Event Marketing Ideas: 12 Creative Ways to Promote an Event

 

Creative Ways to Promote an Event

 

Bloc pays people to attend venues and connects people before events. Join Bloc for free on iOS and Android by clicking here ⭐.

Here at Bloc, we love coming up with creative ways to promote an event. We even pay people to attend them!

Back in May 2014, when our brainchild was coming to life, we hosted our Bloc soft launch party. It was held at Halo Nightclub in Bournemouth – a converted church located just off the beach – and I remember it vividly because we spent the minutes, hours, days and weeks leading up to the event in a frenzy that nobody would show up.

Fortunately, I went to university in Bournemouth and was able to round up a small group of friends. There would be at least 10-20 people in the room. We then splashed out on public appearances from Oliver Proudlock and Louise Thompson which was a huge selling point because Made In Chelsea was dominating every student’s TV screen on Monday nights.

The event was a roaring success. The queue was a monster, we packed out the venue and generated more than 1,000 localised downloads in one night. We were loving it and immediately got the buzz.

 

MIC Proudlock & Louise

 

After a handful of smaller parties at PING, Whiskey Mist and Bodo’s Schloss in London, we returned to the south coast the following year to go bigger and better than ever.

This time, we flew in international DJ Oliver Dollar from Germany – he had a hit single called “Pushing On” at the time if you remember it – and leveraged a few contacts from the industry to get Gaz from Geordie Shore to host the night. The downloads were skyrocketing.

Of course, seeing your event come together and witnessing a room full of people enjoying themselves is what makes all of the stress and hard work worthwhile.

So, if you’re throwing your own event in the not too distant future or you’re at least toying with the idea of one, here’s 12 creative ways to promote an event that you can take away and implement within your own marketing plan.

Click on one of the topic headings below to jump ahead or follow us through the list one-by-one.

12 creative ways to promote an event:

1. Optimise your website
2. Nominate your website
3. Run contests
4. Partner up
5. Stagger your ticket types
6. Show off the experience and relive it
7. Public appearances and influencer marketing
8. Utilise the power of video
9. Use QR codes
10. Give out free swag
11. Create AR events
12. Get your guests to download Bloc

1. Optimise your website

I know what you’re thinking…BORING! But before we go through the more interesting ideas, it’s critical that your event registration page is optimised.

Set it up, install analytics, do some A/B testing and find out what converts to sales.

 

Ways to promote an event


Pro tip: Test it with your friends. Make sure the experience is seamless before you roll it out to the masses.

 

2. Nominate your event ambassadors

In this list of 12 creative ways to promote an event, this is one of the easier ones to tick off, but it’s amazing how many party-planners ignore it.

Once tickets to your event become available, you’ll want to choose ambassadors to help you promote it. Nominating a brand ambassador is simple, you’re looking for a ‘sneezer.’

In this instance, what we mean by a sneezer is someone that will spread the word of your event to as many people as possible.

 

Event Promoter

 

These sneezers love a party, they’re sociable and outgoing and ultimately they want to be a part of success.

Pro tip: Pay your event ambassadors a small fee per ticket they sell and they’ll feel more motivated to shout about it.

 

3. Run contests

At the end of the day, who doesn’t love a prize?

Once you’ve kickstarted the promotion for your event, you’re going to want to sell as many tickets as you can, as early as you can. Run a contest to do this.

 

Winning Champagne


Pro tip: Pick a winner from the first 100 ticket buyers to win a free bottle of champagne upon arrival. The venue will probably give it to you for free anyway!

 

4. Partner up

Combining forces (and audiences) with a fellow event organiser can help minimise the risk and cost ahead of your event.

This is something we’ve done before at Bloc.

When we were targeting Nottingham University students, we teamed up with Diageo – a multinational alcoholic beverage company.  They provided us with free bottles of Smirnoff vodka (and other goodies) to give to the student brand ambassadors that sold the most tickets for the party. Needless to say, the winners had a memorable pre-drinks!

 

Creative Ways to Promote and Event with partnerships

Pro tip: Think about what you can offer your potential partner in return before getting in touch. Plugs + brand exposure on all of your marketing collateral will be a good start.

 

5. Stagger your ticket types

As event marketers, we aren’t psychologists. But did you know you can apply the very basics of human psychology to sell more tickets at a higher price?

The decoy effect, for example:

  1. Standard ticket: £5
  2. VIP ticket: £10
  3. VIP ticket with 2 free drink coupons: £12

Obviously, you’re only going to sell tickets 1 and 3. So why even bother offering ticket 2? It’s simple really, you’re making ticket 3 the value offering which they may not realise if ticket 2 wasn’t there.

