one person responsible for Internet promotion.
Get a report every meeting on what they have been able to accomplish.
Give them the credit they deserve for their efforts.
It takes a lot of work - BUT the rewards can be tremendous,
and the hard dollar cost is minimal.
Create a Web Site
A web site is extremely important.
Look within your organization for help. You may have folks that
will volunteer to create and maintain the site for you, or you might trade a sponsor
ad in return for a local professional to build it for you. It would be best if
the site is set up so that you have the ability to make any changes yourself.
At that point, print your web address on anything you do.
The costs involved are minimal versus the benefits that you gain.
(Hosting with a web site builder program is only $49 thru Festivals and Events)
Get Listed on Other Sites
The most obvious places to help you promote is local, regional and state tourism web sites.
Don't overlook this. That is what they are there for, to help you promote. Work to get
listed on their sites and keep it updated.
And since you have a web site, people may find out all the info that they may want.
Promote Specific Aspects of your Event
Before you can do any Internet promotion you have to know what to promote and where to promote it.
Your festival is made up of many elements.
Your entertainment and your arts and crafts vendors are typically the most popular. You should promote these different elements in different places. If your entertainment fits a niche, for instance bluegrass or jazz, then do a search for sites that cater to bluegrass or jazz festivals. Many will list your event for free. If they will link to your site this is even better. For the most popular sites this link is worth more and if the money is available for it, paying them is certainly worth it.
Work to get a link from the entertainers sites that are set to perform at your festival. There are people that follow specific bands. Yu want them to come to your festival or event.
Issue a Press Release
This is another area that can have tremendous value, however there is a cost involved.
Utilize a service that is tapped into the markets. A service that posts to Yahoo News and Google News is what you want to use. Your release may be picked up by newspapers around the country. Write it well and you may get into the major newspapers in your state.
FestivalsandEvents.com uses PRwebdirect.com. They have a database of over 100,000 contacts. From time to time we issue a press release for upcoming festivals that are Featured on Festivals and Events.
Here is our latest Press Release
We very much discourage anyone from using one of the scummy email lists that you can purchase. Typically the lists are not good and it is really spam that you would be sending out.
Develop your own email list. Place a sign up box on your site very prominently and tell people that you will update them about the event as you go along. Do not overdo this. Let folks know what is happening just a couple of times when necessary. Perhaps a reminder sent a couple of months ahead of the event with some of the entertainers listed. Then one sent a couple of weeks ahead with highlights of your event. And then a reminder early in the week of the event.
Keep Things Current
Keep a list of the web sites that have listed your event. Each year this list can be contacted to update your listing. This list can be expanded and updated from year to year. This is vital.
Make sure information stays current. We have found that more than 10% of the listings on the net have bad email addresses, site links or the wrong date listed.
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