UPDATED 12/07/18: We’ve edited this article to include even more great ways to promote your event and sell more tickets online. Just keep scrolling!
1. Facebook is your friend
Just about everyone (as in 2.2 billion
active monthly users) is on Facebook. Access to that many potential ticket buyers is enough reason to use it. Check out this video
for free ways to promote your event to all these people.
2. The early bird gets the deal
Offer ticket discounts
to get people to buy more tickets and to buy early. From early bird to word of mouth deals, there are lots of options for you to try.
3. Show them what they're missing
Remind people how much fun they had (or could have had) at your last event. This means you’ll need to take lots of great photos and videos during the event (or delegate the job to someone else) so you can post them to social media later. You don’t need a fancy camera; your smartphone will do the trick. When your next event comes, the fun you captured will be your best promotional tool. For more photo tips, check out #18 below.
Create an event hashtag and share it often. Make sure it’s visible on the website you’re selling tickets on, and use it in your social media posts when talking about your event.
5. A picture’s worth a thousand words...
When ticket buyers land on your event page, keep their attention by showing them a great image
that encompasses your event. This image should make them excited for your event and confident they'll have a great time.
6. ...but words are pretty important too
Write a detailed event description whether you’re using your own website or a third party event page. Descriptive event information
lets them know what’s included with their ticket and what they should expect from the event.
7. Get people talking
No matter what social media platform you prefer, make sure to post consistently (2-4 times per week) so that your event stays visible. Use interesting or funny pictures and videos—the kind that will make people want to tag their friends in your post. Check out #17 below for tips on how to make your posts look as impressive as your event is (even if you’re not a designer).
8. alert the media
Pick a few news outlets you'd like to see your event featured in and reach out to the person who writes about events like yours—usually the entertainment editor. Send them an email with the who, what, where, when, why of your event to make it easy for them to write about it. Local blogs can also be a great resource if your event has a niche audience (your yoga in the park event would fit right in with a local fitness blogger’s content).
9. Make sure the price is right
Set your ticket price to convey value to your event goers. People want to feel like their money and their time are well spent. While it may be tempting to price your tickets low to increase sales, a too-low price tag can signal low quality to potential buyers. Don’t sell yourself (or your event) short.
10. Use influencers
Ask prominent people in your community to help spread the word and give them something in return. Ask them to send personalized email invitations to their networks, or tweet and post about the event in exchange for a comped or discounted ticket. Make it easy on them by giving them pre-written prompts or posts you’d like them to use.
11. Give 'em some swag
Work with a local restaurant or merchant to get some cool gifts for attendees. If you can’t figure out enough for every attendee, create a contest—you’ll want to make sure the gifts are cool and/or useful! Think about the setting of your event and how your attendees will feel when they’re there. Rainy day? Hand out some ponchos with your logo (or your sponsor’s logo) on them. Is your event outdoors in the middle of summer? Branded reusable water bottles! Your attendees will appreciate swag they can actually use.
12. Do it for the 'gram
With over a billion users and growing, Instagram is a perfect platform for promoting your event. You’ll want to make sure the image you post is good enough to make people stop scrolling and pay attention, so make sure your pictures look great
. Since you can’t use an active link in your instagram captions (Instagram doesn’t have this feature), include the link to your event page in your bio--and include the words “link in bio” in your caption so your followers know to look for it!
13. Let your dirty work do double duty
You work hard to make sure your event goers have a great experience, so why not double the return on your investment? Snap some pictures of the behind the scenes process (think blowing up balloons to create a balloon pit or hammering the last nail into your homemade replica of the throne from Game of Thrones) and post to social for added hype.
14. Give away your tickets for free
Well, some of them, anyway. Reserve a few tickets for a social media promotion where people have to share your event, use your hashtag, or somehow interact with you on social for a chance to win free tickets.
15. see my guest
Does your event have a high-profile guest? Let their recognizable image stand in for some of your regular advertising. (Don’t forget: this is promotion for them too.) Tweet out a great pic of them or use a tool like WordSwag
to post a quote of theirs on Instagram. There’s basically no work for you since guests like these bring their own hype.
16. A word from your sponsor
Sponsorships are a great tool for cross-promotion. Did you find an awesome local restaurant to donate food for your event? Great work! Now promote them (and your event) by reposting a tasty-looking pic of their food on your Instagram. Your potential ticket buyers will be tempted by what they could be eating--and Instagramming--if they attend. Note: this doesn’t just apply to food, so be sure to share donations from your florist, that amazing local gin company, or your that party rental business your neighbor owns when they let you borrow their fog machine.
17. you make this look good
Good news: you don’t need to be a designer to make your social media promotional posts look great. There are plenty of free design tools out there to help you create polished, professional posts. Canva
is a graphic design tool that takes all the guesswork out of creating beautiful designs, and they have lots of social media templates to choose from. Pixlr
is an online photo editor with tons of effects to make your pictures look amazing. If you have something specific in mind, Youtube is your best friend, with countless tutorials for pretty much anything you can dream up.
18. Check it out
This may seem obvious, but be sure to check the quality of the photos you’re taking during your event, not just when it’s over. This way, if you realize your finger was in front of the lens, you still have time to take some better shots. If your event is already over and you realize you don’t have anything post-worthy, don’t worry! Check with others from your organization to see if they snapped anything good. If not, check your event’s hashtag on Instagram (you made an event hashtag like we suggested in #4, right?) to see what your attendees posted. Repost their great shots (with permission, of course) and give them a photographer credit in your caption (camera emoji + username works well).
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