10 Ways to Promote Your Science Engagement Activity

By: Noha Rahhal


As an event organizer or a science exhibition curator, getting a considerable amount of attendance at your event/show is a key indicator of your event’s success. You have to get the buzz going for your event, or in today’s lingo, you have to be on the trend radar to ensure that your hard work does not go astray, but rather gets appreciated and seen by the right and considerable audience. This is where “promoting” your event plays a crucial role in your activity’s success; not just that, promotion would put it on the map for potential sponsorships and endorsements.

Event promotion is a group of activities that you carry out as an event planner/organizer to create awareness about the event you are creating, whether it is a science exhibition, art gallery, gala dinner, symposium, or even a low-profile book club.


How to Kick-Start Your Event Promotion Journey?

If you google tools through which you can promote an event, you will get a zillion number of ideas and suggestions that may seem plausible, yet can be overwhelming. You might end up thinking about where to begin, or even worse, you might start with some random activities that will either work out for your purpose or simply become a lesson to be learned.

Before getting your hands dirty with launching a glossy promotional campaign, define your target audience. Demographic information such as gender, age, and location, comes in handy. It helps you understand where your future attendees are, and how you can reach them.

A case in point is a science exhibition aiming at young adults aged 14-17 years old, who are located in your city. Having this kind of basic understanding can direct you towards investing in a social media campaign that relies heavily on the use of creative visuals accompanied by friendly messages with a casual tone. On the other hand, if you are planning a scientific symposium targeting science scholars and university professors from all across the country, you may use more traditional methods, such as direct communication emails, or even printed ads in science magazines/periodicals.

Here are ten ways through which you can promote your upcoming science engagement activity:


1. Create Awareness

Let us assume that the final details of your activity have been defined. You are now working according to a fixed plan with an event title, written objectives, date, time, rough agenda, and an attractive list of expert speakers/exhibitors. The next step would be to create awareness about this event.

Establishing a page on your institution’s website with all the info you have would be a great starting point. In this way, visitors crawling into your website would have an idea about your upcoming updates and activities. You may even go as far as creating a whole separate website or mobile application for the event. However, this may depend on the set budget, frequency of the event (whether it is an annual event or a one-off roadshow), and the complexity of the event, especially if you will bring over multiple partners and sponsors, or dedicate more space to the content related to the event itself. Moreover, you can look for local or regional event listing websites that fit into the event genre and ask the moderators to publicize your event on their channels.



2. Smooth Registration

Whether the science exhibition you are planning allows free entry, entails tickets, or even requires a prior application form for registration, you will need to bear in mind that this might be the first impression future visitors get about the event. That is why, you will have to mention full details about how interested guests can register, or even if no registration is needed altogether.

Double-check the accessibility and functionality of each step. Does the registration form work properly? Is the payment method for tickets secured and reliable? If the registration process can be seen as quite complicated, you may need to consider creating a tutorial to be circulated on different channels. Remember the easier the registration process is, the more potential visitors you will get.


3. Pre-Event Communication

Creating a buzz prior to the event is a continuous activity that will require a great deal of planning, scheduling, drafting, and publishing. Thus, having a media plan with a list of activities, their dates, and assigned roles will help ensure thorough implementation. During this phase, you may need to consider activities such as press releases to be circulated on your channels or among relevant publications.



4. Email Marketing

Email newsletters are considered to be one of the most effective tools with a solid Return on Investment (ROI). For a reasonable price tag, you can achieve a sizeable outreach to your potential visitors.

Luckily, there are a dozen reliable online tools that can help you create email marketing campaigns where you can select the layout, customize the design, colors, and fonts, insert your content easily, and send out to thousands of email contacts you have. You can schedule the newsletters beforehand with an option to run multiple tests before the newsletter goes public, to see how it would look in the recipients’ inbox. Creating a whole campaign with several emails going out periodically can help build momentum for the event.


5. Social Media Campaigning

It is no secret that social media is an indispensable tool when it comes to marketing or promotions. Over the years, social media channels have tremendously evolved to suit human needs in all life aspects. Whether you would publicize the science exhibition through a Facebook event, create a YouTube video about the event itself, or send an Instagram Influencer a VIP invitation to the event, there is a whole array of options presented to you. It all depends on the set goals, target audience, demographics, and the event budget.



6. Creative Content

Content plays an integral part in any media campaign. You may spend thousands or even millions on a campaign; however, you may discover that engagement levels and ROI are not up to your expectations/objectives. That is why having a creative content calendar is a serious necessity for the success of your event promotional campaign.

Brainstorm with your team about the best content you can offer, or even benchmark on other successful science engagement activities with groundbreaking content. Of course, the content type depends on multiple factors, such as the communication channels, objectives, and target segments, yet creativity has no limits. You will definitely need to tailor the content, in terms of tone, language, topics, and formality, according to each channel, yet you need to remember to include catchy phrases, simple and easy-to-grasp language, attractive visuals, and informative data. 


7. Competitions and Contests

To drive traffic and engagement, increase social media followers, and attract more potential visitors for the upcoming event, you may need to create social media contests and giveaways. Remember, everybody wants to be a winner. Once you start announcing a giveaway where people can get either free tickets or branded gifts from the event, you can guarantee high engagement levels. However, you will need to carefully plan such promotional activities to ensure credibility and objectivity, as a giveaway gone rogue can turn into a controversy that may overshadow the event itself.


8. Partnerships

“If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”̶African Proverb. It is always a good idea to partner up with other scientific institutions or individuals who either work in the same field or are interested in the topic of discussion at your science engagement activity. Partnerships can vary from publicizing event details through another institution’s network to participating in the form of scientific papers, panel talks, and exhibitions.



9. Sponsorships

Sponsorships are a niche type of partnership that focuses mainly on enhancing the financial budget along with the visibility of the science engagement activity. You can read “Need to Sponsor Your Next Science Exhibition? Here is How…” here.


10. Freebies

Have you recently used an upcycled tote bag or an engraved pen from a previous event that you attended before? It is always refreshing when you get a corporate or promotional gift that is of aesthetic value and great usability.

If you have a room in the event budget, try to work on some freebies that visitors can get during the science engagement activity. Just remember to be thoughtful when choosing the proper giveaways. You can opt for branded freebies that relate to the event theme. In this way, you can guarantee that your visitors will not only recall the event, but the logo and name of the science engagement activity will be disseminated in a useful way transcending time limits.