The right event promotion attracts the demographic and attendees you want to your event. Here are some of the best opportunities you have for drawing a crowd.
Even if you are the best event planner in the world, if people don’t know about your event, they won’t come. With the ever-competitive event market it is important to stand out and while this may come at a price, it makes the effort worthwhile. Good promotion can generate more income from sponsors, as well as improve ticket sales, as brands only want to work with events that can improve their reach as well. Include some of these opportunities in your event marketing strategy to aid promotion and you should see results!
Large and in full, public view, billboards can be costly (particularly in prime positions such as this example) but incredibly effective. Do your research on some of the best areas for your demographic and popular places that they may frequent, including other local events, and use this to your advantage when deciding on positioning. Make billboards flashy to stand-out, particularly if they are in direct competition with over advertising, or alternatively find a spot where your board will be on its own!
Self-navigating blimps and airships can be a fun way to promote your latest event as there is very little competition in the sky. Blimps tend to be light and filled with gas to maintain their shape. The one shown in this example is big enough to have a variety of information or simply your event or brand name highlighted.
Some may argue that radio is dead but it shouldn’t be underestimated as it still has a huge reach. For local events, the local station can be an effective way into your target audience and national radio, although very expensive has a much wider reach for large events. Well-known stations are used regularly by motorists so securing a top rush hour spot will have your ad heard by thousands in the car, not just for those listening at home. So, if you have the budget it is worth tapping into.
Using local transport can be a key advertising option because you know exactly the route they will frequently visit so you can select the bus choices that will reach most of your target audience and commonly it is the only advert on the bus so there is minimal competition. As they drive around with your signage it becomes a regular reminder of your event or brand which increases recognition and long-term prospects.
Exciting one-off performances that are staged but seem to be random can cause a buzz for upcoming events. The important thing is to make an impact and make it interesting. You can either opt for something brand or event-related such as the theme, e.g. if you are having a James Bond-themed event you could create a flash mob to one of the movie tunes with participants dressed in suits.
Alternatively, song medleys appeal to a wider audience and make them stay to watch the whole thing, but it is important to link it to your event or brand. The best kinds of flash mobs involve those that are filmed and then posted on social media for extra exposure and if done well are more likely to go viral.
Improve local areas or create temporary walls to showcase local graffiti artists and promote your event. You could turn it into a mini competition to create the best art piece for your promotion that would be showcased at your event. It is important to get permission from your local council or authority first, but in many cases there will be areas that need sprucing up and as long as it is tasteful it can be organized and allowed as a promotion. You could also offer to whitewash after you are done as an incentive for worn down areas that need attention.
Credit: My Serenity Designs, Mex Art
Large public pillars on full display can be a more immersive version of a billboard that can provide useful promotional opportunities and is more likely to be photographed. This 360-degree version can be a fun way to incorporate the shape into the signage to create a guerrilla marketing opportunity as well. Again, as with billboards, the location is key to reaching your intended audience and event more so as these are less seen from the air so are more targeted in their approach.
Credit: Elizabeth Yates
Bold marketing strategies such as this ‘rat race’ example can be erected for fun and promotion to the public and are often very popular with passers by as well as local press. They can be heavily signed and sponsored for maximum exposure and that often means several event staff are on hand to answer questions, offer help, and showcase the importance of your brand, making them very effective.
Large, inflatable balloons or figures can spark attention and draw people in as long as they are well-signed and in a busy area. You could also combine this with mascots that are working on promotion at ground level so the inflatables act as a beacon to draw the crowds to something else. Handing out smaller, branded balloons or inflatables to passing children also tends to be a hit as the adults are pulled over with them and take them home. f you don’t have the higher budget for helium you can use ordinary blow up balloons on sticks.
Large or giant props can cause a buzz and stir, particularly if they are kept within the event theme but not immediately obvious as they prompt others to come up and ask questions to find out what the props are about. They are also an excellent photo opportunity and a favorite to get trending on social media if you combine with a special hashtag or add multiple props in a certain area for people to find as part of a game or treasure hunt.
Marquee letters can be particularly popular but also quite bulky and difficult to set up effectively in public spaces, particularly if they become a hazard. Instead, you can opt to hire Lettermen (or women) who can carry the letters around. This can be more engaging to the public, offers the opportunity for the staff to answer questions, and is mobile so they can be hired for the day and cover several different areas or merely walk around to draw attention.
Credit: Streetfighter Media
Work with your sponsors or your own products and create a pop-up shop for promotion of your latest event and sponsors. For example, for an upcoming running or sporting event you could create a pop-up shop for trainers that includes energy drinks or advice from professional coaches which attracts the right demographic and introduces them to your brand and events that they are likely to be interested in. Pop-up stalls and shops tend to create a stir because they are temporary and this adds an element of exclusivity that attracts others to get there before it goes. Plus, it’s a great way to test out swag bags or get feedback on different event elements using surveys to see what is currently popular or effective.
Popular faces or well-known influencers such as minor celebrities, bloggers, and vloggers as well as industry experts are useful because they have their own following who trust them. Being endorsed by these influencers can be a way to make use of “word-of-mouth” referrals which are known to have the best conversion rates.
Giant QR Codes
QR codes can be adapted to almost anything which could include downloading your event app, receiving information for latest events, getting reduced-priced tickets, or gaining access to VIP areas. Making them available on a larger scale also sparks intrigue and makes those with the technology see what is available to them and prompts others to ask questions.
Alternatively, giant QR codes that cast QR-useable shadows at certain times of the day can be a hit and have more exclusivity as the code can only be captured at certain points when the sun hits it just right, meaning you will encourage others to return. You could also use these times to target extra staff and signage to make them available to answer questions and promote without having to hire them or have them work all day at extra cost.
These can be easier to secure and provide a different targeted route than that of public transport so can be a useful alternative. In particular like in this example, a trailer can be added to a signed vehicle in local events such as parades or parked at fairs. Although they can be costly to hire they are cheaper than bus signage and can target specific areas or park in different areas for longer periods of time if you have an in-depth message to portray.
Doing your research and coming up with an effective marketing strategy prior to picking your promotional tools will help you make a better decision and allow you to utilize them more successfully. That being said, original ideas and guerrilla marketing are ways of standing out and promoting your events in ways that make an impact like in these examples.