Surprising Event Promotion Ideas (Without Spending Big Bucks)

Nov 22, 2017 6:00:00 AM Julia Sousa Tips for Event Planners

Creating a fabulous event is not enough. Getting noticed by prospects, customers, sponsors, media - that’s the secret sauce. Turns out your network can be enlisted to help promote your events, in some surprising ways!

There’s nothing worse than that sinking feeling when registrations don’t meet expectations, so check out these event promotion ideas to ensure you cover every base, thanks to those people who are already involved. Make sure to include these when planning your event marketing efforts for your next event.

Your Speakers:

Speakers are usually happy to promote your event, but if they have to work too hard to help spread the word, it can fall to the bottom of their to-do list. Simplifying the process and providing your speakers with the right tools will not only boost exposure, but will help to fill seats - a mutually beneficial outcome for both the speakers and event organizers.

Try it:

  • Provide speakers with a customized promo code to share with their followers, friends and fans, offering a small discount for event tickets. This will not only provide your speakers with a friendly way to self-promote, it will also provide you with a way to track the source of ticket purchases.

  • Give speakers a series of blurbs for easy sharing on social media, including tweet-worthy text, event hashtag(s), sponsor handles, and ticket purchase links. They’ll be more likely to share if the posts are pre-written and easily shareable.
  • Shine the spotlight on them. Don’t just name drop, promote your speakers as relevant industry leaders by sharing some of their captivating stories or professional wins. People love praise, and sharing their stories through social media will not only shine the spotlight on their achievements but will also help shine the light on your event as well. Learn More about making event promotion easy for your speakers.

Your Attendees:

If you’re working with recurring events, one of the best strategies is to keep in contact with past attendees throughout the year. Providing useful and relevant information related to their industry builds anticipation and keeps that connection going until next year’s event. As a bonus, the messages can be altered to recruit new attendees - but the content you create is useful for both targets.

Try it:

  • Focus on creating thought-provoking, shareable content that attendees will spread in their own networks. For example blog posts written by your past and future speakers are a great way to source helpful content. Consider creating webcasts or YouTube videos that give a taste of the conference too - including interviews and short videos of past presentations.
  • Give attendees great assets to share their participation in your event on social media before, during and after your event. It’s as easy as built in social share buttons on your event registration platform, conference hashtags to encourage live tweeting from the event, and high-quality giveaways for your engaged social audience.

Your Net Promoters:

Enthusiastic Net Promoters are your next-level attendees. These are your loyal fans, who will sing your event’s praises to their friends and colleagues. Your NPS Score comes down to your customers answering one question - “How likely is it you would recommend us to a friend?”

Try it:

  • Net promoters generally account for about 80% of your referrals - so ask for them! Incentivize your attendees to share your event, or better yet sign-up a colleague through contests, two-for-one offers, VIP benefits and swag.
  • Ask your promoters about their favorite aspects of your event. Once you understand what is really working, you can preserve and even refine those elements of your event to make it even better in the future.
  • These influencers are perfect to include in your post event wrap-up videos and next year’s event collateral - they can even help close new sponsors or exhibitors with their passion.

Your Charitable Partners:

If your event has a charitable component, make the most of the charities network to promote your event. Most charities have an upcoming events page on their websites and will share social call-outs on their channels. As with all partners, providing them with well-crafted messaging and images goes a long way to helping them share your event. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to promote their cause to your network too.

Try it:

  • Press releases can be put to good use for events with a charitable element. Request that representatives from the charity be available to communicate with media about their charity and the event. Help the charity create some short stories about their work to share along with your event messaging.
  • Offer free or discounted tickets to part or all of your event to the charity for their donors, board members, clients or staff. They’ll often become enthusiastic supporters and will help share your event info via their networks as well.


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