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118 Event Promotion Ideas to Attract More Attendees

Author: Craig Heron

Woman sitting at desk looking at list of event promotion ideas illustration

Finding new event promotion ideas can spark your imagination. Sometimes all it takes is the right idea, put into action, to turn your event marketing into a success.

We’ve helped to promote 25,000+ events, so we’ve gotten to see some pretty cool ideas in addition to the event promotion tools that we offer.

In this post we’ve collected all the event promotion ideas we have tried ourselves.

Alongside, we’ve asked some of the best event promotion professionals to share their favorite event promotion ideas.

These ideas should help you market events regardless of what type. Many of these would work for anything from concert promotion to a networking event to a business conference.

If you’re looking for event ideas, check out our posts on Music Venue Event Ideas, Yoga Studio Event Ideas, and Brewery Event Ideas.

Table of Contents

Free Event Promotion Ideas

There is a lot you can do to promote an event for free. Get a lot of these right and you’ll have an event that could attract more sponsors or generate more ticket sales in the future.

First, some of the basics:

1. Create a great event title.

First thing is first. Create a great event name that will be used everywhere else. Make sure it clearly describes your event, what attendees will get out of the event, and sparks enough curiosity that event seekers will click through to learn more.

Want some additional advice on how to create a great event title? Check out this post!

2. Create an eye-catching event image.

Even before the event title, the first thing most event seekers will see from you is your event image.

Event images come in a bunch of formats, but creating an eye-catching but simple image is key to make sure it grabs attention no matter where it ends up.

3. Nail your event description.

Make sure you have a few sizes of descriptions for you events. How will you describe it in 120 characters? How will you describe it when you have more space?

Keep it clear and focus on the benefits an attendee will receive by coming. Even better if you can start to paint a picture for the event seeker what it would be like to attend your event.

Get them dreaming of themself at your event. 

Use our free Event Promotion Checklist to stay organized:

Free Event Promotion Ideas for Social Media

Social media is a powerful way to promote an event for free. It’s becoming harder to stand out on crowded social media platforms like Facebook, so it might require some creativity to get noticed. Here are some ideas on how to promote your event on social media for free:

4. Create the event on Facebook.

People discover events in many places online these days. Facebook isn’t the only place to promote an event anymore and many people may miss it if you only post to Facebook.

That doesn’t mean Facebook Events aren’t still a great way to invite people to an event and get discovered.

5. Create the event on LinkedIn.

If you have a business-focused event like a networking meeting, industry party, or conference then you should absolutely post the event on LinkedIn. You, your co-hosts, and volunteers can invite their network to start getting the word out.

Creating LinkedIn Events for all our Fireside Chats was a huge booster to getting the word out when we were new.

6. Post on personal pages.

Reach from business pages are constantly dwindling on all social media platforms. Posting to your personal social media pages and encouraging others to do the same is a sure way to reach more people. 

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and many others all prioritize personal posts in the feed over business page posts. After all, they want the businesses to pay for that spot in the feed.

7. Post to your social media... more than once.

A lot of people will post about something once on social media and then wonder how to get more people to see that post.

That isn’t how social media works anymore.

You shouldn’t spam people, but it is best practice to post about your upcoming events quite a few times to give people more opportunities to see it.

You can also use the native (built-in) features on each social media platform to schedule many of your posts out ahead of time.

If you’re worried about it getting annoying, change up the text and context each time. Use some of these other event promotion ideas to create interesting opportunities to post about your event.

8. Share behind the scenes videos leading up to the event.

Share some of the process of getting ready for the event. 

Pyro Music Festival in Ohio does a great job of being super transparent with their audience. In addition to a strong Facebook group for fans of the festival and a shared set of values, Pyro’s founder Joe does a great job of building a sense of community with regular live streams showing behind the scenes of setting up the festival.

9. Create a Facebook / Community group for your fans.

Another way to create a sense of community in your attendees is to create a place for them to talk to each other before, during, and after your events.

This works particularly well for recurring events. 

You don’t have to use Facebook either. You could create a Slack or Discord too. 

If you wanted to spend a little money to be more independent, you could create a community of your own with Circle for as little as $39/mo.

10. Find (or make) relatable memes

Not all your social media posts about your event have to be straight-forward descriptions of the event.

Identify with your target audience and post some memes that they will find entertaining.

You can tack on a, “Oh, by the way, check out our upcoming event” link at the end too.

