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Welcome to our new website!

You’ve probably noticed that things have changed a bit. We haven’t finished updating all our pages yet, so some sections are still using this design. Please bear with us...

Promoting your event

Telling people about your event is really important. You should think about how you might do this really early in your planning. You can promote your event in a number of ways but it needs to be considered at the first planning meeting and not left until the end.

Your audience

Think about who your target audience is and what will draw them to your event. For example, it may be a band, a speaker or a cause. Whatever it is make this the most prominent thing on your publicity so that it sells the event.

Think about the best way to get the word out to the audience you have identified. Is it through a poster in a shop window, a street banner or maybe an email or using social networking like facebook and twitter?


It is really important that any promotion you do has all the right information so that people can find your events and have a good time. Things to include are:

  • Name of event
  • Date of event
  • Location, including post code
  • Start and finish time
  • If it is free, tell people. If there's a cost then add the ticket price
  • A brief description of the event, including the best and most exciting bits
  • Travel information so people know how to get there
  • Access information eg, does the event have flat, level access for wheelchair users, a disabled toilet, sign language interpretation, an induction loop, multi-lingual information?
  • Where do I go for further information? Include a contact number, email address or website

Posters and flyers

At a time when we are all trying to be as green as possible and look after the planet do you need to get hundreds of flyers and posters printed? Think carefully about where they will go and who will deliver them. Speak to local shops and businesses and see if you can display a poster in their window. Your local library, leisure centre, supermarket and doctors surgery may also have a notice board for events.

Using the media

Getting a story in the newspapers means free publicity. Write and send a press release about your event to the news editor at your local paper or specialist media if you're targeting a particular audience. Outline all the really good things happening at your event but maybe focus on something that makes the event special. Follow up your release with a telephone call. Local newspapers like stories about people in the local community so it would be good if you have photographs or offer an interesting interview.

TV stations will be looking for good visual opportunities so play up what they are able to film. A fun community event can be a great backdrop for the local tv weather report. Radio stations will be looking for interesting audio sound bites or interviews.


Listings are the lists of events and activities you see in newspapers and on websites. Many people use these to look at what's happening in their local area and across London when choosing something to do. You can send details of your event to the listings editor at Time Out, Evening Standard, Southwark News, South London Press, SE1 magazine and lots of websites.

Websites and social networking

Put information about your event onto your website (if you have one) and any other relevant websites. Anyone holding an event in Southwark can also request to have their event details added to our events diary.

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are now used regularly to promote events. These sites can be used in the weeks leading up to an event to generate interest and even on the day itself to get news out of any last minute changes to the lineup and activities. Because users can comment and post their pictures of your event, they can also be a great way of finding out what people want and what they think about your event. This may help as an extra source of information for your documentation and evaluation.

Word of mouth

Getting people talking about your event is often the best way to spread the word. Make sure your friends, relatives, neighbours and work colleagues know what's happening and ask them to tell others.

Temporary street-side banners

For many events this is a really effective way of getting mass promotion at relatively little cost but there are laws which restrict their size, locations and how long they can be displayed for. Southwark has a set of guidelines to make sure that if you wish to advertise local events through the use of banners can do so without falling foul of the legal constraints in place.

The key facts are:

  • You must have permission from the owner of the site you intend to fix banners to
  • Banners should not be more than 1.55 m2 in area (the dimensions can be whatever you need so long as the area is within that amount)
  • Banners should not be placed near to road junctions or pedestrian crossings, or on railings on the road edge of pavements
  • The longest time before the event the banners should be in place is four weeks, and they should be removed as soon as possible after the event
  • The council's event team should be notified of the number and locations of the banners on 020 7525 3422. 

These guidelines are only applicable to temporary banners advertising events which are run by, supported by or in partnership with the local authority. Other banners and outdoor advertising will need to follow more formal planning procedures.

For full details on the rules around using street banners, download the full advertising in public spaces guidelines.

Where these guidelines are not followed, it is possible that banners will be removed and that fines may be charged against the organisers.

Useful websites

These websites may be useful for listings, social networking or for contacting local press and media.

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Southwark Council
PO BOX 64529
London SE1P 5LX

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