Organizing an event or workshop can be an exciting way to strengthen your relationship with current clients, establish new relationships and further develop yourself in your area of business. However, it is also a time consuming activity. Not only do you need to prepare the content that you will present, you also need to promote the event properly.
There is nothing more frustrating than having done all the work, and finally ending up with only a few supporting friends as your audience.
In this blog I have listed 21 ways to promote an event or workshop.
I have used most of the tips myself while promoting my event Authenticity & Social Media, which took place last week. The other ideas from the list are things I have done in the past and which worked out pretty well too.
The ideas are mainly focussing on business-to-business events.
21 Ways to promote your event or workshop
1. Create a poster/picture with a pre-announcement of your event and post it on relevant social media platforms. The people who respond to this pre-announcement might be the ones who are really interested, or who are willing to share the event later on.
2. Create a separate page on your website offering all the details of your event.
3. Create banners that you can use at other places on your website, to direct people to the event page. I posted several banners on the blogs I wrote during the promotional period of my event.
4. Use 'share buttons' at the end of the event page, so people can easily share the event with others online. I used the 'Post Page Specific Social Media Share Buttons Plugin' to create these share buttons on my website.
5. Organize a Facebook contest in which you offer either a free ticket or a discount on the event price.
6. Publish promotional posts on LinkedIn and Google+ on a regular basis, for example every two weeks. If applicable, use other social media platforms like Pinterest.
7. Write blogs about topics related to your event, and include a link to the event page at the bottom of each blog.
8. Tweet about the event on a regular basis and use a special hashtag for your event.
9. Write a press release and send it to relevant (trade) media.
10. Get in touch with journalists or editors of local and regional newspapers or news websites and find out if they would be interested to interview you about the theme of your event. Make sure you approach them with a relevant, interesting angle for a story. Journalists are not there to promote your event; however, they could be interested in an interview with you if your event is linked to a trend in your industry or to a trend in society in general.
11. Send an invite per email to all relevant people in your network.
12. Ask friends, family and others who might not be part of your target group, to share your event in their (social) network (this is where the share buttons come in handy).
13. Invite all the people you are connected with via LinkedIn (there might be overlap with point 11 here). It helps if you have already built up a relevant network on LinkedIn before you start promoting your event.
14. Tell every new person you meet during the promotional period about your event and ask him or her to share your event online.
15. Ask each person that responds to your invitation (whether they will come or not) to share the event in their network. Thank them for doing this.
16. Post the event in relevant LinkedIn groups. This can be done under 'promotions'.
17. Bring leaflets of your event to relevant network meetings that you might attend during the promotional period. Ask the organizer if you are allowed to distribute the leaflets amongst the attendees or to leave them at a table where people pass by.
18. Have your event listed in event calendars of (news) websites related to your industry (some will do this free of charge, some will ask a small amount of money).
19. Ask Twitter followers you are in regular contact with to share your event on Twitter (and on other social media networks). Please note, it helps if you have built up a relevant group of followers before you start promoting your event.
20. If you give presentations during the promotional period, mention your event at the end of your speech.
21. Create a list of people who would like to come but can't join for whatever reason. Invite them to your next event.
Do you have any other suggestions to promote a business-to-business event? Please share them so I can add them to this list.