 

Super Early Bird Ticket Example


Pro tip:  Studies show you’ll make 30% more revenue if you adopt this method, so give it a go. Double check your pricing before you go live!

 

6. Show off the experience and relive it

In a previous blog post we ran through social media marketing strategies for nightclubs.

Many of the fundamentals for success can be applied to your event too. You want to do two things:

  1. Allow the people that attend your event to relive it the following morning
  2. Show the individuals who didn’t come what they missed out on

Nail both, and they’ll definitely be there for the next one.

 

Creative Ways to Promote an Event using Snapchat

Pro tip: Make sure you have a professional photographer at your event and publish Instagram/Snapchat stories throughout the night.

 

7. Public appearances + influencer marketing

To get this right, you absolutely must know your audience.

Sure, you might not watch Love Island. But if you’re throwing an event for 18-24 year olds, getting one of the contestants down to host your event as soon as they’ve left the villa might help you sell more tickets.

Public appearances can be pricey so just make sure you’ve completed a cash flow forecast before you book them to attend. You’ll need your ticket sales to cover their appearance fee if you’re looking to make a profit.

 

Celebrity Appearance for Events

Pro tip: Don’t just get them to attend the event. Make sure they’re promoting it on their social media in the build up too.

 

8. Utilise the power of video

If there’s one way to push your event into the limelight, it’s to create a performance that has the potential to go viral.

Not easily done, but if achieved, your event will sell out overnight.

What you’re looking to do here is put a little twist on already popular challenges or do something slightly more traditional like organising a flash mob.

Video is all about being creative, so don’t be shy. And it’s now become the only way people want to consume content. There’s no wonder Instagram and Snapchat continue to rise up the ranks.

 

Video for Parties

Pro tip: Use TikTok to find out what’s trending.

 

9. Use QR codes

We’ve never actually used these for a Bloc event, but I’ve heard they’re a surefire winner.

QR (quick response) codes are scanned by your iPhone or Android and give you up to date information about events as well as links to purchase tickets.

I’ve always had this far-fetched idea of having multiple QR codes scattered around an area and it becomes a treasure hunt, whereby various QR codes point you in different directions and there are prizes located at some places too.

If you roll with this idea, tag me @calumward on Instagram and I’d love to see how it goes.

 

QR Codes

Pro tip: Whet the appetite. Make sure you don’t give any knowledge away until they’ve scanned the code.

 

10. Give out free swag

If you want to get your brand name, logo or event out there, handing out free merch to passers by is a good way to go.

In the past we’ve given out business cards, t-shirts, tote bags, caps, sunglasses, umbrellas (yes, it is England after all), stickers and even Bloc-branded poker chips.

 

Bloc Swag

 

A freebie is a nice touch and gifts will encourage people to sign up to your events time and time again.

Pro tip: It’s all about supply and demand. Rainy day: free umbrellas. Sunny day: free sunglasses. Be quirky and think of something people will both want and need from you.

 

11. Create AR-events (£££)

If you have a large budget at your disposal, you could even go as far as creating an AR-event before hand.

In all honesty, I’ve never seen this done. But if I ever do, I’ll definitely be attending the event – you just know it’s going to be epic.

AR (augmented reality) is fairly mainstream now, everyone knows what it is. That’s largely thanks to apps such as Pokemon Go and various SnapChat filters.

And with the availability of Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARKit, you really can create a work of art for your event.

 

AR Creative Way to promote an event

Pro tip: Create immersive games to win tickets to your event for maximum results.

 

12. Get your guests to download Bloc

Did you know that Bloc PAYS people to attend venues? We think it’s become one of the most creative ways to promote an event.

If you’re looking for another way to sell tickets, tell your guests to download Bloc for their iPhone or Android and they can start earning cash from the minute they step through the door to your event.

Here’s how it works:

  1. We suggest the most popular events to our users based on their location + preferences.
  2. These users check-in to the venue your event will be hosted at to say they are going.
  3. When the user attends the venue, they will be rewarded with our in-app currency (stars). These stars can be exchanged for real money.

Simple.

And the added benefit of Bloc is that your guests can then see all the people who have also checked in before they go.

They can connect with each other and chat inside the app.

This creates even more hype and increases the likelihood they’ll spread the word. It’s social proofing at it’s finest.

 

Bloc where are you going

 

We’re quite literally paying your guests to attend your event and meet new people!

You’re welcome 🙂

Good luck with your event and if you have any further questions, or know of more creative ways to promote an event, please do get in touch with us at [email protected], we’d love to hear from you.

About Calum Ward

Blogger | Journalist | Lifestyle Writer