While planning and managing an event is always challenging, arguably marketing the event is always the most daunting aspect of the whole process.
Even if you’ve planned all the other parts of the event perfectly: the venue, the speakers, the decor, and so on, the event is doomed as a failure if you can’t attract enough attendees. The more attendees you attract, the more buzz the event will generate, and the more successful the event will be.
This is why having a clear marketing strategy for your event is crucial, and here, we’ll share some effective event promotion ideas you can use to reach and attract more people to your event.
Let us begin right away.
The internet technically allows you to connect with potential attendees all around the world, but the challenge is to get your voice heard amidst all the noise.
To do so, it’s crucial to leverage various event promotion platforms that are designed for those who are actively seeking out information about events to attend, allowing you to target your ideal audience effectively.
Depending on the type of your event and your niche, there is a wide range of these event promotion platforms to choose from, but here are some ideas:
- Facebook Events
Facebook is still the biggest social media network at the moment, and you should definitely leverage Facebook Events to your advantage. Especially useful due to Facebook’s excellent targeting features, allowing you to narrow down your target audience via demographics, interests, location, and behavior.
Events.org is also a great way to bring your event out there and build awareness for your event and organization. If you are a qualified non-profit organization, Events.org is free.
- Yelp Event
The popular platform is not specifically dedicated to promoting events but is still a great way to get the word out there.
Eventbee will charge you $1 per ticket sold on the site but is a versatile platform for promoting your event, allowing you to sell various ticket types with multiple payment options.
This is important. Building awareness and attracting more people to visit your registration page (or ticket booth) are already hard enough. You wouldn’t want potential attendees to cancel their registration for your event just because the registration takes too long.
Optimize your registration page by making sure it’s mobile-friendly, loads fast, and is easily navigable. Enable native checkout so that they can buy tickets without leaving the page by integrating a reliable and secure event registration platform.
Make the process as streamlined as possible to reduce the risk of ticket-buyers bouncing from the registration page or getting distracted during checkout.
Offering time-based discounts like pre-sale tickets, early bird tickets, and so on remain the staple marketing strategy for events for two reasons: it’s simple and affordable to implement, and, it’s highly effective.
Early bird pricing is effective because it triggers the target attendees’ FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), creating the feeling that “If I don’t buy this ticket now, I’ll need to pay more later”. This type of scarcity marketing strategy can also help generate buzz around your event, so heavily spread the word across all marketing channels and especially social media.
For this strategy, it’s important to never extend the deadline for any reason, since it’ll create the perception that it’s not selling well, which may drive potential attendees away.
It’s fairly obvious that we should market our events on social media in this day and age.
However, everybody is doing the same, so how can we make sure our social media promotions get noticed amidst all the noise?
Here are a few tips:
- Identify relevant influencers and event marketing partners who have considerable influence. They can be very valuable in helping you spread the word.
- Create an optimized Facebook event page, then share it with relevant groups.
- If your budget allows, invest in paid social media advertising on relevant networks (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn) depending on your target audience
- Don’t underestimate Twitter. Create an event hashtag and use creative means to spread it (launch giveaways, contests, etc.) You can use Twitter to live-tweet your event (during the event)
- Post short video content on relevant platforms to tease your event
Especially if you’ve hosted previous events and collected your attendees’ email addresses, email marketing is a very effective channel to build awareness for your event.
However, even if it’s your very first event, it’s still viable to purchase an email database from third-party sources while you build your own.
Segment the email list into categories based on demographics or behaviors, and if you’ve held previous events, segment those who have bought tickets in the past vs those who haven’t. Personalize your messages depending on your segments to maximize conversions.
Platforms like MailChimp can help you launch an effective and personalized email marketing campaign with ease.
Remarketing or retargeting is showing targeted ads only to those who have visited your website, or in this case, your event page.
Many potential attendees might visit your event website but then get distracted and leave the page (or ignore it), and this is where using retargeting ads (with Google Ads or Facebook Ads) can be effective. They might be reminded and then re-visit your page for actual registration.
Retargeting ads can also be effective in reminding potential attendees who are interested but are not yet ready to make a ticket purchase.
While marketing your event is indeed challenging, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
You can use the tips we’ve shared above to effectively increase event booking and ensure your event’s success.
Keep in mind that these aren’t the only marketing tactics available, but you can use them as a solid foundation before you experiment with more marketing channels and marketing tactics. Also, you don’t have to do everything all at once but can focus your efforts on each channel to maximize effectiveness.