Events are one of the most creative ways to build a hype about your brand and attract customers, but without proper event promotion examples and techniques, you cannot get desired turnout which will result in a lesser ROI.
This is why event promotion is a crucial aspect in pulling your event off. No matter what type of business you own, events should be part of your marketing strategy.
Here are some great tactics and a few event promotion examples to conduct budget friendly events that will rapidly improve your customer base:
#1. Create a hassle-free ticketing system
This is your first and most important step of event promotion.
If registration is too tricky or confusing, your potential attendees will abandon your site which will heavily impact your turnout.
According to Crazy Egg, one of the biggest website optimisation tools out there, difficult navigation or information overload is one of the top 3 reasons that leads to high bounce rates.
On average, users stay on a website for only 15 seconds – which is why it is such a challenge to retain website visitors.
Before I get into how you can retain website visitors, here are the two main platforms through which you should be selling tickets:
You can either use your official company’s website to sell tickets with a designated page for ticketing, set up a completely new website for registration and ticketing or partner with a ticketing platform:
This depends entirely upon the resources that you have, the size of your business and most importantly, the nature of your event.
A longer event that spans over a couple of days could definitely use a separate website, but that’s up to you to judge.
Before you design your website, you need to make sure that it is optimised for search engines.
There are a number of ways you can do that – using high ranking keywords, ensuring fast loading rates, compressed jpeg images, a good internal link structure etc.
To work on this, check out my complete guide on How to master Search Engine Optimisation.
Then comes your actual website.
75% of your website credibility comes from it’s design.
Your design is what creates the first impression and experts say that an effective and eye catching design is one that is simple.
Another benefit of a simple design is easy navigation.
If visitors can navigate their way through your site with ease, they’ll stay on it longer – increasing the likelihood of purchasing tickets to your event.
To monitor visitor behaviour, you can use tools like Crazy Egg which offer heat maps and mouse recordings that help you identify if there is a problem with your site or visitors are having difficulty navigating it.
Monitoring visitor behaviour regularly will help you keep your website top notch, resulting in more ticket sales.
- Mobile app
Currently, smartphone users spend almost 90% of their time in apps as opposed to browsers:
This does not mean that your website isn’t important.
Users will only download the app if they get a good first impression by visiting your website.
Plus, it’s much more convenient for them to open an app on their phone to show their ticket for event entry rather than bring a physical ticket or open a browser which requires an active internet connection.
If you don’t have the resources to create an app, make sure that you at least have a mobile friendly website.
This means that your website should be optimised for smaller screens i.e. in terms of font, readability, touch etc.
If not, you’ll lose more than half of your visitors because more than 50% of website traffic comes from mobile phones.
Last but not least, you need to make sure that you get maximum visitors to convert.
A lot of people will visit your website just to find out information and the majority of them will not purchase a ticket on their first visit.
If you want to make them reconsider, use a retargeting strategy – A good event promotion examples.
This is a very effective marketing strategy where you pay Google or social media platforms to display your ad after a customer has visited your website without making a purchase.
You’ll often see this yourself when you shop online and abandon your cart. The next time you open an app or browser, an ad for that same product shows up:
As pointed out by Amal Yassin in this image, you can definitely relate to this and most of the time, it makes us want to revisit and complete our purchase.
Research backs this, because retargeting improves engagement rates by 400%!
If you haven’t already invested in a retargeting strategy, do it now because it is a must for any business hosting an event.
Check out HubSpot’s beginner guide on How to set up ad retargeting on facebook.
#2. Hire influencers as event ambassadors
This process can be as budget friendly as you want it to be, but that depends entirely on who you want to hire.
These days, compensation is determined by the amount of followers an individual has on social media.
So you could hire big-shot celebrities or regular individuals, but your best bet is the people who fall in the category in between – influencers.
Influencers are people that grow from being regular individuals to famous personalities because of their hard work and dedication.
A makeup artist can be an influencer who shares makeup tutorials and tips to create glamorous looks.
Similarly, a self-taught chef who shares their work – whether in the form of recipes or end products can also become an influencer.
Even so, celebrities have a much larger fan following than influencers.
So why hire influencers over celebrities?
The fact of the matter is, your potential attendees can relate to the struggles of an influencer who fought to get where they were and shared their entire story with their followers.
Also, influencers are experts in a specific field whereas celebrities usually have a general fan base – so you can easily hire influencers from within your industry who motivate their followers to attend your event.
