Event Marketing Handbook: 12 Strategies to Get More Attendees

Astley Cervania

Astley Cervania

Content Contributor, HeySummit

Published on 3rd April 2023Updated 15th July 2024

All event organizers have an end goal – making a profit and generating leads. 

Getting attendees to your event is one thing. Nurturing them to become paying customers is another. But both outcomes have one thing in common: effective event marketing strategies. 

In this ultimate guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about event marketing to generate traffic, leads, and revenue. We’ve also included actionable steps so you can start implementing the things we discuss right away.

What is event marketing? 

Event marketing involves promoting a brand, product, or service by delivering a memorable experience for attendees. Examples include webinars, trade shows, seminars, sports events, launch parties, and online talks or conferences.  

Why should I do event marketing?

  • Events are memorable. A well-executed event can help you build brand awareness and credibility, which generates leads and increases sales through word of mouth.

  • Connection. Events are a great way to connect with your audience on a personal level. 

  • Higher sales revenue. More people become aware of your offerand are more likely to make a purchase while engaged in your event.

  • Valuable event data. Get insight into your audience through attendee feedback and by analyzing event performance metrics. 

  • Cement credibility. Well-prepared events build your social proof and reputation in the industry. 

  • Build relationships. Events allow you to nurture your relationships with attendees by connecting with them directly and creating opportunities for collaboration with other businesses.

  • New audience. Reach a new audience of potential customers  who may not have heard of you before. Increase your email list and generate new leads with your events! 

Overall, event marketing can be a core driving force for brand awareness and business growth. 

8 Event marketing formats you need to try

If you want to build community, and generate traffic, leads, and potential clients with your events, try one of these top 8 event marketing formats. Each can be hosted as an in-person, hybrid, or virtual event.


1) Talk series

Inviting someone in your field to share their expertise is a great way to engage your community. 

Sharing relatable or insightful talks provides value to your audience and gives them something tangible to take away. You can also tap into your network by leveraging speakers who have a relevant audience for your business. 

When you use HeySummit, you can use the integrated speaker directory to find relevant experts to speak at your event.

2) Virtual summits

Virtual summits are events led by business leaders and industry experts. Often held over a few days ,they usually involve a combination of talks, workshops, seminars, and Q&As. 

You don’t need a large team to host a summit when you use a virtual summit platform like HeySummit, which was designed to make it easy for content creators to put on engaging, interactive events.

3) Conferences 

A conference is an organized gathering of people who share a common interest. The purpose of conferences is for attendees and keynote speakers to share ideas and knowledge on a particular subject.

  • Talk sessions

  • Keynote speeches

  • Panel discussions

  • Workshops

  • Networking opportunities

4) Trade shows

A trade show or fair is a place where a company can showcase its latest products or services. Although the general public is welcome to attend, this type of event is usually tailored for a particular audience within a certain industry.

Businesses host trade shows in large exhibition halls and conference centers. This can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Visitors can explore booths and exhibits, attend presentations and seminars, network and connect with other attendees. 

This type of event can also take place online assuming you’re using a virtual event platform

5) Q&As

These interactive sessions allow attendees to get more clarity and insight about your business. 

Questions can be asked pre-event, e.g. by using the “ask a question” feature on Instagram stories, or, they can be asked and answered live through the chatbox. 

Q&As are great for building brand awareness and a stronger relationship with your audience. It’s also a great content strategy because you can gain new ideas based on the questions your viewers ask.

6) Product Launch

Product launch events are held to introduce new products and create excitement among potential buyers. 

A product launch event often includes:

  • Product demonstrations

  • Speeches

  • Media coverage

  • Presentations

  • Afterparties

  • Testimonials

However, this isn’t the same as a trade show because trade shows are targeted at a wider audience. Plus, trade shows don’t center around a single product launch but rather around the industry as a whole. 

7) Networking 

Networking events are where speakers and attendees connect with one another. The purpose is to strengthen professional relationships and open doors for future business. 

No matter what type of event you choose to run, it’s worth adding opportunities for attendees to connect with one another. In fact, a survey by Statista revealed that 55% of respondents wanted event organizers to provide meetups and networking opportunities during their events.