Event Meme - If everything could go according to plan that would be great

11. Collaborate with a non-profit or local cause.

A problem for a lot of new event organizers is that you might not have a huge audience to reach on social media. 

You always have to think of ways to reach your current network, but also how do you reach new people on social media?

Partnering with other organizations is a great way to do this. Non-profits and local causes are a great way to increase the benefits of attending your events while also reaching a wider audience that might share about the cause.

12. Pre-session video brief from speakers/performers.

If you’re going to have a speaker at your event, see if you can get them to record a short 20-30 second video about the event.

It can be helpful to give them an idea of what to say and remind them that a selfie video is fine. This way it makes it REALLY easy for them and you get another interesting thing to share on social media. (Don’t forget to tag them or have them post it on their page and then share it to yours so you can reach their audience too.)

13. Do an Instagram live with a speaker/performer.

Take it a step further and do an Instagram live with your speakers or performers. It might be harder to get the buy-in needed for this, but it’s a fantastic way to engage your audience and reach their audience (if they have one).

You can go live on Instagram and invite guests to the live stream. Here is a post on how to have guests on your Instagram Live. 

14. Do a TikTok Duet with a performer.

Especially if you have a musician or artist at your event, doing a TikTok Duet is a great way to create some fun content to promote the event.

You can post the first part of the Duet and then invite them to collaborate on it. Here is how.

15. Create a TikTok Duet that anyone can join.

Another fun way to engage with people before your event is to open up a TikTok Duet to anybody. Maybe pose a question that is relatable or ask people to share their favorite past events.

16. Spotlight attendees to create a sense of community pride.

The community is the hero of the story. Try to make them feel like protagonists through dynamics that not only integrate them but also make them feel in the spotlight, both before, during and after the events.

Spotlighting attendees via email or social media is a great way to build a sense of community pride.

Startup Grind does a great job of doing this by highlighting Directors’ achievements throughout the year and at the annual conference. Solange, quoted above, has won many of these awards and has replicated this in her own events.

17. Share stories and testimonials from previous attendees.

For recurring events, you can share stories and testimonials from previous attendees to add to the social proof of your event. It shows it is more than the organizers who think the event is valuable. It may event give potential attendees an opportunity to see themselves in those stories.

18. Share the best tweets and posts from attendees & speakers.

If you have a recurring event, you can share Tweets and posts from previous years as testimonials on social media, your website, and emails. This is a shortcut to sharing testimonials.

19. Let a speaker, performer, or brand partner do a social media takeover.

Take the Duets and live guests a step further by inviting a partner, presenter, or performer to do a social media takeover for a period of time on one of your social channels.

20. Shout out the speakers, partners, and sponsors... A LOT.

Shout outs are a good thing to do in order to get your sponsors more recognition to their support of your event. They also increase the reach of your posts. Many times, a sponsor, speaker, or partner will share these posts helping it reach their audience.

21. Send a copy + paste snippet for people to share on social media for you.

"One of the best ways to get others to help promote your event is to send a copy and pasteable snippet for people to share on social media for you."

Make it REALLY easy for others to share posts about the events you are promoting on social media.

Send out an email to supporters asking them to share about your upcoming event. Give them an exact snippet of text and maybe an image they can use on social media to describe the event.

22. Co-promote with your venue.

A partner that many people forget about is your venue. Even if you’re paying for the venue, it doesn’t have to be purely transactional.

Make a post on your social media behind the scenes before the event showing off the venue and really talk them up. Tag them and give them the opportunity to share it. 

Sometimes they may also have an email list that they could promote the event to if you ask them.

23. Geotag posts for the venue you are going to host at.

Another way to tap into the audience of your venue is to geotag your posts for the venue.

24. Follow people who attend events like yours.

An old school way to get some attention for a new social media page is to follow others. It’s a subtle (and free) way of introducing your page to relevant people.

It is best not to just follow a bunch of random people. Instead using hashtags and other event pages, follow people who have attended and posted about events like yours. These users are usually the most engaged.

You can go an extra step by actually engaging with some of their posts to really get on their radar and build curiousity.

25. Post to relevant Facebook Groups.

Posting to Facebook Groups is harder than it used to be, but events often aren’t look at as self-promotion. If the group is relevant, most moderators will welcome posts about cool things to do or opportunities for their group to learn from a speaker.

If you’re having trouble getting your posts allowed, try changing up how you describe the event to be hyper-relevant to the specific group. This can take a bit of work, but it is a free way to promote an event.

