Best Ways to Market an Event
Are you planning an event and feeling lost with where to start? Or have you already started with the preparations but aren't sure how to boost your event and get your desired attendance level? No matter where you are in the event organizing process, you should always be thinking about marketing.
Every event planner's nightmare is doing all the legwork, yet the attendance turnout is below expected. Wouldn't it be frustrating to have all your efforts go down the drain? If you've tried all the approaches you can come up with to promote your event, but it seems like your hard work has not been paying off, then perhaps it's time to start thinking outside of the box.
The perfect time to start promoting your social event is from the get-go, which means as soon as you have already pressed the green light to start the preparations. It is vital to have a lead time, so you may be able to plan accordingly, preferably an approximate 40 to 60 days before the date. Here are some ways that you may effectively market your event:
Maximizing Use of Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms now have different features that allow users to promote everything and everything under the sun, 24/7. Through the ''Stories'' feature, you as an event planner can post content regarding your upcoming event and have your social audience have an in-the-moment update in the days leading to the event itself.
You may utilize having a special Snapchat geofilter or go live on Instagram or Facebook so your viewers can have an up-close scoop on the day itself, giving them an "insider" feel. Ensure that you also have hashtags explicitly created for the event and encourage your physical and virtual attendees to share or post their own stories with the corresponding hashtags.
The perfect social media platforms you can utilize nowadays for promoting your event are:
Almost everyone nowadays is on Facebook. What started as a campus social media website, has now turned into one of the world’s, if not the world’s biggest gathering place. With visibility and the number of people on it, placing an ad about your event on Facebook can bring in the numbers you’ll need for a successful event.
Another giant platform you can use to market your events is Instagram. A simple announcement and hashtag is all you need to get started. For a lot of people, one of the joys in attending an event is the chance to take photos and videos of it. Instagram allows your attendees to share their experiences to their followers. With that said, you can also use Instagram to constantly promote your events and build hype for your next event.
IG or Instagram, also has a lot of features that can boost your event. One such feature is the Instagram Story. With this feature, you can highlight specific activities for your followers. Of course, your story should be engaging and interesting enough for your attendees. Along with an Instagram Story, you can promote your vendors as well. You can easily tag your food and merchandise suppliers for your followers to see and follow themselves.
Pulling Off PR Stunts
One way of gaining leverage as to promotions for events is to keep everyone curious and talking about them. Gossip always spreads like wildfire, and what better way is there to get your event to be talked about than by planning PR stunts.
Who can't forget the PR stunt pulled off by Now TV for the 25th-anniversary celebration of Jurassic World? No other than Jeff Goldblum skyrocketed the promotion for the hit movie as a giant statue of himself, posed sexily, was perfectly poised in front of the Tower Bridge.
Another example of a PR stunt paying homage to a great series, Deliveroo commemorated the 14th anniversary of Friends'finalFriends'final episode in 2018 by putting up its pop-up shop and concocted its version of Rachel'sRachel's infamous meat trifle in all its glory - its ingredients from the ladyfingers, custard, jam, raspberries, banana and whipped cream down to the savory beef sauteed with peas and onion. Talk about a tasty publicity stunt!
In connection with the social media phenomenon, another marketing strategy has emerged that is extensively utilized by brands, both big and small alike - event influencer marketing. Influencers, at some point, can now make or break brands more than artists and celebrities. This is by just posting a video online or sharing a story on their own social media platform.
Make sure to choose influencers with highly positive backgrounds and have a good following. You wouldn’t want an influencer to have to do something with your event if they’ve done something wrong.
Then again, the world of influencers is complex and constantly changing. Many influencers often use clout as a means to drive in the numbers. Of course, clout can also bring in the negatives so be sure to weigh the pros and cons of getting a controversial influencer.
If you’re worried about spending too much on an influencer, then you can get several, small-time influencers. Although their followers are much smaller in numbers, a quality influencer who has the “draw” can eventually rake in the followers for your event. Just make sure that they provide quality service and that they have a good following on their social media platforms.
Studies have shown how consumers greatly depend on reviews and recommendations posted by their favorite influencers regarding the goods they buy and even upcoming events that they might be interested in joining.
Suppose you are looking to have your target audience have more awareness regarding your brand or would want to have a wider reach as you promote your upcoming event. In that case, influencer marketing will do great wonders for you and save you half the time and effort of posting yourself.
Postcards and Direct Mailers
Super local festivals may utilize USPS's Every Door Direct Mail to send postcards to a neighborhood based on the zip code, without needing to specify specific addresses. But sometimes more targeted mailing is more effective. If you have past event attendees you can send postcards to your past event attendees to remind them to get their tickets for the next event.
Promotional Giveaways and Games
You may engage your audience to participate in your pre-event activities as you promote your social affair by giving away samples or your brand merchandise. You may even come up with something exciting as a raffle or a contest, as people always love a challenge.
Why not organize an online game such as having a Tiktok dance craze and judge which individual or group has the best dance rendition? Or have people post on their stories or social media newsfeed with your event hashtag something about the event itself - e.g., "Who would you bring to the event?" This way, your promotion will have a wider reach as these people will also tag people they know who might also be enthused in going to your event.
Partnering with the Right Corporate Sponsors
Consider ways to partner with your sponsors if you happen to secure one, or better two, for your event. Both parties in this partnership are interested in making the event a success; hence it will be great to collaborate in promoting your social endeavor, e.g., cross-promotional opportunities or exchanging positive reviews on each other's websites online.
Leveraging Already Existing Events and Promotions
This is helpful if you have already organized previous events that attained a successful attendee turnout. Follow-up posts from your events can build up and excite your target market and audience to look forward to the next ones, having them anticipate more. This way, you can make your attendees, and even those who couldn't attend that feeling of FOMO, make sure they don't miss out on your future promotional shindigs.
Build Relationships With Your Attendees
For your event to be an all-out, sold-out success, creative marketing is critical to ensure that you attract your target market's attention and entice them to attend. However, there is more to catch their eye and have your social affair be the talk of the town - you also need to build relationships not only with your audience but also with your other partners.