Hi there. I am Joy Fulton. I’ve been working as a managing web editor for GSA since July 2005.
I came up with some best practices for publishing events on the web, based on talking to the people on the ground at the actual event. You want to avoid people calling you the day of the event looking for directions. You want to post your event at least 60 days in advance so people can plan and get good prices on airfare and hotels. Your audience needs to know if they should come, why, and exactly what day of the week (Mon-Fri) plus the date. Here goes:
So far on the job, I have found that this seems to work best for most events:
What: one line title of Event
When: Day of the Week, Month/Date/Year AND time starting – ending
Where: street address, closest intersection
City, State, Zip
Who: if neeeded, add 1) who should come to the event and/or who is making a special appearance
How: how to register – url and phone number/email/phone number
How much: free? How much ahead of time? How much at the door?
Details – more about the event, describing what it will cover. Are continuing educations credits awarded? Door prizes? Food? Certificates?
Directions – include driving, public transit, and a map if possible. Where is the buildings main entrance? Does one need a government or state issued ID to enter the building? Add information for the disabled in the event that the handicapped ramp is located in a different area than the main entrance. Describe the room, the floor it is on, and what elevator one should take. Mentions any special procedures needed to get through the security screening process (i.e., no cellphones, cameras).
Notification – send a reminder via email, or call a few days before the event, reminding all that they have registered, that you are looking forward to seeing them, asking them to cancel if they can’t make it so that their seat is open to others.
Flyer: consider providing a pdf flyer describing the event and notifying all that they must bring it with them to the event. This may help your attendees clear the guard’s area more easily, and if the flyer includes directions you are helping your attendees find you.
– consider using your current event to market the next one. For example, at the end of this event, describe other upcoming events with links to them.
– use Twitter for event outreach
– use LinkedIn, GovLoop, and Facebook for event outreach, posting it within groups that would be interesed in it. Be sure to note on these event postings a notice that one must actually register elsewhere. This might work: WE REGRET THAT FACEBOOK/LINKEDIN/GOVLOOP RSVPS WILL NOT BE VALID FOR REGISTRATION.
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