Creative Ways to Market Your Event
and Get People in the Door
Determine your desired outcomes, identify your target audience, and assemble the right team. Start advertising your event about 40 to 60 days prior to the date. Include a mix of the marketing tactics suggested below.
Begin with resources you already have available to you:
BYU Alumni Relations
Provides support with database, graphics, emails and postcards.
Utilize ward bulletins and inserts, flyers, posters in the buildings, activity nights, etc. Public Affairs’ representatives can help get the word out in local wards and stakes and in the community. Some congregations are hesitant to publicize events with a cost, don’t support BYU, or just don’t follow through. Be persistent if these type of announcements are permitted.
Traditional Marketing Tactics
Alumni Relations will design, print and mail a postcard for your event. Each Chapter is entitled to one free postcard mailing per year. Take advantage of this opportunity!
Distribute posters/flyers/bulletins throughout the community and to locations with a connection/interest in the event.
Email/Email Signature/Auto Response
Use the e-mail subject line to create a sense of urgency, get the reader interested, and encourage them to sign up. Emails are effective for Save the Date notices, Early Bird registration specials, promo codes or discounts, reminders, and day-of event details (parking, check-in, ticketing, etc.) Always include the registration link.
News Media Press Releases
Look for local ties/connections to generate community interest.
Create a dedicated hashtag for all your social media promotion. (Make sure it’s not already in use.) Select a hashtag that’s short, unique to your event, and use it in every post or tweet.
Create a Facebook page. Solicit “likes” and “shares. Consider boosting your feed profile for a small investment or purchase a Facebook ad.
Share pictures of people, speakers and attendees, as things are happening. Smartphones make this easy. Mention people and use the hashtag.
Tweet early and often as tweets can easily be missed. Consider pre-writing your tweets. Encourage sponsors, partners and speakers to help with promotion and make it easy for them to help you.
Contact prominent people or others who have a following on social media (influencers). Invite them to your event or discuss ways they could participate or help promote your event.
Use the word “event” in your title tags, use it in combination with other words that target your intended audience, and use bullet lists, images, videos, and internal links.
Use the Masses
Encourage attendees to do the marketing for you by providing opportunities for them to share the information on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Use engaging visuals, videos and animations to draw attention to your posts and tweets and be sure to pin them.
Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are just a few of the many social media platforms that provide paid advertisement services.
Include a registration link and make it easy for people to buy tickets without leaving the page. Eliminate the risk of ticket-buyers getting distracted during checkout.
Get testimonials from attendees about how much fun, worthwhile, or educational it is to attend the event.
Market the Speakers
Highlight your speakers’ education, experience, or interesting facts about their lives.
Get creative on your contests and giveaways. (Be sure to comply with contest guidelines.) If there is one universal truth, it’s that people love free things!
Propose joint marketing ideas, such as posting on their social media platforms, including it in their newsletter, or sending a notice to their employees.
Using Existing Events
Identify and utilize existing events as an opportunity to market your upcoming event.
Use Local Businesses
Consider “in kind” contributions, such as printing, food, photography, putting a poster in the window, etc. Local businesses can deduct the amount they contribute.
Design colorful T-shirts with the logo, name of the event and the url of the registration website as an eye-catching way to advertise.
Local Event Calendars
Get the event added to local event calendars both online and on traditional media. Local cable stations usually run a listing of community events within their news broadcast.
Low Budget Ideas
Enlist volunteers and friends to walk through neighborhoods or parking lots and leave flyers.
After the Event
The event might be over but your work isn’t done. Take all your promotional efforts (photos, videos, feedback, testimonials) and close out the event in a way that can make your next event an even bigger success.
Adapted from Sources: