So you’re at the con, surrounded by chaos. Getting there was a nightmare, you can’t hear over the noise of the crowd and the exhibits, and you’ve got to be in twelve different places at once.
It’s the best time to publicize your event.
Much of what follows is stuff that you should prepare before the con. But no matter how thoroughly you prepped your publicity beforehand, make sure that it reaches people during the con.
Make the event’s web page mobile-friendly. People at a con are more likely to use their phones than their laptop computers.
• Choose a responsive design (https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/design-and-ui/responsive/).
• Simplify images and minimize text to make your pages load quickly.
• Use big text and big buttons on screen for easy visibility and interaction.
• Test, retest, and re-retest your mobile site before and during the con to ensure that it contains everything you want and is easily readable.
Make friends with the con’s staff. Ask them how you can make their lives easier. Here’s why:
• The press relations officer can aid you in reaching journalists.
• The editor of the program book can ensure that your listing or writeup appears in full and on the right page.
• If you’re planning an event at a booth, the people in charge of the exhibit hall and con security can help your event go smoothly.
• If you’re running a panel, the programming officer can make sure that you have enough chairs for your speakers and that their microphones work.
• Don’t neglect the lower-level staff, either. Showing them friendliness and respect can make them want to help you, while rudeness can make them care nothing about your needs.
Print flyers that display the event’s key information: when it begins, where it takes place (with a map, if necessary), who’s involved (with photos), and what the attendees can expect to happen. And then:
• Put a fat stack of flyers on the con’s freebie table. Go by the freebie table from time to time during the con and make sure that other giveaways haven’t buried the flyers.
• Hand flyers to people standing in line to get into events like yours.
• If the con has a press room, leave flyers there.
• If the con permits, leave flyers at the registration area, particularly press registration.
• If the con permits, hang copies of your flyers outside the event to help attendees find the event and to catch the eye of passers-by.
• If fan groups have exhibitor tables, leave flyers with any group that might be interested in attending your event.
Roam the convention center, especially the exhibit hall.
• Look for journalists (you can detect them by their press badges or professional camera equipment); invite them to your event.
• If you see someone wearing a T-shirt related to your event, invite him or her. For instance, if your event is related to gaming, and you see someone in an “I Can’t Adult Now I’m Gaming” shirt, offer that person a flyer and invite him or her to your event.
• When you talk with people about your event, ask them if they’d mind if you put them on the event’s contact list. Add their contact info to the list of people whom you’ve been telling about the event.
Send reminders of the event to your contact list and your social media outlets once a day during the con.
Keep publicizing even after the event begins. If someone at your event says or does anything interesting, write a note about it and shoot a photo or a video. Post them on social media and remind people that the excitement is going on right now. Include the event’s location and the time when the event ends.