15 Tips That Can Help You Increase Event Registrations and Attendants
So you’re hosting an event, but you have no idea how to promote it? Well, we don’t blame you. Event promotion is a hectic and difficult job.
The impact your event creates for your business totally depends on how you choose to promote it. If you don’t make noise about your event, you probably won’t get any attendees because no one will even know that it’s happening. For established brands with a huge online presence, it doesn’t take much to promote their events, however, if your brand has little to no online authority, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort to promote an event online.
If this is your first time promoting an event and you feel overwhelmed, don’t worry, this is the perfect guide for you. In this guide, we’ll share with you 13 tips that will help you increase event registrations and event attendance. So without any delay, let’s check out how to promote an event.
Tips that Can Help You Increase Event Registrations and Attendants
When it comes to online event promotion tips, you can find hundreds of them on the web. However, not all of them make sense, especially for small businesses or first-time event promoters.
Keeping that in mind, we came up with the best tips that we personally use when promoting events for our clients.
1. Hire a professional event marketing agency
Okay, this may seem like a shameful plug, but hear us out.
To be real with you guys, event marketing is not for everyone. First-time event promoters do feel ambitious when promoting their events online, however, the sad reality is, a lot of them end up wasting a lot of their time and hard-earned money. So, if you don’t know how to promote your events, you better hire an event marketing agency. This is why the number one tip we have for you is to let event marketing professionals like Orion promote your event.
When it comes to event marketing, Orion leverages every opportunity to promote your brand. Over the course of many years, we’ve successfully marketed events of big names such as Marriott. Our team of experts can implement a variety of marketing strategies such as social media marketing, SEO, PPC, and others to successfully showcase your event. That being said, if you feel like you can handle the challenges of event marketing yourself, then the rest of the tips are just what you need to check out.
Promoting events on social media
2. Share behind-the-scenes posts of your event
Social media is one of the most effective platforms to promote an event. You can leverage the power of social media to keep your attendees engaged. The best way to increase engagement and spread the word about your event is to share behind-the-scenes sneak peeks of your event.
Sharing short Snapchat or Instagram stories covering behind the scenes of your event can keep your attendees engaged with you and build anticipation leading up to your event. Tell your audience about the guests who will appear at your event and all the activities you’ve planned. This will help you hype up your event and entice people to sign up for it.
3. Offer early bird discounts
You’ve probably heard the expression “the early bird gets the worm.” This is a philosophy that entices everyone to register for an event or order a product beforehand so they can get a discount. An early bird discount offer is essentially an exclusive offer that is only accessible to those who register for an event or purchase a product within a specific time frame. Early bird prices are usually offered relatively early in the booking process, with most savings ranging from 10% to 25% off ordinary pricing.
There is a proven scientific logic behind offering discounts on event registration. Discounting resulted in significant decreases in physical stress and increases in Oxytocin levels, a hormone associated with happiness and pleasure. In fact, the human body is predisposed to seek out any way that minimizes suffering while increasing pleasure. According to research, cost reduction resulted in a happy experience.
Considering the impact of early bird discount offers, you can effectively utilize this approach to increase event registration and attendants!
4. Collaborate with speakers, influencers, and brands
Let’s be real for a second, you can only market your event to a certain extent. If you want maximum reach, the best practice is to collaborate with social media influences. Getting other brands and influencers to talk about your event can increase your event’s reach. You’ll get more exposure this way.
When collaborating, make sure to go crazy when promoting the brands or influencers you’ve partnered with. You’d want to take advantage of your partner’s followers. This way, people who are new to your business will get to know about your company and your event.
5. Create a hashtag for your event
When creating awareness about an event, nothing works better than event hashtags. Hashtags have the power to get an event trending and improve the number of people who are aware of an event.
In addition to promoting an event, hashtags are a great way to engage with your attendees or people who are considering registering for your event. Prior to or during your event, your event hashtag is what’s going to allow your attendees or interested people to ask questions or interact with your business.
Creating an event hashtag will not only help you stay in contact with your attendees but also track the number of mentions your event racked up on social media.
