Although you may have seen us decry the classic trade show (we believe there is much to be improved there), we do think there is a lot of value in face-to-face gatherings. Nothing beats cementing an online relationship with a real live conversation, interaction, or new experience. To wit, we're in the throes of planning the largest-ever global gathering of inbound marketers in Boston this fall. The HubSpot User Group Summit (#HUGS2011) and our partner event, the Inbound Marketing Summit , which will feature scads of amazing speakers like Guy Kawasaki, Dan Heath, and even popular author Ben Mezrich, will be the best possible way to first get inspired and then learn how to apply inbound marketing hands on!
As it happens, getting folks to register for an event that's not free versus, say, a free webinar or ebook, takes a lot of effort. Luckily, all the inbound marketing tools we use are great for event promotion. Here are some ideas you can try out next time you're throwing an in-person event!
1. Post your event on your own website
With the ever-changing landscape of social media, simply posting a Facebook event doesn't cut it. Use a tool like The Events Calendar to keep your audience in the know about all of you upcoming events.
2. Share Lazy Tweets With Bitly Links
The event team isn't the only group that should be promoting. In fact, your whole team can help if you make it easy for them. Sharing a pre-created 'lazy tweet' with them so they can help spread details to their networks is ideal, and if you keep it under 100 characters, it's easier to retweet.
3. Create Lazy Tweets Featuring Well-Known Speakers With Bitly Links
4. Use Event Hashtags WhenTweeting
Whenever you share something socially, be sure to create and include your event's hashtag to start generating brand association and buzz early. Folks who can't make the live event may follow it that day, and you could even become a trending topic (making your event more powerful next year).
5. Publish Pre-Event Takeaway Blog Posts With Unique Promo Codes
This particular blog post isn't about event takeaways, but we did launch a sweet SlideShare contest with Ten Marketing Takeaways From 10 IMS Speakers that folks loved and shared, knowing they'd walk away with more in-depth knowledge from the live event. Then we gave participants a unique code to register so we could track our success.
6. Launch Facebook 'Like' Promotions
Got a Facebook Page ? Offer your fans a unique discount code if they 'Like' you and help spread the word about your event.
7. Send LinkedIn Group Invitations
Share event highlights and pre-event content via relevant LinkedIn Groups. Again, use a custom link or promo code to track registrants.
8. Offer In-Product, -Service, or -App Promotions
Even if you aren't a software company, there may be different tools or sites that your audience interacts with on a regular basis. Think of creative ways to include contextual promotions; maybe it's a CTA on a software screen, or it could even be a tear card on your monthly invoice. There are a lot of opportunities that you might not be leveraging. Get creative!
There are many other traditional and newfangled ways to get the word out about face-to-face events. What other ideas can you share?
If you want to learn more about how inbound marketing ideas can help you in all aspects of your business, consider joining us on September 14-16th at IMS & HUGS in Boston . Use promo code HSBLOG10 to get 10% off one or both events! We'd love to meet you in person!