You would think this would go without saying – and you might be shocked to learn how often people mess this up – but proofreading your event marketing materials is just so darned important. If you are a professional, then hopefully either you are an excellent proofreader or you can pay someone to do it for you. If you are an amateur, getting things right is still so important, and you need to recognize it if you need help, and then get it.
Here are some of the reasons it is so important to proofread and make sure everything in your marketing materials is right.
- When people see mistakes, it reflects poorly on you and on your event, decreasing the chance that people will want to come.
- If you get little things wrong, someone could show up at the wrong time, day, or location.
- Send something to the printer with an error, and you might have to pay for costly reprints.
- Make a mistake in the cost of an event – yes, I have seen this – and you can make less money, or have disgruntled guests, feeling that they were charged more than others.
There are other reasons, too, and the bottom line is that uncaught informational errors are nothing but headaches waiting to happen.
- Be sure you are paying attention to your spell-check. These days, most computers provide automatic spell-check, but we do not always pay attention to those squiggly red lines. Pay attention and catch the obvious spelling errors. Keep in mind, though, that spell-check does not catch anywhere near all mistakes; this is just your first step.
- Ask someone else to read your materials. A second – or third, or fourth – set of eyes can catch mistakes that yours may be missing.
- Leave some time between the writing and the proofreading. Looking at things with fresh eyes can make a huge difference.
- Proof separately for spelling, grammar, layout and dates. Focus on one thing at a time.
- Once you have checked times, dates, street numbers, and other essential numerical information, check again. You really can’t do this too much. Get someone else to take a look.
- Read your materials from the end to the beginning, one word at a time. Believe it or not, this forces you to focus on each word and you will catch a lot.
- If you are working online, print what you are writing so you can read it on paper. This tends to make us skim a little less.
- After you have proofread the hole thing, go though it again, just looking at the headings. People often pay less attention to these and miss even the most obvious mistakes.
- Definitely have someone else check the names, especially since they mostly can’t be spell-checked.
- Give extra attention to words in smaller type or italics.
Many who read this are going to disregard it, thinking it is obvious and could never relate to a problem they might have. But let me tell you that I see people all the time who seem to totally skip good proofreading, and are sorry they did. Don’t be one of those people.