How to Promote Your Event

Elke Porter at the VPL

In this article, I am going to be sharing a few ways that you can successfully promote your event, especially events in the German, Swiss and European Communities, while spending the minimum amount you need. I will be starting by describing the marketing triangle.

The Marketing Triangle

Marketers have to work within a triangle, where they can usually only provide two out of the following three elements: low price vs. high touch (great customers service), vs, speed. Unfortunately, most clients want all three. But realistically, if you want to be able to successfully market an event to the public with a very small budget, you will have to start at least 6-months to a year in advance. It is different if you are working within a group or a team, where events are carried out on a monthly basis.

People are busy and they have an overwhelming number of events to attend: family events, school events, social events, business events etc. The more time you give them, the better it is. They also like to feel important and don’t have a lot of time to spend figuring things out, or hunting for ways to join your event, so the easier you make it, the better it is. Finally, people are more likely to see your event, if you have placed it in a lot of different places, and this usually costs money. Budgeting is important.

Some creative ways to market your event are: give away free tickets to a VIP or famous person, find corporate sponsors, partner with a local business, add your event to local online calendars, use local media or write long blog posts that help solve problems.

What is Promotion?

Let’s start with by discussing what promotion means: any communication that informs, persuades, and reminds potential buyers of a product or service, in order to influence an opinion or elicit a response.

What is a Promotional Strategy?

A promotional strategy is a plan for the optimal use of the element of promotion or known as marketing mix: advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion.

What are some Goals of Promotion?

Informative Promotion –

  • Increasing the awareness of a new brand
  • Explaining how the product works
  • Suggesting new uses for a product
  • Building a company image

Persuasive Promotion

  • Encouraging brand switching
  • Changing customers perceptions about products/services
  • Influencing customers to buy
  • Persuading customers to call/contact you

Reminder Promotion

  • Reminding customers that the product may be needed
  • Reminding customers where to buy the product
  • Maintaining consumer awarenes

Integrated Marketing Communication

Consumers do not think in terms of four different elements of promotion. To them, everything you do is an “ad”. This is why integrated marketing communication (ICM), careful coordination of all promotional messages – traditional advertising, direct marketing, interactive, public relations, sales promotion, personal selling, event marketing, and other communications – for a product or service need to ensure the consistency of messages at every contact point. Promotional activities are timed and coordinated, and the results are closely monitored.

The traditional “mass market” is now fragmented. Something of interest to readers of European News are the statistics that ethnic media now is being published in 87 different cultures through more than 370 media outlets in 100 different languages. Markets are more selective and niche marketing has replaced broad marketing groups.

Uncoordinated promotional activities lead to a strategy that wastes money & time, so ICM is important. It also depends on other factors, like the nature of the product, the stage of the product life cycle, target marketing, buying decisions, funds available for promotions and whether you will be using a push or pull strategy.

Your budget

Out of all the factors that affect promotions, money is the biggest one. You can spend as much on one single ad, as you would spend on a sales professional. So companies are watching their ROI carefully – return on investment – and use free publicity or social media to share their event. To go back to the marketing triangle, if you want to use free or low-cost methods to promote your event, you will want to give yourself a lot of time, so you can connect to your target audience early.

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What are some Advertising Appeals?

  • Profit
  • Health
  • Love or Romance
  • Fear
  • Admiration
  • Convenience
  • Fun and Pleasure
  • Vanity and Egotism
  • Environmental Consciousness

Each event needs to be evaluated according to the desirability, exclusivity, believability. Using market research or asking the typical consumer, you need to come up with a unique selling proposition, which will often become the campaign’s slogan.

European News has a slogan: European News in Western Canada. As an example.

Payment Options

Consumers increasingly have less cash or cheques and want to be able to pay with a credit card. Using online payment services such as PayPal, stripe or apple pay helps you sell more tickets. Or using a service like Eventbrite or Ticketmaster.


Finally, in conclusions, you either want to have a lot of money to buy ads or hire people to help you promote your event. You want to give yourself a lot of time, if you plan to use free publicity or social media to promote your event. Or you offer your clients or customers excellent customer service or make them an offer they can’t refuse, because it is just too good.

Going viral is also a great idea, if you can carry it out: have a celebrity or VIP help you promote your event, connect yourself with a group or organization that will help co-promote or do something crazy and funny that makes for a great video on Youtube that everyone wants to share. This is also risky, of course, but it can work.

On European News, you can join our business directory, send us a press release, get interviewed for the European News Magazine or just place an ad. Once you join our “family”, so to speak, we can be considered your promotional partner and will do everything we can to help you succeed.

If you have any great event promotion ideas, leave a comment and let us know!


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