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When it comes to marketing your event, getting your youth involved is extremely important! They will be able to speak specifically to what would appeal to their specific audience. That said, there are some tried and true marketing techniques that will serve you well. While today’s teens are very much in the digital age and use tools like Facebook, Google +, Twitter, and Instagram their parents are still very much in the print age.
As you generate “buzz” for your event make sure you’re connecting with youth leaders within the area to announce the camp or retreat during meetings on Sunday and Wednesday, displaying flyers on their church bulletin boards, and even creating business cards that can be easily passed out on the go. All these materials should have information like the date of the camp, the registration deadline, registration URL, and the cost of the camp.
To get the attention of your teens, advertising electronically is going to be the way to go. Create an event on Facebook or Google+ and update it periodically with information about the camp. You can also utilize Google Hangouts to host conversations about the retreat, interviewing special guests live, or having informal brainstorming sessions. Using photos to promote your event are essential. Consider using Instagram for fun and creative photo promotions too!
Because a growing number of teens are using Twitter, having a dedicated hashtag to communicate about your event is really helpful. You can also use your hashtag during the camp to get your teens engaged in what’s going on. Using a hashtag is also great because you don’t have to do anything special to set it up. However, if you are planning on hosting this retreat annually I would recommend a hashtag with some longevity so stay away from a theme specific hashtags unless you also plan on having the exact same theme every year.
If you’re going to utilize online registration you can also give registrants the option to receive periodic texts or email (this is great, especially if they’re not on Twitter) or to signify that their friends might be interested in receiving a pre-event e-mail from you.
There are a lot of ideas out there for marketing your event, and it can definitely be overwhelming. Orbit Media Studios has put together 50 great event marketing tips that you should check out. There are also resources much closer to home in the form of the people on your camp team. These folks know the area you live in and know what will be the most effective for your area.