No event is complete without enough attendees; effective event promotion is the key to your wholesome event. Fretting about attendees is one of the most significant issues for us event planners; Hence to ease the mutual anxiety, this article will introduce seven event promotion tactics. Read along to learn more, and I hope you find it useful!
1. Identify Your Target Audience (...and win them!)
As an event planner, you must identify your target audience or who you want your attendees to be.
You must understand their needs, attitude, and lifestyle well to comply. With their lifestyles and needs catered to, trust will be developed since the target audience will feel that you are resonating with them.
Understanding where your target audience is active would save a lot of promotion effort because you can exclude many marketing channels.
For instance, in-campus promotion booths would be more effective than newspaper ads if you target college students.
If the event is for doctors, an eye-catching ad in most-subscribed medical journals will be an intelligent event promotion idea.
Even if it is just a rooftop party for building residents, you can simply have ads put in lifts or the lobby(where everyone passes by)- instead of re-painting every wall with your posters.
By thinking like your target audience, event promotion is almost like a natural reflex- because you are already one of them.
Attendee Generation and Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
Generating interested people into your customers through events is attendee generation, while an interested lead in what you offer is called an MQL.
MQL indicators usually include submitting personal contact information or attending events voluntarily.
EventX has experience in assisting companies in developing MQLs through attendee generation- we have successfully converted 80% of attendees into MQLs for a Singapore-based SaaS company in 2022. Learn more about our attendee generation feature here!
2. Track Key Point Indicators (KPI)
What are KPIs?
We must always be clear and alert of our event promotion progress; KPIs are the best way to observe. KPIs indicate the most prominent parts of a specific aspect, and in this case, we can look at some of the most significant event promotion KPIs.
Event Promotion KPIs
1. Ticket Sales / Lead Generation Numbers
The most obvious of them all, ticket sales and lead numbers directly reflect the current situation of your event promotion progress.
Besides tracking sales, it is also essential that we make progress goals in event promotion. How far are the sales away from your expected revenue currently? How should your lead generation numbers be, let’s say, one month from the event?
These numbers can also display the demand for events in your industry, overall speaking, an all-around indicator for your progress, competitiveness, and performance.
2. Recurring Attendees
If you already have event planning experience, look for some familiar names!
If an attendee participates in your events repeatedly, chances are you have already found a way to resonate with them. They are an excellent indicator of whether you are on the right track or not in event promotion and planning.
Recurring attendees are vital because they are already a part of your event. They can be included automatically when planning and promoting your next event, or even be a part of the promotion process as they may help generate leads.
3. Mentions, Tags, and Reactions
Never neglect your social media impact! We all use multiple social media platforms, making the world’s digital population higher than the actual population.
Check whether you have been tagged or mentioned in social media- Twitter shoutouts, LinkedIn mentions, or Instagram reels all count!
A tag or mention on social media is equivalent to someone calling your name in real life- it shows how popular and influential you are among followers or people in general. It also reflects your impact on people. Do they miss you or hate you?
Nevertheless, be sure to pay attention to your social media reactions! Look at the following post reactions…
… and you will discover they say everything about what people think!
Know what your potential clients love and hate by tracking these social media reactions. You can better understand what your target audience, or the market in general, needs for an event.
3. Introduce Discounts and Special Offers
More than 64% of consumers wait for a sale to shop online, reflecting how significant discounts and special offers are as incentives. Let’s take a look at some ideas below:
Discounts are probably the universal incentive for customers and clients; Three out of four consumers have been looking in their inboxes for applicable discounts.
Let’s say 100 clients are interested in your event, but only half are willing to pay your designated price. In this case, a discount would be helpful, as you may win the rest of the clients by sacrificing maybe 10% of the revenue.
Or, to boost sales, you can initiate a bundle discount, essentially helping customers save more if they buy more.
Discounts are already one of the best promotion strategies, and bundle discounts can help spread your event to a broader audience.
Customer loyalty is critical to creating a stable base of revenue/ attendees. Thus, their loyalty must be acknowledged, and reward programs may be introduced.
Try using a points-based scheme, where clients can accumulate points after attending your events or using your products/services. The points can be used to redeem future discounts or prizes, encouraging more people to use follow your program.