26. Create a sense of FOMO.

Along the lines of our advice for event descriptions, you can use your social media as a way to get potential attendees to start imagining what it would be like to come to your event.

Especially if you have recurring events, like concerts, you can create highlight videos, countdowns, tiered ticket prices, and other tactics mentioned elsewhere on this list to build a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) in your ideal attendees.

This is the Chief Marketing Officer of Tippl‘s favorite thing to lean on when promoting events.

One of my favorite methods for event promotion was creating FOMO. I think most people in our generation have always been exposed to a bunch of different stimuli, so it's often hard to just use regular marketing tactics to separate your own event(s) from others. With so many choices, psychologically people have always been worried about missing out on great deals, events, and great things in general. So I would say using FOMO has always been one of my favorite marketing tactics.

27. Create a Facebook Profile Picture frame.

Anyone can create Frames for Facebook Profile Pictures. Once they are available, ask those involved with your events to add it to their pages too. 

This can be particularly effective if you’re doing your event for a cause or strong shared interest.

Click here to learn how to create a Frame on Facebook.

28. Create a social media cover.

Sometimes easier than creating a Frame, you can create a cover image for Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and ask those involved with your event to use it on their pages.

29. Create an event #hashtag.

Come up with a hashtag to represent your event. Encourage people to post about your event leading up to the date with the hashtag and share their experiences with the hashtag too.

Be warned though, you don’t have control over what gets posted to the hashtag and while it usually doesn’t happen it could go terribly wrong.

30. Create a Snapchat Lens.

Did you know people are still using Snapchat? You can create your own filters and lenses on Snapchat. This can be an especially good idea for big conferences or big community events.

31. Add links to your social media bios.

If you or someone involved in your event have a decently engaged social media following, it can be a good idea to link to your event in your bio.

You can use something like Linktree to link to multiple things if you don’t want to remove other links from your profile.

32. Invite attendees to follow your social media.

While you have attendees at your event, it can be a good time to ask them to follow your pages. Tell them what they’ll find there like future events, great memes, photos from the event, etc.

33. Share some insights through Twitter Threads.

If your event centers on some expertise, share some insights in a Twitter Thread. Sometimes these can go viral on Twitter and reach a lot of people.

Focus on adding value and telling a story for your best chances of going viral.

34. Tweet to influencers and speakers.

To gain reach on Twitter, you can tag influencers that are relevant to your space and speakers to reach their audience. Try to add value in your posts to them for the best results.

35. Live Tweet some of the event.

Give followers on Twitter an insight look by Tweeting during the event. It can be an opportunity to add additional insights, highlight great quotes from the presenters, or add some humor behind the scenes.

This is a great task to give to a volunteer or someone helping with the event.

Free Ideas for Your Event Website

If your event has a website (or it is part of a company website) these free ideas can help you create a more engaging site that can convert more visitors to attendees.

36. Make registration easier-- no long forms.

The more questions you ask your attendees in the registration process, the more likely they are to change their mind.

While getting some information about attendees can be a good idea to make sure you’re attracting the type of people you want (or able to provide context to those that do signup), asking too many questions before they event come to the event can annoy potential attendees.

Keep it simple and only the most important information.

37. Use internal linking from your post popular website pages.

If you already have some web pages that get great traffic, why not use those to direct visitors to your event page?

You can create a banner or find a contextual place to link an event in a page.

This is good for the search engine optimization (SEO) of the new event page also.

38. Invite your speakers to write a guest post.

If you have speakers or partners for your event, invite them to write a guest blog post. This gives you more content to link contextually to your event page. It also gives them something to share about.

To make it even easier (if they’re not a writer) you can interview them and turn that into a written post.

39. Share a Spotify playlist on your website.

Did you know you can embed a Spofity Playlist into your website?

If your event focuses around music or dancing, this can be a no-brainer. Even if your event isn’t, it can be a fun way to set a vibe for your event.

Here’s an example from Maha Festival 2022 in Omaha:

40. After the event, update the website.

If you successfully promote your event, you’ll end up with web traffic to your event after it is over.

Plan on updating the event website immediately after the event to capture this interest.

Create a newsletter for next year and start capturing emails.

41. Add a gallery of photos and videos from the event.

To keep the traffic coming to your page (and paint a picture of why someone should signup to hear about the next event), add some photos or video from your last event. 

42. Share the slides afterwards and from previous events.

If you have presenters, share the slides (with their permission) for attendees to view later.

