Getting the word out

We, that is the royal ‘we’ that stands for the St. Thomas Blog (and family), attended two events on the weekend that after the fact, we heard rumblings that people weren’t aware of. The Booze, Blues and BBQ‘s event being held at the Railway Station as well as the traditional Father’s Day car show being held at Pinafore park.

I could go all smug and suggest that perhaps if you read the blog more you would know about these events but since it is father’s day, for once I will resist.

How do you get the word out about an event? For an event that has occurred for many years, such as the car show, often organizers can rely as much on word of mouth as it they can on advertising. From memory, I know there is a nice long banner hanging above Talbot St, just by Legends, which advertises the Lion’s Car Show. I have also been for the last few years so am very away of it and look forward to it intensely! This year, it seemed as if there were many more cars than in previous years.

On the other hand, the BBB event at the Railway Station was well attended but could have been much better attended. I for one did not see any advertisements around town. Having given up reading a ‘daily’ newspaper for a while, I cannot testify that it wasn’t publicized well, I just know that from comments made here and there that many people would have loved to have attended.

There is so many ways to advertise that both are cheap but easily accessible. Websites work well but you need to plan ahead, you can’t put a website online two weeks before an event and expect millions of hits. Months ahead of time you can start building the website as well as submitting it to many of the websites that feature local events in Ontario (did I mention the Blog?). Even a very bad designer can knock up a poster advertising the event and get 100 printed up and placed everywhere you think your target audience may be. It doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars to advertise.

In the case of the car show, having the cars arrive at the park is one of the best ways to advertise. Classic cars turn heads and if someone sees three or four of them in town, most people will think that there is a show somewhere.

I don’t want to blow my own horn here but one of the reasons why The St. Thomas Blog was created is to help people find events going on around St. Thomas and area. We don’t charge, we love to help, and we will probably show up at your event, check in via Facebook so that others might see where we are, perhaps take photos and perhaps write up a review. We don’t ask for money, we just like to see events do well.

A thought we had this afternoon as we were melting under the hot sun, looking at the hot cars, and well, generally feeling hot. If we were going to be organizing another car show, either in a few months or sometime next year, it would be a great place to walk around, introduce ourselves and hand out information to owners of cars. You would have your ideal participants all in one place and you could really make some great connections.

That word, connections, seems to be very important for getting the word out. The more information you can make available, the better it will be. Take for instance Facebook events. If you have an event, you can invite the St. Thomas Blog and we may not attend but we will try to make an event post about it. If you post a Facebook event that contains barely any information, it does make it difficult to create an interesting post.

Rudyard Kipling‘s famous poem, The Elephant’s Child (how appropriate) contains the opening four lines:

I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Six very important points to cover when making any event. If you don’t tell us when or where, how can anyone get there? Why is the event being held and who is running it? What actually is the event and how can I help? Once you have that information included, everything else is gravy, or ice cream and hot custard!

If you keep the events coming, we’ll keep posting them!

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