8 tips for successfully promoting an event
Are you planning a big event? If so, you need to devote time to effective event marketing to attract the right audience. From developing online ads to writing press releases and utilizing the best free press release sites, make a plan — and map out a calendar.
With an organized approach, you can launch a quality event. Read on to learn 8 tips for successfully promoting an event!
1. Determine Your Target Audience
Wondering how to promote an event? The first big step is to figure out the audience you want to attract. After all, marketing materials targeting Millennials will look different than those targeting teenagers.
You can tailor Facebook ads to specific age groups and geographic destinations. If you’re hoping to reach a broader audience, consider live-streaming your event, too. This will give maximum exposure and it’s an inclusive gesture.
You also could offer access to the event through a platform online — and use a paywall to increase revenue. For recurring events, this is a good way to build hype. As a bonus, you can use a slice of time during the current event to promote the next one!
Turn to sites like TikTok and Instagram to appeal to a younger audience. Share your event on LinkedIn to generate interest among professionals in the field. When you pinpoint your audience, you can focus your energy on event marketing in a more useful way.
Once you know your audience, make plans for how you’ll engage them during the event. This means planning performances, games, or other activities that will involve your guests. Look for areas of dead space in your event schedule so you can fill them with something entertaining.
Consider hiring a magician, adding a photo booth, or going with live music. Choose a lively and articulate emcee to help guide the event and engage the audience during transitional points. In some instances, it may be useful to provide a paper program, too.
2. Give Your Event a Consistent Brand
When you’re marketing an event, you’ll want to maintain a consistent visual style. This starts with developing a logo, slogan, and color scheme. Unless you’re a talented graphic designer, you’re better off outsourcing this responsibility.
Talk with your graphic designer about the nature of the event and target demographic. Suggest the icons or text that are most important to reflect in the brand identity. They’ll be able to draft a few design options and get your feedback.
Ask your graphic designer to create logo variations that are simpler, monochrome, and scalable. You may need to print your event logo using a black and white printer — but you still want it to look good!
You’ll want to reflect the logo, color scheme, and slogan in every aspect of your event marketing. Include it in social media posts, letterhead, posters, and more. By creating a cohesive visual look, you’ll build visibility for your event.
As part of your branding efforts, take good photographs before and during the event. A good smartphone should work well if you don’t have a fancier camera. What’s more important is how you use it!
Use a three-point lighting kit to ensure that your images are vivid. Show off the venue as well as the speakers or performers you’ll feature through creative portraits. And add your logo or hashtag to the bottom corner of each photo for a little extra marketing power.
3. Promoting an Event Means Leveraging Social Media
Do you have a social media presence on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter? If you don’t, it’s time to start one. You can give a big boost to your event marketing with a strong and consistent social media presence.
Aim to post a short blurb every day, especially in the week or two leading up to your event. Insert links and hashtags without cluttering the rest of the text. Do the same on a website blog using strong search engine optimization (SEO) to attract more website traffic.
Use hashtags actively, too. With a hashtag, you can connect your event post to other similar content. Insert a few relevant hashtags in your Instagram and Facebook posts.
For instance, if your event is in Chicago, hashtag that location in an Instagram post. Then other people searching for the Chicago hashtag will find it.
To go a step further, you can create a hashtag that is specific to your event. Keep it clever but simple. And include it on all social media posts and branding materials.
Create a Facebook event where you can provide a link to tickets and more info on the show. It’s also the perfect place to add pictures and let guests connect. And it’s easy to share.
Include links to your event page in other social media posts. Encourage speakers, musicians, and other participants to share the event through their pages. It’s okay to ask some friends to do this, too!
4. Don’t Overlook Print Ads
Learn how to write a press release for an event. You should include your event’s time and location, as well as a few descriptive details. Communicate with your local or regional newspapers to ensure that the press release sees distribution.
To get even more miles out of your press releases, try eReleases. You’ll get a polished press release and access to a much broader swath of media outlets.
Posters still can pack a punch, too. If you’re hoping to attract students from the local college, give the school’s student life division posters. Then hang posters in coffee shops, grocery stores, and local dining spaces.
A little snail mail never hurts, either. Postcards remain a solid choice. Mail them to a select portion of people — and write a personal note to those people you really hope will attend.
