University Communications
Event Strategy and Management

Promoting Your Event

Now that you have planned your event, make sure your audience knows about it, including how and when to attend.

Did you forget something? It's important that producing your event includes planning for how to ensure participation from your desired audiences. Our helpful tips can guide you to effective promotion of your event to your audiences.

Document the Details

Conveying accurate and full event information to your participants is at the heart of strong event communications. Gather as much information as possible about your event, and keep those details in a single document. Details often change and evolve as the event nears, but if you ask the right questions and keep the answers in one place, your communications will be accurate and consistent, and you’ll avoid unnecessary errors or confusion.

Questions to Ask

Before promoting an event, you should know the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the event?
  • What University event policies should be reviewed to realize the goals of the event?
  • What is the content of the event activity/program?
  • Who is your audience and what expectations do you have for them? (Do they need to register, get a ticket, submit questions in advance, etc.?)
  • What is the title of the event, and how should it be styled in promotional materials (quotes, capitalization, etc.)?
  • Who is sponsoring or co-sponsoring the event, and how should their logo or information appear in materials?
  • What are the preferred names and titles of any speakers or individuals featured?
  • Who is managing image permissions (signed releases to use images of speakers and/or participants) and the required speaker agreements (securing in writing the mutually agreed-to terms of speaking engagements)?
  • When and where is the event?
  • How does someone register for the event, and when is the deadline to do so?
  • What health, safety or security requirements are in place for the event, including any security for high-profile guests (e.g., will bags be checked)?
  • Who will be the contact person for guest accommodations such as accessibility, dietary needs, etc.?
  • Who needs to review and sign off on any promotional materials?
  • Is this event going to be featured afterward, through photographs, video or otherwise?

Your source document should also list all promotional channels you plan to use, ensuring that consistent language is used throughout. When developing content for promotional materials, keep in mind that the University generally follows Associated Press (AP) Style for all marketing content, with some Brown-specific guidelines included in the University’s Editorial Style Guide.

Consider Your Marketing Options

At Brown, you can take advantage of a wide variety of communications options to promote your event, from digital signage and posts on social media channels, to event calendar listings outreach to news media. Consider which options will best reach your audiences and serve your event goals.

Below are some of the primary options available to members of the Brown University community. When planning communications, make sure to check for necessary permissions to use images, logos and other materials requiring rights or approvals, and review the relevant University event policies.

Events@Brown is the online calendar system for promoting events hosted across the University. If your event is hosted by a department that already has its own calendar, and you have administrative access to it, you can log in using your to submit the event.

Faculty, staff and student organizations without an existing calendar can submit University-related events to Events@Brown via the general submission form. Prior to submitting an event, check the calendar first to make sure the item has not already been submitted.

One of the best ways to communicate with the Brown community is through the Today@Brown daily digest. Submit your message to Today@Brown via the online form and select the appropriate audience.

Please note: To submit your event to Today@Brown, it must first be submitted and published to Events@Brown. Also, if you want your message to appear in a particular morning digest, you must submit your message no later than 3 p.m. the previous day.

When preparing to submit an event to Today@Brown, make sure to have the following ready:

  • A contact name and email address
  • An interesting but short subject line, no more than 50 characters
  • Your message, proofread and clear of formatting (only the first 100 words will appear in the email; readers will click through to see the full message)
  • A link to where readers can learn more

In addition to posting about your event on a group, department or other organizational social media account — such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube — you can submit an event to be included in the University’s weekly Events at Brown Instagram story, posted every Monday on the University’s umbrella channel.

Social media guidelines and best practices

Brown’s Office of Information Technology manages digital signs located throughout campus. Preparing information about your event to post to these signs is a great way to share news of your event widely. Learn more, including how to request, design and submit a sign, on the OIT Service Center digital signage page. Please remember that all signs should follow Brown's visual identity policy.

Many departments and other groups on campus send out regular newsletters. Consider providing concise but detailed language about your event, or sharing a promotional graphic, to newsletters that serve your audience.

Other ways to promote your event include:

  • Posters
  • Sandwich Boards
  • Information tables and table slips
  • Brown Daily Herald advertisements
  • News media outreach

The Office of University Communications offers many resources to help you promote your event. When you start a project with OUC, our team will help you navigate the promotional best options for your goals and budget.

Start a project with OUC

Maintain Responsibility for Publicity

If there is a desire to advertise or promote an event, it is the responsibility of the hosting University department and/or student organization to manage the marketing. If you are partnering with outside organizations, please be clear that outside groups must receive express written permission from Brown to advertise any event on Brown's campus, in accordance with the Brown University Name Use policy.

Responsibility to manage marketing applies to all forms of promotion, including banners, posters, table slips, flyers, websites, signage, chalking, social networking websites, media outreach and any other promotional materials or activities.

Student groups that have questions about these policies should contact the Student Activities Office.

Community Standards

Groups and individuals are encouraged to consider the impact their promotional materials may have on the quality of the Brown environment for others. Sponsor contact information is required on all promotional materials to provide a means for dialogue in the event that members of the community wish to express any concerns or share their reactions. Part of the responsibility that comes with disseminating promotional materials is the willingness to engage in dialogue with individuals who may have a different perspective.