Effective event advertising

Choosing the right type of advertising will help with the success of your event.

Advertising includes paid messages using different advertising media such as:

  • digital
  • radio
  • television
  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • web / social media / apps
  • signage.

In selecting the media for advertising, attempt to identify your market audience and then decide the best way to attract their attention.

Repetition and pre-promotion of the event or activity is fundamental to the success of any advertising program. A Harvard University Study, some time ago, concluded that a prospect needs to see/hear a marketing message at least nine times to take them from a state of total apathy to purchasing readiness.

One of the most worrying aspects of paid advertising is that in the daily information overload and constant bombardment of communication. Research suggests that your prospects will miss or ignore your marketing message two out of every three times you convey it. You cannot assume that your prospects will see, hear or otherwise experience your advertising every time you expose them to it.

That's why, if you do have the budget for a press and or radio campaign, you should think quantity (as well as quality!).  For example, if you can pay for either six full-page ads or 12 half-page ads, it's almost always better to go for the 12 exposures. Another option may be to run a full-page ad in the publication's biggest, most popular issue (or issues) and smaller-size advertisements in other editions.

When placing advertisements in newspapers, be certain that your advertisement is placed in the appropriate section of the paper. Make sure you prepare a budget and target your audience before deciding in which paper(s) to run your advertisement. The Newspaper Advertising Bureau of Australia Ltd on 02 9955 8599 may be able to provide information to assist with the use of this medium.

Design considerations

When thinking about design, employing a professional graphic designer is worth considering. However, if you are trying to keep the budget down and are designing your own promotional material, keep the following things in mind:

  • Keep the design simple and uncluttered.
  • Make sure any visual images reinforce the main message.
  • Watch out for negative side effects - unintended associations.
  • Feature the event brand prominently.
  • Make sure you include all the essential information: what, where, when and contact details.
  • Develop a line or slogan which helps to serve as a ‘call to action’.

Advertising checklist

Is your message simple and clear?

If your message is visually crowded, contains too much information, or doesn’t provide the information that people need, it will not be effective.

Is there a strong headline?

A good headline is very important to the success of an advertisement. In print advertising your headline is 80 per cent of the advertisement.

Further, 80 per cent of readers will read no further than the headline – and if you haven’t got them within two seconds of seeing the advertisement, they’re unlikely to look any further.

Is the advertisement relevant?

Think carefully about the audience you are trying to attract to your event and use language that speaks to those people. Make sure the advertisement content reflects the interests of your target market in as fresh and original way.

Does the advertisement demonstrate a benefit?

Nothing works harder or sells better than an advertisement which shows customer benefit. For example: two for one offer, offer of a prize encouraging people to visit a web address (which creates a database of people visiting the event listing.)

To be effective an advertisement must:

  • get the customer's attention within two seconds
  • generate interest in your event
  • create a desire to attend (or al least find out more)
  • get the customer to take action.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 11 May 2022