Event Promotion

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Planning

Note: This page is focused on all the ways you can promote events. For event management information, such as room reservations, catering, etc., please refer to Campus & Community Engagement Event Planning.

In order to determine what level of promotion is appropriate, consider these questions:

  1. Who is your audience? Is this event open to the public, the Cornell community, or a restricted group? Will the subject matter be of interest to a broad audience or only people in a particular field?
  2. Is this considered a marquee event for your department/program for the semester?
  3. Do you have a budget for promotion? Is your budget large enough to include designs for posters and digital screens, radio spots and/or social media advertising?
  4. How much time do you have to promote the event? (The more time you have to plan, the more promotional opportunities exist.)
  5. What are your cross-promotional opportunities? What departments/programs/organizations are co-sponsoring the event? Are there student or community organizations that would find this event of interest?

After answering these questions, use the checklist below (items in bold should not be skipped).

Checklist

  1. Add your event to the University Events Calendar, using the Event Description Template below. 
  2. Send out targeted emails, using a compelling subject line. Cross-promote with co-sponsors, student and community organizations, and appropriate listservs
  3. Create a Facebook event, with a link to the University Events Calendar listing, for best effect. Ask co-sponsors, student and community organizations to promote the Facebook event.
  4. Promote on other social media channels (LinkedIn, if targeting alumni; Instagram, if targeting students)
  5. Provide faculty with a PowerPoint slide to use in relevant classes; ask them to consider giving credit for event attendance.
  6. For marquee/major public events:
    • Alert Linda Glaser as early as possible and not less than 3 weeks before the event.
    • Submit event to the Cornell Chronicle (ideally, in consultation with Linda).
    • If appropriate, send press release to local media 2 weeks before the event, the timeline typically required for calendar items – consult with Linda if this is not part of your normal routine.
    • Send the Facebook event link to Kathy Hovis for consideration of promotion on A&S Facebook page.
    • Send a digital screen to Scott Haber for consideration to be posted on the screens in Klarman Hall & Goldwin Smith. (See Digital Screens, below, for details.) Consider sharing via CUView's Digital Well for other screens across campus.
    • Create a poster. (See Poster section, below, for details.) Quarter cards can be created as well. Consider engaging with Student Agencies Campus Promotions for broad poster distribution on and off campus.
    • Consider paid ads: Google Adwords, Facebook ads, local radio spots, print media advertising (Cornell Daily Sun, Ithaca Times, Ithaca Journal, etc.)
    • Use sidewalk chalk around Ho Plaza and other major thoroughfares.

Event Description Template

The following template can be used for the description within the University events calendar, as well as the basis for a press release or pre-write of your event. If an Arts & Sciences or Cornell Chronicle writer is unable to draft the press release or pre-write, this template can be used as a basis for a story that can run on the A&S and relevant department websites to help promote the event. Please contact Linda Glaser with questions. 

  1. Headline – Event name
  2. A compelling lead sentence. Generate some excitement! 
  3. Give us the details. Date, time, where, cost, registration, etc.
  4. Why anyone would want to attend. What’s in it for attendees? This is often a quote from the organizer, or a statement about why the topic is important. 
  5. Biography of who will be participating or additional background on the event (emphasize the human/academic interest). 
  6. Sponsors of the event.
  7. Photos or video – this will make your event much more compelling and increase the likelihood it will be noticed.
  8. Website links.
  9. CASCAL tag and department/program tag in University Events Calendar post.

See examples of lead sentences, details, etc. 

University Events Calendar

The University Events Calendar is the central repository for all Cornell events happening on campus.  This is the first place you go to enter event information and build an event page that you can promote via various channels.

Become an Administrator

As an administrator you have access to extra fields that allow you to tag and filter events. Contact calendar@cornell.edu and ask for "Administrator Rights.” 

Create an event

  • Follow the Template for Event Descriptions, above, for all events.
  • Post as early as possible, even if it is just the topic of the event and the date/time – this will help others plan events that don’t conflict with yours.
  • The more details you provide, the more searchable and appealing the event becomes.

