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Posts: 294
Reply with quote  #16 
A facebook page for the event would have helped quite a bit.
Mike Substelny

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Posts: 2,404
Reply with quote  #17 
I agree that a Facebook Event page would have helped. I wanted to invite some people who are not part of any of the Artemis Facebook groups.
"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill

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Posts: 415
Reply with quote  #18 
Some organizational and promotional thoughts based upon actions I've found useful or more effective in the past:

1) Do a debrief to set your collective strategic goals and policy parameters for next year's Armada now while this year's experience is all fresh in everyone's minds. Set a registration cap so you all know exactly how big an event you are planning for at maximum capacity. Assign the major con-organizing roles at this debrief, set the date for the next planning meeting, and extract a commitment from every single person at the meeting for at least one concrete task they will complete before the next scheduled meeting. Do not put this off, or the months will evaporate on you! EDIT - People in key posts who find themselves unable to hit the deadlines or meet the obligations of the post they accepted must be replaced for the good of the organization, even if the person is a volunteer or personal friend; this is difficult, I know, but to keep a non-performer in a key slot is to jeopardize the entire operation and risk invalidating everyone elses' efforts - plus it is terrible for community morale and trust-building within your user base to leave a nonstarter in charge of anything of importance.

2) Book all the major elements (venue, equipment rental, entertainment, appearances, catering, game organizers, vendors, etc.) at least six months in advance - a year in advance is preferable, and usually necessary for bigger names and in-demand venues.

3) Create a designated promo slot on the Armada management team and put someone web-savvy in it, or at the very least a promo to-do list with deadline dates for each item on the list. As instructors, you all might be able to pony this entire task into a for-credit final project that could be assigned to a local college's marketing students, or ask the local EDC for marketing assistance (I've done both of these for various events over the years, and they both work. Students who need community service opportunities for their majors are a great source of set-up/teardown and con worker help as well.)

4) Create an official Armada page on the official Artemis website as soon as possible and place all relevant rules, major con features, connectivity minimum requirements, and preregistration links on it. Also links to pics, awards, and mission briefs of past events. Direct all FB event inquiries from the Artemis FB page to the official Armada page instead of creating a separate FB Armada page; same with all inquiries on any forums or other websites. On FB, focus your energy on keeping the Artemis FB page itself current, informative, exciting and relevant - post new info there first to reward frequent followers with "inside information," and they will do the real work of disseminating it on FB for you. Train the user base to come to you for info!

5) Fish for sponsors among those businesses who are either run by fans or stand to most benefit from increased exposure to your user base, and use this support to provide preregistration and attendee perks. Cross-market the event through your sponsors and feature links to the sponsors' websites on the official Armada page and the Artemis FB page. Cross-promote with other cons.

6) About six months out, start tossing event intro blurbs up on related forums; answer questions regularly and/or update every couple of months to keep the posts from going necro, with a goal of directing traffic to your official Armada page. Post prereg updates and teasers regularly, and make a huge big deal out of it on the forums if Armada 2 sells out!
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