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event promotion ideas

5 Event Promotion Ideas on a Small Budget

Event Promotion Ideas to Pack the House

Creating buzz for your event (event promotion) is not an issue when you are a multinational corporation with more resources than a small country.

Now let’s face it, if that was the case (which I take it’s not) then you clearly can do better than searching “event promotion ideas” on Google.

Let’s Assume (for sake of this article)

  • You are the type of person who is not OK with mediocre work and you believe that “the meat is in the details”

You see, I understand this “type of person”, quite well (since I am “that type”), and “our type” doesn’t settle or sacrifice—we get creative and we get results!

Key Points ► Event Promotion Strategy

A few key points to keep in mind before you begin the promotional process:

  • Objectives
  • Target Audience
  • Promotional Budget

event promotion ideasCredit/Copyright Attribution: ra2studio/Shutterstock

Event promotion is not rocket science (thank god for that) it is mainly having a thorough understanding about what your goals are and what will be your methods and resources to get you there; call this approach “common sense” (which is not to be confused with Common the rapper).

event promotion ideasCredit/Copyright Attribution: ra2studio/Shutterstock

Now that you have the big picture in mind, it is time to stimulate the right side of your brain (the creative one) and get to work.

Five Event Promotion Ideas on a Small Budget

1) Film It. Create a promotional video of the event to get the word around (social networks/event website).

  • Save on the production fees by contacting local colleges/universities and proposing the video as a project for a film production class. I have personally been a part of a large marketing campaign, in my university AD class, as a project proposed by a local car dealership (saved them a TON).

2) Print It. Save on the printing expenses, call a local print shop and ask them to become a sponsor.

  • Offer to place their logo on all printed material, give them verbal acknowledgements at the event, and place a link to their website on the online event page (which takes me to the next point).

3) Website It. Save on the event page by soliciting a web media company to become a sponsor. Give them an idea of the potential site traffic (using previous data) and allow them to advertise their brand on the page.

  • If a website is not necessary, then a simple Facebook event will do the trick. Now if your audience is not Facebook savvy (which is unlikely but possible) then create an EventBrite page—absolutely Free.

4) Contest It. Social Media, Social Media, Social Media…I cannot stress enough (or can I) that there are boundless opportunities for crowd sourced promotions on social networks.

  • Create a contest using Instagram (if your audience is concentrated there) and ask users to post a screen shot of your page (or a promotional picture) in exchange for something they will value (e.g. money, free tickets, etc.).

5) Email It. Yes people still use email, for some it is their preferred method of contact.

  • Using MailChimp you can build a campaign and send out your email blast—at no cost (up to 2,000 contacts).

BONUS (Key Insight)

When sending out your email blast or posting content on social media networks it is crucial to know when is the most effective time to post.

Typically if your audience is “an email reader” then Wednesday at 2:00pm is your target time and day of the week (according to seriously serious research).

When is the best time to post on Facebook? Well, it really depends on your audiences’ schedule. A good way to strategize your posting time is to think what a typical day in their life is like, what time they eat breakfast, go to work, etc.

Use what information you have to create a daily schedule to use as a road map for posting.

…And Don’t Forget The Data

Collect necessary information, for post-event, to analyze the event’s performance and to aide in future sponsor attainment.

A great idea to collect marketing info (willingly) is to use real world (or digital) engagement marketing; offering your prospects something of value in exchange for their interaction (like the Instagram example in idea #4).

Generally the information you would want to collect is:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Email

But depending on the nature of your event, you may want to know attendees field of work, years of experience, and so on and so forth.

Engagement Marketing Experiment at a Tradeshow

Using an IPad, the IPrize Wheel app, and professional entertainers from No Bodies Crew, I managed to draw and engage various audiences—at our booth, at the Florida Festivals and Events Association’s 19th annual convention & tradeshow.

The results: 104 contacts acquired

Click the image to see a 45 second video of the Interactive Dance Booth in full effect

event promotionPhotography by Aaron Lurie of VMA Studios

More Ideas?

What do you do when the “promo dollars” aren’t enough? Drop a comment below and share your insight with US.

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