Advertising and Promotion
Advertising and promoting your Fete is all about getting the message out, so that the whole world knows when and where the event is being held, and how good it's going to be!
When you have finalised the general planning of your fete, sit down with your Publicity Officer and get creative. Plan how the event will be promoted. List all of the special features you have designed into your fete and pick out those that really excite you. These highlights could be International Food, Entertainment and Performances, Stalls, contests, competitions including any prizes offered, special visitors, celebrities or characters. This will be the focus of your advertising campaign.
Now it's time to get the message out to the school & local community. The main objective in this exercise is to get all of your coverage FREE.
There are five vital components of every School Fete and Fair Marketing campaign, that need to be communicated to the public. We call them the five "W's of effective Fete marketing:
- When: The date and time that the fete will the event be held.
- Where: The location of the Fete - School address; held on oval? School grounds? Both?
- Why: The reason for holding the fete. All funds raised will benefit the children and/or community in a particular way.
- What: What are the features of the Fete that the public will be interested in - Food, Entertainment, Stalls etc?
- Who: Who is sponsoring or making a contribution towards the Fete?
We'll now look at the various forms of Fete promotion, and how effective they are in covering our When, Where, Why, What and Who.
Now that we have a fabulous Fete planned, filled with loads of awesome Entertainment, Stalls and Food; we must get the message out into the school and local community. The best place to start, is with the School Newsletter.
The school newsletter is a powerful tool. It can effectively raise community awareness of the up-coming event. Include a "Fete News" section in the weekly newsletter, or Fete Bulletin insert. The Publicity Officer can use the Newsletter for weekly updates including:
- Progress Bulletins
- Weekly stall promotion
- Business sponsor advertising
- News Flashes
- Statements of thanks/appreciation
- Information on meetings, workshops & get-togethers
Direct your advertising towards each market. Children love to hear about the Celebrities, Games & Rides, while parents are attracted to the Stalls, Food & Auction Items. Advertise in the School Newsletter for a parent who is a Signwriter. This is an invaluable service when it comes to updating the dates on banners & general promotional signage.
Design the Fete Bulletins in colour, which stands out and runs with the Festive theme. Number and date each bulletin. The inclusion of graphics, help create the Carnival image. Ask local schools if advertisements can be placed in their newsletters or on their website, offering to do likewise when their next Fete comes around.
If you school newsletter has gone electronic, consider a hard-copy Fete Newsletter.
Another essential form of special event marketing is the Fete flyer, which is generally letterbox dropped a week before the big day. Great for community advertising, the Fete Flyer is also useful for promoting sponsors.
Approach local printers offering sponsorship advertising in lieu of discounts on printing. Flyers can be distributed by professional Letterbox Distribution companies, or by handing out to parents at the school. If distribution companies are used, ensure the flyers are dropped off early enough so that they are distributed as a single item. If left to the last minute, the flyers will need to be bundled with other leaflets, which is not as effective.
On average, around 5,000 Fete Flyers are distributed in the surrounding suburbs. Print another 500 or so, which can be left with Stalls on the day. A Site Plan on the Flyer will help the public find their way around the Fete.
Professionally designed, the Fete flyer will cover all aspects of our Marketing program. A typical Flyer format features the following:
- Page 1: Date, time, location, theme, website link plus major Sponsors.
- Page 2: Main features such as Entertainment, Stalls, Activities and Rides.
- Page 3: Site Plan or Entertainment Program.
- Page 4: Sponsors.
A Fete Facebook page is a wonderful tool for "spreading the word". Facebook enables people to communicate easily via the internet to share information and resources. By having all Committee members, Volunteers, Performers, Entertainers, Stall Holders and external suppliers linked to the Facebook page, information can be made available to all interested parties quickly and efficiently.
A Facebook page is ideal for the sharing of fresh information, notices and requests. New Sponsors can be announced with notes of appreciation.
Consider having a smaller "private" Facebook page just for the Coordinators and volunteers. This can become a Fete chatroom.
Once the public becomes interested in your event, we need an accessible source of current Fete information - The Stalls, Activities, Entertainment, Performances etc. Unfortunately, the Facebook page is of little use when it comes to maintaining basic information (What, Why & Who), as each new notice pushes older notices further down the page to the point where people won't scroll that far.
The Fete website is the most effective method of providing the general public with all relevant Fete information, in a readily accessible format...including the promotion of sponsors.
The event website is today what the special event brochure was a generation ago; a place to provide information, create interest, entice people to attend, promote sponsors and buy Ride Passes.
The best websites allow people to find out everything they need to know about the event - who, what, where, when, why and who.
As most people are now visiting websites on mobile devices, and do not like navigating from page to page, "One Page" Special Event websites are becoming extremely popular.
Whilst there's no reason why a multiple page website cannot be designed, the majority of visitors to the website will use the Home Page only.
On the Home Page, include Fete details such as:
- Location, date and time
- List of Stalls and Activities
- List of Food and Drinks
- List of amusement rides and attractions
- Entertainment Program download
- Link to Ride Pass purchase
- Facebook Feed/Link
- Contact Details
- Sponsor details and links
Many special event websites have a separate Sponsor's Page, which is simply a waste of space, as very few website visitors will ever bother to go there.
Just like Television advertising, Sponsor logos need to be put "in the face" of the visitor - on the Home Page next to the main content. This is best accomplished by having the main website information in the centre of the Home Page, with the Sponsor logos in a sidebar to the right of the screen.
Here are a links to a few of well-designed Fete & Fair websites that may be worth having a look at:
It is preferable to have a website developed in the early stages of your event planning. As soon as you have an event name and date, place a static display page on the site with a note "additional information posted soon". Ensure that the critical information is entered as soon as possible and is updated on a regular basis.
The Fete website is the ultimate source of information about your event, and can be linked to the School & Fete Facebook page, School website, other School websites, and online special event directories. The website URL can also be featured on your Fete posters and Flyers. Professionally designed, the website will appear prominately on Google searches for your Fete.
Online Special Event Directories
As society gradually moves from print to digital news media, online special event websites have become the main source of information relating to community and lifestyle special events. The fetesfairsandfestivals website is one of Australia's leading special event directories. Advertising on this website is free-of-charge, and maximises attendance by showcasing your special event to thousands of online searches every week. By listing your event well before the selected date, other event organisers are soon informed, which reduces the chance of two or more events clashing in the same area on the same day.
Customised outdoor vinyl banners have become very affordable, and are available online from companies such as vistaprint.
Positioned well on major arterial roads, banners are an effective way of providing the community with basic information about your event. Council Applications are generally required.
Posters, Radio and Newspapers
There's bound to be a Graphic Artist amongst the school community, who should be prepared to donate an hour or two of their time, in designing a professionally looking Fete Poster.
Ask local schools if Fete Posters can be displayed on their noticeboards. Many Community and Shopping Centres also have Noticeboards. Contact their managers and ask for permission to display one of your posters. If they are a sponsor, ensure the Posters acknowledge their support.
Digital copies can also be featured on the School website, School newsletter, Fete newsletter, Fete website, Fete facebook page, and other school websites/newsletters in your area.
Local newspapers offer free advertising for non-profit events. They may even insert a school Fete flyer in their weekly newspaper. Radio stations run free community billboards promoting non-profit fundraising events. Some radio stations have mobile promotional vehicles or they may even be able to broadcast from the event.
Do you have a parent at the school who is a Journalist? Works for the local newspaper? Is a Celebrity or Sports Star? High profile Celebrities & Sport Stars are great drawcards, as they are admired by children, who would love to the see them in person.