Event promotion and pre-event marketing play an essential role in driving registrations. But it takes more than publishing an event page or blog post and calling it a day. You need to build anticipation and excitement for upcoming events so prospective attendees are chomping at the bit to visit your event registration page to RSVP or purchase tickets.

When you generate enough pre-event buzz with some exciting event promotion content, you can instill the perfect amount of FOMO in people, which may help herd more attendees through your virtual or physical doors on event day.

Here, we’ll talk about the importance of event promotion, what makes a good strategy, take a look at some ideas and examples of successful event promotion, and tell you which tools can help you achieve your event goals.

The importance of event promotion

Crafting a strategic event promotion plan should be a key part of your overall marketing strategy.

 Event marketing and promotion boost event registrations and can also increase the loyalty of your attendees. An effective event promotional strategy helps event professionals to:

1. Maximize attendance

First and foremost, event promotion helps you maximize attendance. The more people who know about your event, the more people are bound to show up—especially if you have a killer event agenda to show off.

2. Boost brand awareness

By promoting your event, you’re not only appealing to people who are already aware of your brand and what you do, but to new customers as well. Like other forms of marketing, event promotion helps increase your brand awareness, which can position you as an authority in your industry.

3. Generate leads

One of the main goals of events is to generate solid, qualified leads—both for yourself and your sponsors and exhibitors. With a solid promotional strategy, you’ll garner more attention from interested individuals, and every new set of eyes becomes a potential lead.

4. Establish credibility and grow relationships

Events help us appeal to new customers and deepen our relationships with existing customers. In growing awareness through event marketing, it becomes easier to subsequently increase sales through engaging messaging.

What makes a great event promotion strategy?

It’s important to design your event promotion strategy well in advance of showtime. But what does a strategy need to ensure success? Here are a few must-dos for designing a winning promotional strategy for your upcoming events:

1. Define your budget and set achievable goals

Knowing how much you’re able or willing to spend on an event in its entirety—including promotion—will help you when it comes time to put everything together. Once you have a number in mind, set achievable goals that align with your budget to maximize ROI and drive engagement.

2. Outline event content

What types of content do you want to produce alongside your event, and which channels or platforms will you use to amplify your promotions? We’ll go a bit more in-depth on specific tools a bit later, but ahead of choosing tools, you should know the types of event content you want to produce. Content-driven events help us foster connections with attendees. Here are a few popular and effective options to get you started:

  • Blog content
  • Social media posts
  • Video content

3. Put together an event agenda

It’s hard to get excited about an event when prospective attendees don’t know what to expect. Sure, an element of surprise can be a good thing, but shrouding your event in total darkness may keep attendees from hitting the registration button. Let attendees know what they can expect by making your event agenda available well in advance.

After you design the agenda, promote it on a variety of channels, like on your event website and social media ads. Also, consider using influencer marketing to boost promotion.

4. Establish pre- and post-event engagement tactics

How do you plan on engaging your audience both before and after the event? Pre-event engagement is a byproduct of excellent event promotion, and post-event engagement can help you nurture and convert any leads you acquire along the way. It’s an event best practice to have a robust engagement strategy in place for when the doors close on your event, so you should start thinking about it now!

5. Know your target market

Before you start pushing event marketing content to prospective attendees, make sure you understand your target audience for this particular event. This will help you deliver the content in a meaningful way that resonates with your audience.

Start by defining their title and industry, followed by more psychographic information, such as their interests, motivations, and preferences.

Promotion ideas (and examples) for your next event 

Now that we know the importance and value of effective event marketing, let’s dive into six event promotion examples to grow your audience and build excitement around your next event. Afterward, we’ll show you how to implement these strategies for the best possible results.

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, each with a points system. Every 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, they’ll receive a code they can input into their event platform to 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 or free admission to your next event). The better the prizes, the more enticing it will be to participate.

2. Host exclusive events for registered attendees

Group of business professionals mingling at event

Exclusivity plays on that FOMO feeling that we mentioned earlier and can actively work in your favor to increase registrations. With that in mind, 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, or offered premium content to their registered attendees in advance of the main event. Just make sure that your pre-event promotions mention these activities so that attendees register sooner rather than later.

3. Entice prospective attendees 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. It’s a simple, effective way to encourage early registrations while injecting adrenaline at key moments to hit registration goals.

4. Create a sense of urgency

Offer tiered pricing where tickets increase in price 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

Shot of a group of employees laughing during a meeting at work in a modern office

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 even 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 boost registrations is important. You’ll want to make sure they’re a good fit for your brand and provide 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, or download our Guide to Event Sponsorship below.

The most effective event promotion tools

Two women working on new website design choosing pictures using the laptop surfing the internet.

You know the game plan, but how do you implement it? Here are a handful of promotional tools and strategies that have proven effective time and again when it comes to event promotion:

Email marketing

Email is an excellent tool and means of distribution for your digital promotions (which you should certainly have, by the way). Putting together a solid email marketing campaign allows you to segment your attendee groups to more effectively deliver event promotions.

Event website

An event website is a crucial tool for event promotion, providing attendees with key information, such as the date and time of the event, location, event agenda, and more.

But it shouldn’t stop there. An event website should also include the speakers, sponsors, entertainment, and of course a registration button.

Mobile event app

Having a mobile event app is an indispensable tool altogether, especially when it’s integrated as part of an end-to-end event management platform. An event app can assist with event promotion by making important information and event collateral accessible and user-friendly.

Social media

Pushing tweets, status updates, and information about your upcoming event on social media is a great way to disseminate information, build excitement, and start a dialogue with your audience.

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.

With the following core features, Webex Events ensures you’re able to reach your target audience and hit your attendance goals:

  • Event gamification
  • Custom branding
  • Full control over pages and features customization
  • Seamless video and live streaming
  • Powerful messaging tools
  • Dynamic ticketing and registration
  • Real-time metrics

Our all-in-one event management solution uses drag-and-drop technology and requires no coding or technical know-how. Anyone can design, promote, and execute world-class events.

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 events, hybrid events, and in-person events
  • Provide exceptional customer support, 24/7

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.