How to Market Your Event

Every event planners’ two biggest fears are What if no one comes? and What if they hate it? You have nightmares of empty seats or people walking out saying the speaker was a waste of their time. You’ve checked all the boxes off your event planning checklist, everything is in place, and now you have to get butts in seats. 

Dissolve some of the anxiety around these two questions by marketing your event in all the right ways. Here are BigSpeak’s tips for marketing your next event to bring in the best-fit crowd for your speakers.

Use existing events

This is the easiest way to target a specific demographic, with little work on your behalf. Decide if you’re targeting an industry, a type of person, a location, etc.. Once you know who you want to attend your event, it’s easy to find similar events where you can make an announcement or advertise. This is a sure way to get the right people’s attention and decrease the risk of someone leaving your event unhappy because it was #irrelevant to them.

Market your speakers

Whether or not you have a big name speaker, the better you showcase your speaker’s talents the more enticing your event will be. If you have someone famous or well-known in their field, like Mark Cuban or Omar Johnson, people will flock to your event.

However, lesser-known speakers can still be leveraged to get bodies in seats. You picked that speaker for a reason; you know their best qualities. So, advertise those. Explain why your soon-to-be audience needs to hear what this person has to say.

Social media and blogs

Of course, in 2018 we all know your event must have a social media presence to draw in a crowd. A StubHub survey found that 62 percent of attendees learned about the event through Facebook events, and for millennials, the number rose to 72 percent. Since most sign-ups are online, an easy way to start an internet conversation about your event is to prompt the attendee to share the news of their sign up with their Facebook friends.

The social media fun doesn’t stop there. Once they’re at the event, 55 percent of women and 45 percent of men will post about it on social media. To encourage this you should create and promote a hashtag and an easy handle for your attendees to tag, like #BigSpeakVoices.

The power of influencers

One amazing thing about having an influencer speak at your event is the free publicity. Unlike other celebrities or big names influencers are based on social media and can (and do) use their following to promote items they are genuinely excited about it. If they are speaking at your event they are likely to be excited and share the news with their large fan base. Bringing influencers like Amber Rae or Chris Burkard to your event means their 3 million followers is exposed to it without any additional advertising.

Corporate sponsorships

Corporate sponsorship is good for both parties. Not only will they receive advertising at your event, but you can generally work out a deal where the sponsors are advertising for you as well.

You want to be sure you’re aligning your event with the right sponsor in order to target the right demographic. If they are advertising your event to their contacts, you want these people to be a part of your demographic. Often sponsorships between similar companies or complementary companies happen naturally; if not, you can reach out to a company you believe fits your demographic.


Anything with “free,” “giveaway,” or “win” will trigger a large response. Running social media contests where you provide a pair of free tickets to your event—or something to complement the event—with the instructions to share or repost will viralize your event fast. Once again, if you’re hitting the right demographic then the users will generally be sharing your contest with like-minded peers who will jump on the bandwagon. #winning


Everyone loves a good gift bag. Fill them with T-shirts so everyone leaving the event will be a walking advertisement, generating buzz for any future events to come.

Printing T-shirts is dirt cheap. All you need is an eye-catching logo; something bright but not too annoying. You want these people to wear the shirts outside of their houses after all.

Jessica Welch is a Content Marketing Associate at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, inspiring positive change through the top business, keynote, and motivational speakers.