Active participation and interaction are key to a successful networking session. When executed well, both virtual and in-person networking is one of the best ways to build or foster a community.

8) Webinars/Seminars

Webinars and seminars are about educating or informing attendees on a specific topic. It involves a handful of participants who collaborate, share knowledge, and have open discussions.

The purpose of webinars and seminars is to give valuable information to the audience. Both types of events require audience engagement and interaction. 

But the main differences between a webinar and a seminar are that:

  • Webinars are delivered as online events whereas seminars are delivered as in-person events

  • The goal of hosting webinars for businesses is often to generate and nurture leads whereas the goal of hosting seminars is to purely educate

12 Ideas to market your event

Now you know the benefits and formats of event marketing, it’s time to get promoting so you can reach as many people as possible. 

Here are 12 event marketing examples  you can use to promote your event. 

Note: if you’d like to leverage some of these strategies while you’re going through this guide, you can sign up here to get started for free with HeySummit. 

1) Dedicated landing pages

A well-designed and written dedicated event landing page enables you to boost event registrations and ticket sales.It unlocks a direct line of communication with your target audience, enables them to pre-register and sign up and lets you capture their email. 

Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to create a positive attendee experience and make a great first impression.

Setting up a dedicated event landing page is easy with a platform like HeySummit. It requires no coding skills, as it uses a drag-and-drop model. 


Landing Page Example for Promoting an Event

A common way for solopreneurs and content creators to make money is to set up an online event where attendees can learn from you directly. 

For instance, let’s say you’re like Daniel – you’ve amassed a number of followers by teaching people how to improve their storytelling skills and how to write better. 

Though you’ve built up a community, you’ve yet to make money and generate ticket sales. So, a landing page l built with HeySummit would be essential for securing sign-ups for your event.

2) Email marketing 

Whether it’s pre-event or post-event, email is powerful for keeping your audience engaged throughout the event attendee journey.

Sending personalized emails at the right time nurtures your list of leads and helps you build trust, which can lead to more pre and post-event sales.

When you use a platform like HeySummit to market your event, you can make use of pre-written email templates proven to convert. This takes the hassle out of running an email marketing campaign and provides you metrics so you know how you can improve engagement with your email content.2) Email marketing 

3) Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate marketing is where you work with other people to promote your event. These people are known as affiliates, who could be individual content creators or representatives of a large company.

The biggest advantage of affiliate marketing is that it’s a performance-based strategy. This means that you only reward or pay the affiliate after they deliver results, i.e. bringing in new event attendees or customers because of their own marketing efforts. 

Here are some steps to take to get affiliates for your next event:

  • Identify the right fit: look for businesses and content creators that have a relevant audience. 

  • Reach out: send personalized outreach messages to potential affiliates explaining the opportunity and highlighting the benefit of being an affiliate. 

  • Share promotional materials: make it easy for affiliates to promote your event by giving them pre-written marketing content, i.e. swipe copy.

  • Give incentives: encourage affiliates by offering incentives such as higher commission rates or a bonus for reaching a certain number of ticket sales.

Affiliate marketing example for promoting an event 

Let's say that you’re organizing a virtual conference on digital marketing. So, you reach out to industry leaders in the marketing space to join forces with you as an affiliate to promote your event to their audience and bring in new attendees. 

You can organize an affiliate marketing program with HeySummit as shown below by:

  • Adjusting affiliate commission rates

  • Creating affiliate signup forms

  • Having a dashboard to track the performance of each affiliate


4) Testimonial Marketing

Testimonials are positive words about your business, products, or services from a customer or stakeholder. 

Throughout your event marketing campaign, it’s good practice to embed customer testimonials to cement credibility. This is also effective for building trust with potential event attendees and customers and can lead to higher conversion rates.

Testimonial marketing example for promoting an event 

  • Embed testimonials on your website and social media pages 

  • Include customer reviews in email blasts and other marketing communications 

  • Use testimonials in your ads

  • Include testimonials during your event to reinforce your presentation and ideas

  • Share reviews on social media

5) Viral incentives 

This means giving event partners or your audience an incentive that motivates them to spread the word about your event. It’s pretty similar to doing affiliate marketing or special giveaways as it leverages your network with the  purpose  to increase social shares and build awareness.