6. Promote your event on community groups
Aside from promoting your content on your own social media profiles, marketing your event on relevant social media community groups is also a clever event promotion practice.
The key to promoting events in communities on Facebook or Reddit is to always be lowkey. It is important to first become an important part of any community where you want to promote your event. To do that, you’ll need to participate in discussions and help others in the community. Once you’ve built a credible reputation, you can plug your event. If you promote too quickly in communities, you’ll get instantly blocked.
That’s how it works.
PPC for events
7. Conduct keyword research for events
Pay-Per-Click ads are all about keyword targeting. If you want your event ad to be seen by the right people, you must choose the right keywords to use in your ad for your event. To find the right keywords, you must conduct keyword research. There are a number of keyword research tools that can help you find relevant keywords for your PPC ad campaign.
When choosing keywords to use in your PPC ads, make sure to target long-tail keywords. These keywords consist of three or more words. A keyword like “meet and greet for designers” is a great example of a long-tail keyword. The reason why you’d want to use long-tail keywords is that they are perfect for attracting interested leads and they also have low CPC – cost-per-click compared to short-tail keywords.
8. Create relevant event ad copy
When creating an ad for your event, it is crucial that you make it relevant to the keyword you’re targeting. For example, if you’re hosting an event for a meet and greet for designers, your ad copy should be relevant to your event. It can’t be generic or contain any irrelevant information. You’ll want your ad copy to contain all the necessary information related to your meet-and-greet event for designers.
Working on ad relevance will not only help you keep your leads engaged with your ad but will also help in obtaining a high ad rank. Relevancy is what ultimately determines your quality score. If your quality score is high, your ads will get ranked high, giving you amazing visibility.
9. Run retargeting ads on social media for events
Social media is where most people spend most of their time. Around 3.6 billion people use social media worldwide. This makes Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms great for targeting the right audience for your event. If your target audience came across your LinkedIn event but left without interacting, social media retargeting ads can be a great way to frequently remind them about your event.
You’ll need to continuously remind potential attendees about your event and why they should attend it. The reason why you should run retargeting ads is that people will not instantly register for or purchase your event ticket. Retargeting is a great way to not let leads go to waste. For professional help, you can book a strategy call where you can get the best practices for virtual events and physical events!
SEO for events
10. Focus on creating quality content
Today’s SEO practices have evolved drastically. Now, organic marketing is all about creating high-quality content. Now, Google and other search engines only rank websites with relevant, unique, and engaging content. When it comes to promoting an event through SEO, it is crucial to cover topics that are related to your event rather than promoting your event directly. This is essentially what sets SEO apart from PPC.
To promote an event through SEO, you’ll need to cover topics (blogs, articles, guides) that are related to your event and then link your event page from those content pieces.
11. Choose and use keywords smartly
Just like for PPC, keyword research is also super important for SEO. Keywords are what allow people to find relevant information on search engines like Google. When choosing keywords to promote your event organically, come up with keywords that cover all aspects of your event. In other words, cover everything that people may search online regarding your event.
Once you have a list of the right keywords to use, it is important that you use them wisely and not overdo them. You don’t want your content to appear like spam. You’ll want to use your primary keywords in your meta tags, intro, conclusion, and a few times throughout your content body – that’s it. Don’t oversaturate your content with keywords.
12. Generate backlinks for your event page
Backlinks are like shoutouts. The more you have, the more trustworthy you appear. In SEO, backlinks are super important. They essentially help websites rank on Google. Acquiring backlinks for your event page will basically send a signal to Google that your event is legit and should be ranked high on search results. To earn backlinks for your event page, you can partner with other high-quality websites, post guest posts on credible websites or take help from link-building services.
The more backlinks you acquire, the higher you will be able to rank on your target keyword.
13. Optimize meta descriptions
Optimizing meta descriptions for your content pieces may seem not worth your time, however, they’re an important SEO practice. We say this because people actually read meta titles before they click on any content piece. They want to know exactly what the content is about before clicking on a link.
When optimizing meta descriptions, make sure to target your keyword in it. Also, keep them short – under 150 characters. If your description is too long, Google will ignore your meta description and pick a random piece of content that it finds relevant. This can sometimes confuse your visitors as your meta description may not be an accurate depiction of your content piece.
