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Five Simple Ways to Promote Special Events
Promoting your community event can be easy and even free.
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 by Mary White
MTI Business Solutions

Mary WhiteAre 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, and 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 posting fees.

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 circumstances.

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 MTI 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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