- Get your audience to help you promote with incentives
- Use signage to corral people toward your offering
- Try something unique and out of the box
“What if no one shows up?”
It’s the fear that hits every event planner sooner or later. Whether you’re trying to pack the house for your community theater production or hosting a bake sale, at some point that question will work its way into your head.
You’ve probably come across some basic ideas like changing your outgoing voicemail message and email signature to promote your event (you have done that, right?), but it’s time to go beyond the basics.
It’s time for the best event promotion ideas that you can pull off without breaking the bank.
1. Give It Away
Let’s say you’ve set up a local TV interview, printed your roadside signs, and gotten the interest of the guy who blogs about events happening in your town. So far, so good. But how do you stand out from everyone else?
Have a contest. Give away a few tickets to your event to one lucky person who calls you with the password you gave out during your TV interview.
It’s a nice thing to do, but how does it help promote your event? The secret is in the “tease.” When the interviewer tells viewers to listen for their chance to win something, they pay attention.
Even if they never enter your contest, they’re more likely to listen to your promotion or read your sign. And all because you were willing to be a little generous.
2. Follow the Leader
Never underestimate the power of the humble arrow. When people pass a sign, they’re far more likely to pay attention if that sign is directing them toward something.
That sign is not just an advertisement. It’s there to help.
Consider the signs you’re going to have printed for your event. Take that opportunity to strategically direct people right to you. All you need is the name of your event, the date, and a nice big arrow.
Don’t worry about putting these signs up early. Having the date on them lets viewers know when it’s time to follow your directions.
3. Do the Unexpected
It’s often said that the best advertisement is word of mouth, but how can you take advantage of that when your event is a one-time thing?
It’s time to go beyond expectations and make your promotion into a story that people can’t help but repeat.
How about a roadside stand with a sign that says Free Face Painting? Everyone who stops by gets their favorite fairytale character painted, but they also walk away with a flyer for your local theater’s production of Cinderella!
It’s the kind of experience that demands to be shared. If you hear about something being given away for free, you’re going to ask why. Now you’re not pushing your promotion on anyone. They’re asking you for it.
Anyone can shout about their event, but the best promotion ideas are able to arouse curiosity.
With a little creative thinking, you can generate an audience that not only won’t walk past your sign, they’ll point it out to their friends. By the way, have you read our blog about using falcons in tradeshow promotion? Check it out here!