Selling as many tickets as possible is the goal for most event organisers. But rather than just stick to traditional event marketing techniques, why not use some creative event promotion ideas to really put you ahead of the game?
We’ve put together a list of 10 creative event promotion ideas that you can use for your next event. Some are more suited for certain types of events than others, but you should definitely find something that works for you!
1. Adopt some animal ambassadors
Who doesn’t love being around cute and cuddly kittens and puppies? Adopting lovable pets for your event, particularly if it’s for fundraising or charity, can really draw a crowd.
Not only will you get extra attention for your event, but you can help out an animal rescue organisation such as the RSPCA or local shelters.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
If you have an outdoor or daytime event, you can include an adopting station somewhere in your venue. Guests can interact with pets and maybe even agree to adopt one. Local shelter or animal rescue centre might help set this up. Pets can then be officially delivered or picked up at a later date.
Find a pet that can be the event mascot. This works well when you are struggling with the marketing creative and want a face for the event. It’s not always easy to decide on a human to use. Plus pets usually get a lot more attention!
Call on a local animal or wildlife centre to see if they can bring some animals to your event (like this Canadian company does). This can help raise awareness for species that are unusual or endangered. Visits with animals work great for kids’ events and fundraisers. You can even advertise that you’ll be raising funds for the animal centre or donating a portion of the profits.
Tip: Get in touch with Animal Ambassadors to discuss the specifics.
2. Incorporate a world record attempt
Hitting a world record is pretty fascinating, no matter what kind of field it’s in. If you can incorporate one into your event, then you may just see a rise in ticket sales. After all, people will want to know if you’ve managed to break the record.
What record you’re able to go for will depend on the type of event you are running. If you are putting on a food & beverage event, why not try to set a record for the largest alcoholic drink? The longest line of hot dogs? Or the largest cake sculpture?
A world record attempt can gain you free media coverage and build up hype leading up to the event. The more whacky, the better! Imagine what free marketing from your local news station can do to your ticket sales.
Tip: Check out these events which included a Guinness World Record attempt for more inspiration.
3. Spark people’s curiosity with an inflatable
When people see things out of the ordinary, they certainly want to know what’s going on. To make people curious, try putting an inflatable animal or character somewhere around town (with the appropriate permission, of course).
The event organiser for a raft race in Whanganui, NZ, launched a blow-up duck on the town’s river to promote the race. Everyone in the town ended up talking about the duck, so it certainly served its attention-grabbing purpose.
Tip: Air Techs Inflatables have all sorts of crazy and unique inflatables for hire.
4. Tap into micro-influencers
We all know what a disaster the Fyre Festival was. However, what did work for its event promoters was using social media influencers to get the word out.
You may not have the budget to collaborate with major influencers that have followers in the millions, but there are plenty of micro-influencers who have a niche following. No matter what kind of event you are putting on, you’re sure to find a micro-influencer with a dedicated and relevant following.
It’s not as difficult to find a micro-influencer as you might think. It’s the perfect low-budget way to get your event in front of people that will actually be interested.
5. Turn attendees into ambassadors
Affiliate marketing has taken the world by storm. You can adapt the same principles to your event marketing.
Anyone buying a ticket can get a referral code to pass on to their friends and family. For every ticket sold through the referral code, the referrer gets a small fee. (The purchaser may also receive a discount on their ticket to incentivise using the referral code.) Your guests are your best advocates, so make the most of them.
Tip: You can draw inspiration from Bizzabo’s Ticket Boost feature that rewards people for spreading the word.
6. Upload and share a promo video
If you’ve organised events previously, you’re likely to have some great video footage that you can use to promote the next one.
This works particularly well for music or cultural festivals, so people can see what the experience will be like. Find a video editor to make a short 30-second promo, then upload it to all your social channels. You can also send it to your existing mailing list to entice previous event-goers to come again.
Have a look at previous promo videos for music festivals such as Rhythm and Vines and Glastonbury. Even though they are popular events which don’t often struggle to sell tickets, they still put out videos to create buzz before tickets go on sale.
7. Offer free online tutorials
If your event is centred around learning or an educational topic, why not give people a taste of what they can expect by uploading some free tutorials?
To create a proper online video tutorial, follow these steps:
- Write a detailed script
- Choose your recording software
- Ensure proper audio
- Record the video
- Add text, captions, and other effects
- Edit the video
- Upload the video
This is one of the creative event promotion ideas that can be adapted for different kinds of social media platforms. If your guests think your content is valuable, they may just send it on to their friends and turn them into potential attendees, too.
Tip: Here’s a great list of 22 tools to help you create tutorials and instructional videos that people will want to watch.
8. Pop-up performances
Does your event include acting or a musical performance? Take busking to another level and put on pop-up performances around the city.
This might include just a short 2- or 3-minute excerpt from the actual event or a special promotion piece to entice passers-by to purchase tickets. Pop up performances could be done in town squares, tube stations, or shopping malls. Just make sure to get the right permissions before starting.
At the Fringe Festival in Scotland, performers often do mini-performances along the Royal Mile to create a buzz.
Tip: Here’s a good look at how to host your own pop-up performance.
9. Put a message in the sky
People will look up when they notice something interesting in the sky. Use this to your advantage!
Find a company that can make large banners. These can include the name and date of your event or simply the website link. Now have a plane carry the banner across the sky in the middle of the day. This works especially well during warm summer days, when people are outside at a park or at the beach.
Tip: Air Ads is a company that specialises in exactly that kind of advertising.
10. Create your own Snapchat Geofilter
For long-running events, you can create your own Geofilter for people to use on the photos that they upload to Snapchat. This filter will only be available in a certain location, so you can set it to the parameters of your event venue.
The filter can include a few details about your event or a website link, so that people can find out more when they see it.
Tip: Here’s how to make your own Snapchat Geofilter. Get inspired by these ideas for promoting your event using Snapchat.
Found a creative event promotion idea that will work for your event?
Event marketing doesn’t have to be restricted to the same old techniques. Try and implement some of these creative event promotion ideas and see what a difference it makes.