Last Minute Event Promotion Strategies (9 Quick Wins)

Ideally, you should start promoting your event at least 3 to 6 months prior to the event day, but…

Let’s face it.

No matter how many months we put into planning for an event, there will always be something important left for the very last moment.

Often times it is event promotion that we leave for the last moment. Or maybe you have done a really good promotion yet it is the final touch that matters the most. In fact, the last moment activity can turn everything upside down.

Or maybe you have been tasked to organize and promote an event in two weeks…

No matter what the situation is, it is definitely doable with proper strategy.

So, we have put together some Last Moment Event Promotion Strategies and tactics that demand lesser time while having a high impact.

Before you Start

This might be good enough for a tactic, but it can benefit. Consider spending at least some time on this.

In case you think you have given your best, yet the number doesn’t seem to be where it should, then there might be a problem, which you overlooked, is setting you back. So, giving some thought on why the number is low, re-evaluating your process may help you find the week point and fixing that might be a quick win. So,

Re-examine your registration process

Evaluate your marketing and sales activities

Ask yourself –

  • if the type of marketing activity you did is right for your event type
  • you have forgotten something, you have missed any point in your checklist
  • are the market and the situation right or are there any unexpected changes
  • if this is a repeating event, did you do anything different than the last year
  • Whether your projections were realistic

After reviewing these things with your team dive on the following strategies.

10 Last Moment Event Promotion Tactics

#1 Score some Initial Quick Wins

When you have not achieved the number you hoped for, you need some initial boost in sales. It will boost your confidence and will help stay positive.

Instead of promoting the vent to hundreds of people, you should focus on the more loyal ones. Reach out to high prospect guests personally, whom you know have a high chance of appearing if you approach them.

Use cool promotional tactics and take time to send out personalized invitations to them, offer exclusive incentives as the smallest token of thanks you can give them.

#2 Get Others Involved in Spreading the Word for You

Promoting your event is not a one person job. If you can involve more people speakers in your event promotion strategies, you can increase your reach several folds.

When it comes to event attendance, you and your event stakeholders have a shared goal – reaching the widest audience possible. Sponsors, vendors, performers already have a large audience base in the industry. Ask them for help. Ask them to share about the event with their followers, convince them to run their own marketing campaigns.

You can approach speakers, your event crew, your friends, colleagues and family members and even your audiences you have good relationships with.

However, to make the strategy really effective, consider rewarding them some way for the work they do. Which brings up the next point.

#3 Introduce Offer or Referral Incentives:

To get your participants, your colleague and event crew, attendees and followers amped up about helping you, offer them some kind of incentives for their effort. Some example would be –

  • Provide free subscription or a product on selling X number of tickets. For example who can offer your premium product or service for free, or amazon gift card, whatever makes your prospects interested
  • Provide sponsors some free tickets so that they can invite their top prospects, which will help gain more awareness for your event to a new batch of audience
  • Offer a buy 2 get 1 free incentive. Go back to your list, notify people who have already bought tickets about this offer. Quick tip – Find people who bought 2 tickets already, offer them a free ticket. They will be very happy to talk about your generosity, help you spread the word.
  • You can also introduce a referral program where both the person one who referred, the recruit gets rewarded.

#4 Social Media Promotion is just never enough

Be active so that people don’t lose touch with you and your event. Find channels popular among the people in your industry, most of you are already sharing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but have you considered other networks too?

LinkedIn is popular among professionals, Pinterest is popular among female demographics, Snapchat is great for reaching to millennials. YouTube is also a very good way to reach in front of your audience. While you should probably post in all Social Networks, but it is better to put more focus on a few that match your demographics.

For last minute, here are some of the important things to do to effectively promote your event on social networks:

  • Swap your profile picture and cover pic with a event related picture, do the same for your Social Media groups and fan pages if you have any. If you can even consider changing the name for the Group or fan page.
  • Create a #hashtag for your event and make sure to use it is your posts. Also, ask others to use the hashtags when they post something related to your event
  • Post things relevant to your event frequently. Don’t forget to give links to buy tickets to those posts, make it easy for interested prospects find.
  • Don’t post sales pitch all the time. Instead share engaging and interesting content. Like important tips, motivational posts, funny and relatable memes relatable, behind the scenes, bloopers, last year event’s photos, and videos
  • Create an interesting social media contest
  • Talk to people who show interest, participate in their discussion, check if they have any questionnaire
  • Do live Stream, post stories on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, these receive more eyeballs in less amount of time
  • Make your Event Website and Event related blog post easily sharable on social media

#5 Utilize Online Advertising:

Social Media Ads

Depending on where your audience hangs out, choose one or more social media portals and reach out to them with ads. Facebook is exceptionally good for targeting a very specific audience based on their location and interest.

