​The CAN library is where you can find reports, data, research and consultation results which are relevant to arts and culture in Cambridge and the surrounding area.  To view this information you need to be a member of CAN, to join CAN please click here.

Cambridge Network You’ll often bump into the Sookio team out networking or scribbling notes at conferences. Sometimes we run ev

Login to view contact details

Publication title
The digital tricks that events organisers miss!


Running events nowadays is made so, so much easier through modern communications and tools like Eventbrite and Meetup. But so many organisers miss obvious opportunities to attract more attendees and give them the information they need to help the whole thing go smoothly. What are the digital tips and tricks you should be using? 

You’ll often bump into the Sookio team out networking or scribbling notes at conferences. Sometimes we run events ourselves, like our Masterclass series on straight-talking social media or our #RunDMSue workshops. I speak at events too, which gives me another insight into the way they're run.

And it seems so often that event organisers are missing a trick when it comes to making the most of the digital tools at their disposal. Take a look at our tips for making your next event a success!

What should you do before the event?

1. Put the date, time and location on every single piece of communication. If the venue changes for some reason, you really can’t tell people enough. There'll always be someone who goes to the wrong venue and has a terrible evening, and you don't want that. 

2. Front-load the heck out of all your communications. And by that I mean put the essential info first so people don't have to hunt around. 

See how the Copy Cabana homepage tells you straight away what the event is, where it's taking place, and the date - so you can get it straight in the diary. No need to scroll down. It’s clear, direct communication that gives you the feeling that the event will be well run too.

3. Send all attendees a reminder a couple of days before the event. This is your chance to answer all those questions they've only just started pondering. Like...

Is there parking? What’s the nearest Tube? Is it a Sunday, meaning - oh no - there might be rail replacement bus services?
Is there anything they need, like their laptop or photo ID to get into the building?
When you say a 9am start, does it start bang on 9am or is there half an hour of registration and coffee first?
Where’s the venue again? Are there roadworks, awkward turnings or problems with the postcode that means the satnav always takes people to the wrong place?

4. Use the tools at your disposal and make sure the information on your channels is consistent and up to date. This could be:

  • Eventbrite and Meetup for managing the event. (Tip! People love early bird ticket prices. Getting lots of people to sign up early is a Very Good Thing)
  • Mailchimp or another email marketing tool so you can encourage people to book (and offer them enticing, exclusive offers)
  • Social media for event promotion
  • An event website full of clear, simple information.

5. Promote the speakers. Are you paying them? No, thought not. So the least you can do is boost their profile a bit!

Get them to send you a good quality photo and biog, and mention their website and Twitter handle frequently before, during and after the event. Maybe they have some interesting blog posts you could be sharing too. Give them some love, they'll thank you for it.

6. Decide on the hashtag for the event and use it regularly, so people are familiar with it before the day. Put it on the website, use it on social media and in all event promotion. 

If people know the hashtag, they'll use it. Like we did when we went to Silicon Beached London last month.

7. Get the speakers to send you their slides a week before the event so you can check everything works and get it loaded up onto a laptop. Actually two laptops. A USB stick. In the cloud. You know, just to be certain.

8. Social media is great for broadening your pool of possible speakers. The problem is that the people who push themselves forward are not always the people with the most interesting things to say – but how do you get to the others?

With our Masterclass events for example, as well as contacting people I already knew, I rummaged round LinkedIn and looked at people’s job descriptions, or approached people via Twitter. I looked at the work that impressed me and found out who was behind it. You could also put out a #callforspeakers on Twitter and ask your connections to recommend people who they think will be good.

9. Create an event on Facebook so people can say they’re going, which will be seen by their connections and encourage more sign-ups. Once it's created, you can keep it updated with pictures and announcements about new speakers.

The V&A do this with all their events and it's a great complement to their other marketing activities, like flyers and mailshots. 

10. Start creating assets. These could be pictures of the venue, your suitcase while the team are getting packed, or the goody bags you’re putting together. You can share these on Instagram and Twitter, and create an event album on Facebook.

On the morning of the event

11. Get on Instagram and Twitter and start sharing images. Follow @TEDx_official on Instagram for examples of how this can be done well.

You might want to capture...

  • your walk or drive through the city and the venue at sunrise
  • your first cup of coffee
  • everyone setting up (get lots of branding in the shot)
  • what's for lunch - people are always thinking about their stomachs.

To read more information, click here.

Posted by CAN network on 3rd May 2017.