Event Promotion: 36 Creative Ideas For Your Next Online or Hybrid Event

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An audience is more than just ticket sales. They are the very heart and soul of any event, in-person or virtual. Without an engaged audience, there would be no great concerts, no life-changing conferences, and no business-expanding seminars.

But where do you find these engaged audience members? And how do you get them to attend your event?

We’ve compiled a list of 36 different event promotion ideas to get the word out about your event without emptying your bank account:

Event App Ideas

Excited to return to on-site events, but want to stay flexible? You’re not the only one.

1. Promote Your Event as Mobile-First

Your event should work wherever your audience is, be it at home, commuting, catching some fresh air outside, or even at an event venue lounge. Make sure that you’re bridging the gap between virtual and in-person event attendees by providing a seamless mobile event app experience. Let your audience move with ease.

Online Event Promotion Ideas

Most often, the majority of your event promotion happens online. While we’ll have platform-specific recs below, here are some broad ideas for online event promotion that works.

2. Create a Digital Channel for Attendees to Network Pre and Post Event

Creating a dedicated channel where event attendees can chat and message before, during, and after an event, heightens engagement and helps foster more meaningful relationships.

And carryover to post-event social connections extends your brand reach, encouraging an even greater ROI.

Recommended Reading: 10 Interactive Conference Ideas To Increase Engagement With A Virtual Audience

3. Get Your Event Listed In An Events List or Directory

Many virtual event providers offer a directory of events they are hosting, which can help spark interest. Listing your event can help you find a whole new audience. Check out our favorite virtual conferences of 2020.

4. Make Sure Your Event Website is Fully Updated and Optimized To Pull You Into Google Events Lists

Let Google do the heavy lifting when it comes to promoting your event.

Optimize all event website metadata, headers, images, titles, etc., for better SERP ranking. Ensure your event name is included in an H1 heading and that all images list event location and name in the title text and alternative text.

Marketing Ideas for Events

It goes without saying that priority number one for your online event is getting the right attendees to show up. This set of ways to boost your online event is all about maxing out visibility through clever, authentic marketing techniques.

5. Early Sign-Up Deals That Promote Urgency + Exclusivity

There’s a reason they say the early bird gets the worm. Early sign-up deals offering extra goodies (something extra that only early-birds receive) can be a powerful incentive for attracting event attendees. 

6. Never Underestimate the Power of Influencer Marketing To Promote Events

We love our influencers. Even if we don’t outwardly admit it, we always check our favorites to see their recommendations. And businesses that understand that power are ahead of the game, to the tune of 500% ROI. Get those influencers to talk about your event, and sign ups could skyrocket.

7. Target the Most Interested People With Ad Retargeting

Retargeting people who browsed your event, began to register for it, or made an event-related purchase with ads can produce exceptional results. In fact, Wishpond found retargeted ad click-through rates (CTR) were 10x higher compared to typical display ads.

8. Test Out the Success of Different Audiences Using Email Segmentation

Custom email segments are an essential part of any email marketing campaign. Audiences of different ages, genders, work history, occupation, etc., will all have different online behaviors that encourage a different response.

Break up your segments to align with your target audiences and carefully evaluate your engagement and responses.

9. Create Event and Industry Infographics That Promote Your Event

Create an infographic containing important, often referenced information that also promotes your event. Whenever someone searches for the information within your infographic, your event will gain exposure.

10. Try Old-School Traditional Advertising Techniques (Billboards, Mailers, Flyers, T-Shirts)

If you’ve got the money, spend it here. Traditional advertising still packs a punch when it comes to attracting event attendees. Don’t underestimate the power of having something physical to remind warm leads of important registration and event dates.

11. Always Be Collecting Data and Evaluate What Worked In Years Prior

Some of the best indicators of future activity are past actions. This is true in real life and virtual conferences, trade shows, and other events. By continually collecting data and evaluating past engagement, you’ll be better positioned to create the type of dynamic events you know your audience wants to attend. 

