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Event marketing and publicity
Registering your guests
A number of options are available for registering guests:
for free events:
- Registration by email (advisable for events up to 20 people)
- Registration using a free online service. We recommend:
For paid events:
- The University Online Store is the University of Exeter’s conference and event booking system – view the Online Store webpage for more information, or for a new product / event please log an Online Store enquiry through SID.
- Eventbrite and similar services offer a paid service, however this doesn’t tie into the University’s finance system and will involve paying a fee / commission to Eventbrite.
- Many academic societies and organisations will have their own conference registration systems available for organisers to use.
Please note: The University doesn’t have a centralised paper management system for conferences. In many cases academic societies use their own systems. In some instances, conferences will procure support for this (eg from Aqua Conferences.)
Publishing your event online
There are several options for publishing your event online:
- On the University event calendar. Please see our guide to Adding events to the University calendar.
- On College event calendars, and interest-specific calendars such as the Arts and Culture calendar (you can add an event on the Arts and Culture calendar online)
- On social media; appropriate events (eg aimed at the general public) can be published on the University Facebook page and advertised via Twitter. Contact email@example.com for more details.
- For large events which may need a website (eg a conference) contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- On Eventbrite (as a registration page – see below).
Eventbrite is a powerful tool for publishing, advertising, and managing free events. Please see our Eventbrite guide for staff for more information, or Eventbrite’s own getting started guide. Please note:
- The CAMS Events Team can advise on how best to use Eventbrite, and on best practice
- We can assign sub-user access to University colleagues and students from our own account – this is the easiest way for us to help with your event
- We also manage a University Eventbrite profile and are happy to share this for suitable events.
Social media can be a fantastic way to promote events and boost the impact of your event on the day.
We have included some general guidance below, but for more specific advice on how best to use social media for your event, please contact email@example.com or visit the University of Exeter social media pages.
1. Which is the most appropriate account and service to use?
Before you start using social media, consider which service (eg Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) is the most appropriate for your audience. Each platform offers a different service, and audiences vary - for example, Twitter is popular for conferences and 'real time' conversations, whereas advertising your event on Facebook may be more suitable for a public audience. Similarly, Snapchat and Instagram have broader appeal amongst younger audiences.
In addition to the main University of Exeter social media channels, there are many College, departmental, research centre, and other social media accounts within the University (see here for Twitter and Facebook accounts).
We strongly recommend using existing accounts to promote your event, unless there is a specific need to build and continue engaging with a specific audience over social media (eg a regular conference). We recommend contacting your Campaign Manager to advise you on which account to use if you are unsure, or if you need to know who to contact to publicise content.
2. How can social media help with my event?
Social media can be a fantastic way to build the reach and impact of your event, through:
Publicising your event - sharing interesting content on relevant channels and accounts ahead of events can be a brilliant way to boost your audience numbers. We strongly recommend spending some time thinking about who the key influencers are on social media for your event topic. Getting someone with a large audience to share or promote your event can significantly boost your audience.
Currently, video and photo are the most viewed and shared media on the internet, so it is worthwhile considering this when publicising events.
It is also worth noting Eventbrite has a Facebook plugin which is particularly useful for boosting public event audiences.
Sharing photos - events and conferences frequently encourage the sharing of information and photos with online audiences. However you should consider advising speakers to highlight any confidential information, eg by putting a sign or symbol on slides they do not wish to share publicly.
Enable online conversations - Setting up a hashtag (eg #ExeterClimate) for delegates to use before and during the event will allow people to ask questions and speak to each other online before, during, and after the event. If you wish to keep conversations on one social media platform (eg Twitter) you should also advertise this.
- Stick to one, easy to remember hashtag
- Include it as often as possible on marketing materials before and during the event
- Once you have set up a hastag, you can track conversations online, eg #ExeterClimate
other methods of online engagement used at events include:
- Live tweeting and sharing information throughout the event from one account (eg @UofE_Research, who often tweet live from public lectures)
- Live streaming and video - see below
- Many photographers can now share photographs on the day, which can help maximise impact. People like to see things as they are happening
- Holding online Q&As, either to help publicise your event or as part of it
3. Using social media on the day
If you intend to use social media heavily for your event, we strongly recommend allocating a person to monitor any relevant hashtags or accounts during the event, and share relevant content. We also recommend answering questions you may receive by social media in response to posts about the event.
4. Live streaming
Live streaming and video are the most popular form of online shared content. The University of Exeter's social media team can advise on live streaming, however we are not able to offer this as an in-house service.
However, we have used the following:
- Local professional video production companies offer competitive rates on live streaming. Visit this web page for recommendations.
- Recap is a University recording facility available in many lecture theatres
- Where suitable, live streaming from mobile devices is possible (and free). This can be very popular for audiences looking for an 'inside view' but is not appropriate if you are looking for professional video.
5. Paid advertising / boosted posts
All the major social media platforms now offer boosted posts and paid advertising. Boosting posts is typically inexpensive, and adverts can be directly targeted to specific audiences.
The following options may be useful to consider if you need to publicise your event:
- Communications and Marketing Services can advise on using email marketing software - we use CreateSend for digital event invitations and newsletters. Email marketing is particularly useful for contacting large mailing lists with professional HTML email designs. A small cost is incurred per campaign.
- Please note: we have collated a mailing list of people interested in attending public events (made up of attendees from previous events in Exeter and Cornwall) and are able to use this for relevant institutional events. However, emails to this list must be sent through CreateSend.
- The Internal Communications team can assist with promoting your event to University staff and students (eg through the Weekly Bulletin for staff, or University Updates for students): firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you require advice or support with the press, please contact email@example.com
The information below is intended to give general advice on publicising events. If you are seeking advice on designing publicity materials or usage of the University corporate style, please visit this web page.