For three years running, we’ve been working with our client, Bluegrass Group, to manage and market their local business event, Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW). CSAW 2019, from 4-8 March, was the best yet in terms of numbers of attendees, feedback and potential leads.
We didn’t use any paid advertising to promote the event. All the promotional methods we used were free.
So this week, we thought we’d share some tips on how to market your local business event for free.
How to market your local business event:
- Start early. You need to be ready to start inviting people 6-8 weeks before your event so begin preparing several weeks before that.
- Email your contact list to invite them to attend. We found that personal looking emails were much more effective than branded marketing emails.
- Send follow up emails in the run-up to the event. If possible segment your list so that you don’t keep emailing people who have already booked and adapt the message each time.
- Send invitations in the post.
- Use Eventbrite to manage ticket sales/bookings. Eventbrite is free to use if you’re not charging an entrance fee and your event will appear in searches.
- Print flyers for your event and hand them out at local networking groups and events.
- Print posters and put them up in venues where your target audience might be visiting.
- Post the event on free event sharing platforms (e.g. we used The Exeter Daily for our Exeter event).
- Contact the admin person at local business networking groups and ask them to circulate details to their members.
- Share details of your event on your social media platforms. Create a unique hashtag and use this in all posts about your event.
- Tag relevant people (e.g. speakers if you’re hosting a conference) in your social media posts to encourage shares and retweets.
- Find relevant LinkedIn groups and share details of your event. But, be careful not to spam them!
- If you’re using an external venue for your event ask if they can help promote it in some way.
- Advertise the event on a banner outside your office.
- Send a press release to your local press and invite a business journalist to attend the event.
- Add a blog to your website and include the details in your newsletter.
- If your event involves outside speakers or sponsors encourage them to promote it too. Make their job easier by preparing email invitations, social media banners and logos that they can use.
- If you’re a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, send them a news story for inclusion in their member updates and website.
If you’d like help to market your local business event, please get in touch. You can call us on 01395 269791 or email us.