Since these followers already have an interest in your field, you have a much higher chance of effective promotion.
Most importantly, if you go for local influencers, it will cost you way less than hiring a celebrity as a brand ambassador.
Check out my complete guide on Influencers on Instagram and how to hire and compensate them.
As brand ambassadors, they can share information about your event via social media stories.
They can also do a social media takeover through which they can post live updates, do Q&As etc.
Plus, you can even come up with a discount code which you can promote through your influencers e.g. ‘GOMEZ20’ which attendees can use to get 20% on purchasing a ticket.
#3. Use email and SMS
Social media is a must, of course, but I mention these two channels specifically because they are extremely budget friendly, have one of the highest Return on Investments (ROI) and are highly underutilised, something that you can take advantage of.
SMS is a direct and personalised channel with an open rate of 98%.
Because of the ease of use that it offers, SMS is a consumer’s choice platform:
All of this makes it essential for you to use SMS for promoting your event.
Plus, you can set up customer support via SMS because it takes seconds for a text to deliver and the cost of sending out a text is also minimal.
To get started with your own SMS campaign, you can sign up with ExpressText.
It’ll get you started within minutes and offers some of the cheapest package rates in the industry (US).
Moving on to email, it’s another platform which has been around for a long time, leading some marketers to believe that it is now inefficient, but that is not the case.
Individuals still check their emails on an average of 15 times a day, and this is reported by the Harvard Business Review so there’s a slim chance it isn’t true.
Plus, sending out an email will cost you almost nothing.
You can send out email invites to individuals that you think will be interested in attending – do this at least 2 weeks before your event so that they have ample time to purchase tickets.
Pro tip: Personalise your emails with signatures and address each recipient individually. It’ll make them feel extremely important which goes a long way in building a reputation and customer loyalty to your brand.
To run an email campaign, one of the best platforms out there is MailChimp.
#4. Create a community
If you open up any guide on event promotion examples and tips, you’ll see this point in each one because it is a must.
When you create a community, you create a certain level of exclusivity and a group that everyone wants to become a part of.
Your brand ambassadors are a big part of building that community.
First off, you need to create a forum on social media, whatsapp or any other platform that you feel is popular among your target audience:
Promote that forum through your brand ambassadors and get them to start a conversation.
They can start a Q&A and answer questions about the event itself or even topics related to it in order to stimulate an interesting discussion.
If the forum is on social media, you can also do live videos – considering they are one of the biggest marketing trends of 2020.
Lastly, for Instagram, it is very important to create a hashtag for your forum and event which is used in every post that is reshared.
This will rank your content at the top because Instagram’s algorithm is built in such a way that it discovers content with hashtags faster.
#5. Use previous events to promote your current one
Every time you host an event, it is important to look at the bigger picture.
Your efforts don’t start and end at that event only; in fact, you’re setting a precedent for all the next events you host.
Even if you haven’t planned an event for the future, lay out your marketing strategy like you are because you never know what will happen tomorrow.
So, for example, you’ve already hosted an event before. Here’s how you can use it to promote your current one:
- Share good reviews
When your target audience sees what a success your last event was and how much the attendees enjoyed it, it will motivate them to attend this one.
You’d be surprised at how effective this technique is.
91% of millennials trust online reviews, which is practically the word of a stranger.
All you are doing is sharing user generated content to promote your event.
Reviews are a trust-rich form of communication so make sure you take advantage of that.
- Share content
What’s even better than reviews is actual proof.
Make sure you always document the best parts of your event, which is not an issue these days considering everybody has a smartphone with a camera so your attendees will do the majority of the work for you.
Share these moments on your forum, social media profiles and every other marketing platform so that a hype is created about your event.
Not only will this make individuals want to attend, but visuals are much more engaging than text.
Here is the difference that you will see if you switch from text to pictures and videos:
Conclusion to event promotion examples
So that sums up some of the most effective strategies of event promotion.
These are tactics that you must implement and use to put yourself ahead of competitors.
Most importantly, they will ensure that your event turnout is huge.
One crucial thing to remember is that you need to treat your event as a small part of a bigger picture.
Always create an experience that attendees won’t forget and keep it natural instead of investing yourself completely into the marketing aspect of it.
As an experienced event manager myself, I can vouch for the stress that event management brings with it, but balancing fun along with implementing the right event promotion examples and techniques is the key to a successful event.