There’s nothing worse than throwing a party and nobody showing up. 😳 

For conferences and events, whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid, the stakes become much higher. You depend on attendees and ticket sales to fund a variety of initiatives, from financing the event itself to fueling operating costs and delivering sponsor ROI.  

Pre-event marketing plays an essential role in driving registrations. But it takes more than publishing a landing page and calling it a day. You need to build anticipation and excitement so attendees literally can’t wait to register and show up for the big day. A little FOMO goes a long way toward increasing attendance, and the pre-event period provides the perfect time to generate buzz. 

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 96% of attendees seek out info online before the event starts, so take advantage of the opportunity and create some engaging content and clever promotions. 

We’ll cover some fun and creative event promotion examples to increase attendance, but first, let’s talk about pre-event marketing channels. 

Promotional channels for pre-event marketing

As an event marketer, you want to deploy a mix of event promotion examples and use multiple marketing channels to reach the greatest number of attendees. As you think about a promotional strategy, consider your audience and tailor your promotions to match your target attendees. 

Event marketers typically deploy a mix of: 

  • Content Marketing: When effective, content marketing becomes the most powerful tool at your disposal, and the sky’s truly the limit. From blogs teasing out fun event surprises to Q&As and videos with your top speakers, get creative with content marketing and really sell all the can’t-miss reasons to attend your conference or event. 
  • Email Marketing: Whether messaging your association members, brand community, or your marketing lists, email allows you to target and personalize promotions so they make the greatest impact. 
  • Social Media Marketing: Use multiple social media channels and bring attendees into the mix to help with promotion. Ask them to share what they’re most excited to learn at the event, or consider running a contest and incentivize attendees to promote the event on their own social media channels. 
  • Influencer Marketing: Invite your keynote speakers or industry celebs to get the word out about your event. It should generate some organic buzz and help you boost registrations further. 

Event promotion examples: don’t forget the landing page

All events need an enticing, easy-to-find landing page so potential attendees can research information and register for the event. For many potential attendees, the landing page serves as the last promotion they see. It’s the bottom of the sales funnel, so you need to close the deal. Make sure all of your promotions lead back to the page, so it becomes the single source of truth and serves as the main event registration hub.  

Most importantly, use the page to promote all the reasons to attend the event. Spotlight keynote speakers and celebrities, promote your most exciting session topics and networking events, and highlight event sponsors and exhibitors.  

Now that we’ve covered promotion channels, let’s dive into six event promotion examples to increase attendance and build excitement around your next event. 

6 event promotion examples to increase registrations

1. Leverage gamification to increase attendance 

Gamification serves as a highly effective tool for driving engagement during events, but it can also provide a strategic way to amplify pre-event promotions and drive registrations. 

When you use an event platform with built-in gamification functionality, you can quickly upload a list of challenges and corresponding points. Each time an attendee signs up for a sponsor’s mailing list, posts about the event on social media using the event hashtag (free promotion), or connects with other attendees in the platform, attendees receive a code they can input into their event platform to receive points and win prizes. 

Just ensure all of your pre-event promotions make it clear that only registered attendees can compete in the challenges, and offer prizes that will truly influence attendees to sign up (think weekend getaway, free admission to your next event, etc.).

Want to boost attendee engagement? See how RFMS used gamification to add more fun and excitement to their event!

2. Host exclusive events for registered attendees 

Again, FOMO can play in your favor and increase registrations, so think about hosting some exclusive pre-event activities only for registered attendees. 

We’ve spoken to several event planners who put on special networking events, hosted celebrity meet-and-greets, and offered premium content to their registered attendees in advance of the main event. Again, make sure pre-event promotions mention these events so attendees register sooner rather than later. 

3. Entice registrants with prizes and giveaways 

Similar to the gamification idea, offer some exciting prizes and tie them to registrations. For example, run a pre-event promotion where attendees are entered into a drawing to win a prize if they register by a specific date. It’s a simple-yet-effective way to encourage early registrations and injects a shot of adrenaline at key moments to hit registration goals. 

4. Create a sense of urgency 

Offer tiered pricing where ticket prices increase as the event approaches, and use a countdown ticker showing the price increase to create a sense of urgency. Then, promote the price increases across your marketing channels, including email, social, and the event registration page. 

5. Offer free community access 

Host a community in your event platform and invite registered attendees to join for exclusive content, intimate Q&A sessions with industry thought leaders, and networking opportunities with other like-minded attendees. It offers a prime opportunity for pre-event engagement and serves as another incentive to encourage early registrations. 

Communities also have the added benefit of keeping your attendees engaged even after your event ends. Maxing out attendance at your event is great, but you’ll enjoy a greater ROI if you’re connecting with your attendees via a community long after your event ends.

Interested in learning how to extend your attendees’ event journey and keep them engaged even after your event is done? Check out our on-demand webinar, Attract, Engage, Convert.  

6. Enlist sponsors and exhibitors 

Sponsors crave exposure, so give them skin in the registration game. For example, sell a sponsor package where select vendors can offer a promo code for a discounted ticket. It not only gives the sponsor increased exposure, but attendees will spring into action to purchase discounted tickets.  

Finding the right sponsors to help boost registrations is important. You’ll want to make sure they are a good fit for your brand and providing value for your attendees. If you’re interested in learning more about how to secure the right sponsors for your event, check out our blog post: How to find and secure event sponsorship: The ultimate guide.

How to choose the right event technology for seamless event promotions

The key to effective event promotion requires identifying your event goals, understanding your audience, and using the right promotion channels and strategies to close the deal. Paired with a top-rated event platform like Webex Events, you’ll have all the necessary tools to promote registrations and exceed ticket goals. 

At the end of the day, your event management platform should: 

  • Offer full flexibility and customization 
  • Come fully equipped with best-in-class promotion features, like gamification 
  • Require no coding or technical experience 
  • Power virtual, hybrid, and in-person events 
  • Provide exceptional customer support, 24/7

Webex Events: the best event management software for every event type

As an event marketer, you already juggle multiple hats, and the last thing you need is another point solution. Unlike other event technology platforms, Webex Events provides a fully-customizable end-to-end event management solution equipped with best-in-class event promotion capabilities.

Core features like event gamification, full branding and customization of all pages and features, seamless video and live streaming, powerful messaging tools, dynamic ticketing and registration, and of course, real-time metrics ensure you reach your target audience and hit attendance goals. 

Webex Events is an all-in-one event management solution that uses drag-and-drop technology and requires no coding or technical know-how. Anyone can design, promote, and execute world-class events! And if you do need help, our five-star rated support team is always close by, 24/7. 

Consider this testimonial from Raluca Cadar, Executive Director of The Protein Society, who recently planned her first virtual event using Webex Events. “I’m not an event planner. I’ve never built something like this before,” Cadar says. “But I found it incredibly easy to use and very personable. There were no headaches, roadblocks, or glitches.”  

We don’t just help large enterprises power successful events. In fact, thousands of tech companies, universities, member-based associations, and nonprofits of all sizes trust Webex Events to host their virtual, in-person, and hybrid events.  

Ready to see if Webex Events can help you execute a successful pre-event promotion plan and flawless event? Reach out today for a personalized demo