If you’re busy organizing and planning the logistics of an event, promotion can seem daunting.
There’s so much to do when it comes to event planning — sometimes the last thing we think about is how to actually get people to show up and enjoy the very thing we’ve been working on!
We think event promotion should be fun, though, so we’ve created this list of simple ways to promote your event using the social media networks you already have. We’ve also included some customizable Canva templates within the article so you don’t have to worry about designing promotional materials from scratch.
01. Create an event on Facebook and promote it on your business page
This may seem obvious but it’s for a good reason. Facebook events are ubiquitous, and people see them, interact with them, and, most importantly, get event information from them every day.
Promoting the event on your business Facebook page gives you a double whammy— followers who land on your business page for other reasons will learn about your event, and followers who are invited to your Facebook event can invite their friends!
Take Gabby Bernstein for example. She’s currently promoting her live masterclass on her professional Page through her cover image. It’s the biggest thing on the page and everyone who lands there will see it. It includes the essential information about the event, and takes advantage of the call-to-action button to get people to register!
Take advantage of this editable Canva template to create a cover image for your event and try it for yourself!
02. Use Facebook ads to promote the event
This method requires a small investment, but it can be worth it to help you reach a larger audience who you may not have connected with yet.
Facebook ads can target specific a demographic so you can be sure to reach your target audience, which will likely give you a higher conversion rate (i.e. more of the right people clicking and signing up)!
Using a professional-looking image is crucial, as there is so much other visual stimulation on Facebook. Since you’ll be using the ads to connect with new potential customers, you want the best first impression.
Try using a customizable template like this one to help your event shine.
03. Post a short video with highlights from similar previous events
People can’t get enough of videos these days, which you can use to your advantage. Show your customers what they can expect from an event hosted by you by creating a video of highlights from last year’s event. Then, post the video on your YouTube channel and on your Facebook page to share it with your friends and followers.
Click-worthy videos always have an attention-grabbing thumbnail that entices people to press play, so make sure yours stands out in a good way. Use a template like the one below to create a beautiful video thumbnail.
04. Design a geofilter to use on Snapchat
Snapchat is a booming social media network and it’s not just for teens. Tons of businesses are using it to communicate with customers, show them behind-the-scenes preparations, and have one-on-one interactions that create personal connections.
There’s a certain exclusivity about geofilters that make them desirable. Users can only use the filter if they’re in a certain place at a certain time… and that could be your event. People snapping geofiltered videos and photos of the event to their friends generates buzz, which can be especially useful if your event happens on a regular basis.
Reebok is one example of a company that used a geofilter for their event, but anyone can easily purchase a geofilter through Snapchat’s website.
When you’re finished designing, make sure to download your filter with a transparent background using your Canva for Work account. Now, go get creative!
05. Tweet visual testimonials about previous events/workshops
In today’s society, people often value the opinions of other customers more than a claim directly from a business. To capitalize on this, you can use stellar testimonials from your previous attendees to show potential customers the value of your event and gain their trust.
Using Twitter and other social media networks helps the positive message reach as many eyes as possible, which is exactly what you want.
Elysium Technologies used this strategy to promote their classes, and it’s super simple to create testimonal images like this.
Create an image that stands out by using a bold font on a bright background and feature your source by name. She will likely be happy to retweet the image to her followers, who trust her opinion, and will therefore likely trust you.
06. Post behind-the-scenes images on Snapchat and Instagram about event preparations
Posting an attention-grabbing behind-the-scenes photo on Instagram will make followers feel like they’re in on the action and will help get them super excited for the event. I personally love this technique because it appeals to my snoopy side, and makes me feel like I’m in on a big secret. Who doesn’t love being in on something?
Gallery Poulsen recently employed this technique on Instagram to promote the opening of their new exhibit. Sneak peeks of the paintings get visitors excited about the event, and will also help them remember that it’s coming up soon so they can add it to their calendars.
This is so easy for anyone to do. Simply snap a photo of your event preparations and share it with your followers!
07. Create shareable, social-media-ready images for your website
For some of us, our main interactions with customers come from a blog or website. However, that doesn’t mean social media can’t be of help.
Use plug-ins on your website to make it easy for excited attendees to share images with information about the event on their social media networks.
There are plenty of plug-ins that prompt visitors to share or pin an image as their mouse hovers over it, and this call-to-action will often lead to a reader sharing the image and spreading the word.
You’ll want to design a beautiful and informational image that your readers will be proud to pin, so use bright colors and sleek graphics (like in the example below) that will inspire them to share the love.
08. If it’s a repeat event, share photos of attendees having fun at last year’s event
People want to see what they’re signing up for, and a great way to do this is to show them images from a previous event! Add your company’s logo and the event name to the image and tweet the photo to encourage new participants to participate.
Autism Speaks did an excellent job of using this strategy to encourage followers to sign up for a walk whose proceeds benefit the organization.
Try it yourself! Create a Tweetable image like the one below by using last year’s photos to show followers what they could be a part of.
09. Create an event hashtag
Hashtags are a great way for people to follow along with a certain event through a simple search on their social media networks. Hashtags can be used on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so your participants can follow you wherever they hang out in the cyberworld.
Share an image with the official hashtag for your event so attendees can follow along with event updates. Make sure to pick a unique and memorable hashtag and encourage followers to tag their own relevant images to create a community before the event even starts.
Engage with people who use your hashtag and take the time to tell them how happy you are they’ll be attending your event. This personal connection is a priceless asset, as many people love to get special attention from companies they follow.
Using a template like the one below, you can create an image with the essential information and encourage followers to use your hashtag to connect.
10. Host a contest or giveaway for a free event registration
If there is one universal truth, it’s that people love free things. Especially free things that are extremely valuable, like a registration for a highly sought-after event.
