How you promote an event is as equally important as the event itself. At Steel City Marketing, we work daily with clients organising diverse events for a range of different purposes. The success of the day often hinges on the promotion team behind it. You may have the best event in the world, but if no-one is aware of it, you are unlikely to achieve the success you deserve. The days leading up to the date and those after are as equally crucial as the day itself. Whether you are organising a charity fundraiser, product launch or business conference, here are 4 transferable tips we suggest when asked how to promote an event:

1. Choosing a venue to suit your event

When considering your venue, consider your promotion strategy. Who do you want to come to your event and where will they be willing to travel to? If you are planning to promote an event locally, then think about locations which are close by to your intended audience. Is there anything emotive about your event that has particular significance to somewhere in your area? For example, a Help for Heroes campaign could be hosted near landmarks which memorialise other war heros.

National events should consider travel options. If your guests will need to arrive at the venue by car, are there significant parking options? You could even consider sending out a map to help people plan their journey. Use this to increase awareness of your brand by printing it with event details, company taglines and contact details.

2. Design your promotion strategy around your target audience

Promoting an event is like any other form of marketing strategy, and your audience should always be at the front of your mind. Depending on the scale of your event you should try to personalise your approach as much as resources will allow. If you are arranging a conference for example, you could send out personalised name badges for them to wear on the day. Think about what they want to get from the event too and include extra data like their company, company role and even social media handles on the badge.

You want the most relevant people in attendance, so think about the best way to communicate with them. Are they more likely to respond to an email, do they spend their time on social media, or perhaps they might even prefer the traditional snail mail? Do you research by getting in touch with existing contacts to help you understand where new ones may be hiding.

3. Incentivise attendance

So you know where to find the people you want there. How do ensure that they come? There are an array of promotion techniques that you can use to increase attendance. The type of incentive you choose will depend on what they are required to do to attend. Are you using a pre-registration system, selling tickets or offering free entry? Free gifts are a great way to encourage more feet through the door. If it is a registration system, you could offer a prize to the first few people to sign up. Paid events on the other hand are a great way to encourage group bookings, for example, groups of six get one free person. If the event is already free, you could run a prize draw on the day for one lucky winner.

4. Use promotional gifts to promote an event

Promotional gifts are a great affordable way to increase the awareness of your brand or message before, on and after the event. Firstly, they can be used to entice participation. For example, think about what products are most relevant to your event.  These can be branded to offer people a sneak peek of what you have planned for them. A promotional USB Flash Drive is a fantastic modern way to mail out conference schedules and leave a lasting reminder of your brand.

Promotional gifts can also be integrated into other parts of your marketing strategy. If you are active on social media, they can be used to promote your profiles. You could even print relevant hashtags for people to track what hype is being generated about the day.