You’ve worked hard to put together the best event and promotion strategies. You’re ready to send out the invites, promote your event on social media, and create buzz. But there’s one thing you might have overlooked: merch! The right merch can help you draw attention and create excitement around your big day. So don’t just slap your logo on a generic t-shirt or baseball cap—get creative with what you sell. Here are some ways to create buzz surrounding your next event by selling merch that’s more than just a souvenir:
THINK ABOUT YOUR BRAND
To create a buzz that will help your event succeed, you need to think about what your brand is and what it’s trying to accomplish.
What is your brand’s purpose? In other words, what do you want people to take away from your event? What do you want them to do with the information after they leave? One way of answering this question is by considering what core values are important for your organization, whether that’s educating attendees or inspiring them towards a specific action. An example could be something as simple as “we want everyone who leaves our event to feel more confident about themselves so they can apply their newfound knowledge,” which could help guide a conference focused on self-esteem issues.
KNOW THE PURPOSE OF YOUR EVENT
Know the purpose of your event
Make sure that everyone involved in planning and executing the event is on the same page regarding its goal. If you have a reason for hosting it, make sure that reason is articulated clearly and concisely so there is no confusion or miscommunication among team members.
Be clear about what you want to achieve by hosting the event
You might think that everyone will come out of an event inspired and ready to take action, but even if they do, chances are high that they won’t do anything right away—if ever. It’s up to you as an organizer or host to set specific goals for what happens at your event so you can measure success after it has occurred.
IDENTIFY AND ENGAGE INFLUENCERS
The first step to creating buzz is identifying and engaging influencers. When you think of an influencer, you might imagine someone with millions of followers on Instagram or YouTube. But that’s not always the case. A true influencer is anyone who has the ability to influence others’ actions and decisions. For example, if your event is a technology conference and your goal is to reach out to potential attendees in tech companies, then reaching out to the marketing directors at those companies could be considered influential for your event because they can influence their employees’ decisions about attending—or not attending—your event.
In addition to identifying the people who have influence over others attending or participating in your event, it’s important that you reach out as soon as possible before registration opens so there’s enough time for them and their companies’ marketing teams (if applicable) to plan accordingly for attendance or sponsorship opportunities. Researching who will be speaking at events similar but adjacent-in-topic will also help identify key players worth connecting with during this stage of planning a campaign strategy.
CONSIDER PARTNERING WITH OTHER BRANDS
Partnering with other brands and organizations can be an excellent way to promote your event, especially if you have similar audiences. If you partner with another brand, there are many ways your two brands can help each other out:
Share resources. You can share resources like employees or volunteers who work on events that are relevant to both of your organizations. This will help save both of your companies money!
Cross-promote. You should definitely let people know about each other’s events by promoting them on social media and in flyers. Make sure you give credit where credit is due when promoting the events of others—this may help those businesses spread their word about their own products when they see the buzz around yours!
Use social media together! Write blog posts together or share content on Facebook and Twitter, so people know that both of these products exist at the same time as well as separately (which makes it easier for them). And don’t forget—you’ll need some merch too!
CREATE AN EVENT HASHTAG OR SOCIAL CAMPAIGN
Create a unique hashtag for your event. This will give people who are following the event online or participating in it an easy way to find all of the relevant posts and info. It also creates continuity across platforms, so if someone sees a post on Twitter that they want to share on Instagram, they can include both tags without having to repeat themselves (which is annoying).
Use the hashtag in all of your social media posts leading up to and during your event. Use it in emails sent out announcing registration details and more. Include it on printed materials such as flyers or posters that promote the event.”
OFFER LIVE MERCH
Make it special for your audience.
Consider what live merch you can offer at an event. Here are a few examples:
A limited-edition T-shirt with a special design or slogan printed on it, available only to attendees of the event.
An exclusive poster that commemorates attendance at the event and includes the date, time, venue name and other information about your gathering.
A set of cards or stickers featuring designs from some of your favorite local artists who were present at the event (and let them know!)
USE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS TO PROMOTE YOUR EVENT
There are several ways to use social media to promote your event, but the most important thing is to have fun with it. Make sure you are posting engaging content that will get people excited about what’s coming up.
It’s also a good idea to create a hashtag for your event so that people can search it and find out more information about what’s happening during the time of your party or gathering. You can share this hashtag on all of your social media channels so that attendees can refer back at any time during the event, even if they’re not there in person!
The best way to get people engaged with updates about an upcoming party is by using email marketing lists and newsletters as well as advertising on other platforms like Facebook or Twitter (or both), especially if many different types of people will be attending from different locations around town!
THE RIGHT MERCH CAN HELP YOU CREATE BUZZ SURROUNDING YOUR EVENT
Merch is a great tool for generating buzz, but it’s not just about selling your merchandise. The right merch can be used to promote your brand, event, or even cause.
For example, let’s say you’re hosting an event that benefits the victims of natural disasters in Australia. You could sell shirts with the event name on them so people know what they’re supporting if they buy one (and then tag yourself in social media posts). Alternatively, if you want to spread awareness about this cause without making money from selling shirts at all (for instance), you could print up t-shirts that say “I support Australian victims” and give them away for free at the door by saying “Pay what you can.”