You don’t have to use all of these event promotion ideas to successfully market your event. Pick a few that align with your event messaging, resources, and efforts, then grow from there. 

Want more information on must-have lead generation tactics? Check out your Marketing Team’s Guide To Generating Leads With Virtual Events. 

Event Promotion Examples: The Power of Media

The expectation for sleek online events is only rising. As webinars, webcasts, and more become increasingly prevalent, people want a show. The power of media goes a long way, and here are some creative ways to get your audience onboard with moments that matter.

12. Wow People With Video Content (Highlight Reels And Valuable Speaking Moments)

Research shows that viewers retain almost 100% of a video message compared to 10% when in text. Harness that power and show potential attendees how amazing your events are and will be.

By streaming highlight reels and powerful speaking moments that resonate with your ideal audience, you’ll do more than align messaging, you’ll communicate directly to them in a way that counts.

13. Branded Merchandise

From apps to caps, everybody loves swag.

Branded merchandise is a popular, effective way to promote your brand while turning event attendees into walking brand ambassadors.

14. Host A FREE Lead Generation Event Such as a Webinar or an AMA

Free events are excellent ways to increase interest and promote a larger event with a minimal initial investment. Ask interested participants to provide contact information to participate in the free event, and collect their data as a resource for future outreach.

Recommended Reading: 12 Event Promotion Strategies To Attract The Right Audience And Grow Your Business

15. Be a Speaker at Another Event

By speaking at another event, you build valuable associations with the event you speak at. You also get your brand and your message out in front of audience members interested in your field. And the added authority you get from being a speaker will elevate your event, building interest among attendees.

Fun/Creative Ways to Promote an Event

Let’s face it: webinars run the risk of being a snooze-fest. It’s almost too easy for attendees to multitask and not really dial in fully. You can mitigate some of that risk by making your webinar more fun. Here are some ways to do it.

16. Have Your Staff Compete Against One Another For Event Ticket Sales

Incentivize event attendance by getting your staff to buy in. Offer perks or prizes for the top ticket salesperson, such as paid time off, rewards with monetary value, and more.

17. Sponsor or Partner With Other Virtual Events

Partnering or sponsoring other virtual events is an effective method of getting your name and event in front of people who are also likely interested in what you’re offering. Choose complimentary topics, products, or services of interest to your target audience.

18. Tease Your Event Agenda and Make It Easy To Share

Populate your event agenda as it evolves over a few days, weeks, or months depending on your timeframe.

You’ll keep potential attendees interested while laying the foundation for more meaningful engagement as viewers gain interest and share the details of your event.

19. Run Giveaway Campaigns For Tickets, VIP Experiences, and 1-1 Connects With Influencers and Speakers

Giveaways that offer attendees an opportunity to level-up their experience or attend your event for free can encourage audience engagement for a relatively low cost to you.

20. Include a Milestone Component to Your Event (1st ever or 50th Anniversary)

If you have an organizational milestone such as an anniversary, an IPO, office expansion, new employee, etc. open this up to attendees at your event to share in the celebration. This can also help you market your event as a unique, one-time experience.

Event Promotion Ideas for Social Media

The beauty of online events is how social they can be. Most event management platforms integrate nicely with existing ways you reach your people, and the messaging you create to promote an online event is easy to deliver on social platforms. Here are some tips.

21. Promote Your Event With Social Media Stories

While posting about your event on social media is fun, you’ll have better results if you engage your audience with social media stories.

Stories offer an inspiring, insider’s perspective of your event, drawing audiences in, and giving them a realistic glimpse of what they can experience at your event.

22. Utilize Podcasts, YouTube, and Popular Blogs Leading Up to the Event

Begin connecting with your audience before your event through relevant podcasts, videos, and blogs. Talk about issues or subjects that align with your event while sparking interest in learning more.

