Event planners know that one of the most important factors contributing to an event’s success (or demise) is marketing. And marketing, usually requires a hefty budget. But what if you simply didn’t have the budget to spend on marketing your event?
Is it even possible to successfully promote an event without breaking the bank? It certainly is, with a dash of ingenuity and a bag of creative ideas. Need some hints? Don’t fret, we’re here to help you get started with two of our favourite “no budget” marketing strategies.
In today’s digitally-connected society, advertising isn’t the only way to get your event’s presence out to the masses. Get to know the influencers in your industry. We’re talking about bloggers, vloggers and social media celebrities.
Make friends with these influential members of the community – not for the express purpose of getting free promotion for your events – but to create long-term partnerships that are mutually beneficial. Offer them benefits such as early access to your products, or entry into your exclusive events, in return for their honest opinions on them.
By giving them these opportunities, you’re giving them the most important thing content creators crave – unique content that they can now provide to their followers.
Now when you have an event that their audiences will want to attend (or at least hear about), you won’t need to ask twice – let these social media influencers know about it, and they’ll be rushing to be the first to let the world know about your upcoming event.
Remember the people on your lists
If your last event received rave reviews from participants, there’s a good chance the same participants will be interested attending your next event as well. Keep your list of event attendees (i.e. potential customers) warm by engaging with them all through the year.
Even if you haven’t been doing so, a quick phone call is often all it takes to remind customers of why they enjoyed the previous event – and get them excited about the upcoming one. Best of all, you already know that these attendees are willing to spend the time and money to attend your event, because they’ve already done so at least once before.
What’s more, you can offer this group of participants an added incentive (i.e. in the form of discounts, gifts or preferred privileges) for inviting their friends to join them at the event. Now, you’ll also have an in-built group of sales promoters “working” for you.
Play the long game
The key to successfully marketing your event on a shoestring budget, is to plan early and play the long game.
You (probably) won’t make friends with the industry’s most prominent social media influencers in one day, nor will you be able to suddenly reconnect with customers you haven’t kept in touch with for almost a year.
But take it slow, keep steady, play the long game and you’ll find that marketing an event with “no budget” strategies can work just as well as big budget marketing and advertising. (Or use both tracks to really maximise your reach and audience!)