If they are private, you can password protect the slides for attendees only.

However, previous slides can be a great way to promote upcoming presentations.

Free Event Promotion Email Ideas

Email is an excellent channel to reach event attendees. They are more likely to see an email than a post from your social media page.

You just need to make sure you are following best practices to maximize the chances your event promotion emails will be seen.

43. Reach your email newsletter subscribers multiple times.

Don’t just send one email and then forget about it. Average open rates are around 30%, which means for every email you send 70% of your list doesn’t read the email.

Send emails about your event periodically leading up to the date. Keep it fresh by changing the subject line each time.

For maximum effect, combine your emails with other event promotion tactics on this list.

44. Send emails during the weekend or VERY EARLY in the morning when inboxes are less full.

There is a ton of advice out there about when the best time to send an email is. The truth is… it depends.

Experiment yourself to see if there are times of day that get you better open rates and clicks on your links.

We see the best email open rates early in the morning and on Saturdays when email inboxes have less competition.

45. Segment your audience and send specific messaging.

There is nothing more annoying than receiving marketing that looks like it was meant for someone else.

Do you best to segment your email list so that your event marketing emails are more targeted.

An easy example is to separate the list of people who have already purchased a ticket from those who have not yet. Take it a step further and track who has previously purchased a ticket and those who have never purchased a ticket from you.

46. Send emails for targeted group discounts to buyers who may be a whole table or set of tickets.

This is another tip from Vesta CEO, Andrew Prystai. Especially for corporate events, taking some time to target leaders in organizations that might book a whole table or buy a group of tickets is a smart idea.

This could even work for social events where you could get a company to buy group tickets for their employees.

47. Add the event registration link to your email signature.

If you’re like most professionals, you send A LOT of emails. Why not use that as another place to advertise your event for free?

Use your email’s signature feature to add the event registration link so that those you are emailing with will see it every time you email them. You may pique their curiosity enough to get them to click through and register.

48. At the event, drive email signups so they will hear about the next one.

If you have recurring events, why not make it easy for attendees to signup at the event to hear about future events?

You can also have an email marketing opt-in during registration so that you can collect emails that way.

49. Gather feedback after the event, then apply it.

One of the best ways to keep people coming back to recurring events is to take their feedback seriously. In addition to word-of-mouth feedback, you can send a followup email asking for their feedback on events they attended.

50. Ask those who didn't attend for feedback.

Something that is rarely done, but can be helpful is to ask those who registered but didn’t attend for feedback.

Maybe there is some insight in why they didn’t attend that can help you make your future events more enticing and accessible. 

51. Send out personal invites.

Sending out personal invites is a great way to drum up support for an event. It obviously is time-intensive, but it is also a free way to promote an event.

You know who in your network would be interested in your event. Instead of just hoping they read your emails and see your social media posts, why not just send them an email directly?

Even better, send them a direct message or text message!

Other Free Event Promotion Ideas

Besides email marketing, your event website, and social media there are a lot of other ways to promote an event. Here are a few more!

52. Get your event onto Google.

Google events can drive a lot of attention and traffic to your event registration. 

Most events posted for free on Vesta appear in Google events if posted at least 2 weeks before the date of the event.

Screenshot of Google Events Search on Mobile
Screenshot of Google Events Listed in Omaha

53. Reach out to press, get your angle right.

Getting press to an event can be tough, but it is possible. It is one of the many reasons events make for great marketing for small businesses. It becomes less about the business and more about the experience (even though you get to own that experience).

Attracting press to your event requires some legwork, but is a free way to promote your events if you do it right.

Do not reach out to account executives at local press. They will try to sell you ads. Which is a fine way to promote an event if you have the budget, but we’re talking about making your event newsworthy here.

The definition of newsworthy will vary greatly from organization to organization. Your best bet is to look at the kind of coverage a press outlet is currently covering. Reach out to the journalists and public contact information for the outlets and pitch them your event as a story.

This is another place where partnering with a local cause can amplify your efforts.

54. Ask for links from bloggers.

In addition to traditional media, reach out to relevant bloggers to see if they will write about your event. You may be able to find places in their current blog posts that would make sense to link back to your event.

The bigger the blogger, the harder this is but it is worth the quick email.

55. Guest on podcasts.

If there are local podcasts or podcasts that cover topics in your industry, a great way to get exposure is to ask to be a guest on their podcast.

