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Event Planning

Event Promotion Ideas: Boosting Attendance and Excitement

Yashika Tangri
February 20, 2024
12
min read

Ever had event promotion ideas where you thought every bit of it was perfect—the venue was impressive, the program was meticulous, the decor was stylish, and you were sure that it would be the talk of the town—but ended up feeling disappointed by the actual event turnout?

You’re not alone. Many of us have been there, done that, nodding in despair, asking ourselves, "Where did I go wrong?"

Without proper promotion, your event can get lost in countless happenings vying for your audience's attention. 

We created this guide with 12 unique event promotion ideas to help you get the word out about your event and attract more attendees.

Let's get started.

A. 12 unique event promotion ideas

To get you started, here are the 12 unique event promotion ideas you must employ to attract more attendees.

1. Early bird incentives

Creating an early bird incentive scheme is a strategic marketing method to persuade potential attendees to purchase their tickets early.

First, make sure to set a deadline for when the early bird discount will end. A limited-time offer adds a sense of urgency, making people more likely to act promptly. 

Next, prominently advertise these early bird incentives across all your platforms- your event website, email newsletters, or print promotions.

The key to a successful early bird offer lies in two main factors: the attractiveness of the discount and effective communication. The offer needs to be significant enough to motivate immediate action. This could be a financial discount, exclusive access to specific sessions, or additional perks like free event merchandise.

Lastly, apply the principles of scarcity and exclusivity. Indicate that only a limited number of early bird tickets or perks are available. The inclusivity makes attendees feel they belong to a particular group.

To handle all these with ease, employ the help of Ticket Generator. It will help you to organize things and streamline the process. You can create a custom ticketing page with your event details, including the early bird discount and perks. Then, share it on social media or email it directly to attendees.

2. Social media engagement

Social media is a powerful tool to engage prospective attendees and generate excitement around your event. 

You can create a unique and catchy hashtag for hashtag contests related to your event. Encourage followers to share content with the hashtag, a post sharing their excitement for the event, or why they want to attend. You can even make your audience a part of the event planning by running polls or surveys and asking for their input on certain aspects of the event.

Moreover, live Q&A sessions are an excellent way to pique curiosity about your event. You can host a session with a speaker or performer from the event, providing a sneak peek into what attendees can expect.

Ticket giveaways add a dimension of fun and games to your event promotions. The concept is simple: host a contest where the winner gets a free ticket to your event. To manage this seamlessly, use tools like Ticket Generator to produce unique promotional codes for each winner. It's also an excellent method to track the effectiveness of your social media promotions.

3. Influencer collaborations

On average, brands can earn $5.20 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing—making it a highly effective way to promote your event.

To get started with influencer marketing, identify individuals whose audience aligns with your target demographics.

It's crucial to remember that reach isn't everything. Micro-influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers can often generate higher engagement rates (around 6%) than mega-influencers (1.97%), making them great partners for your event promotion, according to Markerly

3rd-party platforms like Upfluence, AspireIQ, or Influencity are ideal for your event promotion endeavors. These platforms allow you to filter potential influencers by industry, reach, engagement rate, and more, simplifying the outreach process. Reach out to your chosen influencers directly through the platform's messaging system to propose a collaboration.

Given the creative autonomy, influencers can generate engaging content, ensuring that the promotional material feels organic and resonates with their audience. The perceived authenticity is likely why 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, so leveraging this influence can significantly boost your event's reach and engagement.

4. Engaging content marketing

Incorporate engaging content marketing strategies into your promotional playbook to pique the interest of potential attendees. A well-curated blog, for instance, can be an incredibly effective tool - marketers who use blogs acquire 67% more leads than those who don't.

Your blog content can cover many pertinent topics and provide value to your audience—forming a connection between attendees and your event. If you're hosting a tech event, explore issues like the latest tech trends or interviews with industry pioneers.

Go a step further and diversify the content format to accommodate different preferences. Videos can significantly boost engagement, with 80% of users stating they can recall a video ad they've viewed in the last 30 days.

Meanwhile, infographics are shared three times more often on social media than any other type of content. Harness this by creating visually captivating infographics to present complex, technical information—making your content both shareable and engaging.

5. Strategic email campaigns

Email marketing remains one of the most effective channels to promote events. Communicating directly to someone's inbox helps forge a more personal connection with potential attendees. Your focus should be developing a series of emails that aren't just informative but weave a compelling narrative about your event.

