You’ve planned your event down to the very last detail, gotten industry-leading speakers, sponsors and exhibitors, and secured the perfect venue. But what’s a great event without attendees? You can plan everything perfectly, but that doesn’t guarantee a packed house.
Event promotion is just as important for turnout as a compelling program. You can promote while keeping your budget balanced; you don’t have to go broke to get the word out about your event. There are plenty of free ways to promote your event that are just as effective as paid avenues.
Here, we give you 8 ways to promote your next event for free.
Simple, but true: spreading the news about your event via word of mouth gets people to show up. The key is giving prospective attendees something to talk about; a buzz-worthy event with industry leaders, a great venue and thought-provoking programming gets people talking positively (don’t give guests an opportunity to spread bad word-of-mouth!).
There’s no easy way to measure your event’s appearance in casual IRL conversation, the way you’re able to with an event platform. But you can get the ball rolling by reaching out to the people in your industry and asking them to spread the word. If you’re planning a hospitality trade show, identify the chatty folks that might name-drop your event (travel bloggers or hotel reviewers, for example). And when you see your event being talked about, be sure to respond, whether on social media or in the comments section of a blog post. Engaging with potential guests is a great way to boost turnout and foster an event community – for free.
You should already know the value of having a robust content marketing presence. From blog posts to sales videos, content marketing makes your brand more visible, accessible and engaging. Incorporate your events into your content for max awareness. Craft blog posts that address the topics your event will have sessions about, plug upcoming events on your company’s podcast or YouTube videos, provide easy access to registration links across all content. Virtual event promotion doesn’t have to be costly or time-consuming; you can roll it into your existing promotion efforts.
Do you have a newsletter? Then you have a built-in email list to market your upcoming event to. Like content marketing, email marketing is another valuable (and affordable) tool that keeps your brand relevant. A few months in advance, send out your first event invitation, followed by periodic follow-ups and a regular spot in your weekly newsletter. Giving the prospective attendees on your email list access to early registration, exclusive A-list guest reveals and other exciting info about your event works twofold: it keeps them subscribed to your emails, ready for the next great piece of event news or content, and does the work of promoting your event for free.
Social media is a natural fit for free event promotion. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all offer a different, yet still effective, approach to virtual event marketing. Here’s how you might use each social media platform to reach specific demographics to different ends:
Besides using the right SEO terms in your content marketing efforts, social media posts and website, listing your event on free websites will make it super Google-friendly, while also reaching regular event listing website visitors. Check out these popular listing sites for cost-effective event promotion:
You’re going to need an all-in-one event platform to keep track of your event’s website, app, email and content marketing efforts, and how that translates to guest registration and day-of turnout. PheedLoop can handle it all, with a transparent, a-la-carte pricing structure that means you won’t be paying extra for promotion. Virtual conferences, in-person expos, hybrid experiences – PheedLoop gives you a sophisticated hub to keep track of all things event promotion, from mobile event app creation to automated email marketing.
Use your online event platform to create a website or mobile app to leverage before, during and after your event. With platforms like PheedLoop, it’s easy to set up a bespoke event website or app as a centralized place for guests to register, contact your team with questions and check out the rest of your great content. Landing page creation capabilities that come free with your event management platform also mean you’ll be able to collect data from site visitors, and use that information to better tailor your promotion strategy.
Free promotion through event sponsorship couldn’t be easier. By booking great sponsors with large followings, a devoted fanbase or a top spot in your industry, their involvement will draw interest. For example, have sponsors shout out your event on socials, and promote them on yours in turn; get your event listed in sponsors’ newsletters to get at their email list, too. Plus, creating multiple sponsorship levels and benefits means you can incorporate everyone from large, established companies to up-and-coming sponsors at lower budget levels, increasing your reach across the board.
Event promotion doesn’t have to break the bank. With the right strategy, free promotion tactics like content and email marketing, social media, event listings and leveraging your event sponsors will get the word out. Make sure you have a centralized online event platform to keep track of your promotion efforts and integrate them seamlessly; no matter virtual, hybrid or in-person, PheedLoop can power your next event.