5 awesome online tactics for promoting events

Organizing an event? Here are some awesome ways to market it.

Blurred group of people in convention center or lobby
Credit: Thinkstock

Organizing an event is one of the best ways to build brand awareness, engage existing customers, network with industry experts and industry leaders and attract new business. But in the mad rush to achieve all of these goals, many brands organize events that are half-baked and ill-planned. They pour resources into them without getting proportionate value out of them.

The key to organizing a successful event and to market it even better lies in the brand itself — what it stands for, what it means to the average customer and how the industry perceives it. The event should be a natural extension of the activities of the brand and not a tacked-up venture.

There are different types of events you could organize depending upon what suits your brand best. Eventually, to be successful, an event has to be marketed extremely well so as to attract participants who will eventually help the brand achieve the stated objectives.

Once you’ve planned an event and decided on the dates and the venue, you need to market it. There are conventional methods for building hype and awareness around events. Use of social media is one of them. Building a steady tempo on social media as D Day approaches is a strategy most commonly used by many brands to create awareness.

The brand website is another place where the event can be advertised. Most brands will create a microsite dedicated to the event which will provide all the information pertaining to the event and a platform for registration and booking of accommodation. Press releases can be distributed on relevant channels. Let’s take a look at some other interesting ways to market events.

1. Circulate short videos by speakers

Let’s face it: The success of an event greatly depends on who the primary speakers are. After all, people will throng to an event where they will have the opportunity to listen to industry rock stars and leaders. Leverage the popularity of the speakers by asking them to record a short video saying that they will talk about at your event and why people need to attend it.

To add authenticity, these could be short 30-second bursts recorded on mobile phones by the speakers themselves. The videos can then be circulated on your brand’s social media platforms and on your website and blog.

2. Get your speakers to promote the event

Your speakers already have a huge following. Why not leverage this loyal audience to promote your event? You can ask your speakers to promote your event by giving them a discount code. They can ask their followers to use this code to get a discount on registration charges.

You can then track the registrations through this code and remunerate the speaker accordingly. For example, John X is a speaker and you give him a discount code to share with his followers. (The code could be John25, for example, and it could offer users a discount of 25% on registration charges.) You then pay John X a predetermined amount for every person who signs up using his code. (If it's $5 per registration and 100 people sign up using his code, then John gets $500.)

3. Send invitation emails during the weekend

Most companies send emails on weekdays, and recipients are inundated with them, leading to low open and click-through rates. Sending invitation emails with intelligently-crafted subject lines on weekends can assure you of higher open rates. Also, potential attendees will be in a relaxed state of mind and will consider your invitation more positively over the weekend. They may also refer the event to an interested friend.

4. Use social networking apps

Social networking apps are more personal, and people will actually be willing to attend an event if it is marketed on such apps. Buddypass, for example, is a social networking app that gets people with similar interests together. It is a great platform for advertising an event. It allows users to search for events they would be interested in attending. Thus, your event is promoted to a highly motivated user base that is very likely to attend it.

When I use my social media apps for promoting videos or an event, I love to personalize them with some sounds and other special effects to get my viewers’ undivided attention. For example, you could use Vine Touch Sound, a sound board app that lets you play thousands of Vine sounds, voices and ringtones. You can also record and dub sounds over existing videos. All of these voices and sounds are of HD quality

5. Give additional reasons for people to attend

One of the main attractions for attendees at events is the chance to network with like-minded people. Most events are so packed with talks that they hardly offer sufficient time for networking. Organize extended lunch and high tea sessions where people get enough time to mingle and network.

You might also offer added attractions like a sightseeing activity and a meal featuring local cuisine that gives attendees a chance to experience the local culture. You can advertise these additional attractions along with the promotional activities for the event.

Over to you

Events offer an opportunity to learn new things and keep oneself abreast of the latest happenings in a particular field. They also offer the organizing brand an opportunity to be recognized as an authority and bring business value in terms of networking and new prospects. If planned and marketed properly, events can be hugely successful and attendees will look forward to other such events by the brand.

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