When adding events pay attention to these details: 

  • Keep event titles short enough that they can display fully on various channels. What you type in the “Name” field is what shows up on public lists. 
  • Make sure the map shows up by filling in the address line. For some locations it will show up automatically if you indicate the building, but if it doesn't, add an address.
  • Add Images. It is relatively easy to add images and it will help your event stand out in the long daily lists.
  •  For all the descriptive fields, multiple items can be selected. You add them one at a time. For example, if an event is relevant to multiple departments, select all of that apply. 
  • Adding urls, twitter hashtags and references to facebook pages will help promote your event.
  • Promote the link to your calendar event through your website and social media. People can add these events to their calendars and be sent reminders if they RSVP through the calendar site, which can promote attendance.

Using keywords and tags

  • Use the keyword field to help filter your entries. These words are used to create filtered lists and they are not visible to the public. For example, the Department of Philosophy might add the keyword calphil to create the unique listing on their webpage; “calphil” is used as opposed to “philosophy” which could be used by anyone to describe anything related to that topic. 
  • Important keywords: 
    • “cascal” for the Arts and Sciences event calendar (six at a time appear on the A&S website on "The College" page)
    • CUL for events taking place at, or co-sponsored by, a university library
  • Use the tag field to help people find your event. It is visible to the public and, of course, searchable. If your event is relevant to philosophy, classics, archaeology and Greek, add all those words. 
  • You can add tags and keywords to other people's entries. Just be careful not to erase anything that is already there.

Data entry tips

  • If you have a yearly event, make it easy on yourself by creating the event once and adding a new date each year. You can update any details at the same time.
  • “Copy” events to make data entry easy, especially if much of the information is the same such as would happen in a colloquium series.
  • If you already have a calendar system or database and you want to bulk upload items, the calendar team can facilitate that. Contact: calendar@cornell.edu.

For help with any Localist issue, contact: calendar@cornell.edu.

Digital Screens

The A&S Communications Office manages digital screens in Klarman Hall and Goldwin Smith Hall. Digital screens in other A&S buildings are managed by representatives from those departments. Email Scott Haber if you need a contact for a digital screen in a building other than Klarman or Goldwin Smith.

Digital screen promotions for display in Klarman Hall/Goldwin Smith should meet the following technical specs:

  • PNG or JPG file
  • 16x9 aspect ratio
  • Minimum 1000 pixels wide
  • Vertical/portrait-orientation posters will not be displayed. Please contact Scott if you need held converting from vertical to horizontal orientation.

General Guidelines for Digital Screen Promotion in Klarman and Goldwin Smith Hall:

  • Due to the high volume of screen content during the academic year, priority is given to events taking place in Klarman or Goldwin Smith along with events taking place elsewhere that are being organized/sponsored by A&S departments and programs.
  • This guideline is relaxed during "less busy" times of year, (e.g. over winter and summer breaks).
  • Screens for events that do not meet the criteria described in the first bullet point will be considered for promotion if the event will be of interest or relevance to A&S students. Contact Scott Haber if you're unsure if your event fits this description
  • Submissions to promote individual courses will not be accepted, but if a department or academic unit has a series of upcoming courses they'd like to feature at the start of the semester, we can help you put together a slide to promote that grouping.
  • Submissions from student organizations or clubs will be considered only if an A&S department or program is co-sponsoring the event.
  • The large screen in the Klarman atrium will be reserved for "marquee-level" or featured events. Not all slides/posters submitted for promotion will be featured on the "big screen".
  • A&S Communications reserves the right to make final editorial/curatorial decisions about placement of promotional content on the screens in Klarman and Goldwin Smith.
  • Generally, digital screen promotions will run for two weeks prior to your event and through the event time (and at least an hour or two afterward). If you want to request a different schedule, please contact Scott.

Postering

Even in this age of virtual everything, posters can still be a great way to get the word out about your events across campus.

