When promoting an event via web, social media, or email, there are some important steps to be aware of. Some of these are required by law, while others are just good practice and will help get people to your event.

  1. Gather details for your event

    • Details: event title, event description, location, time, date(s), contact information, admission cost, etc.
      • Include a URL for users to join your event. This can be a Zoom link or similar platform where users can join your event.  
      • Zoom events: use these resources to help you plan your event and prevent "zoom-bombing"  
    • Event description: a complete and compelling event description is crucial to your success.
      • Why should someone attend – what will they gain?
      • Event descriptions should be comprehensive but to the point
      • Formatting should be easy to read -- use bullets. 
    • Photo: try to use a photo, rather than a design with text, to accompany your event posting. A photo makes your post more accessible, better optimized for search engines, and makes your event posting more compatible with multiple sites where the event is listed. In addition, a photo is more compatible with paid advertising like Facebook or Instagram.
      * If you want to use an image with text, use minimal text and repeat the details in the event description -- this will help accessibility, SEO, and general readability.
    • Target audience: who do you want to reach - for whom is this relevant?
    • Accessibility details: consider going beyond meeting accessibility requirements by adding details that could help those who want to attend. Read more...
  2. Add your event to Student Life Events and the UI Events Calendar

    Adding your event to the UI Events Calendar or Student Life Events is the first step in making sure the event will a) be seen on calendars and b) be visible on the appropriate websites. 

  3. Promote your event on social media

    • Use photos, rather than images designed with text, to supplement your post. Text in photos is not considered accessible unless the same message is presented in the text of the post (or alternative text, as described below).
    • Reach out to campus social media managers to ask them to share your post. Many DSL accounts are listed here.
    • Add alt text when possible. alt text is hidden text that describes what appears in an image or photo to visually impaired users. SFacebook and Instagram support alt text, among others. More about individual platforms and their support for alt text. 
  4. Promote via email

    • First, make sure your event is posted on the Events Calendar and Student Life Events. 
    • Write to studentlife-marketing@uiowa.edu to request to be included.
      • Note: each week, several events are included by default. If we receive a request we'll do our best to make sure your event is in the email.

    University Housing & Dining email newsletter

    News and events sent weekly to students living in the residence halls. 

    1. Make sure your event is posted on the Events Calendar and Student Life Events. 
    2. Write to uhd-marketing@uiowa.edu to request to be included.

    UI What's Up

    Primarily news, sent monthly to all students from the Dean of Students.

    1. Make sure your event is posted on the Events Calendar and Student Life Events. 
    2. Write to angela-reams@uiowa.edu to request to be included.

    Iowa Now

    News and events sent weekly to all students. 

    1. Make sure your event is posted on the Events Calendar and Student Life Events.
    2. Write to tricia-brown@uiowa.edu to request to be included.
  5. Promote via digital signage

  6. Add the event to your website

    Before you add to your website, make sure you've added the event to Student Life Events / UI Events Calendar!

    To add the event to your website, add unit and interest tags to your Events Calendar submission. The events calendar is the best way to make sure your event is seen across multiple areas. 

  7. Make sure your event promotion is accessible

    Accessibility is important. Making your event post accessible will help you reach a wider audience and is mandated by University of Iowa policy. To ensure your event promotion is accessible by students or others with disabilities, follow these initial steps.

    1. Include the accessibility statement on websites that communicate about the event. The Events Calendar and Student Events Calendar include it by default. Note that you need a name and phone number of someone who will be able to respond and provide an accommodation.
      "Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact (insert: the sponsoring department or contact person) in advance at (insert: telephone number)."
    2. Include the accessibility statement in email promotions. The accessibility statement should be included in the footer of emails that promote events. The statement does not need to be grouped with each event mentioned in an email. 
    3. Learn more about best practices:
      1. Accessible Social Media (University of Minnesota)
      2. Creating accessible videos (University of Washington)
      3. University of Iowa accessibility site
  8. Need more help?

    Contact Student Life Communications at studentlife-marketing@uiowa.edu