Or, if you don’t acquire recurring attendees/ customers, why not introduce membership programs? This so-called ‘paid loyalty’ method can make new clients VIPs instantly- be sure to create a variety of membership schemes, so clients can pick the option that suits them most.
Let’s face it- discounts are everywhere nowadays. Therefore, you should make your special offer temporary- how about a 50% off deal that ends by Friday?
Adding the element of scarcity to your offer can make customers remember it since they are losing opportunities as every minute passes.
You may want to make early bird or last-minute offers as well. Make customers feel they are getting a bargain any time within your sales phase- it can make paying for your event a pleasure!
These are just a few of the many discount options. Do the math concisely, decide on a deal, and wait for the attendees to roll in!
4. Be Open to Collaboration
Finding someone notable for collaborating with if you are stuck with promotion is always a good idea.
Celebrities are a good option for collaborating. 28% of 18-34 year-olds admit celebrity endorsements affect their purchases, showing how big of an impact celebrity collaboration brings.
Most service-based companies don’t have a fanbase (they call them long-term users instead), resulting in less momentum in sales performance.
However, collaborating with a celebrity can immediately associate your event with fame, pulling the celebrity’s fans to your brand, equivalent to a surge of potential leads.
This makes your event more universal, as it is not industry-exclusive, but celebrities are also interested. Your event will eventually be known by
Try making a short promotional video featuring your celebrity, or arrange an endorsement deal. Or, you can invite the celebrity as a guest to your event! The appeal of your event will skyrocket, boosting attendance.
If everything goes well, you can collaborate long-term with the celebrity! Look at Nike and Michael Jordan; you will know how powerful a successful celebrity collaboration could be.
Not only can they act as the face of your brand, but in the long term, people outside of the fanbase could still understand more about your brand due to exposure.
Remember to find relevant people to collaborate with- athletes are a perfect option for sporting events, while outspoken activists would best suit ESG-themed events.
Confused about ESG? This article could help you!
5. Utilize Social Media
This is a no-brainer, right?
However, are you utilizing social media to its fullest to help you promote your event? Countless companies have social media pages, but how are they running them?
Constant updates are a must- people check their social media every minute, and with the content being posted/created at the same rate, you wouldn’t want your event to be in the memory archives of people so soon.
Therefore, you must constantly refresh your page by updating your event or posting new content. Make people aware that your company has an upcoming event, and make the registration links highly accessible on your page. A link under your profile would work.
You can provide information about your event bit by bit; instead of sharing the same poster three times, why not divide your event’s features into three posts? It makes your event less dull and creates an impression that your event is sophisticated and fruitful in content.
Regular updates could also increase your brand’s exposure on the Internet. This allows algorithms to validate your brand’s page as a highly active user, allowing it to ‘sneak’ your page into non-folllowers’ feeds. Try updating your page weekly (daily, if possible!) to allow higher content flow and page traffic.
The digital era drastically accelerated content and information flow. We read many social media posts daily, but how many do we genuinely remember?
It is crucial you make your promotion a fresh yet recurring idea online for it to stand out from other content, ultimately being a part of your client’s memory.
6. Start a Competition/ Gimmick
Worried about your event not being on trend? Why not make your event a trend? You can start by thinking of something trivial or miscellaneous but fun at the same time.
How about initiating a competition? Lays launched its ‘Do Us A Flavour’ campaign in 2012, intending to have the public submit and decide on a new chip flavor. Ideas were submitted online, and the campaign resulted in over 3.8 million submissions and a 12% increase in sales.
This reflects a contest always arouses curiosity, and fresh and fun ideas always appeal to people.
Caption contests are one of the most easily-ran competitions. Pick a funny picture (it would be better if it has something to do with your event) and just tell the public to think of a caption!
Not only it provides a playful and welcoming impression of your brand/company, but you also save a lot of time and effort yourself as the contest authorizes the public to promote it by engaging.
Or how about a lucky draw? Instruct readers to like, comment, share, or tag a few friends for a chance to win something appealing! Making these actions is nearly effortless, but not everyone is willing just to do it- that’s why an incentive is needed to give that slight push for people to promote your event.
