Seven steps to excellent event communications
Whether you’re inviting alumni, prospective students, or current students to an event, consider these helpful tips from a Hubspot guide before promoting your events for a lasting impression and strong attendance rates.
Step 1: Pre-event marketing
Ask yourself: What actions do I want the attendees to take?
Pre-event marketing enables you to start promoting an event before sending invitations and gives participants an early opportunity to become acquainted with your event.
Social media is also an effective way to spread your event news and keep the event content alive online outside of the boundaries of the actual event. Preparation is key, and at this stage, you should already have a defined schedule for the upcoming steps.
Step 2: The invitation
How early the invitation is sent depends completely on the size and complexity of your event: a small meeting might not need as much preparation as a huge company event.
Keep it brief, and include only the essentials in the invitation. Share additional information on your event page.
Step 3: The registration
- Drive all registrations to one page.
- Use the registration site as a place to offer additional details not on the invitation.
- Some target groups may need several prompts to register, and that’s okay.
- Make sure your registration site is user-friendly.
- Make sure a confirmation email/message is ready to go!
Step 4: Confirmation message
It is best practice to send a confirmation email to attendees to assure them their registration is accounted for and processed.
The confirmation message will also give you a chance to recap important information, including the contact information for the organizer, the schedule, how to get to the venue, and the information provided by the attendees when they registered.
An excellent confirmation will also contain a:
- link to cancel registration
- link to change registration information
- unique QR code (e.g., a ticket)
- possibility to add an event to a calendar (reduces those no-shows!)
Step 5: The reminder emails
One or two reminders can be extremely useful for communicating with your registered participants and help reduce no-shows. In addition to a good confirmation, it is necessary to send a reminder about the event one or two weeks prior. Human errors occur, so it is possible that your participants could forget that they have registered for your event.
Step 6: Post-event communication
So, your event is over, but this does not mean that your job as an event communicator ends. Post-event marketing can make the difference between short-term wins and long-term results.
Considerations for a follow-up communication:
- Start with a thank you message.
- Send a follow-up the day after the event has ended.
- If including a questionnaire, limit questions to 10 and give your attendees the option to answer feedback anonymously.
Event communication timeline overview
- Pre-event Marketing — 1-2 months before the event, as applicable.
- Invitation — 2 months to 2 weeks before the event.
- Confirmation — send once registration is received.
- Reminder — 1-2 weeks after invitations have been sent to non-responders.
- Second reminder — 1-2 weeks before the event, sent to attendees.
- Text message — 1 day to 1 hour before the event, sent to attendees.
- Post-event marketing — The thank you! Send via email to attendees with a feedback questionnaire attached.
If you have questions about event communications, please reach out to the University Relations Internal Communications team at email@example.com.