Have you ever attended a football match, live concert or any major live sporting event? Silly question, I suppose. Maybe you’ve even been lucky enough to attend one of the competitions at the Olympics? Remember what it felt like to be part of that crowd? I’m sure you’d agree that the sheer number of people all cheering in unison, singing along to popular chants and supporting their favourite teams together creates a magical, unique atmosphere.
The spirit of an event, be it a sports match, a film premiere, or a live concert, is created by the audience. The more people take part, the higher the excitement and energy levels.
The same is true for B2B events. The more attendees you attract, the more conversations and chatter you generate, and the more successful your event will be.
So how do you capture as many attendees as you possibly can?
The simple answer is, by marketing your event in a smart manner that creates intrigue and generates interest even amongst casual attendees. Event promotion depends on your budget and the scale of event you are planning. If you have big sponsors backing you, you can afford to splurge on large, fancy billboards and glitzy advertisements. But even if your marketing budget is limited, there are a plethora of cool event promotion ideas you can use to reach as many people as possible. Read on to discover them!
13. Optimise your event registration website
Your event website is the single most powerful tool you can use to promote your event. By opting for an interesting event website template that captures the vibe of your function, you immediately grab the attention of users. A well-optimised event website not only provides users with the necessary information, but also act as a hub for registrations and payments. Here are the different ways in which you can optimise your event website:
a). Usability testing:
Web visitors form an impression of your website in as little as five seconds. It is important that the design and look of your website immediately spark the interest of visitors. Use tools like Usability Hub’s Five Second Test to better understand users’ experiences when navigating your website.
b). Heat mapping:
Heat maps are colour-coded to provide a visual representation of user activity on your website. Information about how much time visitors spend on your website, which features are most interesting to them, and even how far they scroll down the page is available at your fingertips!
c). A/B testing:
Through A/B testing, you can contrast two different versions of the same webpage to compare audience engagement. While A/B testing usually requires a certain level of technical skill, you can use tools like Optimizely to experiment with different design features, headlines, and call to actions.
d). Web analytics:
Do you use Google Analytics to keep track of visitors on your website? Trick question: your answer should be ‘Yes, of course’! Analytics have become the most important tool to gage the effectiveness of your website and analyse how many visitors might turn into paying attendees.
12. Offer Early Bird discounts
We all love discounts. A sure-fire way of getting more people to register for your event is to provide exclusive ‘early bird’ offers. Set a clear deadline for the early bird pricing or only put a limited number of tickets on offer – scarcity marketing will create a solid buzz around your event, while tempting attendees with a discount they can’t refuse.
11. Leverage social media
Given their massive audience outreach, Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have proved to be popular mediums for event promotion.
In the UK, Facebook has an active user base of over 30 million people, with around 80% of people in the 23-37 age bracket being frequent users. Here is how you can use Facebook to attract people to your event:
- Create a Facebook page centred around your event and share it in different groups. If your budget allows, go for paid promotion as well. This will generate quick returns for a small investment.
- Cross-promote the event with an event marketing partner who has considerable influence in generating buzz and increasing registrations.
- Use Facebook Live Video to stream your event promotion activities.
Twitter is another widely-used medium in the events industry. There are many ways through which you can promote your event on Twitter:
- Create a catchy hashtag for your event and find creative ways to get it trending. You could even devise a competition, encouraging registrants to retweet and include the event hashtag for the chance to win a prize!
- Create an influencer list and target them through smartly crafted @mentions.
- Host a Twitter chat, share live broadcasts.
Event organisers are also leveraging LinkedIn as an effective promotional tool to entice more attendees to their events. Given its huge professional user base, LinkedIn can help attract the right audience to your event. You can
- Write an informative article that has share value.
- Post a short video highlighting all the exciting things about your event.
- Join different groups and promote your event.
10. Use ad retargeting
Many users visit your event website, but for some reason they get distracted and click away from the landing page. You need to hone in on the users who are clearly interested but perhaps have shorter attention spans. Using ad retargeting across your Google AdWords account and on the ticket sales page, the visitor will be continually reminded of your event as they visit other websites. You need to consider the following points while attempting ad retargeting:
a) Don’t try to sell tickets to just any website visitor. Identify your audience- do you want to target those who clicked off during the checkout process? Maybe you want attendees from a particular geographical area only?
b) Have you added your tracking code correctly? Retargeting won’t work if you don’t add the right tracking code. You can use Google Tag Manager to manage codes, tags, and pixels for your retargeting campaigns.
c) Create multiple ad designs. Different ads work on different websites and devices. Don’t just stop at creating one design, instead come up with new, creative messages, images and colours to maximise your ad retargeting results.
