Use YouTube to promote your event. YouTube is the second search engine worldwide after Google. Uploading videos from our previous events or interviews with our speakers/performers is a great way to convince prospective attendees to click on buy. Video provides significant visual cues thus impacting heavily on our decision making process. With events we always feel the risk of not knowing what will happen, video eases that tension.
Create an awesome low-budget promotional video. A little creativity with some poster board, a royalty-free music clip, and a good smartphone video camera will create a fun video to help publicize what’s to come. Here’s a good video example, that did just that on a shoestring budget, to promote a small business event.
Get local bloggers involved. Be smart with bloggers. Involving local bloggers to participate at the event is usually a great strategy to gain audience before, during and after the event. Bloggers usually count on a wide reach and do not usually follow traditional media rules.
Leverage event registration platforms like Meetup. Use existing platforms. If this is your first attempt at running an event and you lack the skills to promote it, have a look at Meetup.com. Other than offering a suite to manage events online, Meetup is a great referrer for relevant audience in your area. It also features registration and RSVP management capabilities that are particularly handy if you are inexperienced.
Use online registration. The easier way to scare people away is by having analog registration (faxes, bank draft or at the door only). Offer online registration to secure as many attendees as soon as possible, that will help to forecast numbers and release budget soon.
Get listed on sites catering to your group. Once you know who you want to attend, the next step is to put yourself in front of them. There are websites that specialize in listing events nationally (e.g. Meetup, Lanyrd) and locally so start there and research which are the most appropriate to get listed on.
Offer local partners incentives to promote you. Press releases sent to the relevant media outlets will help generate news buzz and you could look at getting media (online and offline) involved as partners. They get exposure at your event in return for publicizing it. If they don’t want to get involved at that level, approach them with the idea of running a competition for their readers to win tickets.
Make it easy on your speakers to publicize to their followers. If you have any experts/speakers attending, encourage them to publicize their attendance to their social media followers/email subscribers.