You’ve got an event coming up and you want to make sure as many people attend as possible. But where do you even start with online event promotion?
There are a lot of different ways to promote your event online, and the options can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this post, we’ll share 41 of the best online event promotion ideas to help you drive attendance.
From social media to event marketing, we’ve got you covered. So read on and start promoting your next event online today!
Online event promotion ideas for event apps
Excited to return to on-site events, but want to stay flexible? You’re not the only one. There are many event apps that enable you to give those who’ve signed up for your event a chance to interact with your event content before your event. Make sure you use this to your advantage. Because research shows that people are 60% more likely to attend your event if they actively engage with content on the run-up to an event.
1. Promote your events as mobile-first
Your event should work wherever your audience is – at home, commuting, catching some fresh air outside, or even at an event venue lounge. More and more people want the flexibility of being able to join an event online, so you’ll most likely attract more attendees if you talk about your user-friendly mobile app during online event promotion. Just ensure that you then follow through by providing a seamless mobile event app experience for both virtual and in-person audiences.
2. Live stream your event prep
Live streaming what you’re doing to prepare for your event to your event app and social media is a great way to get some last-minute event registrations. People are always keen to know what’s going on behind the scenes. Especially at hybrid events.
3. Let participants select the content they want
Telling people before they sign up for your event that they’ll have the choice about which sessions they want to attend is powerful. After all, people don’t have all the time in the world to waste. Once people register, make it easy for them to choose the topics that they’re interested in and they’ll be more likely to join because they’ll know exactly what they want to get out of it.
4. Make the most of the event app feed
Event apps have social media-like feeds that event planners use to post teaser videos and speaker announcements. With over 4.5 billion social media users worldwide, giving them this kind of experience will help you promote your event.
5. Create an interactive pre-event quiz
People love quizzes. Especially if they get to see how much they know about a topic. Setting up a pre-event quiz on your event app will really engage your audience. You could even reccyle the quiz for after the event and ask they to take it again to see how much they learned.
6. Ask participants to share ideas
The more you make participants feel like they have control over what they’re getting from your event, the more likely they are to attend and get involved. So, make sure you underline this when promoting your event online. Use your event app to ask participants if they have any questions or topics they want to tackle during the session. If they want to be named, it’s a great way to showcase them as an expert in the field.
Online event promotion ideas in general
Most often, the majority of your event promotion happens online. We’ll have some platform-specific recommendations below. But first, here are some broad ideas for online event promotion that works.
7. 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.
Struggling to come up with ways to boost engagement at your virtual events? Read our article that’s full of great virtual event engagement ideas to use at your next event.
8. 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.
9. 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 the event location and name in the title text and alt text.
Online event promotion ideas for event marketing
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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
For other B2B marketing ideas, take a look at our post with plenty of ideas on how to boost your B2B event marketing strategy.
12. 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.
13. 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.
Looking for some ideas on how to write great event promotion emails? Check out our blog post with the best 18 free event email templates for you.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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 online 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.
Online event promotion ideas for media
The expectation for sleek virtual and hybrid events is only rising. People want a show. The power of media goes a long way, and here are some creative ways to get your audience on board with moments that matter.
17. Wow people with video content (highlight reels and valuable speaking moments)
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.
18. 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.
19. 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.
To go deeper into event promotion strategies, read our article about how to attract people to an event.
20. 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.
Online event promotion ideas for fun and creativity
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.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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. And remember to give attendees the chance to choose which sessions they want to attend.
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.
24. 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.
To find out other ways to run an event while optimizing your virtual event budget, read our article.
25. 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, a 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.
Online 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.
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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.
29. Create 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.
30. 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.
To promote your event in the best way using social media, check out our other ideas for social media event promotion here.
Online event promotion strategy ideas
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.
31. 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.
32. 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.
33. 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.
34. 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.
35. 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.
36. 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.
Online event promotion ideas for tech
Webinars and virtual events are a tech-heavy endeavor. Be sure you’ve got all the right stuff.
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. 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.
40. 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.
41. Choose a virtual or hybrid event platform that integrates with marketing automation tools and your CRM
Event 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.
Implement these online event promotion ideas to boost your events with SpotMe
With an enterprise event platform like SpotMe, you can be sure that your attendees will have the seamless event experience you’re promoting. Use the customizable and branded event app to spark engagement. And take your participants on a journey they’ll love before, during, and after your event.
To see for yourself how SpotMe can help you create events that audiences truly want to attend and will enjoy from beginning to end, request a demo today.