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Event Marketing

Ticket Sales are low! No one is registering for my event. . .

Oh the sounds of clients who repeatedly say this because they don’t have an event marketing plan in place for their event that will ultimately break the bank if no one shows up.  Don’t let this happen to you in 2018.

Event Marketing takes strategy and promotion in order to get people off their butts and to your venue.  Eventbrite is a great platform to help promote your event and get in front of a lot of people.  Their site processing the following and is growing at astonishing rates.

As of 3/24/2017 reports:

4  million tickets on average are processed through Eventbrite weekly

2 million events held on Eventbrite annually

$1.5 billion processed in 2014, which I am sure is much higher for more recent years.

outside these phenomenal stats on what they process each year, they offer a great source for setting up marketing for your event.  In the Eventbrite Event Industry Report 2017, which covers the 2016 marketplace. The marketing trends are surprising because as noted in our last blog post related to email marketing, most people promote their event through email.  Then second free social media.  But with the trend that organic social is steadily fading this number will likely change in the 2018 report as more people are having to pay to play.

The best strategy I have found when marketing events in the US from experience is follow the media trends.  And in those trends are as follows.

  • Email marketing
  • social media marketing (organic)
  • direct mail
  • television
  • mobile app marketing
  • social media marketing (paid)
  • Blogger outreach

Eventbrite also suggests that most organizers of events use 3 to 4 channels to market their event to ensure an impact is made to drive traffic.

Planning Your Event

As an event marketer for many years I can say that the biggest mistake past clients have made is time.  It takes time to plan, promote and profit from an event. It cannot be done in a two-week period of time or even a 30-day period of time.  I can do a 30-day marketing plan for an event that happens on a regular basis and people are waiting for the next chance to participate, but if its a new event that no one has ever heard about it will take at least 6-months of promotions to gain the exposure it needs to drive people through the doors.

The event type with determine the event marketing strategy.

Sponsored Booth (Festival/Expo)

In my experience with Expo Marketing it takes 18-24 months for a successful first year expo.  The first nine to ten months is focused on selling booth space, marketing to sponsors and gathering the partners to make the event worthy of promoting to the public.  Months eleven through eighteen are used to establish the outreach of the target of who will attend the event based on the booth participants.  Then months eighteen through twenty-four are to deliver the message to the public and sell tickets.  Selling tickets is tricky and you should consider using a ticket sales platform like Eventbrite, Eventbee, Ticketmaster which are among the most popular.

Educational Events/Speaking Engagements

As one of the most popular event types according to Eventbrite its important that you market heavily due to competition.  Speakers who are national travels generally have a following and will sell tickets to VIP members prior to selling general admission to the city their next event will be held.

Speakers whether it be motivational, educational or inspirational will pack a room if their message is delivered appropriately. However delivery can be tricky.  On the digital landscape speakers should consider video messages as well as highlight reels from previous cities on their tour to deliver their message.  Whereas an educational speaker could deliver one-sheets that cover their lessons and what you will gain from the experience.

In my experience utilizing social media, pay per click ads as well as display ads to deliver a informational flyer to drive to the ticket landscape has worked as long as you have the right budget and strategy in place.  Consider local newspaper online advertising options to get in front of the local community you will be to gain local sales.  Also consider bloggers to discuss your speaker or lesson you are teaching.

Concert / Sporting Event

During my time as a magazine publisher covering mixed martial arts in Texas I came across several promoters wanting to make sure their event was the top of the list for everyone’s interest.  From tournaments to cage fights Texas fights were the highlight of my days.

A tournament can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months to promote depending on the venue, cost and time of the event.  Most of the events for children were held from March to May and August to November but the adult tournaments were popular in June to August.  To promote for these months is tricky online because parents are so focused on school stuff they can’t keep up with all the emails, social newsletters, blogging and all that jazz so to capture the best audiences for children I saw a boost when the promoters actually connected to teachers and their classrooms.  Give them flyers to pass out at schools, post on campuses and event hit up school newspapers.

Adult tournaments that run May to August gained a lot of exposure when the promoters used social media, email lead boxes around town, posters in local restaurants and pubs while still utilizing pay per click ads.  Parents don’t pay attention to alot of online clutter for their kids whereas adults for themselves look to recommendations from friends, followers and community leaders.


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Checklist to Planning Your Next Event


  • When will your event happen
  • Where will the event be held
  • What will tickets cost for the event
  • How will you reach people to attend your event
    • Print Ads
    • Online Ads
    • Social Media
    • Radio
    • Television
    • Blogger outreach
    • Mobile Ads
  • Who is your target market
  • Why is your event important to your target
    • Education
    • Sporting / Concert
    • Expo, Tradeshow or Festival
  • How much are you budgeting for outreach of your event

Once you have determined the above answers call on VSmith Media to assist with strategy and execution of your next event.  2018 will see many events for people to attend be sure your event is on their list and your ticket prices are reasonable to attend.  Book a FREE marketing consultation 

Event Marketing

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