You’ve planned a great event, invited the right people and worked out the details. You’ve booked an amazing venue, snagged the best photographer and hired your staff. Now what? The key to any successful event is getting the word out, so knowing how to promote an event successfully is vital to creating a memorable experience.
#1 Influence Marketing
One of the best ways to promote an event is through influence marketing. Find someone who has a huge following on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, and have them promote the event for you. Offer than a free ticket or some other incentive to shout out your event to all of their fans. The person you choose should be loosely connected to your event’s theme. If you’re hosting an outdoor music festival, for example, find a popular artist or band in that genre.
# 2 Go Viral Create
A viral photo can do wonders to promote your event. If you’re hosting a travel trade show, for example, find a photo of someone scaling Mt. Everest or feeding a Kenyan giraffe. Find a tourism board in Hong Kong and ask them to share some of their best photos for your campaign. Post the photo on social media with your event’s name as a hashtag and encourage people to share it. This will get people talking about the photo, sharing it with friends and spreading the world about your event.
#3. Tease It with Tees
Printed t-shirts are a tried and true way of promoting your event. You can print tees with the event’s date and time and hand them out in well trafficked locations like shopping malls, college campuses or other events. Host a trivia contest on social media and give away your tees as prizes. You don’t have to stop at t-shirts. Printable apparel like bags, hats and jackets work just as well. Knowing how to promote your event online with printed apparel is a matter of getting the right items to the right people.
#4. Press the Press
Invite local journalists to be a part of the action when looking for creative ways to promote an event. Give them an all-access pass in exchange for some pre-event press coverage and a write up in their newspaper or blog. Look for new bloggers in your genre who may be looking to build up some content. Offer them first access to all of your upcoming events.
#5. Give a Pop Quiz
One of the easiest and most fun ways to promote your event online is with a social media quiz. This quiz can be related to your event or a totally wacky, unrelated topic. If you’re hosting an adult prom, create a quiz that asks which popular movie character your attendee would be. Or create an online program that predicts what type of partygoer they are. The key here is to target your audience carefully, get them engaged, then tell them about your event.
#6 Give it Away
Even though the idea for your event may be to generate money, you can often increase your attendance by giving away tickets to your event. Find a charity that is hosting a fundraiser and offer tickets to your event as a giveaway. This will give you instant free publicity. Host a sweepstakes online and give away free tickets to the winners. Reserve a small number of free passes for VIP guests who likely have a large following on social media. When they brag about scoring free tickets to your event, their followers will want to get in on the action as well.
# 7 Tell Everyone within Earshot
There are some people who simply love going to events. They want an excuse to go out and enjoy a new experience. These people love event calendar websites. Most event calendar sites have an option that allows you to post your event for free. Submit your event to as many of these sites as possible and encourage social sharing by linking your social media profiles as well.
#8 Hit the Links
If there is another non-competing event, consider cross-promotion opportunities that benefit both of you. If your company is promoting a new brand of liquor, consider linking up with a company that is promoting an evening boat cruise. If you’re hosting a book launch, consider featuring the work of a local artist who is hosting an installation of their latest work. Ask for a reciprocal link on your website so that you both can benefit from each other’s audiences. Consider an ongoing partnership that allows you to enjoy repeat business for future events.
#9 Know Your Audience
Create a profile of the ideal attendee for your event, and use this profile to drive your marketing efforts. Most social media platforms have excellent tools to help you to select the right audience for your message so that you get the most value from your marketing efforts. The key here is to be specific in your search, but not too specific that you eliminate a large group of potential attendees.
When it comes to hosting a well-attended event, getting the word out to the right people is key. Using a few creative methods like influence marketing, promotional wear, giveaways and entertaining quizzes, it’s easier than ever to promote your event online and gain a huge following.