Every email campaign should start with a carefully segmented audience list. Segmentation can be based on demographics, past attendance, or expressed interests. Tailoring your messages to specific segments ensures your content resonates more profoundly with each recipient.

You can even collaborate with influencers who have an active subscriber list. This will help you reach a wider audience and increase the chances of your emails being opened. You can also use this opportunity to build relationships with influencers, which may lead to future collaborations.

Platforms like Mailchimp or Constant Contact are excellent for managing email campaigns efficiently. These tools allow you to effectively segment your audience, automate sending schedules, personalize your emails, and obtain detailed analytics functions to help fine-tune your strategy.

6. Community partnerships

Community partnerships form mutually beneficial relationships that can significantly expand the reach of your event. Leveraging local networks helps create an authentic connection with potential attendees, making this a robust line of event promotion.

Start by identifying local groups or businesses whose visions align with your event. You can do this with the help of platforms like Meetup, LinkedIn, and Facebook, which are great for identifying potential local groups to partner with. Look up community groups based on their location or interests related to your event.

Prioritize those with a solid following or customer base. These partnerships could be with local non-profits, businesses, clubs, associations, or influential personalities.

Once you’ve identified your partners, work with them to develop a promotional plan that benefits both parties. They can help promote your event through their channels: newsletters, social media feeds, or physical storefronts. In exchange, you can offer them a presence at your event, free tickets, or a portion of ticket sale proceeds.

7. Behind-the-scenes peeks

You can use this exclusive content to humanize your event, making it more relatable and real to potential attendees, regardless of what you are showing them.

Use platforms like Instagram and Facebook for this purpose, as they support various content formats like photos, videos, and interactive stories. Sharing this content piques curiosity and shows the effort and passion that goes into planning your event, garnering appreciation and possibly more shares.

Use Instagram Stories or Facebook Live to share real-time behind-the-scenes moments. Live Q&A sessions with speakers or performers can connect your audience more intimately. Consider 360-degree venue tours or time-lapse videos to build anticipation for the event.

8. Loyalty perks for repeat attendees

Rewarding repeat attendees fosters a sense of community around your event and is a proven retention strategy. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits between 25% and 95%.

Start by segmenting past attendees in your email list or CRM software like HubSpot or Salesforce. Tailor your communications to these past attendees, expressing appreciation for their support.

Offering exclusive perks and benefits can strongly incentivize past attendees to join your next event. These perks could include early bird discounts, VIP seating, exclusive meet and greets, or even a special thank-you gift. Ensure these offers deliver value, making repeat attendees feel privileged and rewarded.

Amplify these exclusive offers by promoting them on social media or through email campaigns - but remember to code them uniquely so only past attendees can redeem them. This tactic stimulates quick registrations and boosts attendee satisfaction, promoting positive word-of-mouth about your event.

9. Local media features

Local media outlets provide a pivotal platform for publicity and can significantly amplify the reach of your event within your community. Newspapers, radio stations, and local TV can share your event news with a comprehensive yet targeted local audience, even to those who may not be active on social media or online.

Begin by creating a compelling press release that covers key event details - what it's about, why it's exclusive, who's attending, and other pertinent information. Utilize platforms like PR Newswire or PRWeb to distribute this press release.

Contact local reporters, editors, or news directors who cover community events. Introduce your event and explain why it would make a compelling story for their audience. You could even pitch unique story angles, such as featuring a prominent guest speaker or spotlighting your event's impact on the community.

Local radio is also an excellent avenue for promotion. Consider pitching a story idea to a local radio station or offering to be interviewed about the event. If you're hosting a musical event, the musician(s) may be available for a live performance, making the segment more appealing to the radio show.

10. Public speaking or guest appearances

Participating in industry-related events or guest spots on relevant podcasts before your event is a terrific way to spread the word and establish your team as thought leaders in the space.

Look for industry conferences, meetups, webinars, or workshops where your team members can speak. Platforms like Meetup can help you identify such opportunities. When speaking at these events, mention your upcoming event subtly, focusing on providing value first.

When appearing as a guest on a podcast, pick one whose audience overlaps with your target attendees.

Podcast guesting services like MatchMaker.fm or Podcast Guests can connect you with relevant podcast hosts. While discussing the topic, weave in references to your upcoming event. Since podcast audiences often seek industry-specific content, this audience could be highly receptive to attending your event.

Ultimately, effective event promotion hinges on merging promotional tactics with value provision. It's about creating genuine interest and desire to attend, multiplying the chances of an event's success.

