This blog is all about how to promote an event – because if you’re a small business owner, chances are you’ll be running (or at least thinking about running) an event in the near future.
And you’ll want that event to be as successful as possible, right? Hell yes! Which is why I want to show you how to promote your event so that it gets noticed and brings in the crowd you want.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Are you wondering why you should hold an event in the first place? Well, there’s actually lots of reasons.
Here’s just a small few:
• It will help you to establish yourself as the expert in your niche as you’ll be demonstrating your particular knowledge to the attendees;
• It’s a brilliant way to network and get to know other businesses;
• It’s great for collaborating with other business owners, to get your name out there and to put your face in front of new audiences;
• It can boost conversions.
SERIOUSLY, EVENTS ARE A GREAT WAY TO BRING IN NEW CUSTOMERS
Let me expand on the conversion point a bit further.
Every business has a customer journey – and getting people to your event gives you a chance to push them further along yours.
Some attendees might have just started to connect with you and your brand. Others might have had several touch points but have not transitioned into a paying customer…. yet!
At an event, you can really show who you are, what you’re about and how your product or service solves pain points. It’s a valuable opportunity to build on the know, like and trust factor – key ingredients for snagging more clientele.
Plus by holding an event, you’re growing your mailing list. So even if attendees don’t take further action beyond turning up, you can continue to communicate with them and nurture them for future events, launches or sales.
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE CREATING YOUR EVENT
To ensure your event is successful and serves you and your business purposefully, here are a few important things I want you to consider:
- What’s the end goal?
What are you trying to achieve with your event? Is it an information session, a way to educate your audience or simply a means to get yourself out there and interact with potential customers?
- What’s the setting?
Events are a complicated game in the COVID era so you really need to think about where you’re going to host yours. This could be at a local venue, online or a mix of the two for those attendees who are interstate or across timezones. Most of us are pretty comfortable with virtual webinars these days, so don’t let the thought of running something online put you off. Plus there are a raft of platforms that you can turn to like Zoom or EasyWebinar to support virtual activities
3. What’s the purpose – lead magnet or money maker?
This point links back to point 1, but you really need to ask yourself what you’re using your event for. Do you want to run a free information session to introduce yourself to a new market? Perhaps you’re trying to convert attendees into paying customers at the event. Or you could be charging a flat fee for guests to join because you’re sharing your knowledge (and yes, that is worth paying for!).
4. Are you running the event on your own or with others?
Is the event all about you and your business or do you want to use it as an opportunity to collaborate with other business owners and connect with their audience?
5. When will your event take place?
This sounds simple enough – you’ll just land on a date and time that suits your schedule and call it a day, right? It’s actually not quite so straightforward. You really need to think about who’s coming, where they’re based and what will suit them. This might mean you have to hold your event in the evening or at the weekend. You also need to think about how long your event will be – will it go for half a day or a full 8 hours?
6. What’s it called?
What makes an event name ‘good’? It’s all quite subjective, but as long as it’s catchy, memorable and gives some impression of what it’s all about, you’ll be in great stead.
7. How will you hook your audience?
After you land on your name, you need to decide on your headline. This has to be short, snappy and sticky – your potential audience wants to know what they’ll get from coming along to your event.
8. How will your audience book tickets?
Even if your event is free, you’ll still want to have a list of all the registrations. Will they need to RSVP to you directly or will you set up a ticketing system through a platform like Eventbrite?
9. Is there an incentive for early registrations?
How are you going to encourage guests to come along (I promise, I’ll talk about how to promote your event in the next section!)? Will you offer an early-bird discount to entice people to grab a ticket before the price goes up?
10. Do you have a limit on numbers?
If you’re running your event online, this is probably something you won’t need to think about. But most venues will have seating capacities, so make sure you know how many people can fit in the space you’ve booked.
MY TOP TIPS FOR PROMOTING YOUR EVENT
Ok, this is what you came here for – but we really did need to go over the basics before diving in.
First things first, you need to create awareness. I’m a big fan of adding an event sales page on your website to direct all your traffic to.
You’ll also want to think about your event-specific branding. So how do you want your event to look in the marketplace?
Once you’ve decided on the look and feel, you’ll need to create graphics to roll out across all your channels. I recommend creating:
• A header image for your sales page
• If you have a Facebook business page, you’ll want to update the cover photo with the event details
• A Facebook event page with an event cover photo
• Some specific images for Facebook and Instagram posts to help advertise the event
• A stories graphic is also a great idea
• Finally, a graphic to your email signature
Remember, all these graphics need to look like they’re part of the same family. Which means they need to use the same colour palette, fonts, copy and pictures. If you don’t work with a graphic designer, it’s easy enough to create these assets yourself on Canva or Picmonkey.
the power of your email list
The next step is working on your invite list. And you really can’t look past your database of contacts. These are the people who are already warm to you and will be most interested in signing up to your event.
I recommend sending an email to this list advising early bird registration cut off and pricing. Don’t just do this once either – add it to your usual e-newsletter and send emails specifically promoting your event to encourage as many registrations as possible.
CONTENT IS KING
Social media is one of the best ways to get your event out there – and in most instances it’s free!
Share regularly posts spruiking your event, go live on Facebook or Instagram to give a taste of what you’ll be offering on the big day, utilise stories to build anticipation, create a Facebook event, run promotions with free or discounted tickets, use a specific event hashtag.
You can even ask your network to talk about your event on their own channels. Truly – anything goes!
So give all of the above a try and see what resonates most with your community.
I also suggest putting a little bit of money behind your event and invest in some ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google or wherever your audience is. Google ads will also give you a chance to retarget visitors to your event sales page, helping you to nurture them all the way to registration.
And don’t dismiss the personal invite! Never be afraid to direct message people on social – especially those you’ve recently met or who have just started following you. Send them a friendly DM informing them about your event and shoot through the registration link. The worse they can say is ‘no, thank you’.
PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE
In the run up to your event, start to generate a bit of excitement. Share some behind the scenes snaps as you’re getting everything ready.
Are you creating a presentation or deck? Post about it online. Are there gift bags for attendees? Film a quick video of you pulling them together and share it your stories.
What about decorations? Are you getting those sorted too? Tell your community! Any way that you can tease out what’s ahead will help with last minute sign ups.
Don’t forget to be active on social media on the actual day, too.
Take photos and videos and post, post, post.
Encourage your audience to do the same (this is where the event specific hashtag can be put to great use) – user generated content is a brilliant way to give credibility to your event, so make sure anyone who shares snaps from the day tags you or your business.
And what about when it’s all over? I recommend that you continue to post about your event for at least 2 – 3 days afterwards. You should also follow up with every attendee with a thank you, asking for feedback or a testimonial.
THAT’S A WRAP!
I hope this post has helped you understand how to promote your next event. I expand on this topic on my podcast, The Whole Women in Business Podcast. Jump over here to listen to the episode now.
If you need any help with your strategy, growing your email list, creating an event, or any other part of digital marketing, please get in touch.
I specialise in helping small businesses grown their audience, get more leads and ultimately make more money. You can book in for a free 30 minute discovery session and business audit – so don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.
Thanks for reading!
Do you want to get results from your marketing? If you struggle with making money doing the thing you love, it’s time to act.