Chamber of Commerce
Use others to get the word out! But first decide if their (the third party’s) audience or membership base is indeed your potential audience. For instance, determine if joining an organization such as a chamber of commerce will benefit your event. Are other chamber members your potential customers?
The crux of any organization is that it will not automatically bring your event anything unless you give your time and energy to the organization and its activities. Networking is key.
If your event is a festival, realize you may not need to be a member to help the chamber promote the city or area. Most chambers promote the quality of life within a community. If your festival or event is significant, has mass appeal and is cultural in nature, it may be an activity the chamber would promote in their visitor guide, relocation packet and website regardless if you are a member. Don’t be surprised if they plug the event in a weekly email sent to their members without your having paid dues.
If your event is a class, workshop, conference, class reunion or sporting event and not related to business or economic development (unless you are one of their members), they most likely will not promote your event.
There are always exceptions to the rules. For instance, if a chamber board member is also on the board of your event that person may have enough pull to get you exposure. However, many community leaders save their chits (political capital) and only use them on extremely rare cases. That’s why they are called leaders.
Some chambers sell their mailing list, but only to members, and may also sell advertising in their weekly online newsletters. While it may cost you, it may be less expensive to buy an ad than incur the cost of a membership.
To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events: How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide: 42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.