11. Promotional swag

Swag, slang for promotional merchandise, can be an impactful, tangible reminder of your event or brand. Whether t-shirts, hats, tote bags, pins, or stickers, well-timed and creatively designed swag can generate buzz and foster closer connections with potential attendees.

Platforms like CustomInk, Printful, or Zazzle can help you design and manufacture your event-themed swag. You can distribute it at local gatherings, related events, or community spaces.

To amplify its reach, consider a social media campaign encouraging recipients to post a photo with their swag and use a specific hashtag. Remember to ensure your swag is valuable or unique – a quirky, well-designed item can often become a conversation starter, organically advertising your event.

Finally, it’s crucial to factor in the cost of your swag into your overall event budget. Expensive, high-quality items might make a more significant impact, but an expected return should justify the investment.

12. Webinars or Podcasts

Hosting webinars or podcasts related to your event's theme can pique audience interest and attract potential attendees. These platforms offer a chance to showcase some of the main draws of your event, such as guest speakers, highlighted topics, or exclusive workshops.

Platforms like Zoom, GoToWebinar, or WebEx are great for hosting webinars. A week or two before your event, host an interactive session inviting potential attendees to meet some speakers or learn more about a critical topic. This acts as a teaser and provides valuable content, reinforcing your reputation.

Similarly, initiate a podcast series related to your event's purpose using platforms like Anchor.fm, Buzzsprout, or PodBean. In each episode, discuss a particular topic from your event, and towards the end, casually inform listeners about your upcoming event. Consider inviting your event speakers as guests on your podcast.

Record these webinars and podcasts and share them on your event webpage, email newsletters, and social media to reach a wider audience. These preemptive measures can effectively spark curiosity and prompt registrations for your event.

B. Implement your event promotion plan

Implementing an effective event promotion plan requires a strategic approach, clear objectives, meticulous planning, and proactive tracking.

1. Set clear promotional objectives and measure ROI

Start by establishing clear objectives for what you want to achieve with your promotions. This could include increasing ticket sales, raising awareness about an issue, building your brand's reputation, or driving engagement on social media. Make these objectives SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Along with setting objectives, it's crucial to have a system for measuring your return on investment (ROI). This metric helps you understand the effectiveness of your promotional strategies. Track performance indicators like ticket sales, website traffic, social media engagement, earned media coverage, and attendee satisfaction. Evaluate the cost of each promotional activity versus the revenue or benefits it generates.

2. Plan the timeline for rolling out promotion activities

Timing is crucial for event promotion. Develop a promotional calendar that plots out when each promotional activity will occur. Start generating awareness about your event several months ahead, gradually ramping up promotional activities as the event date draws closer.

Your timeline should also consider ticket sale deadlines, speaker announcements, or behind-the-scenes sneak peeks. A well-planned timeline ensures smooth execution, maintaining a steady buzz leading up to the event.

3. Measure success with Ticket Generator

Ticket Generator's features extend beyond just generating tickets. Its comprehensive analytics features can provide crucial insights to understand your attendees better and accurately measure your event's success.

This platform offers real-time data about ticket sales, allowing you to see which promotional channels are most effective. You can examine trends in registration, identify peak sales periods, and adjust your promotional strategy accordingly.

Furthermore, with its QR code scan feature, you can better understand attendee behavior, like check-in times, to improve logistics for future events. 

Indeed, Ticket Generator's insights can prove invaluable for refining your promotional strategies and optimizing event success.

C. Boost your event attendance today

Effective event promotion is crucial to attracting attendees and ensuring your event's success. Try different tactics, gauge their effectiveness, and continually optimize your approach based on attendee feedback and ROI.

Next step? Start with ticket promotion by creating your event registration page on Ticket Generator. It's an all-in-one platform that allows you to build, manage, and promote your event. It's also a great way to get started with event marketing!

Get started for free. 

Yashika Tangri

Yashika Tangri is an amazing marketing manager who operates from Trycon Technology's Noida office. Her name signifies success and fame, and she has certainly lived up to these expectations.

At work, Yashika is a highly efficient digital marketing organizer and a source of inspiration to her colleagues with her positive demeanor and professional work ethics. Despite being a lifelong student of science, Yashika decided to pursue a career in marketing in 2018.

After work hours, Yashika enjoys creating new playlists on Spotify, and she is an avid reader who finds solace in escaping reality through the pages of mythology books.