Your Event Marketing Checklist

So you want to host an event for your company?

Events can be a fun way to celebrate your business. They help you maintain your current customers by bringing them together and making them feel like a community. They’re an effective tool for attracting new customers and creating a lasting connection with them. Events keep your business hip and relevant.

But the idea of organizing an event may seem like a daunting task. You need to find a location, pick a date, hire staff, entertainment, caterers… all while sticking to a budget. And of course, the big question: will anyone show up?

But marketing your event can be simple. Check out our event marketing checklist for creative ways to generate some buzz about your event.

Invite Your Customers

Come one, come all! When you’re looking to drum up new customers to attend your event, first invite the customers you already have. You can do this with a newsletter, email, direct mail, and/or having an ad for the event at your business location. Because people prefer not to attend events alone, your guests will likely bring friends with them. New people who could potentially be new customers. Consider giving guests a perk if they bring a friend who has never used your services before, such as a discount or a prize. When people have fun at your event and see how much their friends enjoy your business, they are on the road to becoming a part of your loyal customer base.

Know Your Timeline

But when should you even begin the process of promotion? When is too soon? When is too late? If your event is annual, there’s really no such thing as too early. You know when and where it’s going to be, so start advertising as soon as possible. Promote the event consistently and people who attended the event in the past will be sure to come again. If this is your first time hosting the event or it’s likely going to be a one-time thing, consider promoting a little closer to the date. A month out is a good way to make sure viewers don’t forget about it in the time between them seeing the ad and the day of the event. Keep your promotional materials fresh and striking so the hype around your event keeps its momentum. 

Market the Event Location

Show how your event space is the place to be. When creating marketing materials for the event, whether it’s an email blast of an ad, use a picture of the location. If it’s a rooftop party, include a picture of the view. If it’s at a restaurant, use a picture that captures the atmosphere. If it’s in a ballroom, snap a pic of the decor. A stylish picture can show your potential attendees the beautiful setting they could enjoy and what a good time with will have. Also consider how you can market at the event location. There might be a place to advertise your event in the building. Check to see if the location managers send out an email with upcoming events and make sure your event is included.

Create a Website

Give your attendees a place to go to learn more. Creating a page for the event on your business website, or even a whole new website just for the event, can be an effective way to turn interested attendees into confirmed attendees. Make the website’s URL easy to remember so people can find it if they hear about it from a friend or through an OOH ad. Use the website to register people for the event. This can also help you figure out how many guests to expect. If your event requires tickets, make them purchasable through the website and easy to buy. Offering a discount for early bird tickets gives the impression that tickets are in high demand. You can also do a countdown for when tickets sales “go live” to hype up your attendees. Make sure your website is simple, but exciting, so it’s easy to use but gets the visitor pumped for the event.

Use Social Media

Take full advantage of social media. It’s a great way to reach potential attendees and get the word out on your event. Create a Facebook event, share it on your business’ page, and invite everyone who likes your page. With Facebook’s algorithm, their friends will see what events they are going to and be more likely to come across your event page. Story on Instagram and give live updates on how event planning is going, emphasizing how excited you are for the big day. A countdown can be a good way to build anticipation. If you’re looking to do a little networking with your event, Linkedin can be a good way to advertise your event and connect with people who are in similar fields of business. And don’t quit social media when the day of the event arrives. Doing live updates during the event, whether they are status updates or videos, can keep your momentum going. The pictures and material you share can also be used to advertise the event again if you decide to make it an annual function.

Use Eventbrite

Eventbrite can be an extremely useful site when you are looking to promote your event on a local level. With their site you can create an event landing page, sell tickets, and market your event to tons of people you might not otherwise have access to. People use the site to look for events in their area, usually based off their interests. This means the people who will see your event are more likely to be the type of people who are interested, making your marketing more effective. Perhaps the biggest perk, Eventbrite also pushes the events on its site to event discovery sites, such as Goldstar, Eventful, and even Facebook, giving your marketing an even further reach.

Out of Home Advertising

Take to the streets! Out of home advertising can be a great way to market your event. Meet your target customers where they already are by placing the ads in locations they frequent. Using ads in subways or bus station billboards or newsstands will ensure that a large amount of people are learning about your event. Make the ad eye-catching and easy to read so that passersby will spot it and remember it. Putting your ads in lots of different locations can create a buzz for the event, so much so that folks will start to think “I have to check that out!” Learn more creative ways to market your event with OOH ads in our post on 4 Ways to Promote Your Event with OOH.

Alert the Media

Extra! Extra! Alerting local media about your event can really push the amount of people who hear about it. Send a press release to local newspapers, magazines, and online publications letting them know that your event is going to be the place to be. If there’s going to be a speaker or band at your event, highlight that to garner more interest. Specify the reason you are having the event, like a big sale or an anniversary, to give it a story and make it more intriguing. If your event is going to have a raffle or giveaway, make sure to include it in the press release so people know they are in for a prize if they show up. The most important thing is to make your event sound unique and too good to pass up.

With even more people now attending your event because of your effective marketing, you have the chance to strengthen your relationship with your current customers and build a level of trust with the new ones. Using these steps, you can ensure that all of the planning that went into your event was worth it. And it will even allow you give yourself the chance to have some fun when the big day arrives!

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