Our business has promoted a lot of offline events for clients in a variety of industries, so we thought it'd be worth sharing some of the best practices and tips we've learned from experience.
Here are some key ways to help promote your event through social media, which can help boost both awareness and attendance levels for functions.
1. Invest in great media
Everyone wants to get a sense of what to expect before attending an event and how it went the year before. A sure fire way to do this is to create a stunning, concise, and informative video. This video should then be leveraged everywhere; event page, social pages, articles, affiliates, etc. Host it on Vimeo or YouTube and make sure it's all about what the potential attendees will get by attending.
Here's a good example of building hype for a recurring event:
2. Give away tickets to help generate more and more buzz
Host your content or giveaway on your blog in order to keep sending traffic back that way and boost traffic. From this, you can get emails, boost shares/engagement on social, and increase event exposure through that increased activity.
You should always give more than one ticket to each winner so they can bring a friend, and keep your contest super easy and straight-forward. You might also want to consider bringing in third party judges to leverage their followings (dependent upon the type of contest).
3. Socialize Your Google Ads
If you have a Google+ page and are using Google AdWords to promote your events, you can add an element of social proof to your paid Google ads by including a listing of the number of people who follow your Google+ page. Here's how to do it.
4. Interview Speakers/featured guests to generate more content
Presenters tend to be a key big reason why people attend an event, so leveraging their presence and generating maximum exposure amongst their fans is a great way to generate content and promote the event.
This also serves to give the speaker exposure, which is obviously a key benefit for them. We consistently interview experts here.
5. Build up to the event on your blog and social
Organizing the event, interviewing the experts and providing your own industry knowledge and insight - all of these elements are great fuel for blog content.
Consider pooling tips from the experts into a blog post and sharing it on social. Don't forget to create a gorgeous graphic to go along with it.
6. Create graphics for each speaker
This is a good way to encourage the speakers and affiliates to share event updates on their social channels as well.
7. Create a quick and easy way for people to share that they're attending your event
A quick click on the consumer end can greatly boost the exposure of your event to other people who may consider attending. Consider putting it on the landing page and having quick links to share on major social platforms.
8. Create a widget to encourage social conversations
A widget can display conversations related to your event on Twitter, which you can then display them on your website. Here's how to install a Twitter widget on your site.
Take a look here for more on how to embed a Twitter widget on your site.
9. Create a Facebook Event
This may seem obvious, but more and more people are now using Facebook to search for events that are happening in their area. Providing a dedicated Facebook event page will also give potential attendees a place to register their interest in order to get reminders (and show their friends).
If you have multiple events, consider creating an event calendar:
10. Use the Facebook Pixel to retarget
The Facebook Pixel is a fantastic way to retarget your ads to people who've viewed your content. Essentially, after someone has visited your page, you can then use the pixel to ensure that they see your ads and are reminded to look into the event again next time they're active on the platform.
Give some, or all, of these ideas a try the next time you have an offline event that you need to promote. Given the opportunities on offer, there's no reason not to leverage social to boost the attendance of your event - both among people who are already loyal to your brand and to among those who are yet to discover you.