Okay, so you have started the 4sqDay planning process, and you have an event location and time locked down. You found a few interested local businesses that would like to help with the celebration and some great foursquare users to help out too. Maybe, you even have your mayor penciled in for your city’s proclamation! This is great to hear, but now what? Certainly, we cannot just sit back and wait for the pieces to [hopefully] fall into place. Instead, we need to be sure that we make it the best 4sqDay celebration ever. How do we do that? How best should we promote and follow-up? Here are my tips:
- Use Social Media! Sure, this is an obvious one, but we cannot forget to really use social media to promote the event. You might have your MeetUp.com event all scheduled, but I would recommend adding those event pages on TwtVite and Facebook! In fact, you might not even have all of the details for your event completely in place, but, as long as you have the basic framework put together, you should look to set up event pages so your community foursquare and social media fanatics can both know about the event and help promote it through their channels too! Facebook event pages allow you to begin to invite your friends. Once your friends confirm, they will re-share the event information! Also, while I would not recommend over-sharing, I would even throw in a few shouts via foursquare. While the native shout-only feature is not around anymore, there’s nothing wrong with using a third-party app like HootSuite to shout the event information (and links) once or twice!
- Contact Local Media! It does not hurt to start connecting with your local media outlets. If you have a local newspaper, look them up online and reach out to them via their social media presences (if they have them… let’s hope for their sake that they do). Getting that added coverage before the event can really help promote it and get the best possible turnout. Plus, it would not hurt to get some added coverage during the event! A plug or two in the local paper or even on the television newscast is still pretty cool!
- Follow Up With Businesses! Business owners and managers are very busy, so you should not sit back and just wait for them to contact you. Of course, this does not mean that you should be calling them each and every day either. Find some balance between contacting too much and too little! Keeping them in the loop along the way can really make all the difference, especially if they are playing a big part in your event. Communication is key!
- Think About Non-Profits! Sure, you want to make sure that your local businesses are involved, and you might even want to have giveaways or something. Certainly, you want to inform your fellow foursquare enthusiasts about the event so that they can come and celebrate 4sqDay with you. But… we cannot forget about this opportunity to give back if possible. Last year, Elaine and I attended the 4sqDay celebration in Atlanta. Chad Elkins, founder of 4sqATL, did a great job of planning everything out, and he even brought in two great non-profit causes! He did his part to help use the event as a way to give back to the community. We (at 4sqKennesaw) will try to follow his 2011 actions by giving back to a local charity or two! Hey, if it is a great idea, why not borrow it, right?
- Delegate! With any event, it is always best to have a core group of people working together to make the event turn out as best as possible. Don’t be afraid to delegate to and get feedback from others. It is nearly impossible to do it all by yourself, and it normally is much easier to get everything done when you involve the help of others!
If you follow these five additional tips, your planning (and event) should run a lot smoother! You still have some time to get the event pieced together, but be sure to utilize all of your resources to make that process much easier. Reach out to your fellow foursquare users and local media to help promote the event and remind people as we get closer to the event!