Or, How to Create Synergy When Marketing Your Event
Domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse can turn lives upside down in an instant, but one Frederick County, Maryland resource—Heartly House—exists to offer victims comfort, hope, and healing.
To help provide shelter, safety, and an array of 24/7 services, Heartly House hosts an annual benefit event — Affair of the Heart—honoring the efforts of a legion of community members and contributors who take an active stand against violence and abuse in Frederick County. Their support helps victims of domestic violence and abuse by giving them hope and strength to become agents for change in their lives.
At Graphcom, we love working with organizations who do so much good in the communities where our staff live and work, so it was a joy to work with Heartly House on an event marketing campaign for Affair of the Heart 2013, which featured special guest Sil Lai Abrams, an award-winning national writer, inspirational speaker, and domestic violence awareness activist. Event organizers wanted the event to both honor those individuals who support the Heartly House’s efforts and encourage new individuals to support its mission and vision for the future.
Creating a Web(site) of Support … and Some Love for Standout Design
Graphcom used a five-phase approach (plan, create, deploy, evaluate, evolve) when executing this marketing and development campaign:
- PLAN: Heartly House initially sought to create an event website that would function as an information center for the event, serving an audience of both constituents and general audiences.
- CREATE: Graphcom developed a visually dynamic website that set the tone for Affair of the Heart. Its fonts, color palettes, and inspiring imagery convey the themes of hope and healing.
- DEPLOY: Once we finessed our designs, put some awesome parallax scrolling in place (do you see what we see when you scroll up and down in your browser?), and solidified our code, we had one amazing website.
- EVALUATE: Event organizers were impressed with not only the design but also with the ease of use of the site. In lieu of drop-down menus, section anchors take users from place to place on the main page with one click.
- EVOLVE: Even more good things were in store … Graphcom and the Heartly House carried the design concept of the website through to collateral material produced for the event. Postcards, emailers, event programs, print advertising, invitations, PowerPoint presentation templates, sponsorship forms … all were designed, printed, and produced in-house by Graphcom.
Making Your Message Impactful
One often-overlooked area in event planning is collateral material … all the signage, programs, invitations, etc. you’ll use to promote your event.
- What type of event am I planning? A casual luncheon? A black-tie affair?
- Where will it be held? A banquet hall? A community center?
- Who is my targeted audience? What donation level are we aiming for, and what tone is appropriate?
- What types of materials will I need to promote the event? Meet your donors where they are, whether it’s Facebook, email, at home, or in the office, and don’t forget to use hashtags to brand event
- Think about synergy — what element(s) can you use to create a cohesive look throughout all pieces of your event marketing materials?
- Are you working with an established theme? Do you have the liberty to create your own?
Make your event a cohesive one with marketing materials that communicate your theme from the invitation in the mail to the name tags at the registration table — you want your event to be a memorable one.