Donovan Group Insights

Maximizing School Event Engagement with Graphic Design

Your school has an event coming up. How are you going to get the word out? You could simply tell people that your school is hosting an event. Or, you could use attention-grabbing visuals to get the message across. If you want a big turnout, your event marketing campaign should have a multimedia approach that leans heavily on graphic design.

Engagement doesn’t stop there—your school should use graphic design to keep engagement high all throughout the event as well. Graphic design adds a whole new layer to events that ensures attendees leave feeling entertained, informed and inspired. Read below to learn the various ways in which your school can use graphic design to boost audience engagement.

Graphic design in your marketing campaigns

Engagement begins long before the day of the event. To host a successful event, your school has to get the word out far in advance to generate interest and maximize the number of attendees. This involves planning a solid marketing campaign that explains what the event is about and why people should attend. The campaign should also include regular event reminders as you get closer to the date.

Graphic design is an indispensable component of event marketing campaigns. It’s far more effective at engaging audience members than text alone. When combined together, design elements like photos, color schemes, logos and digital graphics can help grab your audience’s attention and drive home your message. If you want people to engage with your school event, they must first engage with your marketing campaign.

Here are several marketing mediums that leverage graphic design:

Social media graphics

Social media graphics are a very popular way to spread the word about school events. They have eye-catching colors and images, and with just a quick glance, viewers can learn everything they need to know about the event. Graphics also have incredibly high shareability—much more so than any other form of social media content.

To make your graphics more engaging, remember to keep the design simple. Stick with one or two main colors, and choose a font that’s easy to read. Images and other design elements should be kept to a minimum, so they don’t distract from your message.

Printed fliers

Take your marketing campaign beyond the internet with printed fliers. While social media is a great way to communicate, these platforms tend to engage the people who are directly involved with your school, like teachers, staff, students and families. Printed fliers bring your message out into the broader community.

For printed fliers, the rules of graphic design remain the same: keep it simple, stick with a color scheme, don’t overcrowd the space and so on. You can boost engagement even more by adding interactive features like QR codes that link to a registration page or tear-off tabs that provide the event organizer’s contact information.

Postcards

Similar to printed fliers, postcards can help you reach community members who are less involved with your school. But unlike fliers, postcards go directly into the recipient’s hands. You’re more likely to get your message across because people will see the postcard as they sift through their mail.

Of course, your postcard isn’t the only one people get in the mail! To make yours stand out, incorporate those signature school colors along with big, attention-grabbing fonts. You could also include a photo from last year’s event to get people excited about the next one that’s coming up.

School posters

Students, teachers and staff traverse the same halls every day. Use that to your advantage by creating posters that promote an upcoming school event. The great thing about posters is that people will walk past them several times a day. And the more they see your message, the more they’ll remember it.

Most people only look at posters in passing, which is why it’s important to communicate the details of your event as quickly and efficiently as possible. Be sure to include the name, time, date and location of the event in big lettering that’s easy to read.

Incorporating graphic design into your event

Your campaign has generated lots of excitement. The next step is figuring out how you’ll keep audience members engaged during the event itself. Engagement isn’t just about getting people to show up; it’s about making them active participants from the moment they walk through the door to the moment they walk back to their cars.

To achieve the maximum level of engagement, graphic design should be incorporated into every point of interaction at your school event. There should be wayfinding signs that direct people to the right entrance. There should be banners welcoming attendees into the event space. There should be brochures, slide shows and project boards that allow people to leave feeling more informed than when they came in. Everywhere they look, attendees should be immersed in graphic design.

Here are some examples of how to incorporate graphic design into your event:

Wayfinding signs

Attendees need to find your event before they can enjoy it! While simple in their purpose, wayfinding signs are important visuals for school events. They seamlessly guide attendees through the parking lot, down the hall and into the event space. These signs can also attract passersby who decide to check out your event.

The instructions on wayfinding signs should be easy to understand, and they should be easily read from a distance. Helping people find their way is just as important as the event itself, so make sure the signs are clear and placed in the appropriate spots.

Banner stands

Banner stands can help attendees find what they’re looking for at an event. You might place a banner stand next to concessions, an information booth or a registration table. Banner stands can also educate attendees about your community partnerships, such as employers at a career fair or higher education institutes at a college fair.

This form of graphic design is essential for encouraging attendees to interact with the various speakers and representatives at a school event. By looking at the banner stands, attendees can find and connect with event attractions that pique their interest.

Tri-fold project boards

Project boards are a visual aid that can enrich one-on-one conversations between attendees and the people speaking at your event. Whether you’re hosting a wellness fair, community involvement day or back-to-school event, project boards help maintain a person’s attention as they learn about a topic.

Use project boards to highlight key takeaways and important pieces of information. At a wellness fair, you might display graphs or pie charts that show how good nutrition positively impacts a person’s health. If your event is promoting CTE courses, you could create a different project board for each course that highlights their career benefits.

How will you leverage graphic design?

There’s a seemingly endless number of ways to engage audience members with graphic design. In addition to the mediums mentioned above, you can also rally people’s interest using brochures, school apparel, slide shows and many other options. From spreading the word to welcoming attendees through your door, well-crafted graphics make events a memorable experience from beginning to end.

After all, you don’t just want people to attend your event. You want them to gain something valuable from it!

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