Host a contest on Instagram or Facebook for the person who has the most likes or shares on a repost of your event image. Or, let the fates decide and host a giveaway for a randomly selected person who shares your image and tags a friend.
Promotions like these can be extremely successful at cultivating interest in an event and have the potential to reach a large audience.
Design an enticing image like the one below to encourage followers to participate. By asking them to comment you get them invested in the event, so they are more likely to register afterwards, even if they don’t win.
11. Create an infographic that will pique your audience’s interest in what the event has to offer
Bite sized information is essential on social media networks, and infographics are a genius way to condense facts into one easily-digestible piece of art.
Once you’ve got their attention with the infographic, they’re likely to want more when they reach the end. That’s where you reel them in and tell them how they can find out more by attending your event.
This technique works because it gives your followers something of value and makes them more likely to trust that your event will be worth their time.
Infographics can be labor intensive, so we’ve created some easy-to-edit templates that are a breeze to tweak, like the one below.
12. Feature relevant quotes from guest speakers that will be attending your event
Guest speakers are a crucial addition to many types of events, from conferences, to classes, to sporting events, and more. If you have guest speakers coming to your event, though, it’s possible that your audience doesn’t know who this person is or what they’re about.
Show your audience exactly what they can expect to learn from your event by featuring an interesting quote from the guest speaker on a shareable image, like The Art Institute did for its virtual open house.
People love quotes and they especially love sharing quotes. Pin beautiful images on Pinterest to attract attendees who like what they see. It’s easy to get creative if you start with a template like this one!
13. Create individual images featuring each guest speaker
Having multiple images to promote your event is never a bad idea. Variety keeps things interesting, and with guest speakers, it’s easy to create images featuring each person to share with your networks.
Be sure to include the key event info on the image or in the post, and don’t forget to feature the achievements of your guest speaker to really shine the spotlight on him, like in the example below. Plus, it’s free publicity if your guest speaker decides to share the image with his audience, too!
14. Offer a discount to early bird registrants
If your event has a price tag, it could be a great reward to loyal followers to offer an early bird registration discount. Your customers will feel valued and they’ll also feel like they got a great deal, and you’ll have guaranteed participants to calm your nerves about no one showing up.
Create a digital voucher like the Institute of Bankers Pakistan did to share the discount information with Facebook and Twitter followers.
You can offer the registration at a lower price before a certain date, or create a promo code for a percentage off that’s valid for a certain time period. Don’t forget to include final date to take advantage of the offer to encourage followers to use the promo ASAP.
15. Create a poll on Facebook to engage with followers
You want your event to be wildly successful, so you need to make sure it’s just what your participants are looking for. Why not make them feel directly involved in the planning process by creating a poll on Facebook?
You can ask about what exactly they’d be interested in seeing at the event or their goals for the event to help you shape the content. Or, as in the example below, you can ask about a topic relevant to the event content to get them interested in what they can gain by attending.
16. Host a live video session on Facebook or Snapchat
Live and interactive videos are quickly gaining popularity, as users love having direct interactions with the trainers, business coaches, bloggers and other “famous” people they follow.
During a live video session on Facebook, users can post comments with questions for you to answer live before your event. You could also host a Snapchat story Q&A session to encourage participants to snap you back and ask you questions or hesitations they may have about the event.
Promote your live session using an image to catch followers’ attention so they know when and where they can find you.
Creating an image like the one below will definitely stand out to your facebook fans, and encouraging them to interact with you on various social media platforms hugely increases their trust in you and your event.
17. Share your event info with your Tumblr followers
Although Tumblr may not be the largest social network, according to Adweek, more than 50% of the Tumblr community is made up of users under the age of 35, which is a demographic widely-known to be highly engaged on social media.
Tumblr user are active and collaborative, which is great for anyone with lots of followers who is promoting an event. By using a beautiful image and some simple text, you can hype your event and encourage followers to reblog it to their audience who could be potential participants.
Never underestimate the power of simplicity. Essential information is all that’s needed on the image if you include a link to your event’s registration page or Facebook page. Try it yourself by using a template like this one.
18. Share a checklist or goal setting printable with your network
If you’re hosting a workshop or retreat, it’s likely that there will be some sort of goal setting or brainstorming session.
By creating a printable worksheet to share with attendees prior to the event, you get them invested in the event before it even happens, and increase the perceived value of the workshop by providing something tangible and reusable to the participants.
You could even entice followers to sign up by offering this printable as a free gift for registering.
Bizuza offers this free printable, which serves as great inspiration for a variety of worksheet styles. Start with a blank A4 page on Canva and let the creative juices flow.
19. Share teaser slides from event presentations
If you’re holding a conference or class of some sort, it’s likely there will be visual presentations involved. Using visuals during a lecture or speech helps people hone in on the key information and gives them something concrete to take note of.
If your conference requires registration fees, it’s a good idea to give potential participants a teaser of the great information that awaits them at your event. Use Facebook or Twitter to share a slide or two with some juicy bits of information to convince them that your event is exactly where they need to be.
Try one of our many customizable templates, each with multiple page layouts to suit all of your presentation needs.
20. Share visual results of last year’s post-event survey
If your event participants filled out a satisfaction survey at your last event, why not make those results public? Assuming the numbers paint your event in a good light, you should show them off!
Create a visual of the survey results that pops (like the one below) and boast a little about the success of your event! It will inspire confidence in potential new participants and will no doubt spur them to attend the next one!
Now it’s your turn!
Creating promotional materials for your event to use on a variety of social media outlets is easy and fun using our templates, and honestly, you’ll get a huge rush seeing your designs shared publicly.
Don’t be shy— happy designing!