If you’re opting for the meaningful side, Gillette’s ‘#MyGilletteChallenge’ is something with referring. The campaign intends to have men use the hashtag to express how their actions made the world safer, prompting reflection and advocating gender equality, resulting in over 2 million people using the hashtag in just a month.
Promotion could be more straightforward than you could imagine too. Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke campaign is one great example. In case you don't remember, the whole campaign was nothing special, just a bunch of regular names on Coke cans and bottles.
But what did it result in? Over 250 million coke products were sold in Australia in 2012, the year and country the plan was first launched.
With a population of around 23 million, every citizen bought at least ten coke products that year, indicating the immense impact fun gimmicks could bring.
You could try to promote your event with so many trivial yet fun ideas. Caption contests, memes, Instagram filters… You must create an impression that your event is exciting and fresh, making people constantly have them in mind even if they don't participate in the trends!
Create something worth sharing and reposting to allow people to do tedious event promotion work for you.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What is SEO?
In a nutshell, SEO aims to gain website traffic through organic search results. Organic search results account for 53% of all website traffic, making SEO extremely important in the digital age. Paid ads are out of the discussion, and the higher you rank on search engine result pages (SERPs), the better you are at SEO. Let’s say you have an upcoming tech event in Hong Kong- you would want your page to pop up in the first place on google when people search ‘hong kong tech event.’ It is considered an essential part of marketing nowadays.
(note the difference between ads and organic results)
How does SEO help promotion?
First and foremost, high rankings on SERP can associate your event with professionalism and authority. People trust Google, and when google makes you appear first after a search, your page is automatically deemed fine and trustworthy.
How often would you go to page 2 of a search result? To promote your event, you should aim to have your page appear in the top 10 results.
Another reason is SEO is a form of ‘pull marketing.’ People who proactively search for something are interested in the topic. Instead of pop-up ads that ‘push’ people to receive the information, SEO ‘pulls’ interested people to you.
This means that your attendees are more likely to be genuine enthusiasts of the topic if they find out about your event through SERP as they seek such events.
Once you have your event ranked in high positions, you are making yourself more accessible to an interested audience, attracting them to pay attention to you, and ultimately sign up.
Another advantage is it does not involve any sort of payment. Since only organic search results are included in SEO, you wouldn’t have to bother about paid advertising.
Since SEO is an organic search-based method, you would also want to target some keywords to accommodate different searches.
Look at the search results box after you have finished typing what you want to know before searching and you’ll know.
You may want to target some of the keywords (of course, only if they’re related) to boost your SERP appearances.
To simplify it, strive to make your event synonymous with keywords or its topic when promoting through SEO.
You would want people to have your event in mind once they search ‘tech in Hong Kong’, ultimately making them more inclined to trust you and join your event.
Bonus: Create Promo Codes
We included one more just for you.
Have you ever encountered sponsored ads by YouTubers while watching their videos, and even though it’s mainly unrelated to the video, the product interests you?
Many brands use YouTubers to help promote their products due to the simplicity of operation and massive impact. Millions of subscribers would watch through the in-clip ad, and in the end, they usually reveal a promo code for viewers to use for a discount.
This is a whole new dimension of marketing, as people can know about your event from nowhere. And you are also rewarding the people perceiving this information, as there is a promo code for them.
This makes people feel lucky and valued- ‘I just stumbled upon this promotion AND there’s a special offer for me too?’
Promo codes are effective in the long run because people never get tired of them, and you can make them for free. Check out our new promo code creation system here to know more!
(EventX’s promo code creation page)
You can also source where attendees got the code, making future marketing efforts less grueling. Understanding where clients receive information allows you to target those specific areas majorly.
There are also other variations, such as group promo codes. You are offering a special gift to a group of people instead, increasing the chances of them being a recurring group instead of an individual, making promotion easier in the long run.
Try utilizing this idea alongside social media and collaborations- your event may result in a full house!
To Wrap up…
Event promotion is never an easy task.
There are many aspects to accommodate, no universal event promotion formula, and you may need to create a hybrid solution by incorporating multiple tips.
With you being the host, it’s all about being creative and open to change.
Now it’s time to plan an unforgettable event, and I hope these tips can help you successfully promote your next event to full attendance!
Interested in our solution?
You may want to have a chat with our event consultant.