For questions about appropriate design and branding, please consult Laura Chichisan; another good resource is the university’s branding site.

Poster tips

  • Print out your poster or flier and put posters on the wall. Walk by and see what you can read.
  • Make the what, where and when stand out for people in posters. They’ll probably remember “fireworks during homecoming,” then go to google to get the details.
  • Fliers and quartercards can have more type and be smaller because people will spend more time with those in their hands.
  • Be careful to use only 1-2 fonts on a piece or it will become harder to read.
  • Some fonts look great as headlines, but aren’t readable when used in a paragraph of small text. Print things out and take a look.
  • Choose photos carefully.
  • Using a font color that’s the same as a highlight color in the photo can make the design look more polished.
  • Cornell's Brand Center is available to tackle some projects, although they are a busy shop and do charge for their services. They can also be called on to consult for FREE on branding/design questions. To ask about a marketing project, visit the Brand Center
  • If you want to hire a designer for a special project, the Communications office also has a list of graphic designers, some who can create posters for around $150 or less. Contact Tricia Barry if interested (tmr82).

Poster size guidelines for digital platforms:

  • For email distribution/powerpoint slides: 4x3 aspect ratio (landscape format); 1024x768 pixels is ideal.
  • For tweets: 2x1 aspect ratio (landscape format); 800x400 pixels is ideal.

Where to post?

Depending on your time and the scope of your event, you may want to hang posters only on campus or throughout the Ithaca community.

You can send electronic copies to:

  • All A&S department chairs
  • All A&S department managers

Physical posters should go to:

  • Residence halls. Check with the Campus & Community Engagement website for specific information, but remember posters need to be submitted at least seven days in advance and the posters must contain the name of the sponsoring organization and contact information such as website, email or phone number. 

On campus, we poster anywhere permitted in the following buildings and floors:

  • Uris Hall (floors 1-4)
  • Cornell Store (give to front desk)
  • Olin Library (deliver to circulation or reference desk)
  • Uris Library
  • Mallott (all floors)
  • McGraw (all floors)
  • White (1st floor)
  • Johnson Museum (give to desk attendant)
  • Tjaden (1st and 2nd floor)
  • Sibley (1st floor)
  • Rand (1st floor)
  • Lincoln (1st floor only)
  • Goldwin Smith (all floors)
  • Rockefeller (1st and 3rd floors)
  • A.D. White House (1st and 2nd floors)
  • Schwartz Center
  • Africana

Off-campus:

  • Collegetown: CTB, banks, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, other restaurants on Dryden Road and Eddy Street, GreenStar, Jason’s, The Nine’s, Ruloff’s, Hai Hong, Asian Noodle House, Plum Tree, bulletin board in apt. buildings
  • Tompkins County Public Library
  • Buffalo Street Books
  • Tops
  • Greenstar and Oasis
  • Ithaca College
  • GreenStar West End

Timing

Residence hall posters must be approved at least seven days before event, but you might want to wait until 3-4 days before the event for the busiest campus buildings (event on Friday, poster on Monday or Tuesday) because they get covered over. On boards that aren't as busy, get them up at least a week before the event.

Need help with postering?

Hire a student worker or check in with Campus Promotions within Student Agencies ($80-$280 for campus postering, depending on where you want them to cover) 

Photography

We have a list of freelance photographers if you need to hire someone for an event or story. Reach out to Scott Haber at sah67@cornell.edu for recommendations.

University Photo is no longer uploading all of its photos to the Widen Collective, but we as a college are uploading all of our photos so they should still be accessible to all of you. We also encourage you to upload files to Widen from any shoots that you book yourself so that they can be accessed by others in the college. If you need help getting upload access on Widen, please contact Carrie Sanzone at cms92@cornell.edu.

The communications staff and college officials are working to put together a policy on how we deal with permissions for photography/video. In the meantime, if you’re concerned about student permission, here is a standard release form that you can use for photos and video.