I’ve recently polled in some of the Facebook groups I’m in to see what is holding entrepreneurs and small business owners back from creating their own live events. 2 of the top reasons are;
- I’m scared nobody will come!
- I can’t afford put on a live event
I can completely understand both of these fears – putting yourself out there and having your event fall flat on it’s face combined with diving into the unknown and making commitments to venues and suppliers and all the related costs can be, frankly, terrifying!
But these days we are so lucky to have a plethora of free promotional tools in our pockets and at our fingertips. Here are a few budget friendly tips for you to consider when you’re promoting your events.
- Promote via your existing audience or community
It’s clear that if you have an audience already, whether it be an email list, a facebook group or a bunch of twitter followers, they are likely to be your first port of call. They already know you and hopefully like and trust what you do enough to be the most likely to take the plunge and buy a ticket to your event.
Think about how you can offer them benefits in return for promoting your event to their friends, colleagues or even their own communities. Could you offer a free ticket for every 10 referrals that lead to ticket sales? Perhaps a free ticket in return for a carefully crafted email to their audience, if they are relevant to you, could be a great win for both parties. Or maybe you could run competitions where you draw 2 names from all those who have shared details of your event on social media during a set period of time.
Get creative and think about how you can offer something compelling to your existing customers and followers in return for helping you make ticket sales.
- Use PR to get coverage for your event
Think about how you could get yourself some press coverage for your event. Is there a story around you and the reason you are hosting the event that might be of interest? Will there be something different or newsworthy about your event?
Could you find some guest blogging opportunities that allow you to bring to people across to your website, or even directly to your event booking page if that’s appropriate?
Could you pitch yourself as a podcast guest on some shows that your potential guests might listen to? Do ensure you are able to add value to the podcast creator who will be most interested in their audience learning from what you share, but in return you could pick up ticket sales from a gentle mention of your upcoming event and how it relates to what you’ve shared during the interview.
- Get your speakers or other participants to promote your event
Do you have speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, associations, media partners that you can ask to promote your event? It’s mutually beneficial to both parties the more guests come along on the day but it’s not always obvious to those participating that they can be of support to you in this way.
Make it easy for them – create an invitation to book for them to send out, some content they can share or an email they can send to their list – if you make it as quick and simple as possible you are likely to get better results.
- Ask your venue to promote your event
Lots of venues have great websites where they list their upcoming events – make sure you get your event listed as early as possible. If you can, give them a compelling description and some great imagery to use to make it really eye catching. Ensure you include a link to your event web page or booking page so you capitalise on capturing those sales quickly and easily.
- Find a media partner
Is there a media outlet that has close links with the content of your event? Approach them about becoming your official media partner and set up a contra deal where you exchange services. In return for them running adverts and promoting your event, you offer them something compelling such as space to exhibit at your event, a chance to speak to your guests or to give them a goody bag or gift of some kind. The key with these kinds of arrangement is to thrash out the details beforehand to ensure both parties are happy with the final agreement – but this is well worth the time if it gets you free coverage.
This list is by no means exhaustive – get creative and come up with ideas of your own. Please do post them in the comments below.
If you’re keen to get moving and create your own live event but feel you’d like more help, sign up for one of my free, no obligation, 30 minute discovery calls. Click here to book a convenient date and time – I can’t wait to talk to you.
Thanks for reading!