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Part One: How to Promote and Market Events from Start to Finish: Tips for Small Business Owners

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Are you a small business owner looking to promote and market your events? Look no further!

In this blog post, I will provide you with tips on how to effectively promote and market your events from start to finish, using Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, and Skiddle to illustrate my points. So, let's dive in!

1. Start by Defining Your Audience

Before you can effectively promote and market your event, it is important to define your target audience. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts and reach the right people.

Think about:

  • What social media platforms you're going to market your event on

  • The images you're going to use

  • The wording of your event description

  • The price of your tickets

When considering these factors, also think about:

  • Age

  • Location

  • Interests

  • Occupation

Basically, who's going to be interested in what you're hosting, and where are those people going to be?

Simple, right?

For example, if you are hosting a networking event in Manchester, your target audience may be adults aged 30-60 who are business owners in the Manchester area. Your social media marketing should use Google Business Profile, Facebook and maybe Instagram (although, this may prove difficult as in-caption links don't work on Instagram).

2. Choose the Right Listing Platform

Now that you know your target audience, it's time to choose the right platform to promote your event.

There are many event websites available for promoting and selling tickets, such as Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, and Skiddle. Eventbrite is more business and educational, whereas Ticketmaster and Skiddle are primarily used for music events. Do your research and choose a platform that caters to your target audience and is popular within your industry.

For example, if you are hosting a business workshop for entrepreneurs, Eventbrite may be the best platform as it allows for easy ticket sales and has a strong presence within the business community.

3. Create Eye-Catching Event Listings

Once you have chosen your platform, it's time to create an eye-catching event listing.

This is usually the first thing potential attendees will see, so it's important to make a good impression. Use high-quality images and engaging descriptions that highlight the key aspects of your event.

Make sure your images are tailored to your audience, they need to match the mood of the event so your prospective attendees know what to expect.

Ruth Wilkinson, founder of The Social Media Coach
The Social Media Coach

For example, if you are hosting an educational workshop, use professional, welcoming pictures of yourself. Make your description shine with your qualifications and successes, and perhaps include an itinerary of the event.

4. Leverage Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for promoting events. Create social media posts for your event on platforms such as Google Business Profile (most important) Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Use relevant hashtags to reach a wider audience and engage with potential attendees by responding to comments and messages.

For example, if you are hosting a charity run, use hashtags such as #charityrun, #fundraiser, and #fitness to reach individuals interested in those topics.

Use platforms that are time sensitive e.g., people see them in their feeds NOW. Using platforms/applications such as TikTok, Reels, and YouTube shorts isn't beneficial here... as your video posts may show up on someone's feed waaaay after the event.

Offer Early Bird Discounts

Everyone loves a good deal! Consider offering early bird discounts to incentivise people to purchase tickets in advance. This not only helps generate buzz for your event but also ensures that you have a solid attendance.

For example, if you are hosting a music event, offer discounted tickets for the first 100 buyers to create a sense of urgency and encourage early ticket sales.

Offer a Cheaper Taster Event

Now, I don't usually advise this sort of thing... your time and expertise are MEANT to be expensive.

However, hosting a shorter, therefore cheaper, taster in advance of the main event may entice more attendees. They get to see if they like your hosting/teaching style, and you get more reach and engagement.

I want to stress...this needs to be SHORT, maybe 45 minutes. I will never promote giving your time away for free.

Utilise Email Marketing

Email marketing is still an effective way to reach potential attendees. Create an email list of past event attendees or individuals who have shown interest in your events and send out regular updates and promotions.

Make sure to make the email content visually appealing and include a clear call-to-action... otherwise, it's bloody useless.

For example, if you are hosting a networking event, send out an email with information about the speakers and topics that will be covered, along with a ticket link.

Engage Attendees During the Event

Event promotion doesn't end once people purchase their tickets. It's important to engage attendees during the event to leave a lasting impression and encourage them to attend future events.

This can include interactive activities such as Q&A or photo opportunities, social media contests/giveaways, or post-event surveys.

A pink background with The Social Media Coach logo, username and example of of hashtag 'coachingevent2023'
The Social Media Coach Photo Board

For example, if you are hosting a craft workshop, have a photo board with your business name and event hashtag, so attendees can take pictures of their craft and share them on social media.

Post-Event Follow-Up

After the event is over, don't forget to follow up with attendees.

This can include sending out a thank-you email, asking for feedback, and highlighting any upcoming events or promotions.

This not only shows appreciation for their attendance but also helps keep them engaged for future events.

For example, if you hosted a business conference, send out an email thanking attendees for their participation and providing them with resources or discounts for future events.

Now you know how to effectively market your event, use these skills and make sales.

The Social Media Coach x


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