Why would you promote a private event? After all, it’s not open for the public. But private events come in many shapes and sizes, and some do warrant a bit of promotion.
Here are some examples of private events:
- Christmas parties
- Family reunions
- Networking dinners
- Corporate parties
- Exclusive industry events
In other words, the kind of private event you organise will determine whether or not you should promote it.
It could be as simple as sending out an email to your nearest and dearest. Or it could be as complex as a full-blown marketing campaign to a select audience.
This article will let you in on some tips you can use when you promote a private event.
Read on to learn about…
- How to time your promotion
- Who to target
- Which online platforms to use
- How to emphasise the exclusivity
- Why you should create a waiting list
- How VIP guests can help increase attendance
- How a ticketing platform can make life simpler
We’ve got 12 ways to promote a private event to cover, so let’s get right into it.
1. Promote at the right time
Private events like a company Christmas party can be planned as early as May or June. If you want to promote your venue for that, then you need to promote it at the right time.
The right time to promote your event or space will depend on your target audience. Some will plan their private events far in advance, while others will be more spontaneous.
2. Focus on your target audience
The number one rule for promoting events of any kind is to know your audience. This rule holds even more true for private events.
Whether your private event is for a specific industry or your extended family, your marketing efforts should focus on who they are and what channels they use.
Tip: Read about how to find your ideal target audience.
3. Use your online channels
Regardless of who your audience is, the likelihood is that they’ll be online. Use all your online channels from email lists to social media platforms.
Here are some of the ways you can promote private events online:
- Email list
- Facebook Events (set to private)
- Facebook Messenger (group chat)
- Whatsapp Broadcasts
- Twitter DMs
- Instagram DMs
- LinkedIn Messenger
- SnapChat Lists
There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to promoting a private event online. You just have to use the features already in place.
4. Contact past private event attendees
Unless you’re a first-timer, you will have a list of people that have attended private events in the past. Tap into your existing audiences to promote your event.
Past event attendees will be your best advocates because they’ve already experienced what you have to offer. Have them promote your event to their friends and colleagues.
5. Create attention-grabbing content
Content is still king when it comes to promoting a private event. Although your content will perhaps not public, it still needs to grab people’s attention.
Therefore, you should apply the same principles as if it were a public event. Focus on telling a story with your content, and give your guests a taste of what to expect.
6. Allow people to inquire about the event
One of the best ways to build hype around a private or secret event is to have guests come to you. Rather than publish the details, allow people to inquire about it.
You could, for example, set up an enquiry form on your website. That way, you not only add a bit of mystery but also keep the event details exclusive to relevant guests.
7. Create a waiting list
You should always promote your private event as far in advance as you can. There is no such thing as “too soon” when it comes to creating excitement.
Even if you don’t have everything ready, you always have the option to create a waiting list for people to sign up to. It can also make people more eager to attend.
8. Emphasise what makes the event special
Write up a list of your event’s USPs (unique selling points). What do you offer that is either rare or impossible to get anywhere else? In other words, what makes you unique?
It could be a secret venue, a particular dish, or a sought-after entertainer. It could also be geared towards people with a specific common interest.
9. Make the event invitation-only
Part of what makes guest list–only or members-only clubs so attractive is that you need to be part of the “in crowd.”
By making your private event invite-only, you’re replicating that sense of exclusivity. People will be more interested if they’re part of a small, privileged group.
Tip: Send out personal (maybe even hand-written) invites to make your guests feel special.
10. Consider setting up a competition
Everybody loves competitions, particularly when they win them. If you’re organising a private event for a limited number of attendees, why not have a ticket up for grabs?
Competitions are a great way to make people spread the word about your event. You can always have entry requirements to make sure only certain people have a chance to win.
11. Invite influencers to attend
One of the ways you can build up exclusivity around your private event is to invite influencers. It’s like asking the popular kid in school to your house party.
Influencers can be many things, including local sports celebrities and Instagram personalities. The kind of influencer that will attract your audience depends on, well, your audience.
Be aware that many influencers often get invited to exclusive events, which can make them quite selective about who they associate their brand with.
But if you do manage to get the right person on board, they can be an invaluable asset to your private event promotion.
Tip: Read about how to invite influencers to your private event.
12. Use a ticketing platform
If you’re putting on a sizeable private event, it’s practical to have a ticketing system in place.
A good ticketing platform can help you…
- Keep track of tickets sold
- Manage potential leads
- Give you real-time data insights
- Streamline reporting
- Communicate with your event team
You’re ready to start
As you can see, there are many ways you can promote a private event. You might not have to invite influencers to your family reunion, but it can work at a corporate meetup.
Feel free to mix and match these ideas as you see fit. And do use the comments below to share any tips you’ve come across!