The Ultimate Guide to Successful Event Marketing in 2021 (+16 of Our Best Tips)

Maggie Korte

Creating an excellent event is one thing, but successful event marketing is what helps your event reach the most people and have a great turnout. It’s arguably the most important part of event planning because even if you have the best event, it won’t have great attendance or reach your event goals (such as fundraising) if you don’t market it to your target audience effectively.

One way to successfully market your event is to use software that makes it easier. For example, EventSprout helps you market events by making it simple to create an event landing page, manage registrations, and reach your audience. Plus, it’s absolutely free to use for event organizers.

In this article we’ll cover 16 ways to market your event in 2021. You can use some or all of these techniques to make sure your event sells out and is a tremendous success.

When Should You Start Marketing an Event?

While planning an event often takes six months or more (especially if you have sponsors), marketing has a shorter timeline. You want to start marketing your event far enough out that people have time to make plans and get it on their calendar, but not so far out that they forget about it entirely.

Successful event marketing typically takes place about six to eight weeks before the event with a wide range of channels to reach your audience.

16 Ways to Market Your Event in 2021

There’s no shortage of ways to go about successful event marketing, no matter what type of event you are hosting. We’ve detailed a wide range of strategies effective organizations are using in the real world to help get you started.

Create an Event Landing Page

When someone is looking for a certain type of event, one of the first things they will do is conduct a search on an online search engine such as Google. That’s why it’s important to have a landing page or website where potential attendees can find your event information.

This is also helpful to use on any marketing materials you create so people know where to go to register and learn more.

You don’t have to be a programmer to create an effective landing page. You can create them with easy-to-use website builders like WordPress or Wix. Even better, you can make them with EventSprout and bring your event registration, ticketing, and marketing into one centralized place.

Example of Event Landing Page Using EventSprout

Use Content Marketing

Content marketing refers to educational content about your event in the format of things like videos, podcasts, ebooks, or blogs. It helps tell the story of your event and piques the interest of potential attendees. Excellent examples of event content marketing could include:

  • A podcast hosted by the sponsor of your event
  • A guest blog post by someone impacted by the cause of your event
  • A video series with previews about your event leading up to the big day
  • A gated downloadable ebook placed on your website that helps you gather email addresses of attendees you can further market to later

Content marketing helps you entertain, inform, and capture your audience’s attention while giving you tons of opportunities to capture their information as a lead in your marketing funnel.

Building a list with content marketing and then promoting your event to that list is an extremely effective way to sell tickets.

Create and Publish a Video Invite

Paper mail invitations are great, but in our increasingly digital world, a video invite can be even more enticing.

Consider crafting video invitations a part of your event marketing strategy. You don’t need to be overly tech-savvy to create and publish them using the right software.

For example, Wisita helps users create and host engaging videos of all kinds. You can even share videos privately to certain people and choose to capture email addresses before they can view the video.

You can also use a tool like VideoAsk for cutting edge, dynamic video engagement with your audience. Where traditional video converts extremely well, personalized video interaction with VideoAsk can produce off-the-charts engagement and conversions.

Collecting email addresses with Wisita Video Source: Wistia

Podcasts have become a popular type of content for good reason. They are an excellent way to get information without having to watch a video or read a lengthy article.

To gain exposure for your event, reach out to leaders in your industry to see if you can be a guest on their podcast to educate listeners and promote your event.

Often, podcast hosts are searching for guests to join them on an episode and will be happy you reached out.

Here’s a sample email you can customize and send to a podcast you’d like to promote your event on:

Hi {Name},

I’m an avid listener of your podcast, {Podcast Name} and enjoyed your last episode, {Episode Name}. I’m reaching out because I’m hosting an event called {Event Name} and I think it would be a good fit to talk about on your podcast if you’re interested. We have the mutual passion of {what your cause is and how it aligns to yours} and we’d love it if you’d help us get the word out. Do you have a few minutes to talk this week? Looking forward to hearing back soon.

Thank you,



{Phone Number}

Landing a guest spot on a podcast lends you credibility and authority while allowing you to get your message directly into the eardrums of your target audience for up to an hour or more. It’s a powerful way to market your event.

Create & Distribute an Infographic

Infographics are visual representations of educational content that can help raise awareness for events. Rather than reading a long article or blog, many people who are interested in your event prefer to digest information through an engaging graphic.

Fortunately, you don’t need graphic design skills to create a great infographic. Use software like Canva to create professional grade infographics that tell the story of your event quickly and easily. Then, use them on your website, marketing materials, and social media channels.

Event Infographic Example Source: Pinterest

Partner With Industry Influencers

Another effective way to market your event is to partner with influencers in your industry. It works because popular influencers have a wide reach and a broad audience to spread the word about your event.

Reach out to influencers who have a vested interest or passion for the mission of your event. For example, if you are planning a charity 5k event to raise awareness for lymphoma, look for people on social media or athletes that post about lymphoma and have a large number of followers.

You can pay influencers as well, but they will often promote your event for free, especially if you represent a nonprofit organization.

Host a Live Webinar or Webinar Series

Webinars help create awareness about your event by inviting people to join the conversation and learn more about your event and what you are aiming to achieve.

