Give Out Tickets, Even If Your Event Is Free


Event of the Week: UTM Environmental Alliance

On March 21, the University of Toronto Mississauga and the University of British Columbia held a joint videoconferencing Speaker Series. The UTM Environmental Alliance “is a network of student environmental organizations at the University of Toronto Mississauga,” said student Rohit Mehta. “We work together to create a strong environmental movement on campus, and to share ideas and resources with each other,” he explained.

The Speaker Series featured Bob Willard and Alanna Mitchell. “The series was intended to share important environmental issues with audiences at both the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. Our goal was to raising awareness while using videoconferencing to reduce the need for speakers to fly across the country,” Mehta said.

According the The Natural Step Canada website, where Willard serves on the advisory board, he is “a leading expert…in proactively avoiding risks and capturing opportunities associated with environmental and social issues.”  And Mitchell was “the science and environment reporter at the Globe and Mail for fourteen years, until she left daily journalism to devote herself to writing on science.  In 2000, she was named the best environmental reporter in the world by the Reuters Foundation,” according to the Grantham Prize website, where she was the 2010 winner.

The highlight of the event and something Mehta will remember was “seeing the buzz and excitement around the speakers, and the provocative questions which participants asked following our events. It was a great way to collaborate between two universities to bring important environmental issues to the forefront.”

Mehta ordered the Purple Two-Tone General Admission Ticket and the Green Two-Tone General Admission Ticket, which feature similar themes in different colors, creating a cohesive look that tied the event together while allowing event organizers to create a distinction between the two speakers.

Mehta said that word of mouth, Facebook and the tickets he ordered from helped to spread the word about the Speaker Series. The tickets were “the best strategy because attendees had tickets in hand with all event details, and felt important to be receiving a ticket,” he said.

The event was free, so Mehta and other students at both universities handed out the tickets to possible attendees and Mehta said this was a great method as both universities had great turn outs for the event. Mehta said, “ allowed attendees to have something in-hand which they could use to remember event details, and their ticket was another reason to come to the event. These tickets really boosted our attendance, and our event would not have been so well-attended without the use of’s tickets.”

Mehta advises anyone else planning an event to “start planning well in advance, promote big time using colourful posters, Facebook, and other marketing strategies. Give out event tickets, even if your event is free.”

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