There's a lot of planning that goes into hosting a great event for your business or nonprofit. From determining who to invite, cost, venue, activities... your success relies on how well it's promoted.
Before the event: What's the best way to reach the people you want to attend?
Your Website: Make a page (or entire website) with all of the information your attendees need in one place. Who should attend - spend some time to make this part compelling - when, where, cost, how to register/purchase tickets*, important details about the venue (parking, room or building location).
Tickets/registration: make it as easy as possible. Many people may be visiting your site from a mobile device, so don't make the forms too long or complicated. Even if your event is free or by donation, ask for contact information to stay connected to those who have registered.
Don't forget to ask people how they heard about your event so you know what worked the best.
*Incentivize ticket sales: offer a discount for attendees who sign up early (set a deadline or limited amount of tickets and promote it), offer a group rate to encourage people to bring others and consider putting together a VIP package with some perks.
Email: Hopefully you have your own list, but if you need to reach a bigger audience, is there another organization or group (chamber, member organizations...) you can reach out to and ask them to share or advertise?
Make a plan for how often you'll reach out via email: announcing the event, registration/ticket deadlines, previews of activities or giveaways. Reach out to those who registered early and ask them to invite people to attend with them. Don't send out the same "reminder" email to promote your event, treat those email messages like they are going to your friends. Focus on how your event helps them.
Social Media: Are your attendees active on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn? Choose the right social media platform for your event and create (the right sized) graphics and easy to share information. Make a plan for how often and where you'll post on social media, and schedule posts ahead of time. Every time you share a post about the event, include a link to find detailed information (your website, or landing page to purchase tickets or register).
Facebook - create an event, and post reminders, registration deadlines and event information both on your page and in the Facebook event.
Hosting an outdoor event? 7-10 days before, include updates on the weather.
If you're using Instagram or Twitter, consider creating a unique event hashtag and include it on every post you do for your event. Links don't work on Instagram posts, so change the link in your bio to the event website/page and remind people to "click the link in bio" for details or to register.
Media: Put together a well-written press release with all of the event details - include a copy of the invitation/flyer and a direct link to the event website.
Print: Create flyers or postcards, yard signs, banners - and a plan for where and how you'll distribute them. Recruit help to get the word out!
Ads: There's plenty of options out there... radio, social media, magazines, so focus your efforts and budget on those that will reach the right group of people.
During the event: Be a good host! Introduce yourself to people, and help other attendees connect.
You still need to promote the event AFTER it is over.