Event Promotion often sounds like a big task, but don’t worry, we’ve gathered plenty of our favorite tips and successful tricks to garner more attention for your event.
Planning and creating an event is stressful. Not only do you have to schedule, design, and coordinate the event, but you also have to find and recruit attendees. But is all that effort worth it if nobody knows about your event?
If you’ve been facing low turnouts, or aren’t getting the expected number of RSVPs for your events, rest assured, the issue isn’t that folks don’t want to come – they may have simply missed the announcement. Alternatively, they might have meant to sign up but forgot, and the event slipped away.
Spreading the word is a pivotal step in hosting a successful event. Below, we’ll cover our ten favorite ways to promote your event so that you can get the turnout that you want and deserve.
1. Create an event webpage
Assuming that you already have a website, you’ll want to create a page on your site specifically designed for your event. An easy way to do this on a WordPress site is with an event plugin. An event plugin can extend the functionality of your website, allowing you to add information about your event.
We admit to being biased, but we think The Events Calendar is the perfect plugin to help you add and display events right to your WordPress site. Our free plugin allows you to create and post events right away with minimal setup. You can create unique pages for each event, add venues and organizers, and include images to make your events pop. Plus, you can even add features like registrations, tickets, and more, with our other free and premium plugins. Learn how to easily add a WordPress plugin here.
Your calendar of events also serves as a repository for all future planned events. You can make your calendar a classic month view or customize it to appear as a list, in photos, or even in map view. Once created, you can direct users to this handy calendar page often so they don’t miss future events.
2. Post on social media
You’ve heard it before, but social media is a powerful word-of-mouth tool. All kinds of businesses promote their planned events on social media, and you can too! There are plenty of social media channels out there, so don’t feel like you need to post to each one. Instead, choose the channels that speak to your brand and target audience.
Of course, we can’t talk about online event promotion without talking about Facebook. The channel has the largest reach, with almost 3 billion monthly active users. You can use Facebook Events to share information about your event, as well as a link to register. In your Facebook event, you can add branded images and message attendees with important information or reminders. It also helps show at a glance who has indicated if they’re going or not – sometimes, seeing a familiar face can influence others to join in, too.
When promoting on social media, take advantage of hashtags that apply to your events by using a service like Hashtagify. Include your hashtags in your social posts, emails, and anywhere else you choose to promote your event. You’ll be able to reach more users who already follow the hashtag you’ve chosen.
3. Email marketing
To effectively promote your event, we recommend sending emails at various essential touchpoints. First, send an initial invitation via email to those on your list. Add social sharing buttons to the email so that attendees can share the events with their friends and further spread the word.
Then, once they RSVP to your event, send out a follow-up. You can send out another reminder the week of the event, and then another the day before. Remember to include all of the final details about the event to prepare attendees and get them excited. Lastly, send a post-event email. You can use this as a place to get customer feedback, promote your next event, or just say thank you for attending.
Consider adding the event page to your email signature. If done tastefully, an email signature link can pique your audience’s interest and compel them to click through to your site.
This may sound like a lot to prepare, but you can automate this entire process with the help of the event email marketing service, Promoter. With Promoter, you can create custom email marketing campaigns that look clean and effective and don’t include advertisements that distract from your message. We’ve even got a nifty guide to help you get started with Promoter when you’re ready.
4. Create an event flyer
Think of those eye-catching flyers that you’d find on a corkboard in a college, community center, or another gathering place. Consider printing a flyer and bringing it to the local grocery store, retailers, and other spots where interested folks might want to hear about or attend your event. It may sound like an outdated concept, but it’s still a great way to promote events.
And of course, once you create a flyer, you can also use the digital version to promote the event online. Use it as your event header image on your website, in emails, and in social media posts.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to use the square aspect ratio so that users can see the whole image without the need to click for a larger view.
To create a flyer, you can choose user-friendly sites like Canva. They’ve got lots of free design templates to get you started and allow for uploads of branded logos, fonts, or other imagery. You’ll be able to create a flyer that you can post everywhere without having an arts degree or in-house designer.
5. Offer presales and incentives
Another valuable way to promote your event is by incentivizing it. The best way to do this is by creating a presale or early-bird ticket. This will encourage your audience to sign up for your event before it goes public and adds an exclusive feel. It will also develop a sense of urgency that may increase your overall ticket sales.
Plus, early-bird registrations will give you a sense of initial interest in your event that you can use in your marketing efforts. You’ll be able to gauge where you should promote to find more like-minded people. It’ll also let you make adjustments early enough in the process.
