Event planning is a team project that takes meticulous attention and tons of advance prep work. You want your efforts to pay off to the maximum level they’re able, so the way you go about promoting your event is one of the most important parts of the process. After all, your efforts won’t be acknowledged if no one is around to benefit from them. Let’s take a look at some creative event promotion strategies you can employ to increase awareness and attract more participants to your next event.
Think Outside Your Current Audience
You’ve already got an audience— people who read your newsletter or follow you on social media— but the goal of event promotion is to build that audience by getting the attention of people who aren’t already on your list of fans.
Event discovery sites are one easy way to get the word out about your event. These sites exist to collect events by location, industry, target demographic, and more. They’re often frequently trafficked, so if you’re not listing your event on sites like this, you should start. Facebook Events does double duty by also showing users when their friends have liked or RSVP’d for events; when people see their friends are interested, they’re more likely to check out an event themselves.
Speaking of friends, another great strategy is to leverage sign-up incentives for different sections of your participants. Referral discounts work well; have a friend give your name during checkout, and you’ll both get to pay a lower rate. You can offer early-bird promo codes either based on time (sign up before a certain date to receive a discount) or numbers (first 50 people to sign up get a percent off their fee).
Giveaways and contests are another event marketing tool that’s been shown to drive engagement and registrations. Count down to your event on social media with potential prizes for people using your event hashtag— you can even ask event sponsors to provide the prizes. Running contests that encourage your audience to tag friends in comments also helps spread the word about your brand and your event.
Looks Are (Almost) Everything
In order to get a lot out of your event, you’ll need to invest a lot into it. Typically this means time, but depending on the scale of the event, it can pay to put down some money to spread the word too. Event-specific branding is a great example— turning the event into a brand all of its own, with different colors, fonts, a different website, and different merch, can help draw in people who aren’t aware of your company (or who, for whatever reason, have chosen not to follow you).
Another investment that can pay off big-time is in your event website. Not just having one that’s separate from your main company website, but making sure it’s attractive, user-friendly, and doesn’t send your registrants to a different site to buy their tickets. You can embed videos, post sneak peeks, and announce keynote speakers all in one place. You can then link posts from that website on your social media accounts, driving traffic to the registration site.
Let Others Do The Legwork
Last but not least, the best way to promote your event is to have other people do it for you. Namely, partnering with influencers who will talk up your event to their followers. Influencer marketing is based on the foundational principle that influencers have a bigger audience than you— by getting a relevant influencer to agree to a partnership with your event, you’re effectively negotiating access to their following. This influencer could be someone who’s already speaking at your event, or simply someone in your industry who supports your brand and is willing to advocate for it.
You don’t just have to have one star at the head of the lineup, though. Leveraging your affiliates by offering them a commission or a quid-pro-quo the next time they have an event can position your event as not just relevant to you, but to an entire community of like-minded people and businesses.
You can also ask trusted customers and affiliate brands to act as event ambassadors. Offer them freebies— registration, merch, etc— in exchange for them talking up the event on their social media and blogs. This way you’ll have a steady supply of rebloggable content coming in from several sources, and you’ll be extending your influence by reaching their audiences in addition to your own.
Promote Your Events with My Content Co
My Content Co knows how to create relevant, engaging, and timely digital content, just like you know how to grow your small business. We specialize in creating websites, blogs, social media posts, and newsletters that are consistent with your brand. Partner with us to promote your events, so that you can get back to doing what you do best – running your business. Visit us online or contact us today at 410-324-3934 to get started.