12 Creative Ways to Promote an Event
Got an event coming up? Here are 12 creative ways to promote an event to get maximum attendance and maximum exposure.
Creative Ways to Promote an Event Online
If you have a blog or website, create a separate page for your event. Be sure to list all of the details, like date, time, place, a description of what is going to go on, and how to contact you for more information. And if you have a blog, make sure you write a post or two about your event, with links to your event page.
Create a Facebook Event. This is one of the easiest ways to spread the word. Simply go to the “Events” link in the left-hand column near the top of the page. On the next page, hit the “Create Event” button and fill in your details. Make sure you upload a photo. If you have created a page on your website or blog, direct them to visit your web page. Then you can invite your contacts on Facebook as appropriate. Do this early in the process. Update the event page occasionally to remind people your event is approaching. You’ll be able to see who is attending and who is a maybe and you’ll be able to communicate with them directly. Encourage your attendees to invite others and bring other guests.
Online Press Releases. There are dozens of free online press release sites. Simply write up a press release giving the reader the details of your event. Yes, the first time you will need to register. Just make sure you make a note of your user name and password. You’ll want to come back again and again. Most of these sites allow you to target a specific city. Even if they don’t, these releases are still a good idea, especially if you include the link to your web page or blog.
List Your Event on Craigslist in their Community section. You can list an activity, an event, a class, or in general. I personally like to write three different ads and post in three sections.
List Your Event on Community Calendar websites. Most newspapers and television stations have a section on their website where you can submit a local event. Most communities also have event websites that allow for individual submission. Just do a Google search for “community calendar for City name” and you’ll find what you are looking for.
Send email blasts to your clients, your friends, your colleagues and ask them to help spread the word.
Post about your event on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and any other social media community you are involved on. And don’t forget to post in your Groups. Be aware of the group rules (you don’t want to Spam, of course), but you will be able to find many groups that welcome your announcements. Be sure to include a link to your Facebook event or to your web page where they can get more information.
Are you in any Meetup.com or other networking groups? Most of those groups allow you to post events or send messages to the group members. If your event would be of interest to the group, reach out to the group organizer and ask them to send out an invitation.
Creative Ways to Promote an Event Offline
Distribute printed flyers to local coffee shops, laundromats, college campuses, grocery stores, gyms, bowling alleys, restaurants and other local businesses. Many businesses have a community bulletin board where they welcome announcements for local events. Make sure you create a list of every place you are able to leave a flyer so when it comes to announcing your next event, you already have a list of places to go.
Invite your Local Community Press. The local press, especially the smaller community weeklies, loves to know what is going on. They want new and fresh stories. One of my favorite tactics is to hand-deliver a hand-written invitation to a specific reporter with a couple of cookies or a balloon. Even if I choose the wrong reporter, they will often pass the invitation on to the right reporter. Anything you can do to make your invitation special is a good idea!
And finally, nothing beats a good old-fashioned telephone call to invite people personally. So much is done via email and social media these days that people actually appreciate it when you take the time and effort to make a phone call and personally invite them to your event.
There you have it: twelve creative ways to promote an event. Choose the ideas that work for your particular event and spread the word.
If you have other creative ways to promote an event that you’d like to share, please leave it in the comments below.