If you’re responsible for hosting, managing or coordinating a competitive event, many challenges await. We’ve tried to eliminate as many of these obstacles as possible in creating Kompster.com, for you the event coordinator. Let’s face it, event management is no simple task but with Kompster, you no longer have to hire an expensive web designer to create a web site for your event, a web developer to build the site and make it interactive, or an SEO specialist to get decent results in search engines, and then on top of that, research and pay a company to host your website, making sure the site is stable and secure, handling payments and the list goes on.
Not only can all of these things be difficult to coordinate, but it gets damn expensive! Kompster.com makes it easy for you to control and manage your event, yourself, for free with loads of great features that we are continually improving. But enough of the pitch, there are still many great ways to help improve your chances of hosting a successful event whether you end up using Kompster or not.
Here are some of our favorite resources for managing and promoting competitions and events in general. Some of these resources are free, others are paid but they are all useful. We are affiliates of some of these links, but we assure you that we only pass along resources that we truly feel are worth the expense and in fact we use many of these ourselves. Making use of our affiliates, can be a win-win deal, as you many of the links offer special incentives that you would not get in visiting the site by merely entering the address in your browser.
If you know of other resources that you’d like to share, please leave a comment below. Enjoy!
Getting The Word Out
- Word of Mouth: This remains one of the most powerful advertising tools because it comes with a built-in, reliable & credible endorsement. Use your contacts, regular communications, meetings and newsletters to push your event and encourage others to tell their friends and friends of friends.
- Email & Forum Signatures: Put a link in your signature line to help spread the word about your event. It’s free and people will be curious. Simply go into the settings on your email account and add a custom signature.
- Posters & Signage: Local events get amazing results from the use of the old tried and true poster. Make sure you adhere to local policies and ask permission before posting on private bulletin boards. The best areas are where you have the most pedestrian encounters or frequent car stops. Don’t forget to go around after the event and take the signs down as they are your responsibility.
Put Technology to Work
- Get a Domain Name: If you’re planning a large, multi-year event, it can make sense to purchase your own domain name so that it is easy to tell people how to find your website. Domain names can be purchased from many different companies and should run you about $10 bucks a year. Most companies will try to sell you add ons like web hosting, private whois registrations, and auto renew options. You will not need hosting unless you are paying a web company to build a fancy custom website for your event, and even then, that may be part of the project cost.
- Web Hosting: If you’re hosting your event here on Kompster.com, you can simply buy the domain name of your choice and point it to your kompster.com event url. This will allow people to type in www.whatever-name-you-purchased.com to access your event page and you won’t need the monthly expense of building and hosting a custom built site, optimizing it and all the other things that go along with it.
- Email Marketing: Marketing your event through email is a great way to help spread the word about your event however, you should become aware of CAN-SPAM laws and unsolicited mass emails. Email marketing services like MailChimp, offer free campaigns up to around 2,000 emails/month and give you cool looking templates, are compliant with CAN-SPAM laws and are a great way to manage the email campaign for your event. If you use this link to sign up for a new MailChimp account, you’ll get credits to use for paid services.
- Domain.com and GoDaddy are popular domain companies but beware of the add-ons that you may not really need. Use the links above for current promotions to save a little dough.
- Click to Tweet : A simple tool that allows you to create a custom Tweet button for promoting your event on Twitter. The best part is the tool lets you to specify exactly what text will appear when clicked or re-tweeted. Quite cool.
- Bit.ly: the original URL Shortener for squeezing more out of those valuable character limitations. This convertor tool will take a long url with many characters and shorten it to less than 12. The link are not really for you to say out loud in a conversation but really do make it easier to share a long web site address.
- QR Codes: You know those little square bar codes you see all over the place these days. A QR Code (it stands for “Quick Response”) is a mobile phone readable barcode that’s been big in Japan forever, broke into Europe a while back, and is now getting traction in USA. It’s easy to get one with your event details or other information for free. You can choose what happens when people scan the code, send them to your event on Kompster, a website url, make a phone call, checkout on paypal, send a text, add your contact info or just about anything else. QRStuff makes it easy to create these codes for free. They also offer premium features such as tracking, analytics and reports. Then, simply include your code on business cards, tatoos, promotional items, flyers and posters.
