Event Marketing on Shoestring Budget: How to Promote an Event and Dramatically Increase Sales
Events are a great way to generate leads and sales. Whether you have a retail location and want to generate product sales, or have a B2B operation and want to win new clients,events are a wonderful opportunity. They allow you to invite people to your location in a relaxed atmosphere, where you can gain their immediate attention and build a lasting impression.
Before you begin promoting an event, first you must decide what the event will be and what’s in it for your guests. Remember, to get guests to come out of their way to attend, entice them with something valuable. If you have a retail location, you may want to promote an exclusive sale by invitation only. Another option is to promo tea draw to win a $500.00 shopping spree, or free product giveaway. If you have a B2B operation, you may want to have a “Lunch n’ Learn” or after-work “wine and cheese” seminar. Adding a giveaway or promotion is a proven way to boost interest.
Once you’ve created an event that people want to attend, the next question is how do you get people there with little to no marketing budget?
Follow This Event Marketing Strategy And Watch Your Guest List Grow
- Create a sign-up page on your site with the event details and get people to register so you’ll have an idea of how many guests to expect.
- Promote the event with a promo button or banner on your homepage and throughout your site. That way, as visitors come to your site they’ll immediately know about your event and how to register.
- Create an event on Facebook and invite all your contacts to attend. Post info about your event on all your other social media channels as well: i.e., Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. Repost every few days to remind people to register. Let them know that space is limited.
Note: If you have a budget to work with, you can boost your posts beyond your own followers and connections on social media.
- Create an email invitation and send it out to your database. If you are using MailChimp or Constant Contact, you can create an event invitation using one of their templates. If you are not using one of these programs, you can also use a free online invitation program such as evite.com to create a simple invitation and send it out to your contacts.
- Ask your guests to share or forward the invitation to anybody else who they know would be interested in attending.
- Create a flyer or postcard that you can leave on your front counter, and design posters for your store windows or entrance. Distribute printed pieces to local businesses in your area that you have non-competitive relationships with, and are open to helping you promote your event to their customers.
- If you’re connected to any associations, ask them if they’d be open to sending your invitations to their database.
Note: When there is value in people attending an event, you’ll be happily surprised by how many people will help you promote it to their contacts through Facebook, Twitter, email and word of mouth.
Once you’ve followed this event marketing plan to grow your guest list confirmations, make sure your event is everything people expected it to be and more!Use your event as an opportunity to make a positive lasting impression, generate further interest and even close sales.
If all goes well, you will have grown your sales at minimal or no cost, and you will have created some loyal fans who will help you promote future events and take your sales to the next level!
Have you ever hosted a promotional event or a B2B event? We’d love to hear about your experiences with event marketing. Feel free to comment with your suggestions or recommendations for throwing a memorable business event.