As you are in short of time, so is your prospect. They all will not have enough time to arrange logistics and accommodation. So, instead of wasting money on targeting a broad audience, focusing on people near your event location is recommended.

Social Media Ads costs less compared to other advertisements, but great for building awareness

Google Adwords PPC

If you have some unsold tickets and you are low on time, trying Google ads is very much recommended. It is extremely effective, as it allows you to appear in front of the people you are searching for something relevant to your event. When you have very little time to spend, this way AdWords can be a boon event profs.

Find keywords your target audience might search in Google. And create Google AdWords Ads. Make sure to create ad campaigns for your event name and your brand name as well. People who are already aware (maybe from social media, social media ads) may search about your event in Google, you better appear there. Advertising against your own brand query is very inexpensive for you, why not utilize it.

Retargeting Ads:

Retargeting or remarketing is showing ads to the people who have visited your website or landing page and left it without making the purchase. The idea is to be at the top of the minds of those who showed some interest.

Remarketing is very effective, especially for two reasons –

  1. These people have already shown interest in your event, who for some reason didn’t make the purchase at that moment but may reconsider if you remind them
  2. Remarketing costs very less compared to Google AdWords PPC, so it is very cost effective

You can use Google Remarketing, Facebook Pixel and LinkedIn for remarketing.

You can also consider Facebook Messenger Ads and LinkedIn inMail. InMail is a very effective way to reach out to prospects with a personalized message.

#6 Key guests and Influencers:

Request your key guests (like a speaker with large following) and social influencer (attending your event is not necessary) in the industry to talk about your event. Collaborate with influencers to organize a webinar or Facebook live stream. Give them some incentives to promote your event to Collaborate with key personalities or influencers in your industry.

Similar way you can approach to bloggers in your industry. If possible offer them a well written post, that will interesting to their blog readers and you can plug your event there. The key to success is to write something meaningful and engaging. Good stories like this perform really well.

#7 Email your Subscribers

40% of event creators say email is their most effective marketing channel, outranking social media and paid social ads.

So, though it is very obvious yet important enough to mention. If you were not doing it till now, it is time to power up your emails with more personalized messages.

Here are few things to do in your last minute emails

  • Segment the list according to their location and pull the list of people who can live close enough to the event venue. They are ones who can turn up with little no plan.
  • Generate scarcity showing the number of tickets left
  • Follow up exclusively with the people who have clicked on the link to buy the ticket but have not to end up purchasing it. Maybe provide them an offered price
  • Take necessary actions to make sure your email does not end up in their spam folder

#8 Be Active on Groups and Discussion Forums

Groups, community boards, and forums can be really effective sometimes. But the key is to find active and relevant groups. You can find these in Facebook Groups, Subreddits, LinkedIn and other standalone niche specific forums.

Event goers appreciate discussion forums because they allow them to interact directly with the organizing team, as well as they have the opportunity to discuss with others about their experiences. So if you do it right you build good repo.

Consider starting a few threads with some cool ideas in all niche related forums. Let it just be a friendly notification to make the prospects aware, and encourage people to have meaningful conversations.

#9 The Power of Press Release

Write a Press Release and distribute it to press release outlets. In a short time frame considering paid press release services is highly recommended.

Some Effective Tips for last-minute event promotion

Time is really expensive, it is truer at the last moment. So, you need to practice things, only do the tactics with high impact.

  • Focus on Quality Instead of Quantity: We all are aware of the 80-20 rule, right? That 80% of the business comes from 20% of the customers. So focus only on high prospects guests, and only high impact strategies.
  • Don’t try doing everything all by yourself, divide the work, give the responsibility to other members of your crew. Keep an eye and monitor how the work being done. Things like being active on social media, discussion forums and groups is a heck of work, instruct them about the tune, educate them about your goal, and let them do it. The same is true for managing emails, updating blog content. The things that require your personal attention, only do those things yourself.
  • Instead of trying hundreds of event promotional ideas focus on only the high impact once.

Final words:

We understand these things are as easy as they sound, but putting some extra effort can make a big change. Also it not it is never too late, you always make some improvement event at the last moment.

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