Promote outside the box

French fries

You couldn't contain these fries.

As always, have a plan

Promotion of your event requires just as much planning as the event itself. As you are hammering out the details of your event, create a timeline for your promotional plan. If you're going to conduct a creative promotional campaign, you'll need time to think it through and get any necessary materials. Also, remember to include promotions in the budget for your event. Color fliers don't come cheap!

Target your audience

How will you reach the people who would have the most interest in your event? Does your event pertain to a particular UF department? Check ISIS to find out when those classes are and ask the professors if you can make an announcement during class or if attending the event could count as extra credit points for students. Is there a list serv you can utilize to reach people of a particular interest group? Can you post on the Facebook walls of groups with interests aligned with those of your event?

Don't waste your time, energy and resources trying to reach everyone; seek out those you know will have an interest in your event.

Have informed man power

Promoting for your event is going to require a lot of help from your organization. When everyone participates and does a little, it prevents the brunt of the work from falling on a few eventually frustrated members.

In addition to having enough people, you need to make sure those who are helping to promote your event are informed. When speaking to people about your event, you have a very small time frame to hook potential audience members. If you don't know the answer to someone's question about your event, you've probably lost them.

Know your resources

There are tons of ways to advertise at UF and many of them are free. One way is through list servs. Gator Times is one of the most useful because it goes out to all UF students once a week. You have to submit your event the Thursday before the Monday you would like it displayed.

Another useful way to advertise is in the Independent Florida Alligator. Events are printed on the second page. You just have to e-mail the managing editor the day before you would like your event printed.

There's also the traditional methods of handing out fliers and tabling, which definitely are encouraged, but try to think outside of the box, too. For example, you could make a commercial for your event and put it on your organization's Web site. See the video below for an example.

Tips

"Think outside of the box because people are used to the normal promotions methods. Be creative."

-Kate Morrison, RUB Entertainment promotions director and Gator Stompin' director of operations

About

Currently, I'm president of Reitz Union Board Entertainment, which provides free entertainment to the UF community every night of the week--yeah, it's a lot of planning.

I've found the best place to seek help is from those who have done it before. All of the advice and tips provided here are from people who have planned UF events and know the trials and tribulations of the process.

Blog

Got the whole planning thing down? Want resources for being an effective student leader at UF?

Check out my student leadership blog.