You can host one webinar or plan a whole series, depending on your goals, budget, and bandwidth. When planning a webinar as part of your event marketing strategy, be sure to:

  • Send email invitations to your email list beforehand and a reminder on the day of
  • Record your webinar(s) so people who cannot attend can view it later
  • Use a platform such as Zoom or WebEx to make it easy for people to register and attend. Or, if you’re using EventSprout, you can integrate Zoom easily through EventSprout to run your webinar on the same platform you’ll be organizing your other events on
  • Invite people to ask questions during and/or after the webinar
  • Limit the webinar to 45-60 minutes to keep people engaged
  • Consider inviting guest speakers to the webinar to pique interest
  • Send a follow-up email to everyone who attended thanking them for coming and provide additional information about your event

Webinars are a proven way to market an event and they’re highly effective because they combine all the steps – awareness, lead capture, information, sales, offer, follow up – all in one.

Create a Pop-Up Facebook Group

Of course, you’ll want to create a Facebook Event to promote your individual event, but you can also make a pop-up Facebook group to engage participants.

Pop-up groups are time-limited groups that help you create excitement about your event, engage volunteers, and continually share content about your organization and event.

You can invite people using your Facebook pop up group link on your website, sharing it on your social media channels, and including it in promotional emails.

Facebook Pop Up Group Post Example Source:

Host Challenge or Contest on Social Media

Hosting a challenge or contest on social media draws attention to your event. It’s simple to do by posting the rules on your page. For example, if you want to increase the reach of who sees information about your event, share your event link and offer a free ticket drawing to everyone who shares the event on their personal social media page and tags three people in the comments.

Then, select a winner at random. Post the name of the winner and reach out to them with free tickets to your event. A few free tickets is a small price to pay for the hundreds of people that will be exposed to your event by people tagging their friends and family members.

Use Cold Email Outreach

Cold email outreach may be an old-fashioned event marketing strategy, but it’s still around because it works. If you have an existing email list, send an email invitation to everyone on your list. You can also buy lists from companies that specialize in collecting email addresses of your target audience. When sending cold emails, be sure to:

  • Keep your email brief–you want it to be less than two scrolls on a mobile device
  • Include a registration link to your event
  • Include engaging videos or images
  • Have a clear call to action, such as registering for your event or volunteering

Send Paper Invitations via Direct Mail

Just like cold emails have been around for a long time, direct mail is still used because it’s effective. Many people still appreciate getting invitations in the mail and put them on their refrigerator where they will see them and be reminded of your event every day.

Create your invitations with easy-to-use software such as Vistaprint and have them printed professionally. If your audience will see them every day, you want to send a professional postcard that gives a good impression.

To make registration or additional information online easier to access, consider placing a QR code on your invitation. When someone scans the code they’ll be taken to your event landing page or any other link you’d like them to access.

Give Your Speakers, Sponsors, Volunteers, & Vendors Strategic Marketing Assets

Use everyone involved in planning your event to your advantage for successful event marketing. They are already invested in your event, so empower them to spread the word about with the right materials. Some marketing assets you can give them include:

  • Paper fliers to hand out in the community
  • Copy for social media posts that promote your event
  • Event swag such as stickers, t-shirts, and water bottles
  • Event signs, such as the kind you can put in your front yard

Run Paid Ads on Key Social Channels

Social media advertising should be a component of every event marketing plan. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat (among others) have millions of users just waiting to hear your message and learn about your event.

While posting organic (unpaid) content should definitely be a part of your strategy, paid ads and boosted posts are quite valuable, too.

Paid ads will show up on the side of a Facebook homepage and can be directed to a certain demographic.

On Instagram, they will show up in someone’s feed. On Facebook, boosted posts will appear in the feed and show that the post was “boosted”, meaning you have paid for your content to be shown to your target demographic.

You don’t have to break the bank with social media advertising, but be sure to create a budget of a few hundred dollars to increase your reach.

Example of Boosted Event on Facebook Source: Wordstream

Create An Official Hashtag on Key Social Platforms

Just like wedding parties create hashtags for their big day, you can create a hashtag to promote your event across a broad range of social media channels, including, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating and using your event hashtag:

  • Keep your hashtag as short as you can, especial
    ly since it counts towards your 280 character limit on Twitter
  • Make it easy to remember, such as using words that rhyme
  • Make sure another cause or event isn’t already using your hashtag by doing a quick search
  • Use your hashtag consistently across every social media platform to raise awareness effectively

Send a Press Release to Local Media

Send press releases to social media to gain exposure for your event. Gather a list of local media outlets and use a template for efficiency. Include an engaging headline, key details about your event, contact information where people can reach out to you to learn more, and any other relevant information potential attendees need to know.

Learn more about how to create an effective press release and download a free template.

Partner With Local Businesses & Restaurants

Community-based advertising is a great way to successfully market your event. You can leverage the power of local businesses to promote your event which ends up being a win-win for both parties.

For example, you can organize a fundraiser at a restaurant where five percent of the day’s sales go towards the mission of your event. The restaurant or business will typically have more customers because people will shop or dine there to support a good cause, and you’ll receive some of the proceeds and gain awareness towards your event.

Be sure to give your business partners appropriate marketing materials, such as fliers, event invitations, buttons, and stickers to help promote your event. Even better, have an event spokesperson available during the busiest parts of the day to engage people and talk with them about your event and goals.

The Bottom Line: Successful Event Marketing

Planning an event has a lot of moving parts, and strategic event marketing is key to having an event that meets (or exceeds) your goals.

Every successful event marketing plan employs a broad range of strategies that help you cast a wide net of viewers, listeners, and readers to engage your audience effectively.

You can use this list to craft a robust event marketing plan that sets the stage of success when planning your next event. Of course, the first step we recommend you take is to get a free EventSprout account so you can have a central hub for managing and marketing your event.