Whether you’re a large venue or a smaller club, or anything in between, you may feel it’s difficult to get the attention of your desired audience for them to sign up, buy a ticket, or attend your event or conference. If we’ve learned anything at all from the pandemic, it’s to think more creatively about ways to get our work done, so we urge you to think of marketing and promoting your event through that lens.
Traditional promotional efforts are great, but let’s add some other ideas into the mix, shall we?
12 Ways to Creatively Promote Your Event
We bet that once you start really thinking about it and getting your creative juices flowing, you’ll come up with 12 more ways to promote your event, but start with these and see what happens:
- Create an exciting video. Video is much more interactive than photographs or graphics.
- Work with an influencer. Let’s face it: Influencers have a larger audience base than most venues or clubs do. Look for an industry expert who identifies with your brand and mission, then partner with them to advocate for your event. Brand ambassadors can be an equally effective but more cost-effective option—ask people who are known in your industry and are excited about your event.
- Incorporate QR codes. Create a QR code so potential attendees can scan it and learn more about your event, your sponsors, your event highlights. But make what they’re reading interesting and exciting so they’ll want to sign up.
- Offer early bird discounts. Okay, this one’s been around for a while, but it works. And because we are smart, we do what works. Members get a discount, people who buy tickets early get a discount.
- Take a look at your event website. Is it the same as you had last year, and the year before that, and the year before that? Commit to annual updates so it looks relatable and fresh. Nothing turns off attendees more than an old, stale event!
- Create different ad designs. Don’t just make one great one and call it good. Create several that have a similar feel to tie them together, but are interesting on their own.
- Have branded merch. T-shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs, baseball hats, people love merch. They often buy it when they’re excited about something, so have branded merchandise available from the get-go. Maybe they get a cool T-shirt with their registration, or are put into a drawing to receive a full merch goodie bag.
- Make a highlight reel. Have you been hosting this event regularly for years? Create a new highlight reel with action from last year’s event. People love seeing that excitement, spotting others they know (or themselves!) and feeling a sense of anticipation and FOMO.
- Leverage event discovery sites. Anyplace you can list your event, list it. Eventbrite, Facebook events, Stuff to Do in Austin (Seattle, Chicago, etc.), Goldstar.
- Host a ticket giveaway. Make the entry into the giveaway something like liking your IG post and sharing it to their Stories, for example.
- Create invitation-only perks. The first 50 people who register, for example, can be invited to a private happy hour or reception with someone notable in the industry, or get a private garden tour just for them.
- Donate tickets to an auction. Are there any charity auctions in the area? Donate a couple of tickets and a merch basket to get more eyes on the event itself. Plus, you’re helping out the charity or nonprofit.