Advice from the Experts

We spoke to several event industry experts to discover what they feel is needed for effective event promotion.

Here are a few of their top tips and industry secrets revealed to help you with your own event promotion. 

Which Marketing Channels Do You Use To Promote Your Events and Why?

“It is valuable to work with the media and generate interest in the event. A personality or industry professional commenting or offering a testimonial about your event is of great value. If you can engage with bloggers who are relevant to the event, this will increase your outreach to potential attendees. It might be an idea to create a strap line or hashtag that people can use when talking about the event, this will generate traction and reach previously unknown prospects. The data you generate will be invaluable for future events.

There is also huge value in the more traditional form of marketing - that is picking up the phone and speaking to prospects. This really gives you an understanding of what your potential visitors are looking for and allows you to build strong relationships.”

Georgina Coleman - Managing Director - Established Events

If you want to get the word out about your event, the most effective channel is often social media. If you get it right on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can get your event in front of thousands of potential attendees for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising.
 
A simple way to get your event noticed by the right people is to make it easy for those that sign up to drum up interest among their own friends and followers. You can do this by including social buttons on the order confirmation page that allow them to spread the word with a single click. You can add fuel to the fire by entering everyone who shares your event on social media into a raffle — this simple promotion can give a huge return on investment.”

Victoria Brunton – Managing Director – EventStop

Do You Have Any Examples Of Successful Promotion Tactics With Evidence? 

“Pre-booked sales/attendees are the key to making sure your event is a success. If you can confirm your attendees before the event takes place, rather than waiting for them to walk through the door, you are guaranteed better success. I would never advise promoting an event and just see who walks in. From my experience, if you are sending out a message or invitation to prospects, you are likely to get a pick-up rate of 20-30%. So, bear that in mind when looking at the capacity of you event. You need to communicate by offering benefits or incentives. This may be in the form or reduces rates for early booking, or it may be an incentive for attending the event. 

You need to be creative when thinking about what this may be. An experience that “money can’t buy” is always a winner. This may be in a prize draw format, that allows any of your attendees the opportunity to win.”

Georgina Coleman - Managing Director - Established Events

“It’s also important you send the traffic you generate from your social media activity to the right place. Creating a specific page for your event [on your website] featuring your branding and all the relevant information will give off a professional impression and help convince people to put their money down to attend. Before you start promoting your event, it’s important you get this page set up so your efforts are effective as possible”.

Victoria Brunton – Managing Director – EventStop

How Far In Advance Should People Start Promoting Their Event And What Should The First Steps Be?

“This very much depends on the event and its size. Do you have your database ready and know who you are reaching out to? If not, I would suggest creating a following, again via social media. You need to create a genuine interested in your event and why it is taking place. Engage with the community you are targeting. This may be in the form of attending other similar events, joining forums and networking groups. 

From an operational prospective, you need to find your venue first. This is the most important element of you event. Does the venue have the right capability to deliver a success? Location and accessibility are both very important. Also, make sure that you have insurance in place should anything unexpected happen. 

The next step is to get the invitation out if you are confident that you are entrenched in the community you are targeting.

Don’t think you should only contact someone once about your event. Of course, you don’t want to annoy someone who is not interested, so give them the option to unsubscribe or leave your database. There is no point having them there if they are uninterested. You want to focus on those who have a genuine interest. 

I would always suggest that you put together a social media strategy and plan before you start contacting people. Know what you want to say and when you want to send the message, rather than just engaging as and when. 

Monitor the result you get and utilise your analytics. This information is invaluable for the event you are working on and for future events. 

The most important advice I can ever give is believe in what you are doing, if something isn’t working, change it. Your passion and energy are the keys to your success”.

Georgina Coleman - Managing Director - Established Events