Podcasts are constantly looking for guests that can be interesting for their audience. You can improve your odds even more if you come with a special offer for their audience.

56. Make it a recurring event.

If you’re putting all this work into organizing and event and promoting an event, often times you would benefit from making it a recurring event.

Not only does this mean you can amplify your event marketing efforts over time, you can also build relationships with partner organizations, simplify your processes, and start to build a community around your events.

We have a whole post just about how to get repeat attendees to your events.

57. Offer free admission to volunteers.

Offering free tickets to volunteers not only helps you recruit and incentivize volunteers, it also makes your event more accessible for those who cannot afford a ticket.

58. Offer free admission to photographers and videographers.

It’s best if you can budget to pay for a professional photographer or videographer for your event, but if you can’t it is worth seeing if they will come for free admission.

Especially for concerts and performing arts, this can be enticing because it is the type of event a lot of photographers and videographers would attend in their free time.

Finding a college student, or someone who is doing photography or videographer on the side will improve your chances that this offer will be enticing.

59. Create a ticket scholarship that people can apply for.

If your event is expensive, like a big conference or concert, you could offer a scholarship to a select few applicants. This is another way you can tie into a social cause.

The YP Summit in Omaha does this which allows young professionals who may not otherwise be able to financially afford a ticket attend.

60. Ask for Q&A questions ahead of time.

If it is possible that your event could have a Q&A portion, you could ask for those questions from your attendees ahead of time. This could increase the odds that they will attend to hear their question answered.

61. Make sure the live event has something the recording won't.

On that note, Q&A is a great way to make sure the live event has something that the recording won’t. Maybe there will be a meet and greet or a networking opportunity. Make sure to highlight this in your event description.

62. Get brand sponsors actively engaged.

Encouraging unique brand activations is a great way to increase how much a sponsor will help promote the event. It also makes a much more lasting impression than just putting their logo on the flyer.

63. Standardize your presentations with a brand identity.

A way to make your event stand out is to make sure your branding is clear during the event. A free way to do this is to make sure any presentations at your event have the same branding.

Have speakers send you their slides ahead of time and repackage them with your event’s branding.

This can help promote your event after the event if/when the slides are shared.

Low Cost Event Promotion Ideas

So far we’ve shared 63 free event promotion ideas, but not all the best event marketing is free.

Here are 30 low cost event promotion ideas.

64. Sell discounted tickets at local businesses.

Partner with local brick and mortar businesses to sell discounted tickets. This can be a great cross-promotion strategy to drive some extra foot traffic to their business. It is also a great way to get them to help promote your event.

65. Hire and partner with local vendors.

The use of local community vendors has been a great asset when throwing events. When you include the community in your planning, you are sure to attract your guest & their attendance to more events after.

Find local community vendors like catering, wine tastings, etc and include them in the planning. This opens your event up to their local audience and creates good will within the community.

Nezzie Hardges, Community Director of Elevator, says this is one of her tried and true event planning and promotion ideas.

66. Give out exclusive event perks.

Make attendees feel special if they come to your event. Give out event-specific T-Shirts or other “swag” that they will only be able to get at the event.

You could also offer exclusive discounts at partnering businesses that attendees only receive if they come to the event.

67. Get your employees engaged.

If you have employees, take the opportunity to get them excited about the event. You need to sell it to them just as much as you need to sell it to potential attendees.

If you do a good job of communicating why the event matters, they will help you get the word out too.

Want to learn more about effectively communicating with your employees. Check out some of the blogs and guides by Workshop, an internal communications software based in Omaha like us.

68. Live stream your event.

Live streaming used to be more innovative, but now in some industries it is expected. To do live streaming well, you will need to spend some money.

You can spend A LOT of money making your live stream great, but it is possibly to do it simply and just pay for software.

69. Offer early bird registration discounts.

Drive early registrations by offering a discount. By doing so, you create a sense of urgency and also set the standard that the event costs money.

Be careful not to discount your tickets TOO much or you may decrease the perceived value of your event.

70. Create a loyalty program for loyal attendees.

Take a note from small businesses and track how often attendees come to your event. Give out perks like discounts, swag, and VIP upgrades to those who are loyal attendees.

Low Cost Event Promotion Ideas for Social Media

71. Hide tickets around town.

This will only cost you the price of your tickets… but it also won’t really be motivating if your tickets don’t cost anything.

Hide some tickets around town and announce it on social media to get your own scavenger hunt going.

