you responsible for planning and promoting a special event?
Whether you need to publicize a business open house, a
fundraiser for a nonprofit organization, a professional
association meeting, or just about any other type of event that
is open to the public, there are a number of no-cost promotional
options available to you.
Five No-Cost Event Promotion Options
Here are a few free special event promotion resources that are
easy-to-use and can deliver powerful results.
1. Event Promotion Website
There are several no-cost event promotion websites that every
event marketer should consider using. Three of the most popular
options are EventBrite.com, Eventful.com and AmericanTowns.com.
These sites are designed to make it easy for users can browse
events by local area and event type, making it easy for people
who are looking for things to do – and who are in your area or
who have an interest specific to your event – to find your
announcements. Listings are also search engine friendly, making
it easy for web searchers to find your events organically.
2. Local Online Event Directories
No matter where you live, there’s a good chance that there is at
least one local event directory that accepts submissions of
activities going on in and around the community. For example,
the City of Mobile, Alabama publishes a Community Calendar.
Those seeking opportunities to promote events held in the local
area that are open to the public can submit announcements via an
online calendar submission form.
You’ll need to conduct research in your local area to find out
what options are available to you. Try running the name of your
city and the words “even calendar” through your favorite search
engine and see what kind of results you get. Be sure to check
the terms and conditions of any site you locate, as you may come
across some that are limited only to free events or that charge
3. Social Media Marketing
A number of social media websites, including Facebook and
LinkedIn, allow users to set up and share events at no cost. If
you are engaged in social media marketing, be sure to utilize
this powerful tool. Even social media that don’t have specific
event set-up features can be excellent venues for spreading the
word about special events.
If you’ve not starting incorporating social networking into your
marketing strategies, it’s something you may want to go ahead
and consider doing – both for event promotion purposes as well
as to support your overall marketing goals and objectives.
4. Local Print Publications
Many local newspapers and magazines include various types of
event and activity calendars. Closely review publications in
your area to identify the options that are available and that
may provide an appropriate way of sharing information about the
activities that you are responsible for promoting.
Note that daily newspapers often include event calendars only on
certain days of the week, with different versions in
topic-specific sections. Be sure to look through the full
publication every day for a week to create a comprehensive list
of publicity options.
Submission instructions and guidelines are often published with
the printed event calendars or are made available on the
publication’s website. Make note of these and follow them when
making submissions. If such information is not published, call
the publication and ask to speak to the person in charge of
submissions for the sections that interest you to find out the
best way to make submissions.
5. Local Broadcast Media
Radio and television stations often feature local online event
calendars on their websites, and select certain information from
the calendars to announce on the air. It’s in your best interest
to visit the website of each broadcast entity in your market to
find out what kinds of opportunities exist and to use them
appropriately any time you have an event to promote.
Depending on the nature of your event, you may also want to send
a media alert to the news editor or news producer offering an
interview opportunity with an organization representative,
speaker or performer. This technique is appropriate for
fundraisers and events where notable keynote speakers or
performers are exhibiting, as well as in some other
Are You Ready to Start Promoting Your Event?
Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list of effective event
promotion activities – but it’s certainly a great place to
start. The next time you have an event to promote, utilize the
resources described here to help maximize your reach of
potential attendees. Remember: while promoting an event properly
takes some time, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money – or
anything at all.
Mary Gormandy White is co-founder of
Business Solutions, where she oversees the firm’s public
relations consulting, human resource management consulting and
corporate training services. She is also the author of
101 Human Resource Management Tips and 101
Successful PR Campaign Tips.
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