You work from the crack of dawn to the wee hours of the night to plan your events. You sacrifice sleep and sanity to ensure that every detail goes off without a hitch. But what is the point of it all if no one shows up? That’s where event marketing comes in. It’s not enough to arrange a delicious caterer and stunning setting if you can’t get people to walk through the door. If you can implement the following event marketing tips, you can be sure that your next event will be a smashing success.

1. Capitalize on Social Media

Social media is an event marketer’s dream come true. With just a few clicks of the mouse and no out-of-pocket expenses, you can spread the word about your event in a matter of minutes. Here’s how:

  • Use Facebook Events: The days of paper invitations are quickly becoming obsolete. Sure, you might still want to do them for the formality of it all, but for the sake of easy RSVP-ing and information updating, Facebook is the way to go. Their event feature lets you input all of the details, invite whomever you want, allow other people to invite their friends and even send out updates to everyone with one post. Plus, it makes getting an approximate headcount very simple.
  • Work the Hashtag: Every social media site out there uses hashtags these days, which are essentially searchable tags for your posts (e.g. #BestEventEver #BeThereOrBeSquare). They allow people to easily find information about your event, and they open up your posts to a much wider audience.
  • Aim for the Share: If you can share hilarious or inspiring videos and/or photos as part of your social media event marketing, you will encourage readers to share your posts, which will attract more people to your event.

2. Use Affiliate Links

If your event has tickets for sale online, then offering people a percentage of the sales they bring in is a no-brainer. This strategy motivates others to spread the word about your event so you can focus on the planning of it. Plus, as Event Marketer Pro points out, using an online ticketing service is ideal anyway because it makes the buying process easier for everyone involved. They can purchase and receive their tickets electronically so you have less to worry about.

3. Hand Out Promotional Items

While the online world is truly amazing for event marketing, that doesn’t mean you can ignore facing the public. Luckily for you, everyone loves to get something for free, which makes promotional items an ideal way to advertise your event. Partner up with a business that has the same target audience as your event (e.g. a movie theater for an event for teens/young adults). Set up a booth outside and hand out high-quality water bottles, mugs, T-shirts or pens to spread the word. You can even take it a step further by providing re-usable totes or backpacks with company-logo’d swag inside, especially water bottles (you can never make it too easy for your attendees to stay hydrated). The more unique and useful you can make the promotional items, the better. For more ideas on handouts or to find a reliable source of custom-logo’d swag items, visit ThirstyPromo.com!

4. Notify the Press

From local magazines and newspapers to the online PR sites, there are plenty of opportunities for you to announce your event. All you need to do is write up a press release to notify them of the details. It may sound daunting, but Zach Cutler writing for the Huffington Post says that all you need to do is make sure the title really catches the reader’s attention, keep the information short and to the point, and include contact information or links to where the reader can find out more. If you can do that successfully, the press will be more than willing to publish your release.

When it comes to event marketing, you definitely don’t want to underestimate how much time to put into it. However, if you can implement the above strategies into your next event, you will be sure to see a large return on investment. With a combination of online and offline marketing, the word about your event will rapidly spread and a vast audience will be able to experience the incredible event you created.