For instance, incentivize attendees to share a link to your online event and if they manage to get at least 3 event signups, they get a 25% discount in return.

Use viral incentives to boost both event sponsorships and ticket sales. 

Viral incentives example for promoting an event 

  • Offer a free entry or 50% discount to attendees that bring a certain number of people to the event

  • Get attendees to like, share, and comment on one of your social media posts to enter a free giveaway

6) Sponsorship marketing

This is when an external organization (the sponsor) pays the event planner to partake in their event.

Either way, it’s a win-win situation for both the event organizers and the external business. Here’s how:

  • Sponsors get to raise brand awareness and exposure to potential customers

  • Event organizers can reach a wider audience due to brand recognition of sponsors 

Another benefit for the event hosts is not just the money that they can make from sponsors. But they can encourage sponsorship engagement to improve the event experience and build relationships with them to open up doors for future collaboration. 

Sponsorship marketing example

Let’s say there’s a music festival happening and the organizers want to promote it using sponsorship marketing. The event organizers could approach and offer sponsorship opportunities to companies in the music industry such as:

Here are 32 creative event sponsorship ideas

In exchange, sponsors get to display their logos on event marketing materials and they get a mention in your press release.

After coming to an agreement, add them as official event sponsors – see the sample process of this below.


7) Content repurposing

Content repurposing is the process of taking one piece of content and turning it into another format. An example of this could be extracting highlights from your event and turning them into short videos for TikTok and Instagram. 

Rather than always coming up with new ideas, repurpose existing content to save time and money. That said, one of the best ways to know what type of content your audience wants is to ask them directly. Sarah Spencer who turned her blog into a viable side business touched on this in episode 10 of HeySummit’s podcast:7. Content Repurposing

Content repurposing example 

  • Create social media graphics with catchy headlines using snippets from your keynote speakers’ presentations

  • After setting up your event landing page, convert it into a short-form piece of content for Twitter and LinkedIn

  • Turn video testimonials into an email newsletter 

  • Convert event highlights into short video formats for TikTok and Instagram reels

8) Social media marketing

Your target audience is probably chilling somewhere online on social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit… you name it. But your job is to get in front of them by posting relevant content on platforms they’re hanging out.

Aside from posting content all the time on your business page, another way to use social media is by creating a group. It gives event attendees an opportunity to engage with your brand and connect with other members of your community.

How to promote an event with social media 

  • Make event announcements and post reminders on ticket availability deadlines on social media platforms

  • Encourage attendees to share pictures on their social media and prompt them to use a particular hashtag to drive awareness and foster a sense of community

  • Collaborate with influencers with a significant following in your niche to promote the event and increase engagement

  • Include calls to action on social media posts and engage with users in the comments section to increase audience reach and engagement

9) SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is all about getting your website content to rank higher on search engines like Google.

As opposed to the other strategies listed, this one’s long-term because it can take months before you start to see ROI. 

However, it can be a useful strategy for generating leads and ticket sales for evergreen events where replays are available. Over time, it helps you reach more people and bring traffic back to your website. 

How to promote an event using SEO

Imagine you’re planning a digital marketing conference in London with replays of the event available. To promote it, using SEO you can:

  • Identify relevant keywords. These are the words or phrases that your ideal attendees are searching for on Google. This may include phrases like “digital marketing conferences in London” or “London marketing events”. Use a keyword research tool to see what keywords have a decent search volume. 

  • Optimizing your event’s landing page. After identifying the keywords, optimize your event website content by including the primary keywords in the title tags and headers naturally.

  • Upload content on your site such as blog posts, infographics, and videos. Make it valuable for your audience so that other websites and media outlets will want to link back to you. This brings over referral traffic and improves your chances of ranking higher on search engines..

  • Even after the event has finished, keep posting relevant content that’s helpful to your audience. If replays are available, include calls to action in your SEO content so future readers know that they’re still able to sign up for access to the event replay. 

10) Paid Marketing

Paid marketing is where you pay for advertisements on a particular platform such as:

  • Facebook ads

  • Google ads

  • LinkedIn ads

  • YouTube ads

It’s a great strategy for driving immediate traffic to your event’s landing page. The biggest benefit is that you can target your audience based on factors including demographics, interests, and behavior.

