Today’s guest post is from Alice Aylett Roberts, Communications Manager at London-based event marketing software company Bullseyehub.

Using great images is an essential part of effectively promoting your event online. Since most users only scan websites, an interesting picture can make your event stand out from the crowd, whether they appear on listing websites, newsletters or social networking services.

1. Where to source images
Event organizers don’t have to be Photoshop-wizards to create attractive event listings. Lots of great stock images are available for free by searching for Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr or Flickr search engine services, such as Compfight and Picasa. Remember to give credit where credit is due.

2. Don’t use (small) text
As a general rule, adding text to images for an event listing is a bad idea. Since most images get shrunk to thumbnail size it will be difficult for people to decipher what the text says.

3. Promote well known participants/celebrities
It’s always a good idea to promote well-known attendees, artists or celebrities who are on the bill for upcoming events. If there is a well-known celebrity or band attending, you should consider using a picture of them to advertise the event.

4. Use the correct size
The minimum image size for many websites is 100×100. Be aware that although many popular event listing sites and social networking services use square images, not everyone does.

5. Reinforce your brand
Consistent branding can help boost the profile of your events, so you should consider re-using existing flyers and logos. However, make sure you check how your target websites crop or shrink images and consider uploading a listings-friendly version instead.

6. What are your competitors doing?
Check out what the competition is up to. Visit some of the most popular listings websites to see what imagery is being used by other venues and promoters in your genre. Try to find ways to help your events stand out from the crowd – so if most of the events in your genre have white backgrounds, you might consider using a colored background instead.

7. How to search for specific images
When submitting events to most listings websites, organizers will be encouraged to add tags that best describe the events, for example ‘electro’, ‘rock’, ‘comedy’, ‘food’ or ‘festival’. If you’re struggling to find suitable images for your events, try using these description tags as keywords when searching for relevant images.

8. Keep it clean
Most listing sites and spam filters in email providers have automatic filters in place that will delete inappropriate images. This means it’s not a good idea to use pictures that feature nudity, swearing or vulgar images to promote events, as they may not appear at all.

9. Services to quickly and easily edit images (e.g. Photoshop or GIMP)
Many promoters can’t afford expensive design software like Photoshop to edit images, but there are plenty of free photo editors available such as Gimp or Pixlr. These programs allow you to crop and manipulate images and save them in a variety of formats.

10. Make it interesting – use a theme!
Themed events are consistently popular with the party-going public. Seasonal events such as Christmas and Valentines Day should incorporate traditional holiday season images that will appeal to a wide range of people.

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