72. Run a TikTok Duet contest.

Get creative with TikTok Duets and encourage participation by making it a contest.

73. Create a hype video.

Create a sizzle reel to build excitement about your event. You might have to pay a video editor, for some video editing software, and/or some stock footage to make it really good. Check out this awesome example from Omaha’s Original Greek Festival.

74. Interview attendees in a fun way.

You could do interviews any way you want, but making them fun means they have the opportunity to be content on their own.

We started doing this with the Vesta TikTok page and it’s been a great way to show off how fun the events we cover are.

Content Marketing Ideas for Events

A lot of posts like these will list “content marketing” as an event promotion idea. What does that mean?

Content marketing is a whole field of marketing, so let’s explore a few content marketing ideas specifically related to events.

These are listed as low cost, but could be done for free. Usually it is a good idea to hire a writer or editor to help you create or repurpose content.

75. Create blog posts to support your event topics.

Create more reasons for event seekers to end up on your website. Write blog posts about related topics to your event.

If you’re a music festival, do some interviews with the artists and vendors.

If you’re a networking series, write content about how to network in your specific industry and other industry expertise.

76. Target a specific keyword.

Search engine optimization isn’t the only benefit of content marketing, but targeting a keyword for your event can be advantageous. 

Local keywords like “networking event in [city]” are much easier to rank for on Google than broad national keywords.

To boost these efforts, include the keyword in your event title, event description, alt text for your event image where possible, and the headlines on your registration/landing page.

You can then write blog posts and other pages with the keyword and link back to the main landing page. That will signal to Google that the landing page is important.

77. Repurpose old content.

Find ways to reuse content you’ve already created. This could be writing key takeaways blogs about previous speakers, like these ones Beeso Studio does for Startup Grind Omaha

You could also cut down longer videos to use on YouTube Shorts, TikTok, etc.

Affordable Print Event Promotion Ideas

78. Create flyers to put around town.

Sometimes the classic “put flyers around town” just works. 

Find businesses like coffee shops, the Visitor’s Bureau, and other gathering places to put up your flyer.

Some places will have a designated area for flyers, others you will have to ask.

79. Start a guerrilla sticker campaign.

This one inches into a grey area, but maybe there’s something you can do with it.

A classic print campaign is to create a bunch of stickers, hand them out to fans, and have them place them around town.

InfoWars is notorious for doing this. Bands and skate brands have also been known to do this well.

80. Use QR codes to make it easier to get to your event landing page.

QR codes are now easy to access on most phones. They are free to generate at a few places online, but you can also pay a bit to have QR codes that look more on-brand.

Combine a QR code with a written out address to your website so people have the option to use either. Some people are still weary of QR code scams.

81. Put up flyers at other events.

If you are promoting a music festival, your ideal event goers are probably going to be at other music shows and festivals.

Finding complimentary events to put up your flyers can be a great way to reach highly targeted event goers.

You should ask permission to do this, but some people successfully do a guerrilla campaign. Even though the flyers get taken down at most events if you don’t ask permission, people might still see it before they get taken down.

82. Place signage at your business.

Do you have a brick and mortar location? Use the space you already own to showcase flyers for the event.

83. Use sidewalk chalk.

You can either do it yourself or hire an artist to create some sidewalk chalk signs to promote your event.

This is a creative promotion idea that could turn into an “Instagram-able moment” if done well.

84. Hand out business cards.

Create business cards for your event. It makes it easier to hand out while you’re out and about. It can also give you more places to leave them around where a flyer might take up too much space.

Other Low Cost Event Promotion Ideas

85. Promote your event on local event calendars.

Where are people already actively looking for things to do? In addition to getting onto Google, getting your events on local event calendars is another great way to get in front of high-intent searchers.

Here’s an example from Chicago. You can do this manually, but it can be very time consuming. 

That’s why Vesta has a service that can help submit your events to the best local events calendars.

Hear from Patrick Zampetti, Head of Marketing at The Tin Pan Restaurant and Listening Room in Richmond, VA on why it is so valuable to them:

This is a phenomenal asset for the business as we save hundreds of hours a year on tedious labor while still being able to promote our events across a wide variety of news outlets.

Vesta Promoters Get 59% Lower Cost Per Click Than Facebook Ads

Join the 30,000+ events using Vesta

86. Submit your event to your local Chamber of Commerce.

If you’re a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, they often have a calendar or Chamber News that you can submit to.

