Drive Event Attendance with These Promotion Ideas


Getting attendees through the door is an event marketer’s primary goal. However, all their efforts must take place within the confines of their event marketing budget. Fortunately, inventive techniques exist that will help earn attendance without breaking the bank.

Build a Community Around Your Event

Social media provides a powerful opportunity to remain in contact with previous attendees. By maintaining a connection with attendees and providing them with a stream of useful content, a community will form around your event. This is an invaluable resource for promoting and validating the benefits of your event.

Provide this community with a simplified method of networking and communicating. Host virtual meetups so members of the community can share ideas and best practices. Not only does this practice provide an immense benefit to current community members, but it also highlights the value of your event to potential attendees and encourages them to get involved.  

For example, the company Salesforce has an extremely dedicated online community of approximately three million dedicated users, known as Trailblazers. Currently, there are more than 800 Trailblazers groups organized by location, profession, or a special interest. To support the Trailblazers, Salesforce routinely provides tools and financial support for in-person meetups.


Integrate Events with Your CRM

A customer relationship management (CRM) system has become one of the most important tools an organization has for managing current and potential relationships with customers. With a CRM, anyone in the company has instant access to essential client information. That means whenever a customer interacts with anyone at a company, they can receive personalized attention.

The goal of most events is to make connections with as many current and potential customers as possible. If your event software is not integrated with your CRM, the possibility of crucial data being mistakenly entered, transcribed incorrectly, or deleted is likely. However, an integrated system means that information is correctly entered one time and is automatically categorized and organized. Meaning sales, marketing, and management immediately have access to the data most relevant to them.

Send Personalized Invitations

Another benefit of integrating your event data and CRM is that all event information is readily available and categorized, so it is easy to use. That means you can access the names of all prior attendees, from the VIPs to – if you’ve integrated your event website data, too – that person who lingers on your registration page without making a purchase. Creating segmented event invitation lists is a snap. Once categorized, you can easily personalize headers and select from a variety of text that will best appeal to the recipient.

Sending a personalized invitation is not only a sign of respect for your attendees, but it is also an indication of the level of detail and care that you intend to impart to all aspects of your event. It is also the type of touch that your recipients will remember when they think of your brand and event.

Sponsor a Wi-Fi Hotspot

Again, having all of your data in one place proves to be beneficial. Segment your data by geographic location to see if you can spot high concentrations of past or potential attendees. One thing you can be sure of your attendees utilizing is free wi-fi. So, find a local coffee shop or shopping center and provide potential guests with free wi-fi by sponsoring a hotspot. Another idea is to sponsor hotspots that surround your event venue. In addition to creating brand awareness, you will also capture valuable data from the hotspot’s users.

Sponsoring a hotspot is a low-cost opportunity to expose your brand to a broad audience. It is almost a form of guerrilla marketing. Dig into your data and the geographic area to uncover additional opportunities where spending a little can thoughtfully improve your brand awareness.


Go Beyond the Venue and into the City

The area surrounding the venue has a lot to offer. Every city has something that makes it famous: even if it is a local secret. Try to find a way to intensify your guests’ experience and help them discover new sides to the destination.

Many elements comprise a city’s personality, and regional foods rank near the top. Move beyond the tourist areas into neighborhoods to discover what the residents enjoy. Additionally, there are likely local beverage options – juice bars, breweries, wineries, coffee shops, etc. – that can quench your attendees’ thirst while filling their minds about the local scene. Local food festivals often provide insight into a city’s food-related culture and history.

Museums are an excellent excursion and may have an area to rent for a cocktail hour or mixer. There may be a specific style of music, dance, or artistic style that is popular in the region or a local comedy scene. If your research comes up dry, there may be someone at your venue who could help (or, at least, point you to someone who could).

Try to find a way to deepen an attendee’s experience and help them discover new insights about the destination. The goal is to deliver activities that attendees cannot find anywhere else.

Flash Sales for Discounted Tickets

People love a bargain almost as much as they dislike missing an opportunity. A flash sale caters to both.

Flash sales are promotions that suddenly appear and disappear just as quickly. A deadline always accompanies these offers. That’s what makes them so effective. The opportunity is only available for a limited time frame, and when it’s gone, it may never return.

People also love rallying others to take part in an excellent limited-time opportunity, which generates buzz for your event. So, be sure to encourage ticket-buyers to forward the deal to friends and colleagues. This sense of urgency can help drive sales during slow periods.


Add a Bonus for Early-Bird Purchases

Early-bird discounts provide reduced prices to anyone who registers within a specific time frame. There are two types of early-bird discounts. The first has a set expiration date. For example, two weeks after tickets go on sale, the early-bird promotion ends. The second is to restrict the sale to a predetermined number of tickets, such as only the first 50 attendees who register receive the discount. This adds even greater motivation for people to sign up as soon as possible.

You can also gamify early bird purchases by entering all early birders into a contest. The prizes can be event swag, drink tickets, a VIP upgrade, etc.

Tiered Ticketing Options

Determining the right price for an event is a tricky process. Set prices too low, people may worry the event doesn’t have much to offer, but too high could scare off attendees. Offering tiered ticketing options solves this dilemma because you can deliver a price point for everyone.

The first tier is your break event price, what you need to sell to return all invested money. The next tiers include perks, such as access to a VIP-only area, meet and greets with speakers, etc..

Having various pricing tiers allows you to have a general admission price and then options for attendees who are willing to pay more for various perks. Finding the perfect prices can be difficult but getting it right can give tickets sales a real boost.