Imaginings' Banner...Jeanne Burrows-Johnson's Imaginings Wordpower & Design Consultation


Attracting business through ads, commercials, and discount programs are key elements in the equation for shaping a successful promotional campaign. But once a client arrives at your door, it is vital to a establish a strong relationship with them. One way to do this is by providing a positive and memorable experience for each person who visits your office, storefront, and/or website...AND through special events at commercial sites, event venues, and even the boss's home. The following list can help you review the effectiveness of your daily operation, as well as your strategic planning for success in branding and promotion. 

The Who, What, When, Where of Promotion...


  • Is the event in harmony with and strengthen your work toward your overall goals? Beyond potential revenue, what is its overall value?

  • Could the event be designed as a neighborhood or inter-organizational project?


  • Check local event calendars to avoid conflict with larger events and those with parallel themes.

  • Paid or volunteer, do you have adequate personnel to operate the event?

  • What appropriate facilities, equipment, and materials are available to you? 

  • Can you afford the event's up-front and overall expenses? Allow for unexpected expenses when setting your budget.

  • Do you have appropriate insurance coverage?


  • Set the date and prepare an Event Planning Calendar with deadlines.

  • Consult with an attorney regarding facility rental, vender or other contracts.

  • Review and/or design operational forms, including staff/volunteer scheduling.


  • Research and design promotional materials referencing other events you may be planning. This includes, but is not limited to fliers, posters, and letters/emails to neighbors, industry colleagues, community leaders. 

  • Remember to excite your base by promoting internally with staff/volunteers, clients/members and other supporters. Offer them discounts for advance enrollment or purchase of tickets and other items...provided this will not undermine interaction with the public.


  •  Invite local, regional, national, or even international celebrity involvement

  • Evaluate your event's newsworthiness for each possible media outlet. Verify their event  calendars, editorial and advertising protocols and deadlines. Generate timely media releases...see samples at Media Release Samples.


The facility you will utilize may offer equipment and other materials that will lessen the strain on your budget and personnel. BUT, never assume that what you see on a walk-through will be present at the time of your event...Create lists/forms to track each area of operational need. 

  • Examine entrances/exits, parking, overall spaces; signage, electrical and sound systems.
  • Consider aspects of the following, which you may need to augment: restrooms, waste disposal, food preparations spaces, appliances, equipment, etc.
  • List even operational supplies ranging from minor items like pens, tape, and name badges to sound and lighting equipment, linens, tables and dishes. 

  • Contact potential vendors, entertainers, special guests about their special needs 

Planning, Executing, Review

Additional Information

You've planned and reviewed many aspects of your event...which may be a repeat of past affairs, or something wholly new. One thing that many organizers overlook is designing the event's layout...let alone attempting some form of dry run. You can actually conduct a practice drill on a large format diagram of the event layout, or at least utilize a dry erase board. This can even become a fun exercise, utilizing chess pieces, or paper cutouts to represent people, equipment, etc. Such a practice will allow you to determine points for: check-in for vendors, staff, performs, and special events; reception area for last-minute gifts, donations, auction items. 

Many things will occur unexpectedly during any event. Some are positive, like the unexpected attendance of of members of the media or the world of entertainment. Others, such as medical emergencies are not so pleasant, but must be planned for. One of the easiest items to overlook is taking photos and making videos. These images, with or without sound, can provide wonderful material for concurrent or future promotion. I think most of you may be aware that many book fairs provide live streaming images of their days' events!



  • Use a survey with a 5-point scale to solicit response from: vendors, performers, staff, media. Remember to include a general comments section to encourage suggestions for future events.  

  • Call or send personalized notes to thank key donors, staff, volunteers, and guests for their participation. Mail general thank you cards to vendors, volunteer core, survey respondents. 

  • Consider special recognition of some participants at future events!  

Tablescape at a book event when I had only Prospect for Murder to offer Tucson mystery readers.

Tablescape at a book event when I had only Prospect for Murder to offer Tucson mystery readers.

 Above is a tablescape I designed for a book the end of the day... 


For more ideas on enhancing promotion, visit:

Branding Strategies

Media Release Samples


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