An event communication plan is crucial to the success of your fundraising event. How else will you get important information to your attendees, volunteers, and staff? A good event communication plan can elevate your event and help you make the most of your fundraising efforts. This blog post will cover how to create your event communication plan.
What is an event communication plan?
An event communication plan is a document that outlines when and how you’ll communicate with your event guests, volunteers, and staff. It’s an imperative part of hosting a winning fundraising event because it makes it easy to disseminate vital information about your event to those who need to know the information.
How to create your event communication plan
- Give yourself time to develop the plan
- Know your audience and how best to reach them
- Communicate what audiences need to know about your event
- Determine what channels to use for messaging
- Have a clear call to action for each message
- Create messaging for before, during, and after the event
1. Give yourself time to develop the plan
The first step in creating your event communication plan is setting aside time to work on it. Too often, these plans get rushed and crucial pieces of communication get missed. Instead, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to really think about who you need to communicate with, what you need to communicate about, and what channels you need to communicate on before you start working on your event communication plan.
2. Know your audience and how best to reach them
You’re likely going to have different audiences that you’re trying to reach and they all want their information in different ways. For instance, many would be happy with a post on Facebook, but what about people who don’t use Facebook? They’ll need another way to find out about the crucial details of your event. Plus, you wouldn’t want to communicate via Facebook to staff and volunteers. Instead, reach out personally via email or with a phone call to provide information.
That’s why knowing your audience is key. Determine who you need to reach out to. What are their demographics? Based on those demographics, what is the best way to reach out? A handy way to know each generation’s communication preferences is by referring to Qgiv’s Generation Giving Report. It details which channels each demographic likes to use for communication. This can help you find your ideal event participants and connect on the channels they actually use!
3. Communicate what audiences need to know about your event
Once you’ve determined the communications preferences of your audiences, it’s time to plan how to communicate what audiences need to know about your event. This step in the event communication plan is crucial. Think about who needs to know what information about your event, then determine how you’ll disseminate that information to those who need to know it. When it comes to event setup and teardown, for instance, you’ll need to communicate with staff and volunteers about when to arrive, how to set up, and how to tear the event down at the event’s conclusion. However, guests might need different information like detailed instructions on what to do when they arrive. For example, if you’re hosting a 5K, they may need a racing bib for the event. Tell attendees where they can pick up their racing bib ahead of time to cut down on confusion and long lines at your event.
4. Determine what channels to use for messaging
When it comes to securing attendees for your event, it is important to think about your ideal attendee. What channels do they use to receive and send information? Those are the channels that you should use when trying to attract attendees to your event. A great approach is to try multi-channel marketing, a strategy that employs multiple channels used by everyone who would be interested in your event. Figure out a couple of channels that you could use to reach your ideal demographic and employ those channels in your event communication plan. Be sure to plan when you’ll communicate, for how long you’ll run the campaigns, and what the messaging should be to attract your ideal demographic.
5. Have a clear call to action for each message
When you’re planning the communications in your plan, it’s important that your messages have a clear call to action. You don’t want to confuse your attendees by providing information that they can’t act upon. Similarly, you don’t want to provide too many calls to action in a single message either. This can cause even greater confusion on the part of your attendees. Instead, create one call to action for each message you send. This cuts down on confusion and makes next steps clear for everyone involved. You want your volunteers, staff, and attendees to know exactly what to do, so make it clear for them in your event messaging.
6. Create messaging for before, during, and after the event
A crucial step that many people forget is to create messaging for during and after the event. It’s easy to communicate about the event before it happens. But in the rush of putting on a good show it’s easy for communication to break down and the focus to shift to hosting the event without worrying about disseminating information. However, this can lead to missed opportunities such as lower participation rates in raffles, wine pulls, and other sub-events that attendees might not know about without clear communication. Be sure to plan for how you’ll communicate during the event so that guests are in the know about every opportunity to support your cause.
Additionally, communicating after the event is essential for retaining your attendees and keeping them updated about the results of your fundraising event. One important piece of communication is a thank-you message. You want to be sure to thank your attendees for coming out to support your cause. Be sure to send a proper thank you across multiple channels in your event communication plan. Moreover, you will want to plan to share fundraising updates after the event so attendees know whether you reached your fundraising goal or not. Communicating about this can encourage supporters to give to help you reach your goal or give supporters something to celebrate if the goal was already reached. But don’t just talk about how much was raised. You’ll also want to share how the money will be used. Your attendees will be curious to know how their contributions helped your cause. So sate that curiosity by planning to communicate about the impact of donations after the event.
There you have it! With these six tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a winning event communication plan for your nonprofit organization’s fundraising events. Remember that each event is unique and your communication needs for each event will be different. But with this framework in place, building out future event communication plans will be easier for you, saving you time and money at your nonprofit.