Define your event's identityIf you or your Group is running an event, chances are you'll want to get the word out there in a mission to create buzz and encourage more people to join in. First of all, create an identity for your event. This means considering the following points:
- What is the subject and/or medium(s)?
- Who will be entering (new artists, Group members, professionals etc)?
- How will entries be submitted (links to entrants own gallery or Group submissions etc)?
- What is the timescale (deadlines, announcement of winners etc)?
- Who is judging, and how (panel of judges, poll voting etc)?
- What is the incentive (prizes, features etc)?
- What help you require (promotion, translation etc)?
Choose your prizesThese do not have to be in the form of prints, subs or other things that cost money. Journal, userpage widget, news and Group features can result in huge amounts of exposure for entrants and their work. Exposure is valuable, especially for new artists who are seeking feedback on their work. Other free-to-give prizes include custom journals or gallery folder CSS, art based on the winner's choice of subject, and personalised stamps, avatars and deviant IDs
If you have a little bit of money to spend on prizes, there are points which cost very little and can be used for making all sorts of purchases on dA. But you don't have to buy the points that you want to use for prizes - you can accumulate them yourself by doing commissions, creating custom journals CSS (for example) or by posting a journal simply explaining what you would like the points for. Please don't hassle people for donations though!
Create your point of informationBy point of information, I mean one place with all the information about your event. This should include all the details from your event's identity and should be easy to understand and laid out in a manner which is simple to process and navigate. At this point, you may already have sought out and gained help with prizes, promotion etc so it may not be necessary to include those requests again.
Remember, not everyone on dA shares your primary language so it might be worth getting in touch with multi-lingual deviants who can help you to translate your event information. Pay a visit to #GlobalTutorials to find people who can help out.
Think carefully about the best direction to take your promotion in. There are a few options open to you and you may wish to employ more than one. Just remember that information will need to be updated as the event progresses. Consider these options:
A Journal Entry
This is simple to put together and easy to update by yourself. It will pop up in the message centres of all the people who watch you and is easily linked to by your friends and watchers. The downsides are that people who don't watch you aren't likely to see your journal entry and it can't be fav'd. If you do go with a journal entry to promote your event, it is a good idea to keep all the information in one journal entry to avoid confusion.
A News Article
News articles are visible to ALL deviants and often create a much wider opportunity for promotion through faving as well as simple linking. There are even news categories specifically for Contests, Projects and Happenings. The downside here is that you can't edit news articles, but your friendly local gallery moderator may be able to help. If you are creating a news article that you know will need to be updated, it's worth contacting your GM in advance to check that they're happy to edit your article. This isn't part of a Gallery Moderator's role so don't expect it as a given and always be polite and patient when you ask for help.
A Forum Thread
There is a Projects Forum where you can post details of your event. Before posting there, please take a moment to read the Posting Guidelines and check out the Group Advertisement thread too.
Get the word outThere are lots of ways to promote your event and chances are, you'll have some help from your friends and watchers as well as members of group(s) that you run or are a member of. Here are some options to consider:
Often, simply posting a journal about your event and mentioning that you'd like help promoting it will spark interest from your friends. If you have friends who are specifically interested in the genre or medium relevant to your contest, you could contact them directly and ask for a bit of help with promotion.
GMs for galleries relevant to your contest may be able to help you get the word out. Please be polite and make requests, not demands.
A Group is a great place to promote your event. If you're a member and are running your event outside of the Group, get in touch with the Founder and ask for some help with promotion. Group members may also want to help out with promoting your event. Remember that Groups can't submit news articles so if the event itself is being hosted by a Group you run, it's easy to link a news article submitted by you-as-a-deviant to a blog entry at your Group. For more information on how to link to blog entries from news articles, check out: FAQ #209: How do I submit a news article?
Group affiliates are like friends of your Group. Whether you're running a Group-hosted contest or are simply asking for a bit of help with promoting an event being run by you as an individual, Group affiliates might be able to give your event a boost. Please only contact Groups, affiliates and individuals who are genuinely relevant to your event - no spamming and no harrasment please!
Don't forget that the +help and FAQ section is a wonderful place to search for information about all sorts of dA stuff. If you're looking for info about something new to you, pay a visit to +help first.