You’ve decided to host a live event. You’ve put in a lot of time and energy to craft an awesome experience and now it’s time to get people to show up. You begin to wonder how to market your event to make sure people register.
The most important aspect of any business project is ROI (return on investment). Your events are no different! In this article, we’re pointing out 9 super awesome ways you can market your event with maximum bang for your buck. You know everything you wanna cover and you’ve got a date nailed down. Now the real work begins.
The hardest part of managing any event is getting people to show up. There’s nothing worse than standing in front of a sea of empty seats. And there's nothing better than speaking to a venue that’s filled to the brim. So read through and give some or all of these methods a go. It will ensure your next event has the audience you deserve.
Market Your Event Using these 9 Awesome Strategies
Social networking plays a major role in getting your voice out there and live video gives you an extra edge. It’s an excellent way to market your event. Instagram and Facebook both offer live feed functions now that are right on trend and wildly popular. Go with whichever holds your largest following or have a go at both for good measure! This live-action video gives you the chance to actively present yourself and your event to your audience in real time. It opens the door to all kinds of creativity and allows you to effectively throw everyone a sneak preview of what your event has in store.
Because it’s live, you’ll need to have your game face on and a solid plan in place. Make sure you practice before setting off because once the feed starts. You don't want any hiccups ruining your time in front of the camera. That said, there’s no point throwing out a live feed of content that could just as easily be shown via a captured video on Youtube.
People watch lives to be awed by things that are happening right now. You need to think of ways to exploit the “real time” aspect as much as possible. Do something really impressive, shout out about a one-time limited offer. Or shoot your live stream at another exciting one-off event to feed off its popularity. Whatever you do, make sure it makes perfect sense for live video.
Pro tip: A virtual team could prove especially handy in coming up with an effective social media strategy for your event promotion. You have enough to do with everything else. Let a social media manager handle the social media marketing.
Speak at other events
Look at other events in your area and consider being a speaker there. By speaking at these events, you’re addressing new pools of people and harnessing the chance to pull them toward your own projects. It's a good idea to speak at the events run by competitors even if you are top dog in your industry. This will help broaden your reach and help attract new prospects.
Bloggers, social influences, and even TV shows all do the same thing. Do you love a good cross-over episode as much as I do?
They collaborate and expose their presence to each other's audiences in order to grow their own following. It’s efficient because it only costs you a little bit of your time. Therefore, the return you can get for this level of investment could be major. Someone else has already put a huge amount of effort into marketing and planning this event to grow a decent audience. Whatever percentage you can attract for yourself is going to be nothing but A-grade leads. Make sure you stand out when you speak at someone else's event. Be yourself but make sure you’re bringing something new and fresh to the audience. The more unique you are, the more pull you’re likely to achieve. If you’re just a sleep-inducing rehash of what others are saying, you’ll be forgotten very quickly.
Podcast Guest Appearances
If you aren’t into traveling or want to leverage even more speaking opportunities, consider being a guest on podcasts. According to Infinite Dial, one-third of Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 listen to podcasts monthly.
Appearing as a guest on podcasts is an excellent way to tap into national and international audiences without leaving home. Most podcasts will allow you to share a link to how listeners can learn more. Take this opportunity to share a link to an upcoming event. Just make sure the link will redirect after the event as podcasts tend to be around long after your event has ended.
Direct calls to prospects
Nothing beats a phone call. As you’ll see below, email just isn’t what it used to be. I can’t tell you the number of times I was subscribed to someone’s email list and had no idea they were hosting an event. I just don’t always take the time to read the emails, and I’m not the only one.
Call your existing contacts to let them know about your upcoming event. Ask them if they know of anyone that might be interested in attending. This approach is less “icky” than asking them if they’ll be attending.
Pro tip: Be sure to have something ready to email to the people you call. They may be interested in getting more information or even offer to share your info with others they know. Make sharing simple by having a few social media posts created in advance.
This is an option if your event is scheduled and you’re looking to build as many registrations as possible in a short time. Affiliate marketing is where you pay a commission to someone every time they send a paying customer to you. Of course, this requires a little bit of a budget unlike other ideas on this list. The main advantage of affiliate marketing is the pricing model. You only pay when someone actually completes a purchase, or in the case of an event, signs up to attend. Don't wanna get ripped off? Check out this useful post on how much affiliates should be paid.
