Lesson #8: Event Marketing
Filling the Room
Building your audience is something that takes constant effort combined with plenty of time. There are a lot of ways to raise awareness, but what works best for your area is a code you will have to crack. Some ideas to start you off:
- Host your event at a co-working space since then people can literally just stay (reduces travel friction: they skip traffic and get dinner).
- Create posters to give to all local co-working or local shared office spaces and build relationships with each one so they put these posters up for you each month.
- Get to know everyone who reaches out to your audience (organizations, businesses, etc.), send them event newsletters and see if they’ll help promote your event.
- Find every business event calendar in town and post your event each month (Startup Digest, Biz Journal, other local papers, local tech council or associations, etc).
- Search for your local startups and reach out to them directly – if you have time, go meet them to see how you can be of help and connect them in useful ways.
- Create a post and put it in every relevant (startup or entrepreneur) Facebook, WeChat, or Slack group/channel you are a part of. Give your friends a free ticket if they will post that same post.
- Ask your speaker and sponsors to promote to their circles. Always tag them on social media, too, to get more exposure.
- Make sure each month’s speaker inspires your outreach; whatever the category or expertise your upcoming speaker has can create a fresh way for you to look for local entrepreneurs who might find that speaker especially interesting. Get on their website, find their email and send them a personal invite.
- Write articles for the local papers or entrepreneur-focused publications and mention your events whenever possible - perhaps even with a discount for attendees. Or, build your own following on something like Medium.
- Send potential articles to local press: If you write the article for a journalist (or at least prepare it) then you'll increase the likelihood of success - because you're actually doing them a big favor if the content is good. Journalists like this. :-)
- Reach out to your city’s economic development team and invite them and ask who you should be connecting with.
- And then the obvious ones; send newsletters through our system, have active social media pages for your chapter, etc. If you get a sponsor you can even use some of the funds to do Facebook or Google ads.
- Also make sure to stay active on our Slack channel – sometimes there are great conversations about this topic in there.
Just like when we own a business, getting the “customers” is always about 10x more work than we anticipate. Even when we have a stellar product. :-) But, pick a few things each month and they’ll continue to build.
Of course, we welcome you to start social media accounts and build your audience there, as well. Read more marketing ideas here: http://help.startupgrind.com/collection/75-event-marketing
Want to work with Hashtags, check out this top tip from our Hong Kong co-director Jens Wernborg
PS: Check out this nifty set of social media graphics we have for you to use on your channels, more items are added monthly! You can always find those (plus more awesome art assets) in the help library, here: http://help.startupgrind.com/article/161-links-to-all-startup-grind-graphics-art-assets