September 18, 2023
By Mike Fletcher

Event promotion requires creativity, technical know-how and a deep understanding of where to find your target audience.

So, when it comes to deciding how to persuade people to choose your event over others, it can feel incredibly daunting.

The best approach is to use different tactics and experiment with individual channels and formats.

Always think outside the box and never put all your budget or resources into just one marketing channel. After all, we all watch, listen, absorb, read and stream content in more ways than ever. For your promotion to cut through, it must compete for our attention like never before.

Mix and match these 20 ideas to meet your event promotion goals.

1. Leverage social media

A strong social media presence can build a community around your event and encourage FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Social media also helps to communicate programme details, promote speakers and leverage added value for sponsors and stakeholders.

You should define how you’ll use your social media account(s) before, during, and after your event well in advance. Prioritise those channels where your audience is most active, resource content properly, and put a schedule in place so that posts are published against set objectives, and you can measure performance.

Consider if the following social media channels are right for your audience and event.


Is your event suitable for IG? To grow a community on Instagram, you’ll need an abundance of striking imagery, lots of creative ideas and colleagues who are happy to play starring roles in your Reels.

Use an app such as CapCut to edit vertical video, filmed with your phone into Stories and Reels. Then, overlay trending music tracks and post alongside those hashtags your community will already be following.

X (formerly known as Twitter)

Everyone knows that good content yields great results. But what makes one Tweet outperform the next?

To ensure a successful strategy on the channel formerly known as Twitter, you’ll need to dedicate time and resources to:

  • Developing your brand tone of voice
  • Being conversational with your audience
  • Running polls and asking questions
  • Sharing articles and advice
  • Amplifying your community’s tweets with retweets.

Keep your copy succinct, include clear calls-to-action, limit to one or two hashtags per tweet, use images, GIFs and videos whenever possible, and use analytics to determine factors such as the best time to tweet and the types of tweets that achieve the highest engagement and reach.


If you’re using Instagram to promote your event via images, Stories and Reels, add Meta’s new microblogging channel Threads as a companion app. This enables you to strike up text-based conversations with your ‘Gram’ community.

You can interact with your Instagram followers in conversations via posts, likes, replies and reposts, and include photos and videos up to five minutes long.

You can also post links (unlike on Instagram), which can help drive users to your website.


Adding TikTok to your event promotion strategy will provide extensive organic reach without the roadblock of having to build a following.

All you need to boost awareness, ticket sales and audience engagement is creative video content and the right target audience for your campaign.

For content inspiration, tap into TikTok viral trends and find something relevant and entertaining to encourage your audience to participate in or create content around.

Alternatively, consider running a hashtag contest with prizes, such as free event tickets for the first 100 video uploads. Or, start your own challenge and recruit influencers from your sector to get involved and drive participation.


Are you a B2B event planner? If so, LinkedIn is the perfect channel to grow your community, generate leads, share updates, drive people to your event website and promote your activity.

By creating LinkedIn events to promote your annual show or year-round activity, such as webinars, social events or discussion forums, you can assess who your most engaged influencers are on the channel and drive greater audience interaction.

Use LinkedIn to amplify blog articles posted to your website, run polls to help you decide on speakers or conference themes, and encourage your event community to share ideas and speak to one another by creating discussion Groups.


If you run events for a local community or a particular interest group, Facebook is an ideal promotional channel.

Communities and special interest groups are the most active Facebook users. Give them more reasons to attend your event by running ticket competitions and offering discount codes for Facebook Group users.

Ensure your Facebook Page is regularly updated and has a ‘Book Now’ button linked to your ticketing site.

Always respond quickly to questions and grievances posted to your Page. You should treat Facebook as a customer service channel as well as a promotional tool.

2. Create exciting video content

Whether you’re filming for social Reels, TikTok, LinkedIn or your website, short-form video is the medium of choice for today’s audiences.

