Often, when managing an event, very little or none of the event budget is allocated to marketing. Luckily, marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, in fact there are some ways you can spread the word about your event without spending a penny – and we’ve listed a few below to help get you started.
It’s an obvious one, but such a powerful tool that can be used to reach your audience and completely free. Very often companies can plough lots of money into additional spend through Facebook advertising or Instagram promotion, but there are ways in which you can find your target audience and get message out to them without spending any money. Linked In is a great way to search for people by their job titles or interests – all you need to do is connect with them and send them a short and punchy message which can direct them to your event website. That wonderful little symbol, the hash tag, is also very helpful if you want to pin down or reach a certain audience or get something trending online.
As this is such an extensive area with so much to uncover we will be writing a full article on this in the coming months but for now it’s our first and most powerful tip!
Find some bloggers
There are always people within most areas of study or interests who are well respected or have a large online following when it comes to talking about events. If you can find them, and you can give them something worthwhile to talk about in return they can write and post about your event in exchange for some exciting news and content. Their audiences usually engage with and believe in what they’re writing about so if you can manage this you should see registrations and interest rise.
The majority of publications will sell advertising space within their magazines, however some space can be negotiated for free if you do a straight swap for a logo placement on the event website. Publications understand that there’s also a great number of delegate traffic flowing through the event website which can create clicks on their publication site and vice versa.
Keep your existing database warm
Work with your existing database from previous events and make sure they don’t go stale. Keep the previous years audience engaged throughout the year with news and updates and it will make them more likely to attend the next year. Offer them early bird rates, deadlines, competitions and event news so that your event stays front-of-mind and appealing to repeat visitors.
Get content from speakers
Your speakers are a huge selling point of your event so utilise them as best you can, if you can get them to write a quote or post about the event on their pages this will boost the marketing of your event and their talks, so it’s a win-win. Also, people searching for your speaker will also find your event so it’s another platform for the event to appear on.
Showcase images & testimonials from previous years
For any potential delegates that haven’t been to an event in previous years, showing video clips and pictures from previous years can give them a really good insight into what to expect. Pictures and videos can bring an event to life and really sell it to prospective delegates.
Event Listing Websites
There are 100’s of event listing websites, some which will charge you for appearing on them and some which won’t. They’re easy to find through search engines, are categorised dependant on the type of event you are running, and some delegates will use them to find specific events which are suitable to their industry or interests. Take some time to find them and list them on there to make your event more visible.
To summarise, social media and word-of-mouth can be the most powerful and cost effective tools to promote your event. The only thing you’ll need is a little bit of resource with some knowledge of the event and how to use social media and time. The sooner you begin marketing the event the better and the more content you’ll be able to produce. Aim to create interactions and conversations, if this event happens annually make sure you stay in touch with your existing audience and a lot of your work will have already been done.
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