14. Optimize your website for mobile
Most people nowadays use mobile devices to access websites. This is exactly why Google prefers indexing mobile-optimized sites over traditional desktop sites. Google has been pushing Mobile-first indexing for several years now. Nowadays, your website must be mobile-friendly and load instantly on smartphones and other handheld gadgets. When optimizing a website for mobile, make sure that it works properly on different-sized screens. This way, your visitors will not have any issues browsing or viewing content on a small screen.
15. Create a compelling Landing Page for event registration
Landing pages are distinct pages that display outside of your main website in response to a marketing email, online advertisement, or targeted search engine result.
A landing page is a follow-up to a promise made in other content—the spot meant for visitors to “land” after being introduced to you on social media, ads, or anywhere else your marketing efforts have been focused. As a result, landing pages are an excellent starting point for your event, as they are sometimes the very first step your visitors take towards becoming an attendee!
The purpose of an excellent event registration landing page is to get people to do something, such as fill out a form or buy a ticket. If the landing page is informative and attractive enough, it can remarkably increase your event registration.
Cool Event Promotional Ideas
Now that you know how to market events, let’s check out some out-of-the-box event promotion ideas to spice up your marketing campaign.
1. Hire professional photographers to show off your event
When creating promotional content for your event, the first thing people will come across is going to be the images associated with your event. They will instantly make up their minds about your event just by checking out the quality of the images used on your website or ads.
After all, “first impression is the last impression”.
Using high-quality images will entice potential attendees to check out your event page. We can’t stress enough how important it is to use high-quality images. To use high res images, you can always visit websites that offer stock images, however, for a personalized experience, you will need to hire a professional to get your hands on eye-catching images.
2. Hire a brand ambassador to promote your event
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for businesses to hire brand ambassadors to promote their brands. Businesses collaborate with influencers and influencers do all the marketing for them. Online influencers have a following of their own. Partnering up with an influencer saves businesses from hectic marketing efforts. Hiring influencers is also by far one of the best ways of promoting an event.
To get the word out about your event, you can hire an influencer with a sizable following as your brand ambassador and ask them to promote your event. This will give your event more reach – bringing you more attendees.
3. Promote your event on event discovery sites
If you’re struggling to get your event noticed by the right people, you can always take the help of event discovery sites. Websites like Eventful and Goldstar are great places to use for event promotion. Listing your event on event discovery websites will allow the right people to learn about your event.
4. Create infographics for event promotion
We all know that visual content is more engaging than textual content. Speaking of visual content, infographics work amazingly well for promoting events. You can cover the story of your event in the form of infographics and provide all the information regarding your event through them. Considering how shareable infographics are, it is a cost-effective way to get the word out about your event.
5. Create viral video content
There’s no better way to bring attention to an event than riding the virality train. Creating video content around a viral trend can get you noticed online. For example, who remembers the ice bucket challenge from a few years ago? All sorts of businesses used that trend to promote their businesses.
Trends go viral all the time. Leveraging these events and creating content around them can help you get your event noticed online. You’ll just need to keep an eye out for viral trends and produce creative video content. Just make sure your messaging is subtle and smartly conveyed.
These were some of the creative ways to promote an event. In the next section, we’ll check out some event promotion examples.
Event Promotion Examples
Event promotion, if done properly, can improve your brand image significantly. When more and more people know your business, the more customers you’ll eventually get. When hosting an event yourself, you can take inspiration from businesses that know how to run the show. Sure you may not be able to splurge on marketing like some of the renowned companies, but you can still learn a thing or two from them.
Let’s check out some of the best examples of event promotions…
Cheetos X New York Fashion Week
Keeping up with customers is what helps businesses stay relevant.
Cheetos did exactly that.
The marketing team at Cheetos carefully analyzed what their fans were sharing on social media. Keeping that in perspective, Cheetos hosted a runway show at the New York Fashion week titled the “House of Flamin’ Haute”. The event showcased fashion inspired by influencers and featured a beauty bar for attendees.
