Workshop 11: Successful Author Events
When you team up an expert in the retail events arena with an authority on social media, the result can’t be anything but powerful. Such was the case with the two-hour ACFW conference workshop , Successful Author Events, which taught authors how to have a successful event from a dual point-of-view. During the workshop Suzanne Kuhn, also known as SuzyQ, discussed in-person events, and Rusty Shelton presented tips on virtual author events.
Suzy discussed ways to maximize interaction, advising that you give each person their “5 minutes of fame.”
- Take a picture with each one, and make certain YOU are in the picture.
- Share your plans to post the pictures on Facebook and ask them to tag themselves and post a comment or two.
- Make eye contact.
- Take pictures of any staff involved in your event.
- When posting to social media sites, tag the venue, yourself, your page, and if possible, the individuals in the pictures. Be sure to have the consent of the individual before posting pictures publically.
- Always use a finepoint Sharpie, as ballpoint pen signatures fades. Have at least one extra on hand.
Outside of the event, Suzy had other great tips to increase the overall success of the event by doing some legwork beforehand.
- Make social media a part of your daily activities. Spend 10-15 minutes each day, 5 days a week.
- Be consistent, so your followers can know what to expect.
- Search for the event venue (location) and “like” their page or “follow” them. Begin to interact with them, and show them you appreciate all they’re doing to promote literature and connect readers with books.
Even if your only attendees are chirping crickets and the staff, consider the event an opportunity to minister, and bless the staff. These tips will help keep your books in stock and increase the likelihood of having your books hand-sold by the staff.
When holding a virtual event, Rusty Shelton offered several tips.
- Set a hash-tag for your event that everyone can follow, and communicate it in all promotions/publicity beforehand.
- Encourage retweets to help spread the word.
- Be concise in your answers. Remember, you only have 140 characters. Don’t let them go to waste.
- Provide clear instructions on where the activity is taking place.
- Create an event and send out invites.
- Keep it public and allow invitees to invite their friends. Let them spread the word for you.
For any virtual event
- Encourage participation with questions and comments.
- Remind attendees to refresh their page to stay current.
- Offer giveaways at regular intervals.
- Enlist the help of a friend or two to keep track of giveaway winners.
- Recap the event afterward on all social media outlets, thanking everyone for coming.
Red carpet image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Social media image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net