Hosting an event is one of the best ways to help your small business grow. Not only do events attract new customers, but they also increase the loyalty of your company's current customer base. To ensure your time and money is well-invested, you want to make sure people show up. Here are some tips on how to promote an event effectively without breaking the bank. If necessary, you can even advertise your event for free.
Invite Your Customers
Once you iron out all the event details, it's time to invite your guests. You can send out email blasts, advertise in local social media groups and message boards, and pay for targeted social media ads. Online event marketing is certainly important and useful, but it shouldn't be your only advertising strategy. In addition to reaching out to your online contacts, you can send custom invitations via snail mail. Receiving an invitation in the mail gets people excited and can make the event feel real and special. Depending on how many invitations you plan to send out, writing a little note by hand can really help to inspire the customer to attend. Try to make sure your invitations include all pertinent details, including the location and time of the event and what attendees can expect regarding entertainment, freebies and food. You can entice your customers, but try not to oversell the event; you don't want anyone to leave disappointed.
Connect With Your Community
Don't be afraid to take a grassroots approach to business event marketing. Consider finding places around town where you can display a poster or banner. You can print some event flyers, and hit the streets. One of the best event promotion ideas is just standing on a busy corner, handing out flyers and talking to people. You can also drop off your flyers at local businesses, such as coffee shops, restaurants, libraries and community centers. Word-of-mouth is an incredibly effective marketing tool, so try to get out there, and do some networking.
Include Tickets with Purchases
Whether a customer is shopping at your brick-and-mortar location or your online store, try to make sure each and every purchase comes with event tickets. Even if there's no cover fee, receiving a free ticket makes the customer feel like they got an exclusive deal, and nobody wants to waste a perfectly good ticket. Tickets also can make the event feel official. If you really want to encourage people to show up, consider providing rewards for ticket holders. For example, you can give out event tickets with unique numbers so they can be used for a raffle. If there's a possibility of winning a giveaway, new and current customers are more likely to attend. Just try to make sure the raffle prize is worth saving the ticket. Great prize ideas can include gift baskets, free products or services, and promotional items such as branded apparel.
Partner With Local Businesses and Charities
Partnering with a noncompetitive local business is a great way to share the load and gain exposure to a broader audience you might not reach otherwise. In addition, working with a local charity organization is a good way to support a worthy cause and can help to add legitimacy to the event. Both options also open up exciting networking avenues. Sharing resources with another organization can help make the planning process easier and the overall cost more budget-friendly. You can naturally assume your partner is going to advertise your event for free so long as you do the same. Try to make sure everyone wears name badges that clearly identify which business or organization they represent so guests can tell everyone apart.
Hosting an event can be fun and fiscally beneficial as long as you know how to promote it effectively. Acquiring new customers through traditional means is never easy, but a well-attended event can work wonders. Try to allow plenty of time to market the event, and be sure your venue has enough capacity to handle all the people you invite. Also, try to remember that sometimes one of the best ways to win over a customer is to just offer a warm smile and friendly hello. Consider being upbeat and sincere, and people are apt to respond positively to your event marketing methods.
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