You put a lot of work into crafting the ultimate event. Now it’s time to pack the house. Enter event promotion. With all of the channels, it can be hard to know where to start.
Where and how you advertise will vary depending on those little details that make your event unique. The bottom line: there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to event advertising, but there are plenty of resources to help you get the word out.
20 Ways to Promote Your Event
Get the ball rolling on your event promotion strategy with these 20 marketing and advertising activities.
1. Hone in on your target audience for event promotion
What to do: Think like your event-goers. Who are they? Why are they likely to attend your event? What does your event have in common with others they’ve been to? Where do they spend their time online? Try building a profile of your target audience, including age, location, profession, and interests.
When to do it: 6+ months from your event. The sooner you know who you’re advertising to, the more time and money you’ll save.
2. Take advantage of event discovery sites, some offering free event advertising
What to do: Sometimes, the clearest solution is right in front of you. Eventbrite research shows that over half of event-goers look to neighborhood guides for things to do. In-the-know fans also turn to more targeted sites to discover events. Think Bandsintown or Spotify for music fans or Lanyrd for conference-goers.
When to do it: 3-6 months from your event. Early ticket sales come from fans anticipating an event for some time. Help them clear their schedules well in advance.
In the case that you’ve put out the word, but your event isn’t selling, try our proven tricks for increasing ticket sales.
3. Enable native checkout
What to do: Events that sell tickets directly on Facebook drive double the sales than events that redirect to a ticketing page. What does that mean for you? Integrating checkout where you market will help keep customers on board. Event distribution is a simple way to reach various platforms and sell tickets directly on their sites.
When to do it: Throughout the process. Keeping this function available during the life of your ticket sales ensures event-goers can commit whenever, wherever.
4. Harness the power of email as an event advertisement
What to do: The trick to email marketing is using it correctly. Categorize your email lists by past ticket purchasers and demographics within your target audience, then write email campaigns that speak to those smaller groups. If you’re looking for a clever header, try social media ad copy templates.
When to do it: Throughout the process. There’s an email for every type of buyer. Plus, reminder emails cut back on no-shows.
5. Leverage the right social media channels
What to do: Social media is one of the most powerful marketing channels — harness it to your advantage. Save time by establishing which channel makes sense for your event and target audience. Learn how to master the different socials with our essential guide to social media for events.
When to do it: 1-2 months from the event. Keep your event fresh and relevant in the feeds of social media users.
6. Content marketing is a must
What to do: Content marketing covers everything from blog posts to infographics and videos. Build a strong brand image for consistency across your output, whether colors, fonts, or tone of voice.
When to do it: Throughout the process. Even post-event content reminds your fans of the great time they had, builds relationships, and makes them more receptive to future communications.
7. Maximize online advertising
What to do: Online advertising delivers results, and paid ads take that further. For direction along the way, Eventbrite Boost helps across all sectors of online promotion, from defining the target audience to algorithms and A/B testing. Hone and refine your social media and Google Ads to make the most impact with your ad budget. Then, watch the work pay off: Events promoted using Boost marketing tools get nearly 2.5x more listing views*.
When to do it: 1-2 months. Use online advertising as you would a social media ad. When using tools like Eventbrite Boost, the more data collected, the better. Get started early to know where and how you should advertise.
8. Don’t forget about copy and design
What to do: Good copy and design catch the attention of event-goers, plus promotion content is the first image potential attendees will see. Make it fun or dramatic, and include an eye-catching design and clear copy.
When to do it: 6+ months before the event. This is the kind of work to outsource — give artists and writers meetable deadlines before content is ready for publication.
9. Choose suitable keywords
What to do: For most events, search (primarily Google) can drive between 5-10% of ticket purchases or registrations. Search engine optimization (SEO) gives you an edge on who’s searching for what when it relates to your event. Learn how to attract and convert attendees with SEO.
When to do it: 6+ months before the event. Have keywords ready to include in social posts, emails, and online ads.
10. Retarget event-goers who expressed interest
What to do: You’ve seen retargeting technology in action. You search for something online, then you see ads for it on another site. One Eventbrite creator saw a six-time return average on investment using ad retargeting. Give people who weren’t ready to make a ticket purchase the first time a second chance.
When to do it: 2 weeks from the event. This is a great tool to get last-minute buyers on board without flooding their feed.
11. Invest in professional photography
What to do: Set the tone with quality event photos that tell people what to expect. From advertising to email, photos come in handy across all elements of your marketing efforts. Ask your photographer for various sizes for different platforms, such as Facebook or Instagram.
When to do it: Throughout the process. Hire your photographer for pre-event hype and on the day of the action, then use the photos for follow-up and future events.
12. Create an event website
What to do: An event website becomes a hub for anything related to your event — the video content, photography, copy, and design all come together. Best of all, a unique link is easy to promote across platforms and share among friends. The result? More ticket sales. It’s possible to create a free event website in minutes, too.
When to do it: 3-6 months from the event (as long as it’s ready by the time you advertise it).
13. Look for similar audiences
What to do: You have a solid list of people who previously purchased tickets to your events. You want to find more people just like that. Use algorithms and automated tools to create ads targeted to those people. This means more relevant ads for those interested in your event.
When to do it: Throughout the process. This continuously provides a useful perspective, from before creating the event to the final sales report.
14. Enlist a social media influencer
What to do: Your attendees are your biggest advocates. Within those ranks, you might find one or two that are extra influential. Seeking out social influencers within your target audience is a simple way to increase reach. Offer tickets, merch, and a link to share on their page. Measure the impact of micro-influencers at your event for a better picture of sales.
When to do it: 2 weeks from the event. Give your event a registration surge when on-the-fence attendees have a better idea of their availability.
15. Make a video to tease your event
What to do: When creating marketing content, emphasize video teasers. Videos are more effective than still imagery in social media and capture what your event is about.
When to do it: 1-2 months before the event. Consider dropping a video at different stages of sales to garner interest.
16. Social media ticket giveaway
What to do: Contests build buzz and help gain more followers. Try enter-to-win sweepstakes or a playful TikTok challenge.
When to do it: 1 week before the event. This works well for unconvinced attendees.
17. Create a unique event hashtag (and overuse it)
What to do: Launching a special hashtag campaign before your event helps monitor engagement and reach. Your hashtag is a form of free event advertising — every time someone uses it, your event gets promoted.
When to do it: 3-6 months. Build your hashtag presence even before tickets go on sale.
18. Network at similar events
What to do: Teaming up with like-minded planners is proven to promote a community event. Look for people in your sector who aren’t necessarily competitors. Share the price of a booth at a trade show where they can sell and you can market, or invite them to be sponsors at your event.
When to do it: Throughout the process. Always be on the lookout for a helping hand!
19. Shift focus from promotional to conversational
What to do: Move away from strict marketing messages on your social media platforms and engage your followers more candidly. Give them helpful content that builds trust and piques interest.
When to do it: Implement this at every stage for a consistent brand tone.
20. Follow up after the event
What to do: Everyone loves a debrief. Give your event a lasting impression with photos, videos, and a newsletter. Send it out for all to see — even those who didn’t attend. If you’re already planning for next year, tell them you’ll see them then.
When to do it: Within 1 week after the event.
Maintain the momentum until you’re sold out
Every effort counts, whether building your social media following or trying to sell out last-minute events. Check out our guide to event marketing for more tips, or try Eventbrite Boost to get all hands on deck.
Ready to take it to the playing field? Start posting events for free today.
*Eventbrite data 5/1/2022 – 12/1/2022 comparing events promoted with Eventbrite Boost with any event that was not promoted with the same tool.