9. Create exciting video content
If there is one way to push your event into the spotlight, it is to create a performance that has the potential to go viral. This could include putting your own spin to popular challenges (think back to the 2014 Ice Bucket challenge or the early-2019 Blindfold challenge), organising a flash mob, filming a video featuring adorable puppies… Get creative! Remember, the messaging should be smart and subtle.
8. Incorporate QR codes
Quick response (QR) codes have been around for some time now. You see them on groceries, consumer goods, magazines and brochures. Given their ease of convenience, they have become quite popular in the events industry as well. Most smartphones include built-in QR app readers, so there are several ways to make the most of this technology to come up with some cool event promotion ideas. For example:
- Include a QR code with the digital or printed sponsorship material handed out at your event. Since printed matter becomes outdated in a matter of days, the QR code can provide attendees with the latest news on your event with just a simple scan.
- Whether you are marketing your event through digital or traditional billboards, including a QR code allows any person to scan it and get more details about your event. The information available through the code should be interesting enough to whet the public’s appetite for your event.
7. Create infographics
Visual content is an important medium to boost social engagement and promote your event. Incorporate storytelling in the form of infographics to provide all the information about your event in a simple, fun manner. Given their high shareability value, infographics are an effective, low-cost visual tactic to generate more buzz around your event.
6. Hire mascots for your event!
Never underestimate the power of a cute mascot! A great way to promote your event is to incorporate mascots that represent your event values as well as send positive vibes to attendees. People will want to take selfies with the mascot and share it on social media, thus increasing the brand value of your event. This option, however, should only be considered when your event is spread over 3-4 days.
5. Promote your (branded) merch
Another cool event promotion idea is to hand out exclusive merch such as branded caps, T-shirts, tote bags, or digital paraphernalia such as pop-sockets to attendees before, during, and after the event. It incentivises people to sign up for your event year after year because, after all, everyone loves free stuff!
4. Create AR-based events
Augmented reality has been firmly entrenched into the mainstream consciousness, thanks to games like Pokemon Go, apps like SnapChat filters, and platforms like Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore. Today, it is no longer a question of whether AR should be incorporated into an event, but how it should be done.
Event organisers are leveraging the creative potential and marketing power of AR technology to create immersive games that maximise the attendee’s involvement in the event. Brands also achieve higher visibility as they can sponsor prizes or include their logos in AR advertisements.
3. Geotag your campaigns
Geolocation is the new buzzword in event marketing, as marketers are finding new ways of reaching customers through location-based targeting. Even aforementioned technologies such as AR advertising is based on the concept of geotagging.
Combine AI and predictive analytics with geotagging to narrow down the behavioural patterns of target audiences and matching them to their niche desires. This allows you to take personalisation to the next level, by tapping into regional content and local influencers. Make sure to incentivise data collection by highlighting perks and benefits – consumers can be understandably concerned about privacy!
2. Make a Highlight reel
Create a highlight reel of the best moments from past versions of your event, or release a teaser trailer of keynote speakers and planned activities for an upcoming one. You could even include a celebrity guest cameo! Promotional highlight reels can be a short, sponsored video shared across all social channels; this will certainly create a lot of interest around your event.
1. Influencer marketing
A study by Social Media Today shows that influencer marketing delivers 11x higher ROI than traditional banner ads. Around 94% of marketers have found it to be a very effective marketing tactic to achieve their goals.
Nowadays, influencer marketing forms an integral part of any event promotion campaign. The underlying principle is simple – influencers and brands have a larger and more loyal audience base, so a sound partnership with one will ensure you get enough registrations for your event. Promote your event by collaborating with a relevant influencer, possibly an industry expert who identifies with your brand and will be a genuine advocate for your event. Through story-telling, conducting contests and regular brand advocacy, the influencer can significantly level up your brand awareness among relevant prospects.
The first step to successfully promote your event is to ensure you have a gorgeous website that attracts the maximum number of attendees to your event. Creating a website might sound like an arduous task – Cvent’s eBook ‘Event Website Design 101’ is a step-by-step guide on how to build, design and manage a complete event website from scratch!