Once the presale is over, you can still offer other incentives with a full-price ticket, like a free gift or an exclusive meet-and-greet time before your event. You can also offer incentives to folks who register if they share the event on social media. Think about creating a referral link that attendees can use with their friends to allow them to earn discounts and prizes for those who sign up using the link.
6. Post to online communities
Identify the online communities that might want to hear about your event. You can post your event to subreddits, online groups, local forums, and other social media communities.
One great way to spread interest for your event is using LinkedIn Groups. This is an excellent resource for your professional connections with shared interests. Promotion on LinkedIn might not seem particularly important, but remember that LinkedIn is all about creating professional connections. If your event is going to offer some professional incentive, why not use LinkedIn Groups? These groups all revolve around a specific interest, such as digital marketing, so if your event is relative to a group’s interest, then some folks will surely want to check it out.
When posting in online communities and groups, use your digital branded event flier to serve as a quick and easy way to get information. Additionally, it must be said to only post about your event to communities that you think may be interested in your event. You don’t want your post to come off as spam but rather something that users will be interested in attending. With the right personal touch and focus on the attendees, you will garner some authentic interest in your event.
7. Run a social media contest
Posting your event on social media is a significant first step, but you can take things further by engaging your audience in a social media contest or giveaway. Social media contests might be nothing new, but their potential for raising awareness about your event is undeniable.
You can create a simple contest that encourages your subscribers to share your event via social media. You can then ask your audience to like, follow, comment, and share your posts for more entries. This is a great way to crowdsource your event promotion.
You can then offer the person with the most shares a free ticket to your event, or use a random name generator to host a “drawing” and select a winner. It’s an easy way for your event to see more views and for your audience to get involved, and the exposure alone is worth giving away a free ticket.
8. Get on a must-see event list
There are plenty of guides and event round-ups out there that tell people what upcoming events to attend. Try getting your event at least one of those lists to promote your event. A good place to start are local neighborhood guides if you’re hosting an in-person event, or online directories if you’ll be hosting a virtual event. If you develop relationships with local publications, you’ll be able to send all of your upcoming events their way. As a bonus, some publications post their list on their social media channels, offering some free promotion without any work on your part.
In the meantime, have a press release ready to hand out and send to writers for publications that you’ve identified. Make sure to detail the location, time, date, and other information, with a link to your website or the event calendar, so that users can purchase tickets easily.
9. Launch a YouTube channel
With YouTube being nearly as popular as Google for searches these days, it’s a great idea to have your events promoted on your own branded YouTube channel. Not only can you create an engaging short video that you can then share on social, but users who land on your video can explore your YouTube page for what else you have to offer.
If creating a YouTube channel seems daunting, it’s really as simple as signing up and creating an account on any other social media platform, but this Google walkthrough can help you out.
As for the content you put out on your channel, you can use it as a space for short videos giving an overview of events, Live Q &A events, sneak peeks, interviews, and tips to prepare for upcoming events. Don’t forget to invite viewers to subscribe to your channel to get notifications about new videos.
10. Find speakers and partners
One of the best ways to spread awareness is to let others promote for you. You can do this by inviting speakers to promote your event on social media, in your local community, or through your network of people. This can be a guest speaker who will feature at your event or one you’ve worked within the past who may be willing to help you spread the word this time around.
Once you’ve locked down your speakers, you can host interviews with them over Facebook Live or on your YouTube channel. They can also post about the event over social media sites where they are likely to have a big following, such as Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok.
Arm your partners with talking points that they can use to talk to their followers about your event. Pro Tip: provide guest speakers with a unique link that tracks who clicked it, so you can see precisely how new registrants found your event via your guest speaker.
If your event is unlikely to feature or use a guest speaker, you can also look for sponsors to help get the word out for you. Creating business relationships early on in the event process will not only help promote this event but could create partnerships that you can rely on in future events, making the process easier with the more events you do.
It’s clear that there are a variety of ways to promote your event without paying a ton of money. Starting with an event website created using the free The Events Calendar plugin is a great way to make sure that people know all about your upcoming event!
From there, add our email marketing service, Promoter, to help increase email engagement and awareness of your event. In fact, you can take advantage of our Event Marketing Bundle to receive our plugins and services at one great rate. In that bundle, you’ll get Events Calendar Pro, Event Tickets Plus, and Promoter to unlock features like WooCommerce tickets, recurring events, and more!
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