Have you ever felt the pressure of hosting your first event and wondering if anyone would show up?
We’ve all been there, and it’s a scary feeling. In-person events are a great way to network, attract new prospects, meet potential new employees or simply learn more about your industry or trade. But – that all hinges on people actually showing up.
Here are eight ways you should consider promoting your next networking, panel or workshop event:
House your event listing on a third-party site, like Eventbrite. Your listing will be pulled into that platform’s social, email and other promotion initiatives and reach a wider audience.
Create a Facebook event. Everyone’s on Facebook, so as people RSVP to attend or mark their interest to your event, your event will be shared with their connections, as well. Plus, having the event on Facebook makes it easier for attendees to share.
Promote across your social networks. Get more visibility by using images, tagging potential attendees to invite them, tagging guest speakers so they’ll share with their networks, and more. Also share with relevant groups on Facebook or LinkedIn by sending a note to the group organizer or posting directly in the group.
Tap your team. Your employees all have their own networks, so ask each team member to bring two people to the event who would be interested in and benefit from the content. It’s a great way to extend your connections from an audience that already has an interest in your company. This works for industry events, recruiting meet-and-greets or lead gen events.
Don’t forget about email. Email marketing is still – and will likely remain for some time – the most powerful marketing tool. Everyone’s in their inboxes all day, so prepare an e-blast to your database inviting them to the event. Send an email well in advance and then continue with reminders – both for contacts who RSVP’d or bought tickets who need a reminder to attend and for contacts who might still purchase tickets.
Think about your extended networks. If you’re hosting panelists or speakers, ask them to invite their networks, promote on their social media channels and perhaps their company’s social media channels. If you or your team are part of different networking or industry groups, share with them and invite members to attend.
Post to all event and calendar listings. These listings are incredibly effective at reaching potential attendees, as well as improving the searchability of your event listings. Think about local newspapers, startup or tech resources, Meetup.com groups or curated e-newsletters.
Don’t shy away from advertising. You can run ads on Facebook or Twitter for just a few dollars a day and target specifically to your desired attendees and location. Many event listing sites also offer packages to promote your event listing to the top or into a featured position in the weeks leading up to your event, which can attract more people.
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