87. Submit to industry association calendars.

Get onto the calendar of any industry associations you’re a part of. They may be more motivated to share your event if you make them part of the event.

88. Get covered on local event Instagram accounts.

Most cities have a few “things to do in ____” type accounts like Omaha Places that make great collaborations. Most of these you have to pay to be on, but they have very high engagement so it is usually a good use of a small event advertising budget.

89. Speak or perform at other events.

Improve your positioning as a thought leader and get in front of potential attendees for your event by speaking at other events.

90. Offer free food.

People love free food. You can partner with a local food business or buy food from Costco. This will cost a bit of money, but for ticketed events is well worth it.

91. Turn ticketing into crowdfunding.

Raise money for a cause through your tickets. You can even use a crowdfunding platform and offer tickets as a perk.

92. Create a text (SMS) list for your events.

Emails are great, but text messages are even better. Create a text list to send out a text about upcoming events. A surprising amount of people prefer text for notifications from things they are interested in. Just be sure not to spam anyone.

Avoid creating a dreaded text group on this one. Send 1-to-1 text messages or use a service like SimpleTexting.

93. Pay to reach a targeted email list.

Some ticketing companies and promotion companies have large lists of active event-goers that have said it is okay to email them with events that might match their interests.

This is a great way to reach people via email marketing if you don’t already have a big email list or want to expand.

Make sure the service you are using has asked for permission to email their subscribers. Look for the term “opt-in” which means they have said it is okay to email them. 

It can also be good to make sure they clean their list of inactive subscribers at least once a year like our email boost service does.

94. Use fun quizzes to engage attendees.

Quizzes can be a fun way to engage attendees before and during an event. Trivia at an event with some small prizes is usually a big hit.

You can use a tool like Outgrow to create engaging quizzes and other tools that relate to your event.

95. Make your content more accessable.

When encountering a website or app that is not accessible, more than 70% of people with disabilities will move on to a business that is accessible. [1]

There are many reasons to make your website and content more accessible, but it is often overlooked.

Learn more about some simple accessibility improvements that can be made to your website.

Best Ways to Spend a Event Promotion Budget

Not every event promoter is on a shoestring budget. If you have a little bit to spend on promoting your event, here are some great ways to effectively spend an event promotion budget.

96. Have event-specific branding created.

Create a brand that is specific to your event. This can circle back to the event presentation, signage, website, and everything.

You could do this on the cheap, but if you’re going to be using it a lot it would be worth paying a designer.

97. Create an infographic.

If you have some data that can represent your event topic or maybe some other insights, an infographic is an easily sharable graphic.

Well made infographics have a tendency to earn a lot of backlinks and shares compared to other types of content.

Again, you don’t need to pay for this, but if you’re going to do it right you should budget for it.

98. Give away something exclusive from the speaker or performer.

Concerts do this all the time in their VIP packages, but you could turn it into a sweepstakes too.

Speakers do this a lot with free copies of their book with a ticket too.

99. Run a giveaway in exchange for promotion.

Give the classic “share-to-enter” contest a try. For it to be effective, the prize has to be worth something.

100. Give out awards.

Who doesn’t love winning an award? Awards tend do get good press, shares, and backlinks also.

If your event is a professional event, awards can be a great way to establish credibility in your space.

101. Create a community painting and display it (or auction it).

Buy a BIG canvas and paints. Allow attendees to add their own elements to it. At the end you can auction it off for a good cause. (and post about it on social media).

102. Get on local radio stations.

Reach out to local radio stations to pitch coming on to talk about your show. Having a cause attached to your event means you might be able to get some coverage for free.

Radio can also be a great way to spend some budget to reach local, engaged listeners in your community. Radio stations are the original influencers and often still have more sway than most people realize.

103. Mail an invitation.

How often do you get mail that isn’t a bill? Things have come full circle where a printed invitation can stand out and make a good impression.

104. Get creative with signage pointing the way to the event.

If you’re still trying to promote your event once it has started, you can get creative with signage to draw in street traffic.

Make an enticing sign (or series of signs) that lead to your event from the main road.

105. Branded helium balloons... or something unique.

Basically, there are lots of things you can get your brand printed on to make it stand out. 

Ryan Christopher’s Anything On Anything in Kansas City has a ton of creative ideas for print promotion.

106. Invite local content creators and influencers.

If you have an upcoming event in your community, get a bunch of local content creators & influencers creating buzz in advance!