How to use paid ,Marketing to promote your event

You decide to use paid ads to reach potential attendees. More specifically, Facebook ads and Google ads.

Here’s how the process might look: 

  1. Define your target audience. Identify the type of person you’re trying to reach. 

  2. Set up your Facebook and Google Ads accounts.

  3. Link your event landing page to your Facebook and Google Ads accounts.

  4. Create ad campaigns with a specific goal. If it’s to drive event registrations, for example, use “Reach” or “Conversion” as the objectives on Facebook ads.

  5. Design your ads. Create eye-catching visuals to catch your user’s attention with a clear event call to action.

  6. Set your budget and bidding strategy. Determine how much you’re willing to spend on your ad campaigns. 

  7. Monitor and optimize. See how your ad campaigns perform and adjust targeting, ad creative, or bidding strategies based on the results. 

11) Press releases

In the context of event marketing, press releases are statements or news about an upcoming event. These are either written or recorded for media outlets with the goal of increasing awareness and getting the interest of the public.

Here’s a few advantages of writing press releases:

  • Get media coverage for your event. A press release can help get your event into the news or other publications, which is great for getting attendees' attention and building buzz.

  • Build relationships with reporters. Reporters are always looking for stories to cover, so if you can pitch them something interesting, they'll be more likely to write about it and link back to your website or social media profiles. 

  • Build new contacts within the industry. Press releases often include details about how attendees can register for an event or learn more about sponsorship opportunities, so they allow you to connect with potential partners.

Press release for event marketing 

Imagine organizing a conference for tech executives in London.

Like all other events, you want to create buzz and get your target audience’s interest by sharing details about the unique value and benefits of being an attendee. So, you decide to write a press release for more media coverage.

After writing your press release, pitch it to journalists and industry publications such as: 

  • Leading tech companies

  • Popular tech blogs 

  • Developer forums

  • Local news outlets

12) Videos

Video promotion gets a lot more engagement than still images. 

Here’s why video should be one of your top priorities for your event marketing strategy:

  • Build anticipation. Event organizers can use videos to build up the hype with visual storytelling. 

  • Persuade leads who are on the fence. Videos can showcase the event experience better than text and images. This helps persuade potential attendees since they’ll have a clearer idea of what to expect.

  • Social shares. Video content is often shared on social media. So, posting event highlights can be an effective way to drive social shares. 

  • Do livestreaming to get more attendees. For attendees that can’t make it to an in-person event for whatever reason, live streaming gives them the ability to join remotely. This means you can reach a larger audience and improve ticket revenue potential. 

Examples of how to use video to promote an event 

There are multiple ways to use videos to promote your event such as:

  • Trailers/teaser videos: create short videos that give people a sneak peek into the event experience that they can expect.

  • Testimonials: post video testimonials on your event’s landing page to address objections and reassure potential attendees.

  • Recap videos: after the event, post a recap video on your social media accounts showcasing event highlights as well as key takeaways from speakers. 

  • Evergreen content: fuel your content calendar for the coming months or years by reposting videos that capture event highlights.

5 tools to create hype around your online event 

I know, creating an online event already took enough planning…

But to maximize success, try these 7 ideas to optimize your campaigns to drive more traffic and leads. On that note, always test different types of events to narrow down and find out what works best for your business.



FOMO stands for fear of missing out. It’s about creating the feeling that your target audience is missing out on something fun and valuable. A common example of FOMO is seeing your friends posting about their holiday or party on social media, which can make us feel a bit left out and wishing that we were there too. 

When people are feeling FOMO from your event marketing campaigns, they’re more likely to act on that feeling. In other words, this can boost conversion rates and event attendance. 

Here are a few examples of implementing FOMO in your strategy: 

  • Post group photos to create a sense of community and belonging

  • Share clips of the behind-the-scenes 

  • Post pictures and videos of people having fun at your event

  • Have a sidebar that shows landing page visitors how many people have already RSVP’d or purchased tickets

Popup pages are ads that show up on a website and help to build awareness about your event. They display information about your event but it’s mainly used to promote tickets and encourage people to take action by registering online. 

No matter how or why people come across your website, a well-designed popup page will get their attention. And if it has a compelling call to action, it’ll draw their interest enough to make them want to learn more.

