While it’s obviously helpful to promote an event a few days before the big day, social media makes it easy and practical to have your attendees spread the word for you at the party or gathering itself, in real time.
on social media before AND during the event itself?”
Event Promotion Ideas
Here’s what YEC community members had to say:
1. Provide Great, Sharable Content
“The more useful your content is, the more your attendees will want to share it. If you give out some of your best, thought-provoking information before, you can build anticipation in your audience. And if you put out even more hard-hitting content full of insights and value during your event, everyone will want to tweet it. ” ~ Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
2. Promote a Share for a Shirt
“People love getting free swag at conferences (especially if it is worth keeping, like a high-quality shirt). Take advantage of that mindset by asking attendees to share on social media in order to get said swag, and be sure to follow up with likes/retweets/mentions to close the loop.” ~ James Simpson, GoldFire Studios
3. Focus on Individual Connections
“Establish connections with individuals, primarily through open social platforms like Twitter. Promote tweets ahead of the event targeted to individuals who follow the conference Twitter handle and those you have followed. Use contests you’ll have and swag you’ll give away to promote the event and get people talking about you and your brand. During an event, use platforms like HootSuite or TweetDeck to follow conference hashtags and take advantage of active conversations to make connections and increase opportunities to share what your company’s doing and what’s going on at your event. This will make every introduction a warm one.” ~ Dan Golden, Be Found Online
4. Create Cool, Limited Items
“Pay a little more on some of the items you’ll be giving away at your booth to create something special for your first 25-50 visitors. Creating a limited set of really cool convention swag won’t cost you as much as upgrading all your orders, but you’ll still get visits all day long from people looking for those items. Make sure you properly advertise the items on any social media feeds for the convention as well as on your own feeds.” ~ Matt Doyle, Excel Builders
5. Surprise People
“Of course, you need to have a brand or an event that has intrinsic value to it, but after that, try surprising people. I find that 99 percent of what I share on social media or through group chats or emails starts with me being surprised by something. If it feels new, I’m willing to share it with my friends. If it’s old news, I don’t always discern which of my friends may or may not know this particular information and I don’t bother broadcasting. But if it’s fresh, I feel it’s fresh to everyone, and I like to keep people up to date. ” ~ Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics
6. Give Them the Messaging
“Tell attendees exactly what to say and they will more than likely pass it on by simply copying and pasting. Since they are already on board with you, they will want others to know. They just may not know what to say. This makes it easier for them.” ~ Abhilash Patel, Recovery Brands
7. Get Attendees Involved
“A great way to get attendees to promote an event on social media during the event itself is to host a giveaway with the prize given out at the end of the night. One new idea that we’ve used is encouraging attendees to use the event’s Snapchat filter and share to be entered to win. Always try new ideas to help build excitement around sharing on social media.” ~ Bryanne Lawless, BLND Public Relations
8. Make It Visual
“Every event has a hashtag, but the trick is making it fun to use. Create a hashtag that captures the essence of the event and pair it with a cool visual that attendees can download and share when they’ve purchased their tickets. Keep the hashtag alive during the event by incorporating it into a Snapchat filter so attendees can show off their selfies and favorite moments.” ~ Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media
9. Live Blog From the Event
“You can pay a lot of money for gimmicks. Some will work and others won’t. But live blogging is basic, and it is beautiful when done sincerely. When WalkMe live-blogged from Dreamforce, we had a platform that effectively encouraged participants during Dreamforce as well as those who stayed behind in their office to follow our insights and our brand.” ~ Dan Adika, WalkMe
Event Attendees Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Event Marketing
The event must also be interesting enough for your niche to promote it for you. Do more than just host the event. Have interesting activities.
Love 2 & 4, which you should use together. I’ve received t-shirts (nice ones) that I am still wearing years later and I get questions about the companies that require me to advertise for them each time. That cheap, chintzy crap I’ve received over the years? Gone. So up your quality to really be effective.
Points 2 & 7 are 100% worthwhile in our experience. Absolutely everyone loves something for nothing so the possibility of winning a prize or being given something for free, just for sharing a picture on Facebook or Twitter is a no-brainer! Adding Snapchat into the mix makes it fun & keeps it current.
I’m a B2B event promoter and I love #3 focusing on the Individual Connections; I always sent up the connections at events, particularly at the events that I give. I know all of the guests who are attending; what they do and who they are looking to connect with before they arrive. #7 is a staple at events; Must get attendees involved, and they love it and will always have a positive experience to speak about when they think about the event. Great article!
Your swag bag should create lasting brand awareness for the advertiser and a memorable experience for the recipient. The imprinted promotional items needn’t be expensive however they should be practical and be relevant to event and fit within the company’s marketing mix.