Television advertising has repeatedly proven that viewers remember 95% of a message they’ve watched versus 10% of a message they’ve read.

Get creative and remember to film in vertical or landscape formats, and edit to various lengths to suit different channels and platforms. For example, the ideal duration for YouTube Shorts videos is 60 seconds or less, while for TikTok, the maximum is three minutes.

If you’re using your phone to film video, always ensure it’s set to 4K and 60fps (frames-per-second).

Highlights from previous years, speaker interviews, teasers and call-to-action videos will all help to promote your next event.

3. Broadcast live

Live stream exciting announcements about your event to social media, such as when tickets go on sale or reveal who the keynote speaker will be. It’s a great way to build hype amongst your social following and give them quality content to engage with.

Let your followers know the date and time you intend to stream live and create intrigue around what it is you will announce.

4. Host podcasts

Recording a podcast series will bring your conference programme or show features to life, help you build a community of subscribers, and provide your sponsors with another way to reach your audience.

A series of episodes featuring interviews with speakers, sponsors or experts in their field. can build anticipation for attendees - helping people to discover and engage more closely with your event brand.

Offer your audience bonus episodes recorded live at the venue during your event. Mobile apps such as Ringr make it easier than ever to record professional-sounding guest interviews using just your mobile phone. These can then be easily downloaded, edited and turned into podcast episodes.

5. Ad retargeting

Hone in on anyone who has visited your event website and shown an interest by reminding them to return, register or book a ticket.

Ad retargeting across your Google AdWords account and on your ticket sales page will allow you to track a specific demographic or anyone who may have become distracted and failed to complete registration.

Use Google Tag Manager to manage codes, tags, and pixels for your retargeting campaigns and create multiple ad designs to maximise interest and drive results.

6. Host webinars

Webinars are a great way of engaging different audiences in a broad range of subjects relevant to your event.

Invite experts to discuss matters of interest or industry issues and position your brand as an authoritative voice within your sector.

Promote your webinars through LinkedIn events and use them to tease speaker sessions, introduce sponsors and grow your event community through valuable year-round content.

7. Optimise your event registration website

Visitors to your event website will form a first impression of your offer in as little as five seconds. It’s vital, then, that your site’s design, look and feel sparks the interest of anyone wishing to find out more.

Ensure that your site is easy to use and easy to find. Optimise it for mobile devices and improve how search engines rank it by adding key phrases, meta descriptions, tags and meta tags to web copy and images in your CMS.

Then, use Google Analytics to understand where users come to your website from, what pages they’re looking at and how long they spend checking out your content.

8. Publish a newsletter

Grow a community around your event by publishing a regular newsletter.

Treat it differently to your email marketing campaigns by not using it to overtly sell or promote. If your event represents a particular sector, play the role of the trade magazine by interviewing key players, sharing industry announcements and publishing other relevant stories.

As more and more people subscribe to receive your newsletter in their inbox, consider ways to monetise it by offering ‘gated’ content such as exclusive research, downloadable reports and expert tips and advice.

9. Work with genuine influencers

Partnering with real fans of a particular exhibition, show or live event will provide you with authentic, trustworthy advocacy.

Reward them for creating content before, during and after your event such as social videos, podcast recordings, TikTok testimonials and photos for ‘the Gram’.

When signing up sponsors, ask what they genuinely like about your event and agree on a series of blog posts, videos, social posts or interviews as part of the value exchange.

10. Offer branded merch

Everyone still loves free stuff, but they’ll love it even more if your promotional merchandise is made from sustainable materials and is climate-conscious.

Options include:

  • Eco-friendly/recycled notebooks and journals
  • Plants and seed packets
  • Reusable tote bags
  • Recycled water bottles or reusable coffee flasks
  • Eco-friendly USB and flash drives made from recycled materials

11. LinkedIn Conversation Ads

Leverage the popularity of messaging apps by allocating a small promotional budget for LinkedIn Conversation Ads and reach a targeted audience via their LinkedIn message inbox.

