5 ways to promote events you don’t know

October 9, 2008   |   AUTHOR: Julius Solaris   |   POSTED IN: marketing


Photo by luc legay

Many people lately have been asking me to promote their events on social networks. My response to most of them is this post.

Social Media and social networks now offer great potential to cut costs on event promotions. Social media and social networks are just buzzwords to gain your attention.

Well now that I do have your attention I’ll tell you how to do it.

1. Linkedin Q&A

Linkedin has a Q&A section. A lot of marketers are using it to push their own conference/event or to get sponsors. Most of the people ask “Who is attending eventname ?”.

Then in the description they will go for paragraphs stating how the conference is going to be great and how you can’t  miss it. I did it myself. Results were appalling and I felt pretty idiot about it.

My suggestions;

– Be engaging in the question. If Frank Sinatra is performing, be catchy and ask “Would you like to meet Frank Sinatra?”.

– Target the need of attendees. If you don’t have great performers or if your objective is different, you want to make sure to be relevant. “Would you like to network with top professionals?” “Come and join us for an entertaining night at eventname

– Offer something. Announcing is cool, but what’s in it for me reading? Promo codes, discounts, competitions should be part of this process. If you are restating your press release just use different media, it’s not gonna work here.

– Forward the question to those in your network from the event area or within the relevant industry. If you have a small Linkedin network you may want to read this post.

2. Blogs

You probably haven’t noticed that there are plenty of bloggers out there who offer promo codes on their blogs. It’s probably the oldest model to promote events and web 2.0 has revamped it.

How do you get to bloggers?

– Make sure you do your research and contact opinion leaders.

– Double check that they are already doing it. If they don’t do advertising (such as me), they won’t be happy of your pitches.

– Try to understand the point of view of the blogger, display interest for his/her posts and do your homework.

– Be relevant with the reward. Money is not necessary the best way to reward opinionated people.

– Check the Google Page Rank to optimize indexing

3. Mobiles

Hey I am sure you have some advertising budget there. I mean it can’t always be for free.

If so, a little bird told me that iPhone users are great targets.

AdMob is doing great in integrating advertising in most of the iPhone applications. It is very relevant and personal.

– I also love the way The Deck is integrating ads in Twitterrific, a popular iPhone application for Twitter.

If money is not an option:

– I suggest you publish your event on Eventful. Eventful does integrate with applications such as Where! that displays events close to you, based on your GPS location. GPS is the social networking of the near future and you cannot afford to ignore it.

4. Upcoming

I can’t believe you don’t know Upcoming!

If you are still using direct mail to promote your events, it will proove ineffective shortly.

Upcoming is a strong candidate to become the platform where you publish your events. Eventful is great, but Upcoming has the Yahoo! power to push events socially and make them relevant for a number of people.

– Publishing your event on Upcoming comes at no cost and a 9yrs old kid is completely capable of doing it.

– You can promote your event within Groups and by choosing relevant tags.

– You can also see how many people saved the event to their calendar to manage demand.

5. Facebook

Ok, you know I am not the biggest fan of Facebook, but I feel very stupid ignoring 90+ Million users. Your target should be somewhere in that figure!

– You have an event section on your Facebook profile, as always don’t be lazy and fill it up in every part. Upload logos, pics and videos from previous or related events.

– The social component is very important. As for the Linkedin example I suggest you send the event to your friends and invite them to spread the word. Now, I am aware a lot of people use Facebook for their personal contacts. I have no particular issue with that, although you are missing out on the gigantic proportion of people doing business via Facebook.

I suggest you keep your personal life somewhere else if you want to be out there and get something out of social networks. My approach is to keep my personal stuff offline, full stop.

If you feel all of the above is not enough, feel free to contact me and we’ll discuss it further. If you have your opinion about it, as always, comments are now open!

  • http://nextgenerationevent.com Alli Gerkman

    Great post, Julius! And, yes–Facebook is so tricky when it comes to personal/professional. I hear of a lot of people setting up two separate accounts. That just seems like a headache to me.

    I’ve mixed it, though I did so just recently. I used to only add people who I knew well. I finally decided that I could create stronger links, even with my weaker connections, if I let them see a glimpse of me (a bit like what Keith Ferrazzi talks about in Never Eat Alone).

    Going back to your post, I think that stronger connection can be good when promoting an event on Facebook.

  • http://nextgenerationevent.com Alli Gerkman

    Great post, Julius! And, yes–Facebook is so tricky when it comes to personal/professional. I hear of a lot of people setting up two separate accounts. That just seems like a headache to me.

    I’ve mixed it, though I did so just recently. I used to only add people who I knew well. I finally decided that I could create stronger links, even with my weaker connections, if I let them see a glimpse of me (a bit like what Keith Ferrazzi talks about in Never Eat Alone).

    Going back to your post, I think that stronger connection can be good when promoting an event on Facebook.

  • http://prmeetsmarketing.wordpress.com Csalomon-lee

    Hi Julius, I have one more possibility for generating awareness:

    Twitter – develop a twitter id for the event and share with invitees as a way to solicit insight for the show. This is a great way to get people engaged before an event. There is a sense of ownership as you are able to provide feedback on topics, speakers and trends.

    While SXSW didn’t use Twitter to elicit this feedback, they just did this to select panels for the 2009 event.

    Csalomon-lees last blog post..Sarah Palin and Media Training 201!

  • http://prmeetsmarketing.wordpress.com Csalomon-lee

    Hi Julius, I have one more possibility for generating awareness:

    Twitter – develop a twitter id for the event and share with invitees as a way to solicit insight for the show. This is a great way to get people engaged before an event. There is a sense of ownership as you are able to provide feedback on topics, speakers and trends.

    While SXSW didn’t use Twitter to elicit this feedback, they just did this to select panels for the 2009 event.

    Csalomon-lees last blog post..Sarah Palin and Media Training 201!

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    @Alli
    Yeah I agree, it is indeed the dilemma of the latest months. As we are facing tough economic times every little bit counts and Facebook can definitely help.

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    @Alli
    Yeah I agree, it is indeed the dilemma of the latest months. As we are facing tough economic times every little bit counts and Facebook can definitely help.

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    @Csalomon

    Sure Twitter is the first and foremost but we have been talking a lot about it and will talk soon! Thanks for your addition!

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    @Csalomon

    Sure Twitter is the first and foremost but we have been talking a lot about it and will talk soon! Thanks for your addition!

  • http://wordsofabrokenmirror.com Alina Popescu

    I actually didn’t know anything about Upcoming! And it looks like a great place to promote events. Thanks!

    Alina Popescus last blog post..Romania Has a Big Marketing and PR Problem

  • http://wordsofabrokenmirror.com Alina Popescu

    I actually didn’t know anything about Upcoming! And it looks like a great place to promote events. Thanks!

    Alina Popescus last blog post..Romania Has a Big Marketing and PR Problem

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    @Alina
    It is indeed plus the community around it could drive traffic to your event in unexpected ways.

  • http://www.eventmanagerblog.com/ Julius

    @Alina
    It is indeed plus the community around it could drive traffic to your event in unexpected ways.

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