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So you’ve found the date, location and you’ve put down the deposit for the event. Now it’s time to market it! The tips below will work for both day events and overnight retreats!

1. CREATE FLYERS

While much of marketing is moving into a digital format, a print flyer is always a good idea. You can post them on a break room billboard, pass them around at church or even mail them to your potential guests. One great source to create promotional items is Canva.com. Not only do they have great looking templates, a majority of the templates are free! When creating flyers, make sure to keep the design fresh year after year.

A recent flyer we created for a special February Youth Group Event

2. EMAIL

Email can be used in multiple ways. For example, you can use an email service like Mailchimp which again, like Canva is free. An email service like this is a great way to add a bit more excitement and style to your communications compared to a traditional email.

Your first communication can simply be letting your contacts know the date, times, and location accompanied by a few great pictures of the location. As you continue to plan the event and details are coming together, share them with your guests in scheduled emails. Also, remember that print flyer from Tip #1? You can attach a digital version to an email and share it that way.

An example of an email we send out for our yearly Benefit.

3. CONTACT THE EVENT LOCATION

We’ve referenced this in a previous blog post. We here at Canaan love to help our event hosts market their events. We can provide pictures, videos, and other helpful information. For certain events, we can even produce a flyer for you. Setting up a tour of the event location and inviting potential chaperones or guests to join you is always a good idea. After the tour, the individuals that joined you can help you spread the word to others.

Our girl’s cabin. Just one of the many pictures we provide for event hosts.

4. SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Nowadays it seems like everybody is on some sort of Social Media Platform. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, it’s a great idea to get your event on as many platforms as possible.

On Facebook, consider creating a Facebook event and keep it updated with details and pictures. Also, a Facebook Group for your event is a wonderful idea. This is a private group that you can keep updated with details. Facebook Groups are a great place to post images and updates during the event. Lastly, you often see more engagements with group posts than regular posts.

Be sure to use Instagram Stories for day to day updates promoting your event. Just like the flyers, Canva has some great Instagram Stories Templates!

Lastly, YouTube is another great option where you can upload a video highlighting some of the amazing activities and facilities your group will be experiencing during their stay. We have many group leaders who will video portions of their onsite tour and create a video to share with their group.

An example of one of our Events on Facebook

5. USE PREVIOUS AND CURRENT EVENTS

Be sure to use as much media from past events as possible. Try to share pictures and video of every aspect of the event. This will make the decision to attend easier for your guests. If you’re hosting at a new location, look to Tip #3 and ask the event location for any pictures or videos they can share.

While you’re at your event, think about what you’ll need for Marketing the event next year. Shoot as many pictures and videos as you can. Keep in mind ways to improve your next event that you could point out in your marketing materials. Also, video interviews of guests after the event asking them about their experience and any outcomes they may of had. These interviews would be great to share while marketing future events. Lastly, consider hosting a few live feeds during your event on Facebook and Instagram!

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A FUN VIDEO A RETREAT PLANNER MADE DURING THEIR TOUR OF OUR PROPERTY THAT SHE SHARED WITH HER GUESTS:

Video Player

00:00
02:30

QUICK TIPS:

  • 3-6 months before your event is a great time to start marketing
  • Don’t be discouraged if there are no bookings early on. Continue marketing until the day before your event, people can and will register last minute
  • Get a team to help you market. Multiple voices are better than one
  • Consider a shirt for all guests at your event, this is great marketing for next year
  • Keep it simple, make it easy for guests to register. In your marketing, don’t bombard them with too many options

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