Planning an event takes so much work that sometimes it’s easy to forget about what may be the most important part: marketing the event. After all, no matter how stellar the speakers, activities, or headliners are, a show with few attendees will still be a bust.
Marketing can feel overwhelming, though, and if you don’t have a plan in place, you might worry that marketing could get expensive.
But it doesn’t have to. There are hundreds of free and inexpensive ways to market events that you should never need a huge marketing budget. In fact, save that budget for an awesome guest speaker or interactive attraction. As for marketing, check out these creative ways to fill your event without breaking the bank.
Writers are everywhere. Think about people in your immediate friend circle: You have at least 3-4 personal bloggers. Consider acquaintances, too: Boom, you’ve found journalists, contacts at magazines and newspapers, and several bloggers with huge followings.
Take advantage of these connections. Many beginner bloggers are often willing to write blog articles for an event in exchange for their name on the article and a link in the bio, or even a free ticket or two. Share these articles on your own website, plus social media sites and your blog to maximize your reach. Encourage the writer to do the same; they’re likely proud of their story and happy to share with their circles, too.
Contacts at magazines and newspapers could help you to find the right person to pitch a story about the event. Tailor those pitches to relevant publications – business or industry journals for conferences or an entertainment magazine for a concert. Be sure to include an interesting take on the event, like a human interest piece or a short history of the event or even snippets of wisdom from top speakers. If you can get in touch with the right people and pitch well, you could earn exposure to thousands of new potential attendees.
Almost every event ever planned has a unique, touching story that can be told. Maybe the lead singer of a famous band is a local musician, or the research from one of your speakers has directly improved the life of someone willing to be interviewed.
In nearly every case, you can find the human element of a story about your event. Once you do, contact your local media stations, on radio, television, and newspapers. Offer to share that story in an interview or live. In many instances, local media are more than excited to support local events, helping you to reach anyone who listens to, watches, or reads local news.
These are the top two methods we use all the time to establish relationships and get free publicity for our events. Try it out and let us know how it goes.