Ever wondered how some events get the whole town abuzz with seemingly little effort? The truth is, it takes a long time to become an “overnight success”. Even creators of events that sell out in minutes need to start somewhere — and they’re usually at the top of their marketing game…

Whether you’re gearing up to launch a new event, or seeking inspiration to drive more sales and event hype in 2018, here are 12 fresh event marketing ideas for event directors like you:

Free Download: The Essential Guide to Event Marketing

Event marketing idea #1: Tell Stories with social media

If you’re using social media channels solely to broadcast your event details, you could be overlooking the hottest thing happening right now — storytelling. With live video and ‘Stories’ features now a mainstay on all major channels (like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube), now is the perfect time to engage your audience through storytelling.

From introducing speakers or artist lineups, to teasing big announcements and sharing live footage of your event, Stories or live video provides an intimate way to connect people to your event.

Learn more: How to Use Instagram Stories to Build Buzz Around Your Event

Event marketing idea #2: Increase your Facebook Relevance Score

Facebook advertising has long been an affordable and approachable option for event marketing. The only downside? The popularity of the platform has driven up costs, and achieving cut-through has become harder.

How do you combat this and drive real revenue from the platform? By increasing your Facebook Relevance Score. This can be achieved by creating ads that are highly relevant and using Facebook’s targeting parameters to accurately define your audience. A higher score means cheaper ads, which in turn means more ticket sales at a greater ROI.

Learn more: How to Master Facebook Advertising and Sell More Tickets

Event marketing idea #3: Get your event discovered in more places

Targeted event ads may help you reach more people, but the people most likely to attend your event are already looking for something to do. If you help them discover your event on sites they know and trust, they’ll be more comfortable purchasing a ticket or registration.

So how do you make sure they find your event? Most event-goers have go-to event discovery websites they rely on to make plans. To reduce the time-consuming task of listing your event all over the web, look to your ticketing partner for easy integrations with top event discovery sites.

Pro Tip: If you’re using Eventbrite, you can sell tickets directly through top event discovery sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, and BandsinTown.

Learn more: How to Use Event Distribution to Double Your Ticket Sales

Event marketing idea #4: Use the right words to draw your audience in

Are you focusing too much time on the medium, and not enough time on the message? Perfecting the language that you use to market your event can have a big impact. In addition to driving ticket sales overall, it can also influence the kinds of attendees you bring through the door.

For example, Melbourne-based technology event Future Assembly wanted to diversify the audience attending their event, targeting more females and families. By modifying and testing the copywriting used on their promotions, they succeeded in attracting a 35% female audience, compared to similar events that average just 15%. Not only did they achieve their goal, they gained publicity in the press and on social media for their efforts.

Learn more: The Ultimate Guide to Copywriting for Events

Event marketing idea #5: Step up your email game

If you or your ticketing partner are blasting to your entire mailing list every time you announce an event or book a performer, you might be missing the mark.

Personalisation doesn’t begin and end with “Dear John”. Tools like MailChimp have developed sophisticated ways to personalise an email through segmentation of your audience. Tailored emails are more relevant to their recipients and can drive big results. According to DMA, targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue and marketers have recognised up to a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.

Learn more: Email Isn’t Dead, But Mass Email Marketing is: Deliver Higher ROI with DIY

Event marketing idea #6: Consider ad retargeting

You might not know the term, but you’re definitely familiar with the technology. You look something up online, and days later, you’re seeing ads for it on a completely different site.

People who weren’t ready to buy the first time are often grateful for the reminder to sign up before it sells out. Eventbrite organisers have seen an average of 6X return on investment using ad retargeting.

Learn more: The Surprising ROI of Retargeting for Events

Event marketing idea #7: Hire a ‘social influencer’ — but track their success

Social media influencers (accounts with a large/engaged following) can help to spread the word of your event to a targeted audience if done correctly. To drive ticket sales, you need to carefully select people that are the best fit for your event.

If you’re nervous that social influencers aren’t driving a return, you can track their results to figure out who is pulling their weight. Brisbane craft beer event, Beer Incider, partners with local food and drink bloggers. They use promotional tracking links with Eventbrite reporting to see exactly who is driving the most site visits and converting to ticket sales. By seeing the effect an individual has on ticket sales, they can determine who to partner with again in future.

Learn more: Should You Use Social Influencers to Promote Your Event?

Event marketing idea #8: Uncover “micro-influencers”

Your fans are your biggest advocates, and within this group you may uncover some that are extra influential. Sometimes referred to as “micro-influencers”, they won’t have millions of Instagram followers, but they are the social ringleaders that others look to when it comes to finding what to do and where to go. Motivate them to help you spread the word online and within their circles.

Learn more: The Secret to Sell-Out Events: Selling to the Social Ringleader

Event marketing idea #9: Embrace podcasting

Another creative event promotion idea that people don’t always think of is podcasting. Australia is said to be the fourth largest consumer of podcasts in the world, and it’s the country’s fastest growing medium. Launch your own podcast, with a theme that’s relevant to your event. If you don’t have the time or means to create a podcast on your own, look at becoming a sponsor or guest speaker for an existing podcast that draws a similar target audience.

Learn more: ABC Podcast Research 2017 Results

Event marketing idea #10: Encourage widespread sharing at your event

Entice attendees to share photos and videos from your event with their friends at home — friends who could become attendees next year.

Snapchat geofilters are a playful way to layer a branded illustration over photos. Instagram photo booths can automatically post pics to Instagram for your attendees. A Twitter wall displayed on a mega-screen encourages participants to tweet using your custom event hashtag.

Learn more: 5 Ways to Get More People Sharing Your Event on Social

Event marketing idea #11: Invest in professional photography

You might be tempted to ask a staff member to take iPhone snaps at your event instead of hiring a professional photographer — but while you may save on budget, your event marketing efforts could suffer.

Don’t let lacklustre images dull potential attendees’ enthusiasm. Set a vision for the kind of moments you want to share with potential ticket buyers. Write a brief and hire a reputable photographer to bring this vision to life.

Learn more: Event Photography Pricing & Rates: How to Hire a Photographer

Event marketing idea #12: Network at similar events or host taster events

You know firsthand that events drive results — but are you overlooking them as a channel to promote your own? Find events with the same demographics — but that aren’t direct competitors — and team up with them to promote your upcoming event. Consider using experiential marketing to create a mini “taster” event to tease out what attendees can expect from your own event.

Learn more: How To Grow Your Brand With Events

How to master event marketing

You likely don’t have the marketing bandwidth or budget to institute all of these event marketing ideas at once. Our advice? Pick a few and be sure to measure your results, so you can prioritise those that drive the most sales.

For an in-depth look at how to master the must-haves of event marketing, download our free guide: The Essential Guide to Event Marketing.