With these Conversation Ads, you can personalise your promotional message and offer ‘choose your path’ response options followed by suggested actions, such as ‘visit our website’, ‘sign up for our newsletter’, ‘find out more’ or ‘register your interest’.

The option to include at least two call-to-action buttons and a link to a webpage or registration form makes this ‘paid social’ format perfect for engaging with busy senior executives or prospects who predominantly use LinkedIn on mobile.

12. Provide VIP experiences 

Launch a premium event ticket that includes access to exclusive experiences not available to basic ticket holders.

These could include VIP hospitality, meet and greet sessions with celebrities or speakers, transport to and from the venue, or something else that will make your premium ticket holders feel special and want to shout about their amazing experience.

13. Partner with charities

Consider donating tickets to a not-for-profit organisation or charity aligned with your sector.

Today’s audiences admire brands that lean into social causes so why not take it a step further by raising money, partnering with associated charities on content or volunteering for community-based schemes?

14. Add a touch of magic

Magic is inherently memorable and magicians excel at engaging audiences. By adding illusions and magical effects to your live promotional activity, you’ll leave a lasting, positive impression.

People love sharing astonishing magic tricks online. By featuring themed magic effects in your campaigns, you enhance the chances of your content going viral, exponentially expanding your reach and engagement.

Ask your magician to integrate your event theme into an illusion, making it central to the story. This deepens brand visibility and forges a stronger emotional connection between your audience and your brand.

15. Offer early-bird discounts

We all love discounts. A surefire way of getting more people to register for your event is to provide exclusive ‘early-bird’ offers.

Set a clear deadline for the early-bird pricing or only make a limited number of tickets available. Scarcity marketing will create a solid buzz around your event while tempting attendees with a discount they can’t refuse.

16. Incorporate QR codes

QR codes have experienced a resurgence in recent years, mainly due to every smartphone’s ability to read them through the phone’s camera, directing users to a dedicated microsite.

By placing a QR code on your digital or print marketing material, you can encourage users to access more details about your event or offer them discount codes, rewards or exclusive content.

17. Create infographics

Visual content can help boost social engagement and promote your event.

Showcase interesting statistics or tell the story of your event by designing a simple yet fun infographic.

Given their high social media shareability value, infographics are an effective, low-cost visual tactic to generate more buzz around your event.

18. Hire mascots

Never underestimate the power of a cute mascot. Bring your brand to life using a mascot that represents your event’s values or audience demographic (families and children especially love a costumed character).

Visitors will want to take selfies with your mascot to share on social media, so make sure there’s an associated hashtag that’s well-publicised.

19. Geotag your campaigns

Take promotional personalisation to the next level by reaching potential attendees through location-based targeting.

Combine AI and predictive analytics with geotagging to narrow down the behavioural patterns of your target audiences. Then, send them a personalised ad based on where they live or work.

An example could be a targeted ad giving people directions or transport options to reach your event or various language ads for different countries if you’re trying to attract an international audience.

20. Augmented Reality gamification 

Take advantage of Augmented Reality (AR) technology to enhance the creative potential of your event promotion.

ARKit and ARCore are software development kits (SDKs) released by Apple and Google. They enable you to create AR-based apps that are tailored to today's smartphones.

Create filters, advertisements and even AR-based games and challenges so that your audience interacts with your offer and shares across their social networks.

For more ideas, tips and advice on aligning your event marketing strategy to the right promotional channels, watch our latest webinar, Bark up the Right Tree

Mike Fletcher

Mike Fletcher

Mike has been writing about the meetings and events industry for almost 20 years as a former editor at Haymarket Media Group, and then as a freelance writer and editor. He currently runs his own content agency, Slippy Media, catering for a wide-range of client requirements, including social strategy, long-form, event photography, event videography, reports, blogs and ghost-written material.

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