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Event Marketing
22 January 2015 

Using Canva To Make Your Events Look Better

Siobhan Becker
Using Canva To Make Your Events Look Better

Event planners already know that social media promotion plays a key role in gathering attendees for an event. Creating beautiful event graphics for your social media promotion is key in order to stand out in a sea of letters. A picture is worth a thousand words or in your case, attendees.. So, if your graphics are appealing, your chances of getting traffic to your event page increase!

Typically, it’s a time-consuming process to create good looking marketing collateral. Learning a program like Adobe Photoshop can be difficult, and without a background in design, it can be hard to create graphics that actually look good. There is an easier way!

Canva is a free service that allows users to create graphics for social media, email marketing, posters, and more. Canva not only provides users with a suite of free tools to design attractive and sharable graphics, it also offers tutorials that go through design basics step by step.

To help you start creating, we have designed five images promoting a mock event, Tech Con 2015.

1. Email Header:

Email headers are important because they set the mood for your reader. An event planner should create a header that is specific to the event they are hosting.

A header like this with a bold font and clear, simple colors immediately grabs your attendees’ attention and gets them excited about your event.

To create this header, I chose the Email Header template from Canva’s wide selection. Canva’s templates will display correctly on their corresponding platforms. However, if you are creating an image for a platform that Canva does not have a template for, you can create an image of any size by clicking on “use custom dimensions.”

I chose one of Canva’s free preset layouts and simply filled in the name of my event in place of the word “Surprise.” I then changed the color of the banner by clicking on it and choosing from a wide range of colors.

There are 30 free preset designs to choose from. You may also choose from a selection of premium layouts, which range in price from $1.00 – $4.00.

2. Facebook Post:

Use countdowns to start conversations and generate buzz as your event draws near. Captions such as “Like if you are just as excited as us for Tech Con 2015 to Begin!” encourage social media interactions and can extend your post’s reach.

I selected one of Canva’s free countdown layouts, replaced the text with my own and recolored the image.

3. Twitter Post:

Twitter is a text-heavy social media platform, but a study conducted by the marketing platform SHIFT found that Twitter users “engaged at a rate 5X higher when a photo was included” in a Tweet. Take advantage of this study and make your tweets stand out by uploading images to accompany your Tweets!

This Twitter graphic advertises Event Tech 2015. I chose to create without a preset layout. I started out by choosing a background. I chose the polka-dot pattern and changed the color from orange to blue using the color palette located above the pattern options.

To customize your color palette, click on the plus sign.

I incorporated some of Canva’s free “Dress Ups” into my design by dragging and dropping them onto my background. I changed the colors of my fun frames to make the image pop.

Remember to use your event’s hashtag in all of your posts. Creating a unique hashtag will encourage interaction and will allow you to see how many people are talking about your event!

4. Instagram Post:

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Instagram can help your attendees visualize what your event will look like. You can even introduce your venue, and keynote speakers on Instagram.

Be sure to read users’ comments to find out what they are most excited about and interact with your guests by replying to their comments.

This image features sound consultant and event speaker Julian Treasure, whose TED Talk on the “seven deadly sins of speaking,” was featured in one of our blog posts, 4 TED Talks to Spark Event Planning Ideas. 

I created this image by choosing a custom layout in Canva I made my background teal and then uploaded a photo of Treasure. Then I placed it over the background so that the teal color was still visible.

I framed Treasure’s quote in a free text holder (there are plenty to choose from!) and changed the font to my liking.

I added a line of text by selecting the Text tool from the main menu and clicked on “Add subtitle text.” I chose subtitle text because I wanted to emphasize the word “Hail.” You can use the color, size and font of your text to draw attention to the most important words in your graphic.

5. Google+ Cover Image:

When someone visits your Google+ page, the first thing people will see is your cover image. Some of your personal connections may be interested in attending your event, especially if the visuals you create in Canva are compelling enough.

I used a blank template and uploaded a photo of Tech Con’s venue, the Emerson Theatre- perfect for warm weather events this time of year!

I used another one of Canva’s free text holders and changed the color to match the background image. Remember to link to your other social media accounts on your Google+ profile!

6. Pinterest Images:

Most users post infographics to engage their audience. To make sure you’re engaging your audience, create an online invitation with a Pinterest template that summarizes the event and mentions headline speakers.

I selected a plain theme and chose a grey background.

Be sure to link the image to your event website when you post to Pinterest!

One important reminder: while we used a range of fonts, colors, and designs to show off what Canva can do, you should remember to try to stick to the same branding guidelines for your event so the images are recognizable and consistent!

By using Canva, your graphics will catch attention and generate buzz online before your event takes place! Once your event is over, you can measure its success by checking hashtags on all social platforms. To learn more about post-event follow-up, check out our blog post on the 6 Tools To Collect Post-Event Media.

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