Artfully Attracting Audiences
These must be totally outstanding; bright, high quality, modern in design and eye catching.The font, imagery and content has to be in tune with what teenagers and the youth love and are attracted to in today’s age and time, for example a Snapchat type design forged with your theme and content. Try to avail the services of a professional designer if you have the funds, otherwise find the best among your friends and family or acquaintances.
For any event you need to discuss and plan first. From the theme and ideas to how things will be executed to who will do what to the decor and to inviting and engaging audiences, you need to have a trusted and a creative brainstorming team. Have a brainstorming session for event planning before launching yourself into event management. Think of all the different ways to ‘bring a human being to a certain venue’. In all your planning always “think outside the box”.
DO A LITTLE MORE THAN THE USUAL
Don’t let the excitement fade by sticking to the ‘standard practice’ or taking the regular course of advertisement. Be passionate and create a Facebook events page, make and share posters online and around the venue , write up a cool catchy caption that says a lot in less, create an invite friends button option and USE IT! use Instagram and Whatsapp images, tweet about it etc. In short make it go viral. Your event should be a #trend on social media. However, don’t forget the old school ways of SMS and email adverts. The key differentiator that could increase attendance to your event is giving time to tedious calls and messages. I would highly recommend that you recruit and motivate around 3 sisters and 3 brothers and their sole job in this whole enterprise should be to call people and motivate them to attend the event. Most organisations just rely on posters and HOPE people would attend. Let’s do a little more than just hope!!
When using the Facebook, Whatsapp or SMS style of making people aware and getting your event noticed, you should take your time (depends on your time, deadlines etc) to first send ‘Salaam bro’ then await response. The following message shoud be “How are you?, how’s family?” and then send the forward caption and event poster.
If you can; time permitting and based on the commitment of the team, go to people’s houses and invite them personally, the ‘VIP’ invite will really hit them and they will feel compelled to come. The project head or event manager and deputy head should look at their resources, see how many cars they have, see fuel expenses, draw out a rough map or area you’d like to target and then plan ways to invite people, for example if there’s an event in Karachi, which teens and areas you’d like to draw from? Clifton or Defense? Or if it’s London, look at Croydon? Majority Muslim houses. Decide which doors you want to knock on and then assign duties to your team members to share with them an invitation card, like the ones you get for weddings or parties or distribute flyers in public places like parks or shopping malls or even colleges.
This is a big seller. Arrange stalls around the venue and set up treat for your guests. Don’t always go for the typical Chicken Biryani/Samosas. Be different, Look at other world cuisines. We held an event in my local town and we served Moroccan Mint Tea, Black Forest Gateau and Finger Foods with a variety of exotic sauces. Push this, make it Free! DON’T FORGET TO ADVERTISE IT! You can draw lots of youth in the excitement of FREE FOOD or just FOOD (depending on your funds) to your events!
PAID FOR? OR FREE?
Both paid and free events have their advantages and disadvantages. Paid events give the impression that this is an exclusive event and something very special will happen. Perhaps it’s an expensive venue and you can arrange for a more VIP event for your audience, we know a lot more can be added if we have the funds for it, but, the downside is that not everyone can afford it. You can expect more audience and from all classes of society If it is a free event, but, then the impression could be that it’s not that exclusive, and it also allows for that last minute excuse that, “I haven’t bought a ticket so why should I go? Let’s forget about it!”. In this day and age our youth are extremely fickle! They’ll have a million reasons to not attend and they see very few incentives to attend! Especially when it comes to Islamic events.
Use Hikmah and try and advertise it as an open and as less Islamic event as possible. Especially if you want a diverse crowd. We are competing against a billion dollar music and concerts industry. Why would the youth leave an exciting concert and come to an Islamic lecture? So be creative in the titles. Think of a title that would be crowd puller.
Make the event interactive. This is a must. Add some less typical segments in your event plan for example include a Nasheed Artist, a Spoken Word Poet, share videos, have a quiz, and an extended Q\A at the end. Invite different stalls and brands and don’t just stick to the typical bookshops stalls. Invite, if possible, stalls from professional Counselors, skills offering organizations, an adventure club and so on, for the interest of the youth, so when they come, they’ll be interested and impressed and would want to attend the next event. We are living in a time when families and the youth are drawn towards entertainment. So let’s add some “halal entertainment” to our events.
Offer lifts, pick up and drop offs service. Get someone to sponsor this.
The decor has to be special and cool. Many brothers and sisters have artistic skills, use them. Brainstorm with them and customize the ideas to your event and then advertise the decor to lure in the curious youth.
ENGAGEMENT and COLLABORATION
Have stalls at other events that are taking place before, try the mall.
Call people every three days in the run up to the event. Then SMS. The night before and one last on the morning.
BE WISE, INCENTIVIZE!
Offer a coffee before or after the event, or buy them lunch at a cool place.
Make and share an outstanding promo. This is not hard to do these days with the technology at hand.
RECEPTION CAN AFFECT PERCEPTION:
When receiving guests, have a couple of volunteers to stand at the entrance, and for this choose your best smilers! Someone enthusiastic, very bubbly and outgoing. More than anything, the people will remember this gesture. They would want to come again and again. Think long term.
YOU COME FIRST
Before you begin, take a moment to think and motivate yourself to motivate people. This will naturally and instantly bring the energy and behavior in you which will make the audience interested in your interests.
THEMES AND TOPICS
Go for the most popular and latest interests. Note that it should not be anything political/controversial etc. Look for the coolest things happening in the town, for example, if there is a new cafe in town which people are really crazy about, according to your area of interest either talk about it in your event or you can actually go there and vlog about it. The ideas could vary depending upon the interests of the people. Remember to make it a habit to think according to people’s interests.
For some audiences, series are a very good idea. So instead of a single straight content, let it rather be a series, like an ongoing conversation.
These are just some very brief ideas. The biggest point that the reader could take away is that they should begin to think outside the box and always bring something unique ideas to events. Not just follow the same mundane procedures. As stated in my previous blogs, the biggest point objective of these blogs is to show the readers that the simple ideas put forth are there to be built and improved upon! I don’t mind at all if someone was to re blog this, edit and add ideas and publish elsewhere! If we can improve our tactics of bringing audiences to be reminded of Allah and we could all share in the reward!
This is something really so amazing, got so many ideas for catching or attracting the people. Food stall, the best one actually.
JazakAllahu khairan Sister🌹
May Allah bless you Aameen
Jzk Khayr. * Brother here 😎.
Do share in your groups and with your contacts.