What happens when you get the word out to the community that there’s going to be this event called Ignite Cleveland coming to town? You get some of Cleveland’s amazing talent together, sharing knowledge, networking, and just having a fun night.

This past Saturday, I attended the first Ignite Cleveland, with a lot of excitement and high expectations. Andrew Kavanaugh and Jon Stahl did an excellent job organizing the event. The turnout was amazing, and it was great to meet so many talented people in the area.

I met the challenge of 20 slides, auto-advancing after 15 seconds, bringing the presentation to a total of 5 minutes. The topic I went with was “Marketing Your Event Online”, as I’ve had to do that for Cleveland Day of .NET and I’ve noticed a lot of other strategies that could work if implemented properly. It may seem weird that a developer has and understands marketing strategies, but when you organize events and are active in the community, having marketing skills can be a huge help.

My slides can be found here:

The sites that I refer to in my presentation include:

  • Eventful: especially good for travelling events (events that move between cities, for example)
  • Crowdvine: which provides customizable features to learn more about your attendees and their backgrounds
  • MySpace: great for announcing events and reaching a younger demographic
  • Facebook: great for reaching college students and older
  • Meetup: great for user groups and tracking frequent meetings, their attendees, and any feedback from the attendees
  • Twitter: can reach a wide audience in a short amount of time, especially if the word gets out to people who are interested in the topic(s) at hand

All examples in my presentation are Cleveland-based events or initiatives.

Besides the above links, I also mentioned that having your own site to get the word out about your event would be a good idea – as long as you include the who, what, where, and when, people will come. I used Cleveland Day of .NET and Ignite Cleveland as examples of this, and I also mentioned my community site – Cleveland Tech Events, where groups can also promote their meetings and events that pertain to the technical community of Cleveland. My goal for that site is to have one site to unite all the technical groups – we’ll see how well that works!

I really enjoyed meeting a lot of Cleveland’s talent in person, and I look forward to next quarter’s Ignite Cleveland event!