The first thing you have to do is schedule the event. Marketing and promotion of the event starts with the scheduling. If possible, try not to schedule the event at a time when it will be competing with other similar events. Also, make sure you schedule the event far enough ahead of time to give yourself time to market the event and allow people to work it into their schedules.
The first thing people will see is the title of the event. The title must sound amazing. Try to make it exciting and inviting. If the title gets people interested, the next thing they see is the event description. The event description must also be well written and very interesting. But both the title and the description must also be true so don't over-exaggerate how great your event is. Try to make the event itself as great as the description. If the event itself is not as good as promised, people will be disappointed.
The purpose of having a great title and description is two-fold:
1) You maximize the conversion rate of people who see the event to those who sign up
2) When you try to promote the event, the title can catch the attention of journalists and bloggers who cover events.
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The Internet is a great place to promote events. In addition to your own site, there are many event sites, blogs, and various community sites which have many visitors. And you can advertise your event on all of them. Most such sites are usually free to list your event.
If you really want to get the most out of the sites you find to which you can add your event, there are two ways to do that:
You can have the Facebook like button on the page of your event so that anyone can share the event. But the best people to share your event are the ones who sign up. So after people sign up, they are most excited about your event, so offer them ways to share with their friends on Facebook, Twitter, and via email if you can.
Here is a video tutorial on social media marketing.
And here are video tutorials on Facebook marketing and Twitter marketing.
Due to the differences between the many possible events, the offline marketing can vary quite a bit. As a general guideline, if possible, use your venue to post a note about your upcoming event. You can also use your community to help spread the word. Or you can partner with other event organizers to cross-promote your events. The effectiveness of these options really depend on the type of event that you have. So it is up to you to determine which offline marketing techniques may work for you.
Most events are not an immediate hit. You must constantly refine and improve your marketing efforts and the quality of your events. Just keep your expectations realistic and keep trying.
You want to rank for terms like event type in your city name. So if you have a group hiking weekly event series, then you want to tank in Google for searches like "Hiking in your city name." Here is a video tutorial on SEO.
When people sign up, they usually leave their email addresses or like your Facebook page. Try to collect the contact information of people who sign up for your events. If your events provide a great experience, many people would welcome reminders of future events.