- Custom QR Codes: If you really want to spice things up, you can get a custom QR code that has your face on it from QRlicious.com. It’s not free but starting around $35, you’ll be able to work with a designer to integrate your logo, photo or other icons into a QR code that will really pop off the page and help present your event, brand or business. Pretty cool stuff.
Photography & Graphics
- Flickr Creative Commons: One way to get free images for your website, but please adhere to the rules that go along with it. Flickr has several variations their users can specify when uploading photos. The various licenses are explained here. Best bet is if you find an image you’d like to use, contact the photographer or copyright owner and ask for written permission.
- iStockPhoto: A great place to purchase royalty-free images for use in media & promotions. iStockPhoto defaults to show pricing in their own credit system which allows photographers to post their own images and receive exchangeable credits when someone else purchases their image. To view pricing in standard currencies, look for the link above the credit price to change views.
- Getty Images: Another option for outstanding stock and editorial photography. Note that this site tends to cater to business & industry professionals though and thus tends to be more expensive than others.
- Google Adwords: If you want to begin advertising on Google, you can select keywords and locations and you pay each time someone clicks on your advertisement. You can even set this up for your Kompster page by providing Google with your event URL. Your ad will appear in the box at the top of search results or in the right sidebar.
- Email: You need to be prepared to deal with all sorts of unexpected questions about your event and the faster you are in answering questions and concerns the better your event will go. Depending on the size of your event, it could make sense to create an email address or even several email addresses for the event. This will keep your personal communications and business separate from all of the new contacts reaching out to you about your event. Free email addresses can be obtained on gmail.com, yahoo.com and many other sites. If you require a more robust email solution or would like email@ a certain domain name, GoDaddy offers email-only plans for be purchased for as low as $1.99 a month.
- Telephone: If your event is expecting a big turnout and you don’t want to give out a personal phone number, companies like Ring Central, offer outstanding telephone options thanks to modern technology. Get your own Toll Free Number with voicemail for as low as $8.29 per month. With some plans, you can even receive faxes.
Understanding Your Traffic
- Google Analytics: Google’s free website tracking and analytical tool. A must have for anyone with any type of website. Understand where your traffic is coming from.
- Twitter Analytics: Twitter has their own analytics system that helps you understand who is tweeting, re-tweeting and who your missing.
- LegalZoom: Easy online Legal services and documents. Whether you need a Tax ID, are looking to form an entity, or need disclaimers and other legal documents, LegalZoom is a good starting point for basic forms and advice but you must be careful. When it comes to legal work, it’s never hurts to get a second opinion to make sure you are covered. While LegalZoom will save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars for basic legal documents, your best bet may be to consult an attorney.
- Design A Shirt: No event is complete without some great Schwag. There are many options out there for printing off official event gear but designashirt.com is among the best. They even offer premium brand shirts like American Apparel, Sport-Tek and Anvil. Click the link to get Free Standard Shipping on any order of 6 or more t-shirts.
- Uber Prints: Another option for custom shirts and graphic apparel to commemorate your event with even more options. These guys even offer , slim fit, organic tees, underwear and clothing for dogs. Click this link for FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $100!
- Any Promo: From cups and glasses to bags and blankets and frisbees these guys will print your logo or message on just about anything. They even have those glass iceberg award thingies.
- Vimeo: If you have video(s) to share we strongly recommend the vimeo video platform.. Not only does vimeo offer outstanding service but the quality is outstanding with up to full 1080p, HD video. Ask any industry professionals and we’ll bet 9 out of 10 would choose vimeo for hosting their videos over the other options out there.
- Basic vimeo memberships are free and offer tons of features, but upgrade to Plus membership and the features expand tremendously including total control of privacy settings, branding the player as your own, priority support and upload capacity of 5GB each week. If that’s not enough, their Business membership allows video on Demand where you keep 90% of the revenue, hosted portfolio and up to 20GB of uploads each week. Seriously, if you’re using a video for your event, Vimeo is the way to go.