In today’s crowded consumer landscape, it can be harder and harder to catch the attention of your customer demographic. This is especially true when planning an event. While events can be an effective way to show off your product or service, pulling off a successful activity is often nerve-wracking. After all, no one wants to put in the tremendous effort and significant budget required to run an extensive affair only to have lackluster attendance. The following 10 simple tips and tricks can help you promote your event in ways that gain attention and draw crowds.
1. Build an Event Website
These days, digital marketing is an absolute must. No matter your industry, it’s likely your desired audience spends a significant amount of time using the internet to find information, purchase products, connect on social media, and more. Since they’re online, your business must be there as well. That’s why one of the first steps you should take to promote an event is to create its online home.
This is the place you’ll direct people to find more information and learn all about your shindig. It should serve as a sort of landing page that contains the who, what, where, why, and how of your event. At a minimum, you’ll want to include the date and time, as well as the location. Be sure to write a thorough and interesting description to let folks know what to expect.
A detailed agenda with lists of speakers, sponsors, and activities is even better. Don’t forget to make your website attractive, easy to find, and user-friendly as well as informative. Top design and SEO practices will be required to achieve this.
2. Offer Incentives
One of your goals should be to lock in a high number of attendees early on. This way, you can breathe easier knowing that your investment in planning and resources is well-spent. When you sell a high number of tickets early, you don’t have to worry about scrambling at the last minute or the disappointment of poor event attendance.
One of the best ways to get people to commit is to offer early bird registration at a discounted price. People love saving money. Another great incentive is to leverage FOMO, or fear of missing out, with a countdown clock on your site. Let them know how much time they have until discount pricing or other value enticement ends.
Offering a higher-priced VIP experience could appeal to them on the other end of the spectrum. Rather than score a discount, there is a group of consumers who prefer to feel like they’re part of an exclusive few. You can depend on them to pounce on the chance for upgrades like swag bags, special access to speakers or content, a VIP lounge, or invite-only meet and greets.
3. Customize Your Email Marketing
Email marketing is an ideal way to reach your target. This method provides a more personal approach to the sharing of relevant information because it allows you to slide into your list members’ inboxes with strategically-crafted newsletters or updates on your event. The key here is to be sure you’re providing interest and value so that they’ll bother to open your email.
This involves writing useful headlines and content, as well as personalizing your outreach efforts. You can use segmented databases to tailor messages toward those with a particular interest or of a certain demographic. The ability to create subject lines based on past actions is another benefit of email list personalization.
4. Utilize Content to Create Buzz
Content marketing is essential to online marketing efforts. The content you create tells the story of your event and gets people excited about what to expect. You can share information on your blog, of course, but it’s also crucial to get the word out on other platforms. White papers or case studies can be appropriate for informative events meant to elevate you as a subject matter expert.
Booking yourself or someone from your organization as a podcast guest can be a more informal way of showing you know your stuff. Videos and webinars are great previews, giving an interested audience enough information to excite them about what’s to come at the main event. You may even want to highlight testimonials from past events to gain the social proof you need to draw attention.
5. Gain Some Press Coverage
Speaking of social proof, media coverage from trusted organizations is a sure way to gain attention from a wide segment of your intended audience. You or your PR staff can prepare a press release to share with relevant media outlets. Be sure your pitch contains relevant angles or stories that will command interest and curiosity.
6. Design Cohesive Event Branding
People tend to be very visual creatures. They remember what they see, and they’re drawn to images they find appealing. Use this to your advantage by crafting a branding campaign specially designed for your event.
Create an event logo and colors you’ll use throughout your promotions on brochures, websites, and social media posts. People will be able to instantly recognize this imagery on the day of the event where you can incorporate it into signs, feather flags, banners, and other on-site signage.
7. Use a Custom Hashtag
Creating a custom hashtag to be used specifically for your event can help attendees keep track of associated information. It also allows them to share their own user-generated content (USG) with the feed. Plus, a hashtag invites connection and engagement. It can even be used after the event for recaps and continuing relationships.
8. Pair Up with Influencers
Working with influencers is becoming a common marketing technique. It can build trust among your intended audience when you pair up with a figure who’s familiar to them. It’s also advantageous because you have the opportunity to gain new attendees based on the influencer’s large following.
9. Run a Contest
People love winning prizes. Many also can’t resist competition. Holding a contest is a surefire method to add some fun to your promotional efforts by leveraging people’s inherent nature. A contest offers all sorts of ways to build excitement surrounding your event, while also spreading the word farther than you might otherwise reach.
10. Invest in Social Advertising
You’ll be using social media for much of your other promotions, so it may make sense to invest in paid ads on the sites you use most. You’ll want to use past market research and campaigns to guide your ad-buying choices to get the highest returns.
Doing so allows you to target the right users and choose the best platform for reaching those users. By employing such a strategy, it’s more likely your ads will be successful.
The Bottom Line
Keep these tips in mind when brainstorming your event promotion campaign. Creativity, combined with proven marketing methods, can increase the chances of gaining a stellar turnout. Putting in the work now can make planning and promoting next year’s event much more streamlined. Utilize these promotional techniques in a smart way to get the results you seek, and in the end, you’ll see the effort will be well worth the investment.