Again, the best place to look for affiliate marketers is with influencers that are dominant in your niche. Anyone with a large following can effectively drive traffic towards your registration page, so look for people with a strong social media presence, large blogs, or highly watched video channels.
In the vast majority of cases, anyone with a following of thousands is already likely to be acting as an affiliate for other causes. This means they’ll know exactly what you're talking about when you get in touch and will be able to respond to you with a solid answer regarding rates and how to get started.
It’s easy to forget about the power of physical letters. Today, emails are abundant and cheap. Paper actually stands for something more meaningful and notifications that are highly important. Do you have strong prospects that you want to blow away? Send them a carefully crafted letter or package filled with material that they’ll find very useful.
It’ll cost an arm and a leg if you plan on sending hundreds or thousands of letters out to every prospect you lay your sights on. Rein it back and only send physical invites to those with the potential to bring wider pools of guests with them.
This is also a very handy way of keeping a firm grip on VIP guests. If you're having special speakers or industry gods attending your event, let them know just how much you care by sending hard copy invites to them directly. This should help bolster their confidence in the occasion as well as feed their egos. Let’s face it, stars like to be treated like stars.
Guest posting on related blogs
Guest posting is when you reach out to bloggers with huge audiences and ask if they’ll post an article that you’ve written. The article can be all about your work or your event and how to sign up. You’ll need to look for all the major blogs in your niche that target the right kind of readers and then contact them to see if they accept guest posts.
The more influencers you contact, the better. Some will flat out reject your request and almost all of them will present you with certain rules you’ll have to follow in order for your post to be accepted. Reach out to as many as you can to increase your chances of landing a few that match up with your needs perfectly.
Not an Ad
This is not the same as a typical advertisement! You can't just rave about your event and sell the living daylights out of it with a solid 100% persuasive pitch. Blog influencers want their blogs to maintain a high level of value that the content brings to their audience. This means all posts, especially guest posts, have to be informative, helpful, wildly entertaining, or a mix of all the above. In most cases, the influencers behind the blogs will allow you to highlight your event, or provide a link to your own online presence.
If you get it right you could land yourself a boost in sign-ups or an increased following on your website going forward.
Pro tip: Not a writer? If you’re good at the reaching out but not so good with the actual blogging, a virtual team could put together the content for you. Find a virtual assistant with the right expertise and you can have them craft the written content while you scour the web for the right influencers to pitch to.
Evolve your email efforts
Old school email is dead. Up your email game to generate better results and lose fewer subscribers over time. If you’re still blasting a template to every entry on your single list of email contacts every time you have an event planned, you’re doing it wrong!
Nowadays, people are very quick to turn off and push a communication aside if it seems even slightly irrelevant to their needs. You should be breaking your email list down and sorting your contacts into categories; VIP’s, other speakers, prospects that have attended before, and those who haven't. Once you’ve sorted them into groups, you can then work on putting together emails that are actually tailored to their individual perspectives. This approach is called “email targeting.” It’s far more effective than just compiling one general newsletter and throwing it out to every person you know that has a computer.
There are a wealth of email marketing platforms out there but the largest one in the world is
MailChimp. This particular tool makes email targeting a breeze. It's also a great resource for more tips and guides on modern email marketing strategy. As MailChimp lead the market, you can bet your bottom dollar that every piece of material they publish is nothing short of world class.
Require speakers to bring guests or promote
It’s not uncommon for events to require guest speakers to bring guests or help with the promotion. If you have guest speakers, recruit them to help you market your event.
This might include requiring them to register a certain number of guests themselves or it may simply look like them sending emails out to their existing list.
Be sure to provide your speakers with the tools they need to make this process simple.
Conclusion - 9 Ways to Market Your Event
That's it! Those are our top 9 ways to promote your latest event. Take up any or a number of the endeavors listed above and you’ll be swimming in attendees. It’s also important to remember that you’ll be collecting a whole heap of photos, notes, and video over the course of your event. Don't let these bad boys go to waste!
Make sure you save these valuable pieces of content for your future promotional efforts. One of the best ways to convince someone to attend anything is to show them a vibrant sneak preview of what the event is actually like! We hope you've found this quick list helpful and that things start to fall into place the closer you get to show time. Happy hunting!