Also, make sure to map printed goods into your overall event budget. You don’t have to go with the heaviest card stock to make an impact. Plus you can take advantage of promotions and bulk printing to save money.
5. Use Videos to Promote the Event
Well-produced videos can show off the people and brand associated with your event. With some basic equipment, you can handle the task yourself. But if you don’t have time to learn how to produce a slick video, it’s worth hiring someone who does.
For longer promo videos, you’ll want to have a camcorder or DSLR camera. These cameras will capture a better-quality image and have a greater video capacity. While they are a more expensive investment, they’re a good choice if you anticipate producing videos for future events.
Use a tripod if you’re interviewing someone or trying to capture a panoramic shot of the event space. You can show off the accommodations and talent. You even can create short videos of behind-the-scenes preparations as a teaser to post on social media.
When filming, take advantage of natural light whenever possible and avoid backlit images. For more polished videos, invest in a light set so that you can have three points of light illuminating your subject matter at all times.
The good news is that you can use video captures when you’re promoting an event in the future. At the event, use drone videos to capture aerial footage or use a haze machine to play up lighting effects. Capture some candid interviews and moments that you can stitch together into a promo video.
Assign a few people to capture short videos of the event using their smartphones. Ask them to post video captures on social media on a rolling basis as the event takes place. This is one of the easiest ways to approach marketing an event — and it’s free!
6. Create a Calendar and Delegate Tasks
Taking on an entire event yourself is asking for trouble. When done well, planning an event involves assembling a team of reliable assistants. You can delegate social media marketing, blogging, and developing print ads to different people.
Start your planning early. Set up an online calendar where you can plot out preliminary deadlines and meetings. Make sure that your team members understand their responsibilities.
Don’t hesitate to recruit volunteers, either. There may be community members eager to help facilitate something that gives back to the community. Just be sure to lay out the times and expectations so volunteers know what they’re signing up to do.
Leverage social media to attract volunteers. You may even want to write personal notes to known community volunteers, college clubs, or other relevant groups.
7. Sell Tickets Across Multiple Platforms
Don’t assume that everyone will want to purchase tickets the same way. When you’re hoping to host a sell-out event, you should make tickets available in multiple formats.
An easy and professional option is to sell tickets on a third-party platform. Many people may prefer the convenience of going online to get a ticket and digital receipt. And inserting a link into an email blast doesn’t require much effort on your end.
Try to choose a ticketing platform that allows you to track demographic information. That way you’ll be able to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Do you have a website? Sell tickets there, as well. You can add a section where you address common questions about the event and follow it up with a place to accept payments.
Sell tickets in person, too. Some people might make a last-minute decision to attend your event. Or they might like the idea of speaking to a person so they can ask questions before purchasing.
While you’re at it, incentivize buying tickets early with early bird rates. Look into incrementally raising prices on tickets as you get closer to the event. As another option, offer discounts for group tickets or bundle tickets with food and beverage service.
Are you trying to court some special guests? VIP tickets are a good way to encourage people to spend more for a ticket that comes with some premium extras. You can offer back-stage access during a concert or better seating, for instance.
8. Incentivize Attendance with Giveaways
It never hurts to offer a few freebies. And if you determine what they’ll be during the planning stage, you can use them in promoting an event. Aim to find a few lower-budget items and some big-ticket items that you can parcel out during the event.
Whether you raffle off an autographed poster or free dinner at a trendy restaurant, make sure your guests know about it. Set up a table or basket where guests can submit their entry when they arrive at the event. Ask your event emcee to announce when the prizes will be raffled off.
Does your event serve a non-profit? Emphasize the service component through your event marketing. This could mean setting a fundraising goal by the end of the event.
Create a poster or display that shows your fundraising goal and current progress. Set up donation bins and an online donation platform, as well.
Gently encourage participation throughout the night. At a few intervals, tally up the donations and offer an update for the audience.
You can offer giveaways on social media platforms, too. Offer prizes to the best caption for an event photo, for instance. You’ll engage your audience and spur their creativity!
Pursue Event Marketing
When it comes to promoting an event, structure and creativity should work together. You want to present a polished brand with stunning visuals that will entice people to attend. Aim to promote your event using a blend of social media, print, and paid ads.
The right amount of buzz can increase attendance and propel you into your next event. For more tips to build your business and enhance your lifestyle, check back for new articles!