Two people at local bar promotion
Image from thehummingbirds.co
hummingbirds posting picture of drinks promoting event
Image from thehummingbirds.co
Event promotion idea example two people at local music festival
Image from thehummingbirds.co
Image from thehummingbirds.co

With recurring events especially, you can invite local content creators and influencers to come post about your event.

It can be a great way to reach their local network of followers. The more the better as it will reach more people and ideally appear multiple times from multiple people on local social media feeds. This creates a real sense of “everyone is talking about it.”

Emily Steele started a company called hummingbirds to help you find and organize hyper-local creators.

107. Advertise based on interests on social media.

Social media advertising for events used to be very easy. It has gotten a bit harder as prices have gone up and targeting parameters have been limited.

However, you can still triangulate a good audience for your event based on geography and the right mix of interests.

108. Use Cameo for a celebrity shoutout.

Create some buzz by having a celebrity give your event a shoutout with Cameo.

109. Create resources like templates and checklists to promote the event.

It takes a bit more effort (or money) to create a good checklist or resource, but it is a great type of content to promote your event.

Innovative Event Promotion Ideas

If you have some money to put behind event marketing, these are some interesting and innovative ideas that could draw a lot of attention to your event.

110. Display video projections as a temporary mural.

There is a lot that you can do with video projections. In some cities, video projections as big murals have become a common way to promote events and art exhibits.

Novatech Vivid Sydney event video projection wall

111. Try to set a world record.

Sometimes an event needs a big idea to rally interest and support.

Finding a related world record to try to break can be a fun way to draw attention and motivate participation.

Years ago, Pittsburgh gained national attention for setting and then topping again the world record for Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Zombies, AKA a Zombie walk.

The walk in Pittsburgh, while not setting the record for nearly a decade, still draws a massive crowd and has become an annual staple event in the city.

112. Create an Augmented Reality (AR) element to your event.

Creating an AR element to your event gives people a reason to come experience the event in-person.

The great thing about AR is that it can be added to just about any type of event.

Artvive has some great examples of AR art exhibitions and how to create them affordably.

113. Give away something big in a way that adds value to sponsors.

We are doing an event next week in San Francisco where we are giving away a Tesla! For every demo the attendee completes with a sponsor a “golden ticket”.

Traci Lipple, Corporate Events Contractor, shared this one and at first it seems outrageous. In a good way, it for sure grabs attention.

Car giveaways are a long-standing successful promotion, but using it to promote an event is a great idea.

Traci shared that the entries, called “golden tickets”, are earned by doing demos with the sponsors at this industry event in San Francisco. It provides a huge amount of value for the sponsors and is an exciting motivator for attendees.

114. Collaborate with an artist to make an exhibition.

Collaborate with an artist (or artists) to create some interactive exhibitions that can really wow attendees and draw new people to the event.

115. Organize a flash mob.

Grab attention… and maybe some press… by organizing a seemingly spontaneous performance in a public space.

Some musicians have been playing around with this by doing a street performance (busking) to promote an upcoming show. Make sure you get a permit if the city you are performing in requires one.

116. Durable street and sidewalk decals.

Street decals are an interesting way to create signage that stands out.

They also last forever, which gives you some additional promotion after the event is over.

Startup Week Street Decal from Omaha Event
Startup Week Street Decal from Omaha Event New

Bigger Budget Event Promotion Ideas

If you have a real budget to spend to promote your event, here are some ideas to make the most of your event marketing budget.

117. Use remarketing ads.

If someone landed on your web page but didn’t buy a ticket, remarketing ads can remind them about your event. Remarketing is a very effective advertising method, and works great for events too.

118. Hire a performance advertising company.

There is a certain point where Facebook Ads aren’t the most affordable or effective way to scale your advertising.

Performance ads is an umbrella term that encompasses some more advanced digital advertising techniques. It is best left to people specialize in this form of advertising and have access to ad networks that not everyone has access to.


We hope that these event promotion ideas inspired some ideas for you to use for your events.

  • Do you have an any event promotion ideas that should be included on this list? Comment below!
Craig Inzana Author Picture

Author: Craig Heron

Craig Heron is the Director of Marketing at Event Vesta. He is also Chapter Director the event organization Scale Omaha that cultivates a startup community in Omaha, Nebraska.  Previously he was VP of Marketing at Beeso Studio, President of the Board of Directors at Winker Gallery of Fine Art, and spent nearly a decade in event technology in Austin, Texas and Pittsburgh, PA.