How to pack the house for your next business event
Whether you’re planning an in-store demo, an on-site workshop, or organizing or sponsoring a community or charitable event, we’ve partnered with our friends at Yell to gather some great — and mostly free! — ways to make sure your event is visible online.
Make a Facebook event
Facebook has a great events tool, which lets you set up a page for your event, and keep an eye on who’s attending. And it couldn’t be simpler to use:
- Create the event page
- Add the date, time and details
- Invite people directly from your Facebook contacts
The Facebook event tool is a way for both your guests to learn about the event, RSVP, invite their friends, and post comments on the page, as well as a way for you to organize and keep an eye on the invitation process from the other side.
You can also fully customize these pages, adding images and updating the event page with information about the event in real time.
Plus — when someone clicks “attending,” it will show up on their News Feed so that their friends and followers also see the event and can decide if it’s something they might be interested in as well.
Advertise on social media
In addition to any print advertising you’re doing for your event, running an ad on one (or all) of your social media platforms is a cost-effective and targeted way to spread the word — and reach more than just your followers.
Using social media platforms such as Facebook, you can target people in a certain demographic that you think would be most interested in attending your event (for example, narrowing your audience down by location, interest, gender, and age). Ads can also include a link to RSVP to the event through your website or the event page.
Besides social ads, make sure you schedule regular organic social posts that promote the event in advance, and tag relevant supporters or partners in the comments section to enlist their help in spreading the word.
Tip off the press
Although it may feel like it, not everyone is on Facebook! To help reach an audience that may not be on social media, reach out to relevant writers and editors from local, trade, and national publications. This means writers whose patch covers your business — and whose readers will be interested in your event. Explain the purpose of the event and outline the “hook” for them, which is the reason they and their readers should be interested. Offer them a press pass and ask them to write about the event in advance online (and in print). If there is a standout publication you want to target, consider offering them an exclusive interview.
You can also hire a writer or use an in-house writer to create a press release. Press releases are short outlines of a newsworthy event that would include all the relevant information — like who your company is, and the what, whys, and wheres of your event. You can then send your press release to both local and major publications for release.
Plan an email campaign
Draft a series of emails to gradually reel in your readers. Engaging copy is a must, as is a link back to the full details on your website, Facebook or a site like Eventbrite. The email itself doesn’t have to include all the information — it should be short, snappy, attention-grabbing, and include a good graphic.
Make sure you give those who can’t make it an option to stay in touch. For example, say something like, “Can’t attend this event? Follow us on Facebook to stay in the loop on our upcoming events and activities.”
Run a competition
Competitions are guaranteed to attract interest, and if you’re ticketing your event, you can offer a ticket to the event itself as a prize. Post the competition on all of your online platforms.
Example post: “Win a free spot at our hands-on workshop next month — simply answer this question / share this post / enter your email address for a chance to win.”
Finally: ask for help
Enlist the support of your business partners, customers and other ambassadors for your brand. Invite them along to your business event, and ask them to help you to spread the word online too!
Visit Hibu today to see how your local business can leverage the power of social, search marketing and more to help your next event reach the right audience.