The event created such hype that it got booked instantly. Hundreds of interested people including celebrities had to wait to attend the event. Even though a lot of people didn’t get to attend the event, it still brought massive exposure for Cheetos.
Taco Bell’s Hotel Event in Palm Springs
To create brand awareness, Taco Bell hosted an event at Palm Springs. They booked a hotel for five nights straight and engaged with their attendees in a way that was not just related to food. Taco Bell’s approach was to completely immerse its customers within its brand. To do that, they created an experience that resonated with their brand. Everything from hotel rooms to food menus was set up to market the Taco Bell lifestyle.
To create even more hype, Taco Bell’s event even featured a gift shop with Taco Bell branded merchandise. This wasn’t the only successful event that the brand hosted. In the past, Taco Bell hosted a pop-up-style wedding chapel in Las Vegas where couples could get actually married. Needless to say, Taco Bell knows how to host events that’ll get them the attention they need.
Huggies: No Baby Unhugged
Pampers has a 60% market share in diapers, which is nearly double that of Huggies. Huggies needed to chip away at Pampers in a serious way since newborn sales fell at almost the same rate. With limited promotional resources, the brand set out to reverse its share of the newborn market drop. The brand communicated the maternal power of a hug and developed strong emotional relationships with its prospective moms, emphasizing the very meaning of its name.
No Baby Unhugged is a multi-year event campaign that blends the long-term brand value of emotional connection with the short-term conversion. The sample of diapers and wipes was turned from a cheap polybag to something worthy of a spectacular unwrapping at the start of the most current campaign. The Huggies First Hug Box arrives in the mail and displays the genuine power of hugs by including an emotional letter in addition to the free product sample. A message inside the box informs the soon-to-be parent that the No Baby Unhugged initiative promotes the benefits of hugs and provides hospitals with groups of trained volunteer baby huggers.
Huggies further disclosed that the company has made a gift to the initiative on behalf of the expecting mother. Her unpacking experience reminds her of all the embraces she can’t wait to give to the baby she’s expecting, while also knowing she’s helping to give all newborns the greatest possible start in life.
Overall, Huggies’ campaign drove exceptional results, further strengthening the brand’s image.
Zappos: “Google Cupcake Ambush”
Google came to the streets of Austin, Texas, with a cupcake truck in tow to advertise its new picture app. People didn’t pay for the cupcakes with cash; instead, the only acceptable payment was a photo shot using the app.
Zappos mocked Google’s food truck experience with one of its own: A box with feet! Of course, it was intentionally placed right next to Google’s setup, and when fed a cupcake, it would dispense a container containing shoes, sunglasses, or other delights.
People had to eat a cupcake in order to get the benefits of the Zappos box, and the outcomes were hilarious yet promoted two separate businesses at the same time.
Think Orion Marketing Marriott Event to Bring More Locals to Its Restaurants in Bangkok
When Marriott wanted to improve its marketing strategy to attract more locals to its restaurants in Bangkok, it hired Think Orion as its event marketing consultant. Orion was made responsible to execute the marketing & lead generation efforts for their event. To meet Marriott’s expectations, Orion ran a time-sensitive campaign with an event less than 6 weeks away. After a couple of short meetings with Marriott’s marketing team, Orion drafted an overall marketing strategy including targeting, lead capture, and nurturing based on demographic choices and the product’s nature.
After executing a stellar event promotion strategy, Orion was able to help Marriott host a three-day jam-packed event. Marriott managed to gain 4200 confirmed leads that showed interest in their event. Orion also helped Marriott decrease their CPL by 400% compared to the last event. Happy with the success of their event, Marriott hosted two more events that same year.
So this wraps things up. We hope that our guide contained at least a few event promotion ideas also visit our ideas on how to promote virtual events that you didn’t know before.
If event promotion seems overwhelming to you, don’t worry. You don’t necessarily need to do it yourself. As always, you can hire professional event marketing agencies like Orion to promote your event. If you want your event to be a smashing hit, you’ll need to work hard for it. So put on your marketing hat and get to work, those seats aren’t going to get occupied themselves. And remember, once you’re with your event, don’t forget to run an in-depth event marketing audit to figure out what you can improve in the future.