When to Start Marketing Your Event (Psst…You’re Probably Starting Too Late…)

I hate to say this, but you should have finished planning your marketing materials for January about a month ago. BUT, according to an ancient Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.”

Local Event Marketing Tips

  • Get the big picture. Start your year off right by creating a simple yearly marketing planner to guide your marketing efforts. Note any major holidays or observances and determine what special sales, events, or promotions you want to organize for your customers.
  • Always be thinking at least 3 months in advance. In October, we should be planning our January promotions. November should be about planning for Valentine’s day. And so on and so forth…
  • Plan a marketing budget. Many successful businesses budget 7-8% of their revenues for marketing. Cliché, but true: it takes money, to make money.
  • Determine why you are holding your event. What are your goals? The reason should not be to get a lot of attendees. It should have a business purpose, such as to build a custom audience, to promote brand awareness, to get sales, to build customer loyalty. Don’t just have events to have events. Having a business goal for the event will help you with the creative process in designing your materials.
  • Start marketing next year’s event this year. Using Facebook Pixels and ad tracking, you can create a custom audience within Facebook of everyone who is interested in your event or went to an event this year. This not only helps you market to those people next year, it also helps you create lookalike audiences based off people who attended your event. (That was a lot of words. Look for future Marketing Bits on custom Facebook audiences.)
  • Get your timing right. For ticketed events, most people wait 4 weeks before the event to commit and purchase tickets. And so, you should advertise heavily 4 weeks before your event. Your ticket sales will likely double in the last 4 weeks compared to all of the registration done prior to that. For free events, people usually wait until the day before or the day of the event to decide to attend. It’s best to market heavily 2 days before and the day of. That’s when you’ll get the most engagement on your ad.

Don’t stress

Marketing your business can be challenging and a bit overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be so stressful that you decide to do nothing. Allow yourself plenty of time and some budget to successfully plan your events.

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