You’ve put hours of effort and dedication into creating an exciting and engaging event. With all the pieces in place, you have one major task left…promoting your event in order to ensure early and sustained interest. To help you accomplish this task, we’ve put together a list of 22 ways to promote your event. While you don’t need to use every method on this list, trying a few will certainly get your event off to a great start!
1. Create an Engaging Event Page – Your event page is going to be the hub of your event promotion efforts. This page is where your guests will learn about your event and purchase tickets. Your event page is also the location to which you will drive traffic when using some of the other tactics below. Of course, in order to drive as many sales as possible, it’s important that your page is engaging and tells the story of your event. We recommend incorporating exciting visuals, videos, and constant updates so that your page is fresh and exciting.
2. Build an Event Website – To take things one step further, you may choose to build an entire event website. Having a website instead of just one page provides some flexibility in marketing and promoting the event. It also provides you with an opportunity to make sure your event is SEO optimized and ranks highly in Google search – creating more ticket sales. Some of our favorite website structures include:
- Main landing / ticket sales page
- Past event pages (images, videos, etc.)
- Sponsor page
- Contact page
3. Choose an Exciting Venue – A fun venue will give your event immediate attention, drawing in crowds and hopefully generating some local press. Once you’ve chosen your venue, be sure to build details of the venue into your communication and promotion plan. The best venues will be open to unique themes and will be centrally located for easy accessibility for your guests
4. Create a Theme & Cool Name – Themes are a fun way to build a story around your event and increase sales. Formal themes are a go-to choice to give your audience a chance to dress up, but don’t be afraid to mix it up with different themes (80s, 90s, Casino, Great Gatsby, Mardi Gras…to name a few)!
5. Use Professional Design and Graphics – As we talk about your event website and theme, it’s important to touch on the visual quality of your event. We find that professional design and graphics go a long way in terms of driving ticket sales. High-quality visuals will impress your audience and drive desire to attend! Luckily, the many available freelance design sites will allow you to hire someone to create professional designs and graphics on a budget.
6. Tier Your Ticket Types – Creating different ticket tiers will encourage guests to buy tickets faster. For example, if you offer early-bird, general admission, and last-minute tickets (all at increasing prices), your audience will hustle to purchase your early-bird tickets before they sell out, creating immediate interest and a boost in sales.
7. Create Exclusivity – Along the same lines, we recommend creating VIP ticket tiers in order to create a feeling of exclusivity for your guests. Having a VIP tier available will leave guests wanting more…and purchasing more tickets! We also recommend displaying the number of tickets remaining on your ticketing page to create a sense of urgency for your ticket buyers.
8. Embrace Social Proof – Social proof is the idea of using comments, quotes, or stats of past (or current) guests to inspire your audience to purchase tickets. Here are some different ways to use social proof to promote your event:
- Include positive quotes from guests on your event website or ticketing page.
- Add exciting visuals and videos on your page or in your event advertising.
9. Create FOMO – FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out, can be a huge driver of ticket sales. When people see all their friends attending a new event, they’ll be encouraged to purchase tickets as well. Make sure everyone knows how fun your event will be by holding your guests socially accountable and encouraging them to share information about the event…Which leads us to our next tip…
10. Make It Easy for Guests to Promote Your Event – In order to make your event go viral, make sure to give your guests and ticket buyers the opportunity to be event promoters. Select an event ticketing platform that allows your guests to share their ticket purchase on social media immediately after buying. This seamless experience will lead to a massive social presence, more FOMO, and increased sales!
11. Embrace Social Media – While this is an obvious tip, and one of our longer ones, we’d be remiss to leave it out. You may have noticed that many of the tips we’ve already included contain elements of social media in them, and for good reason. Here’s a quick summary of how we like to include social media:
- Use a Facebook event page.
- Include ticket purchase widget directly on Facebook page.
- Allow ticket buyers to share experience on Facebook after purchasing.
- Create a hashtag.
- Encourage ticket buyers to share experience on Twitter after purchasing.
- Post teasers of your event venue and theme.
- Create engaging photos and videos from past events to create social proof and drive engagement.
12. Create an Event Hashtag – An event hashtag will give your guests something to share across all social media channels. If you are lucky enough to start trending, you should see an immediate spike in ticket sales! Guests can also use your hashtag while at your event to give you a great way to search for live content.
13. Advertise on Social Media – We also recommend that you test out different ads to promote your event on social media. Using channels like Facebook and Instagram, you can target based on interest, geography – even create lookalike audiences to promote to. Here, we’d recommend creating a lookalike audience of past event attendees so that you know you are promoting to a relevant group. Don’t forget to include quotes and engaging images from guests to drive conversion and ticket sales!
14. Consider Ad Re-targeting – Using re-targeting, you can serve an ad to someone who has been to your event web page or Facebook page. These users will already be familiar with your event, and the ad will ensure that you stay top of mind.
15. Enlist Influencers – Influencer marketing has been proven to drive better results and engagements than most traditional marketing formats. Based on your event’s location, try to recruit social media influencers that fit your demographic. Incentivize your influencers with free tickets in exchange for them posting on their social accounts and promoting your event…Watch the ticket sales flood in from there!
16. Construct an Effective Email Campaign – While many people will send out mass emails to past attendees, we recommend getting smarter here. Create different segments based on your attendee personas, and provide helpful updates about your event. What is the theme? Are there any celebrity appearances or surprises? Keep your past and current attendees on the edge of their seats and excited to see what will happen at the event.
17. Work With Local Publications – Local publications are a great way to spread the word about your event to a targeted audience. Publications include:
- Radio broadcasts
18. List Your Event on Local Event Calendars – Most newspapers and magazines have local event calendars that are printed and posted online. Make sure your event is included on each of these to drive additional sales!
19. Create a Sizzle Reel – We already mentioned using an event video to drive sales and include on your event website, but it’s important to make sure it’s an exciting video that drives engagement and sales. We recommend using a professional videographer – if he can pull footage from previous events, even better. Check out a great example here!
20. Celebrity Promotion – Do you have any local celebrities attending your event? If so, have them promote your event on social channels to drive increased awareness.
21. Host Competitions – Host competitions for free tickets based on who can share your event the most, or who can post the most engaging photo or video. The contests will result in great content, and they will also add a boost to your event’s social media presence.
22. Make Your Event Easy to Share – Finally, make your event experience easy to share. While this will not help sales for your current event, it will drive interest for your event next year. Some ways to make the event easy to share include:
- Snapchat filters specific to your event
- Photobooths that allow for instant share to Instagram
- Event hashtags
While this may seem like a long list, it’s not necessary to use all 22 of these tactics – embrace as many as you can. Each event will use its own unique combination of promotion tactics to increase awareness and drive ticket sales!