Ship It

No Media, No Problem: How Digital Promotion Made Our Event A Success

Open House is MMDG’s largest event of the year, hosted at its Dance Center in Brooklyn, New York. For one day, the dance organization opens its doors to the public for a day of free classes, performances, and activities. Open House is designed to raise awareness of the Dance Center’s education and community program offerings and serve as a major fundraising opportunity, in addition to building anticipation for upcoming performances from the internationally renowned Dance Group. 

No Media, No Problem…

Thousands of community residents attended the all-day event in 2015. Our hashtag #MMDGOpenHouse, boasted over 138,000 impressions. How did we manage record-breaking attendance and engagement without a single major media placement? In support of the marketing department’s e-mail marketing and listserv efforts, I developed social media content and digital advertising campaigns that built anticipation for the event and provided incentives for attendees to serve as our promotion team. Three major tactics helped push the event to social media success:

Start the Countdown…

Three weeks before the event I began seeding visuals promoting Open House on the organization’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. I designed save-the-date posts that showcased the diverse array of offerings available at Open House. Beginning September 1st, two weeks before Open House, I started posting them daily. The diverse content limited over-exposure to event messaging, while keeping the event on our followers’ radars.

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Boost the Signal on Facebook…

Targeting made the difference here. Three weeks prior to the event we started promoting ads to MMDG’s existing Facebook fans and Brooklyn residents within a 10 mile radius of the Dance Center. During the week leading up to Open House, countdown posts were boosted with advertising dollars on Facebook. We targeted each post to the most appropriate audience — kids’ classes were promoted to Brooklyn parents, dance workout classes were promoted to fitness enthusiasts, and performances were targeted to dance enthusiasts.

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Entice Day-Of Social Sharing…

During the event, we encouraged attendees to share photos from our event on social media through a Photo Contest. The winner received two tickets to an upcoming MMDG performance. Attendees were permitted to post photos from the event until midnight. MMDG staff-members voted on the final winning image from over 40 entries. The next week, a parent stopped by the Front Desk to let us know our “cool photos” on Instagram brought them to the Dance Center to register for a new class. 

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