Promoting Your Event: Five Tips & Best Practices

Special events are a good way to promote a product or service and strengthen relationships through face-to-face interaction.  They give even existing clients a unique opportunity to engage with a business and get a deeper sense of its capabilities and personality.

But setting the date, scheduling staff and finalizing logistical details doesn’t ensure success.  You’ve got to get people to show up to your event.

Worried about that? Maybe a little? Don’t be.

Our aesthetic practice customers consistently generate higher response rates, greater interest and ultimately more business when they follow these five best practices for event marketing.

1. Give them a (good) reason to come.  

People are busy.  While you likely already have relationships with the contacts you invite, simply asking them to come isn’t enough.  You’re competing for their time, so make it clear why it’s worth their while to show up.  An informational session, free food and drinks, and maybe even a chance to win something may pique someone’s interest.  But to drive action, and convince someone to choose your event over another commitment (or a break from commitments) usually takes an economic offer.

Offer a discount exclusive to those who attend the event, or give a special price for services provided or products purchased during the event.

2. Offer an Incentive to Bring a Friend

An event is the perfect time for happy clients to introduce other people they know to your business.  So encourage and create a financial incentive to bring a friend.

If you’re giving a percentage off services booked or performed during your event, consider an extra bonus for everyone who brings a referral, plus provide an incentive for their friends to buy too.  Try a bigger discount or a gift card for every friend they bring who purchases a product or service.

3. Timing Is Important

Events take a lot of advance planning, but be careful about how far in advance you promote your event.  If you promote it too early, people are likely to forget, and sending too many reminders (over several weeks) could annoy your contacts, and you run the risk of them ignoring or deleting your communications.

Best practice is to send a Save the Date reminder no more than three weeks before the event, then a reminder about 10 days before, and one more a day or two prior to the event.

4. Keep Your Message Simple

In your event promotions, clearly communicate the purpose, time, place and who should attend. The description should also include specific benefits.  But keep it brief and scannable, especially in email.  People don’t have time nor interest for long emails.

And remember, if you’re depending on email as your primary marketing vehicle, a provocative subject line is essential to get it opened.   Try one like: 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Miss This.

While videos and images describing the service or product your event is featuring can be compelling, make them available on a link to a landing page.  Don’t clutter your email with these details.

5. Get Creative

Don’t rely on email alone to promote your event.  Include the event details on your website and social media pages.  You should also consider investing in advertising or direct mail if the event warrants it.  And post it on free local community calendars.  For your best clients, a personal phone call can be very effective.

Partnering with a local non-profit or complementary business is also a good idea. This collaboration provides an opportunity to draw more new and existing customers.

Remember, good planning is not sufficient to drive people to your event. Thoughtful event promotions are key to success.