23. Do a Countdown With Giveaways on Social Media

Social media is great for grabbing people while they’re scrolling. Take advantage of that attention and maximize awareness of your online event by launching a countdown clock. It should be highly visible, updated daily, and something you feature both on your feed and in short-term content deliverables. Add giveaways to make it even more engaging.

24. Create a Hashtags

Have a large-scale event that you hope will be unforgettable? Create a branded, custom hashtag that you then promote before, during, and after the event. That way, users can share content they create during the event, and you’ll get plenty of great traffic to your feed.

25. Go Live on Social Media

This can actually happen before, during, or after the online event as well, and is a powerful way to get more eyes on your content. Live content on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube is highly visible and always makes it to the top of people’s feeds. Event updates, realtime stories, and more can all be shared in real time.

Event Promotion Strategies

It isn’t enough to just send an invite and hope for the best. Nowadays, you need a robust event promotions strategy that yields results. Here are some tried and true methods.

26. Encourage Attendee Promotion with Sign-up Incentives (Promo-codes, Reduced Costs for Friends that Sign Up)

Offering incentives such as discounted tickets for friends or referrals of someone who has already registered can help boost attendance, especially for those who don’t like to go to events alone.

27. Promote Certifications and Credits for Educators, Medical Professionals, and Others Who are Required to Have Continued Learning Credits

By offering certifications or credits to professionals attending your event, you’re helping them fulfill professional needs, while they add to your event. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

28. Donate Some Tickets to Increase Awareness and Brand Loyalty to Organizations You Wish to Partner With

Giving free tickets to organizations you want to partner with can generate amazing results. It’s another win-win situation. Your target partner has an opportunity to learn more about your brand, while you benefit from their engagement with your event.

29. It’s 2021; Select Diverse Leaders in Your Industry To Be Speakers and Sit On Panels

Including speakers and guests to participate in panels from diverse cultural and professional environments will help your organization appeal to the broadest possible audience. This is especially valuable for those making it a priority to seek out and support organizations promoting diverse events.

30. Try Out Invite-Only Experiences For Your Event

Exclusive offerings pique interest and generate buzz. Run one or several small invite-only events that align with your main event, and analyze the results before deciding on your main ticketing scheme.

31. Enlist Event Ambassadors

People love to rep things they believe in, so if they believe in you, why not ask them to be an ambassador? Event ambassadors can provide a multiplier effect, promoting your event on hard-to-reach channels or to audiences you don’t already have.

Tech Recs for Promoting Your Event

Webinars and virtual events are a tech-heavy endeavor. Be sure you’ve got all the right stuff.

32. Use Geofencing to Target Ads

Have a regional event that’s going online? Geofencing may be your money-maker in terms of ad strategy. You can set up geofences to target users in specific locations, delivering ad promotions for your event as they’re literally stepping into your area.

33. Paid Digital Promotion

You may or may not have an ad server ready to go, but you can invest in paid digital promotion all across the internet. Use fresh tech options like in-app ads, banner ads, video ads, and more to really spice up your early, top of funnel marketing tactics.

34. Use Landing Pages and Online Registration

This in itself is a form of event promotion, because you can establish a clickfunnel to get people onto your site and set up to attend your event. It will require some integration, but this process is hugely trackable, which can provide valuable data on what works best with your audience.

35. Use Surveys at Every Stage

Using surveys of every kind (pulse surveys, feedback loops, topic questionnaires) will maximize engagement for your online event, while making people feel they’re a valued part of the process. You’ll likely need a form builder or survey app to achieve this, but it may be well worth the insight you gain.

36. Choose a Virtual Event Software Platform that Integrates with Marketing Automation Tools and Your CRM

Platforms that easily integrate with the tools you already use can make or break your event. Not only do integrations speed up processes and data management, but they also save time (no more switching between multiple programs) and decrease workloads related to customer engagement. 

Event Promotion

Make Good Use of Your Event Promotion Efforts With SpotMe

With a virtual event platform like SpotMe, you can pick an existing integration module from the Marketplace or connect your system using the SpotMe API, allowing you to sit back and watch the data flow.

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