Event Marketing

Hosting an event can be an effective way to promote a service or a new facility. An event may provide employees, physicians, patients and media an optimal opportunity to meet with key staff and/or tour a facility or view a demonstration. Please remember that UNC Health Care must approve any UNC Health Care event you plan to hold on campus.

The following information provides a breakdown of the steps needed to properly plan and promote an event as well as a recommended timeline to following leading up to the event.  The Public Affairs & Marketing office, in most cases, can provide the following support: 

  • Internal and external promotion and public relations.
  • Help with brochures and collateral materials.
  • Lectern with sign. 
  • UNC Health Care banners.
  • Stanchions & easels to direct traffic and post signage.


Regardless of its size, planning an event can be broken down into four basic steps:


Step 1: Pull together an event planning committee

This group should be representative of all areas affected by the event. While they may not be involved in the initial planning, be sure to remember other departments such as housekeeping, security and transportation.

During its first meeting the committee should consider the following questions: 

  • What is/are the primary goal/s of the event?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What type of event would be best to achieve these goals: news conference, open house, seminar, lunch n' learn, or a mix of formats.
  • Who is responsible for what? Logistics, staffing, administrative duties, etc.
  •  Availability of parking.


Step 2: Establish the budget

While Public Affairs & Marketing will provide support for your event, it traditionally does not pay for certain items and services. Public Affairs & Marketing can provide referrals to known vendors for the following:

  • Food: What best fits this event (cookies/punch, sandwiches/soda, buffet/alcohol).
  • Giveaways: T-shirts, pens, tote bags, keychains.
  • Professional photography/videography.
  • Flowers and decorations. 
  • Guest speakers/entertainment. 
  • Tables, staging, chairs. 


Step 3: Choosing a date, time and location

While determining when and where the event will take place you consider the following questions:

  • Is there enough time to properly plan the event? Depending on the size, typical events take 4-6 months to plan from scratch.
  • Are the key audiences, speakers and attendees available?
  • Are there any other events that conflict with it (athletic events, conferences, etc.)?
  • Is the space needed available? Be sure to include setup and breakdown. If the space is under construction or outside, what is plan B?
  • Do you need to set a pre-registration or RSVP date?
  • Is there another event to tie into such as breast cancer awareness month or pain awareness week?


Step 4: Establish the production timeline

Once the event date and time is established, a timeline similar to the one below needs to be established.

10-12 weeks Finalize the following: what kind of event it will be, when and where will it be held, invitation list, theme/messaging, and who will be responsible for assigned duties before, during and after the event.
8-10 weeks Finalize text for all printed materials (invitation, program and posters) and begin production of promotional materials.
7-8 weeks Make final revisions and changes to invitations and promotional materials and begin printing.
4-6 weeks Mail invitations.
2-4 weeks Begin promotional campaign.
1 week Confirm deliveries with vendors (tables, chairs, sound system, flowers, etc.) and order of activities during the event with planning committee.
1-2 weeks after the event Event debrief with event committee (if anticipated to become an annual event).