10 effective event marketing tactics for small businesses

Event marketing is a very effective when it comes to attracting and keeping your potential customers’ attention and nurturing your existing relationships. People buy from people and they buy from people they like.  By engaging in a conversation – either in a form of a webinar or face to face – you will be able to interact with your audience on a personal level and understand them better. People love to connect with their peers, learn what’s new and share best practices. By bringing people together for your event you are not only connecting your business with them, but you are also expanding their own networks.

One of the most challenging aspects of planning and marketing events, is getting the right people to fill the room.  Things that will trigger your guest’s interest are: a relevant topic, innovative format and experience, attractive venue and speakers and useful takeaways – and a few clever marketing tactics. Here are a few of our tips:

1. Promote the event on your website

Add your event on to your homepage so people can easily find it and register. Even if you are promoting an invitation-only event, give those who are interested a route to find out more and register their interest. Allow others to share your event with their social media networks by adding sharing buttons and ask your own networks to share it as much as possible.

2. Personally invite your social media connections

It’s highly likely that your social networks are bigger and more powerful than you realise. Review your individual social  network connections and personally invite those who might be interested to attend your event, or know someone who might want to come along.

3. Send out email invites

Schedule an email campaign with a couple of follow up reminders. To stand out from the crowd, make the email personal – preferably in plain text and follow up on the phone. If a designed invite is more of your thing an effective way to design, send and manage your online invitation is via Paperlesspost.com.

4. Pick up the phone

Speaking to an actual person is priceless. If you can, follow up on your written invites and reach out to those you’d like to come along to your event. Even if they won’t make it, it’s a great way to remind them about your business and what you do. And if it’s difficult to get through – leave a voicemail. They are likely to listen to it and you’ll make them aware – you never know who they might tell!

5. Use social media groups

Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ groups are amazing when it comes to reaching new, segmented audiences. By becoming a member you can post about your event within the group or send out individual messages, even if you are not connected.

6. Join online forums

Similar to social media groups, joining and posting in relevant online forums will give your event extra visibility. Share links to your event with other forum members and join relevant ongoing conversations.

7. Include in your email signature

To raise awareness, add your upcoming event with a link on to your email signature. It’s a quiet reminder for those who might not be aware and those who haven’t RSVP’d yet. Get your team’s email signatures involved as well – the more people you reach, the better!

8. Send out printed invitations

It’s such a nice addition to all the digital communication. Yes, you will need to spend a little bit of money, but it’s worth it. Pick the key people you’d love to see at your event and get a couple of invites printed and sent out. They are a bit more difficult to ignore and definitely make you stand out!

9. Write a blog

Writing a blog on a topic of your event and telling your readers about your event is another great event promotion tactics. Blogs are also easy to share, giving you the opportunity to share new audiences via your social networks.

10. Invite journalists and bloggers

Inviting journalists and bloggers to your event means that they are likely to write about your event and your business. Work on establishing long term relationships with a select PR contacts and it will definitely pay off.

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