The Appetite Guide to… getting started with marketing

Making sure people hear about and then most importantly attend your big event is crucial.

But when budget is limited and time even more so, what are the best ways of doing this?

We asked Appetite Project Manager, Kat Boon to share her guide to getting started with marketing.


1. Get to know your audience

The first step to getting an audience? Know who they are. Think about who your event is aimed at.

Families? Young professionals? Older people? Local residents who live near the park?

Then tailor the language and design of your event’s marketing to those audiences so it ‘speaks’ to them.


2. Discover where they’re at

Where are your target audience most likely to be and how do they find out about events?

On Facebook? At the local library? On the supermarket noticeboard?

Think about where to find them and make sure your event is visible in those places.

The marketing ‘Rule of 7’ says a customer needs to see a product advertised 7 times before they’ll buy it! True or not, it pays to make your event visible in multiple places.


3. Make your event sound unmissable (but be clear and direct)

You’re enthusiastic and excited about your event right? Now it’s time to convince other people to be so too.

In the digital age there are so many things competing to get your audience’s attention, you need to stand out and make an impact quickly.

Make sure your advertising represents your event accurately but also sells it. This is where your audiences’ journey starts after all.

Use short, appealing ‘copy’ to describe what people will experience and appealing images to get people’s attention.

Think about the key information you’d want to know when visiting somewhere for first time: when? Where? How much? And don’t forget to provide a clear ‘call to action‘: i.e. book tickets now; save the date; find out more etc.

Make sure to cover the less obvious things in the longer event information on your website or Facebook event too: where can I park? Are there toilets? Will seating be provided?

Make this information as easy to find as possible.


4. Get the basics in place first

Before spreading the word or launching your event make sure you have the basic marketing materials (assets) in place. These will differ depending on the size and scale of your event, who you are aiming at and budget but could include: a main image for the event to be used online or print; a flyer, a poster; a main website entry to which you will direct audiences; a Facebook event.

Not everyone is online so make sure to combine both traditional print and digital approaches depending on your target audience.

Make sure the event information and design is consistent across all platforms to avoid confusing your potential audience.


5. Access, access, access

Its crucial to take the steps to make your event accessible to all people regardless of disabilities. This includes physical access on the day but it applies to your marketing and communications in advance of the event too.

Collate Access Guidance to your event in one place on your website and try to provide as much clear information as possible and answer the questions people with disabilties might want to know:

e.g. is the event wheelchair accessible? Is there disabled parking? Will there be BSL? Audio Description?

Think about the colours you use on your marketing materials – is the text legible? Is the font big enough? Is the language unnecessarily complicated?

Could you have an audio version of your event programme? Could you produce an Easy Read version of the performance descriptions?

Research has found that people with learning difficulties often value knowing lots about an event before they attend. Including a photo guide to your venue/event might really help audiences feel prepared before they attend.



6. Seize the free opportunities

Sharing your event on social media is totally free so make the most out of the different platforms out there. Check out Top Ten Tips on using social media effectively for fantastic tips.

There are also plenty of free online event listings to share your events on and some of these send newsletters to huge databases including Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Event Lists, Visit Stoke, and SOT Culture. Don’t forget Facebook groups like What’s On in Stoke-on-Trent.

Start a list of all these places so its really easy to refer back to when running future marketing campaigns.

Don’t forget all the free places you can put up a poster or drop off some flyers also. Newsagents, hairdressers, supermarkets are often happy to take a poster if you ask politely enough. Arts venues and independant bars, shops and restaurants can also be particularly willing.

Make the most of press opportunities. Getting local press is involved is a fantastic way to boost your event’s profile and is free. Not sure where to start? Check out Top Ten Tips on Working with Press and Media.


7. Buddy up

Get to know other community groups making similar things happen in the area and explore how you could share marketing. Ask if you could hand out flyers at their event or if they could share your event on their social media channels or via their e-newsletter if they have one.

Always make sure to return the favour and you’ll have great marketing partnerships for life.

This is also a fantastic way of boosting your social media output when not delivering your own events and makes you even more of an asset to your local community.


8. Get others to spread the word

Recruit people to your mission: ask volunteers, friends, colleagues, neighbours and family members to spread the word. Could they share the event on Facebook? Could they put up a poster in their local pub?

Many hands make light marketing work.

And what’s the number one way Appetite audiences find out about our events? Always: word of mouth. People trust recommendations from friends so make your event something worth talking about.


What’s the number one way Appetite audiences find out about our events? Always, word of mouth.


9. Make your audience want to come back again and again

Turn your first time audience into repeat attenders. Make sure your event is as high quality as possible and meets or surpasses audience expectations so people will want to come back again and again.

Events are about more than just the performance or the activity too though – they’re about how people felt when they arrived and how they feel when leave. Always keep the visitor experience in mind – give them a great all-around experience and not only will they come back, they’ll bring others with them.


10. Keep on learning

When undertaking evaluation with your audiences don’t forget to ask them how they found out about your event and how they would rate the marketing. Look at the results and hold an honest debrief with the team about what went well marketing-wise and what could have been better.

This kind of information is invaluable when deciding where to spend your energy and budget on your next event.

Evaluation will also give you some great insights into your audience so you can learn how better to reach them next time.


Although it can be challenging sometimes, telling people about your amazing event should be a fun endeavour.  Make your enthusiasm for your event infectious and enjoy the process!

Good luck!


Written by

Kat Boon

Appetite Project Manager


Header image: Stoke South Carnival 2015, Chris Patrick Photography
Image 1 and 2: Clara Lou Photography
Image 3: Malcolm Hart 




Get the latest Artsbank news straight to your inbox

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.