You have an event coming up and it’s going to be awesome. The venue’s spectacular, the line up is a killer, and you’re confident it’s going to blow everyone’s socks off. There’s only one problem – you haven’t thought about how you’re going to market it, and worst of all you don’t have the first clue about finding or using professional design tools.
If this sounds like you, don’t panic. In this article, I’ll walk you through your options on how to design world-class event marketing materials without having any knowledge of professional design tools.
The Importance Of Event Marketing
You can plan the best event in the world. But if no one knows about the event, then it’s probably not going to be the best event in the world.
So what do you do? You market it. However, with so many different options for marketing your event, you may feel overwhelmed – and this overwhelming feeling will only compound if you don’t have any knowledge of designing the marketing materials.
You can market your event on social media, in-person to locals by handing out print materials such as flyers, to an existing audience through email campaigns, or a variety of other ways that all require nailing that first impression. A great way to make a positive first impression and to ensure that your event comes off professionally is through beautifully designed marketing materials.
So you boot up your computer, open Microsoft Paint and … hopefully, wake up from the nightmare of your only option being Microsoft Paint.
What are your options?
Do It Yourself
If your budget is low, you might consider creating the marketing materials yourself. While this is inadvisable if you do not have any professional design experience, there are many tools today that allow non-designers to create eye-catching marketing materials.
One great tool I’d recommend is Canva’s drag-and-drop feature to create print materials and social media designs. Canva has a free version that allows you to create design materials within minutes.
At this point, you may be asking yourself why I don’t recommend creating design materials if you don’t have any design knowledge. The answer is because while the designs you create may look great to you, a professionally trained design has the knowledge and experience to determine how the target audience will perceive the designs.
While good design can be perceived as art, the art of creating good design is actually more of a science. Everything from the color choices, fonts, placement of each individual component of the design, the style selected, the information included (or not included) and much more is carefully considered by the professional – and most likely overlooked by non-professionals.
Sure, you may very well be able to create an amazing design that effectively markets your event on your own. But more likely than not, a professional will be able to do a much better job and create a design that more effectively markets your event.
Purchase A Template
Another option for a low budget is to purchase a template. By starting with a template created by a professional designer, you can ensure that the design follows good design practices. At most online template marketplaces, you’ll be able to view ratings and reviews of the templates, increasing your confidence in your purchase. Some marketplaces have such a large selection of templates that you’ll likely be able to find a template that is similar to the type of event you are planning.
Of course, if you do purchase a template, you’ll need to make some edits before you use it for your event. Unfortunately in most cases, it won’t be as easy as simply opening the file and editing it to your liking. For some templates, such as social media, you may be able to open them through a tool like Canva to make your edits, but for some others, you may need to use a paid Adobe product or free alternative to make your changes, and these may not be so simple to use.
If you purchase a template, it may still be in your best interest to work with a professional designer to make sure the template is edited in a way that will work well for your event.
Hire A Designer
If you don’t know how to draft a legal document, you hire a lawyer. Similarly, if you don’t know how to design world-class event marketing materials, it’s a good idea to work with a professional. Today, getting in contact with a designer is as easy as going to Google and searching for a designer.
With the ability to work with designers from across the world brings the opportunity to make almost any budget work. Of course, as with anything online, you’ll have thousands of choices. How do you know if the designer you’re considering working with is as good as they say they are, or will result in a satisfactory experience?
Fortunately, platforms such as Freelancer allow you to solicit bids from hundreds of designers and pick the one whose experience, design portfolio, and ratings best match what you’re looking for. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for in a designer, I would suggest only proceeding with designers who have portfolios with examples of work similar to the designs you’ll need to be created for your event. Ideally, they will have experience creating marketing materials for multiple events, and will also be able to provide you with information on how the events turned out.
You’ll want the designers you’re considering, to share insight into their design process, specifically on how exactly they will create an output that will receive a positive response by your event’s target audience and on how they will ensure your satisfaction. Of course, many freelancers who charge low prices may not find it worth their time to go into such detail with you, so if you do go this route, it’s good to consider more than just the price when selecting a designer.
Work With A Professional Design Service
In the above 3 solutions, you’ll need to be very hands-on with the entire process of creating the marketing materials, and for some, this may even be preferred. However, for those whose budget allows, and who highly value their time and are seeking beautifully designed marketing materials, it’s often best to work with professional design service.
In the past, this meant working with a design agency, which could mean shelling out thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the traditional design agency may be good for those with huge budgets, it most likely will not make sense for most.
Thankfully there are now many more options out there, including flat rate professional design subscription services that allow you to work with professional designers without having to worry about the hassle of finding and working with a potentially unfit designer.
If you’re not a design professional or don’t have any knowledge of professional design tools and want your event to be a success, it’s best to work with a design professional or professional service. However, if your budget doesn’t allow for this, there are still many user-friendly and easy to use design tools that will make your event marketing materials stand out.