A website banner is pretty much the same as a popup page as it’s used to display extra information and raise event awareness. The main difference is where it’s placed – usually at the top of a web page.


Countdowns create a sense of urgency, which gives users a reason to act now rather than later.

A countdown compels users to take action when it’s relevant and timely. However, build up the excitement first and be sure to give people enough time to plan their schedules. 

Here’s a few examples of ways to use a countdown: 

  • Include a timer on the event landing page that shows how long they have left before their limited-time offer expires

  • Mention the amount of time left to sign up for the event in one of your follow-up emails


Event replays enable you to make your events evergreen. This means that you can continue generating ticket sales and leads for a longer period of time even after the actual live event has finished. 

Moreover, replays give people another chance to join and relive the event experience in case they weren’t able to make it in the first place. 

Pre-Registration Pages

Pre-registration pages allow people to reserve their spot for the event ahead of time, which is valuable for event organizers because it gives you the chance to:

  • Estimate how many people will attend your event

  • Get more attendees by offering early bird discounts 

  • Make any necessary adjustments 

In short, a pre-registration page allows you to collect information from visitors before running your event and maximize sales revenue.

Set yourself up for success with a 7-step event plan 

Follow this 7-step process to put together an event marketing plan that brings results. 

1) Establish goals and KPIs 

Your goal is how you’ll determine whether or not your event was successful. Here are a few examples of event goals:

  • Make profit

  • Grow pre-launch waitlist of a new upcoming product 

  • Improve customer loyalty 

  • Build partnerships with other businesses in the industry

Now, the KPIs will depend on the goals you’ve set. Here are a few examples of KPIs to keep an eye on:

  • Ticket sales

  • Event attendance rate

  • Attendee engagement rate

  • Net promoter score (NPS)

  • Number of leads generated

Ideally, all the data would be stored in one place using some form of an event analytics dashboard. 

2) Draft event attendee personas 

An event attendee persona outlines the background information on the ideal type of attendees that you’d like to join your event. This includes details such as:

  • Demographics

  • Interests

  • Motivations

  • Pain points

  • Communication preferences

The best event attendee personas require research on your current customers, e.g. surveys. It’s also worth using data analytics tools to get insight into how website visitors react to your landing pages. 

Without knowing your ideal attendees, you will not be able to create an event that meets their needs and expectations.

3) Create a budget

After identifying your target audience, tailor your strategy based on their pain points and consider which channels they can be found and how you’re going to reach them. For instance, if they’re on Facebook, allocate some of your budget to Facebook ads. 

An event budget is necessary to manage costs effectively and optimize your strategy for the highest ROI. Not only that, but it’s also important for determining how you’re going to approach future events. Find out more on how to create an event budget here.

4) Write your value proposition 

An event value proposition is a concise statement about what people can expect to get from attending your event. It summarizes your event’s purpose and highlights why it’s worth showing up and how they can get more value from it. 

Take into account the following for drafting an event proposition:

  • Define the problem your event is going to solve for attendees

  • Consider the angle that your audience is looking at the problem from

  • Highlight the benefits and unique value that the event brings to the table

  • Keep it clear and concise – be straightforward when conveying your message

Here’s an example value proposition of an online event for writers who want to improve their writing skills:

“Level up your storytelling skills. Learn new techniques. Join one of the most supportive and welcoming communities anywhere online.”

5) Promote your event 

Determine the strategies you’re going to implement and which channels you’re going to use. Consider where you’re going to promote your event and the platforms you’ll use such as:

  • Blogs

  • Email

  • Social media

It’s  worth considering how you’re going to manage your content. For example, with HeySummit you can monitor different things within your dashboard including:

  • Email sequences

  • Viral incentives and giveaways

  • Sponsor assets

  • Talk promo banners

  • And more…

6) Set Event Marketing Timelines 

Event marketing timelines are schedules that outline the tasks and deadlines involved in promoting an event from start to finish. They are crucial for ensuring that an event is effectively marketed to the target audience. 

In other words, this is about determining the right timing. Sending the right message at the right time maximizes attendee signups. 

Here’s a step-by-step process for setting an event marketing timeline:

  • Determine the event date: mark when the event will take place to get an idea of how long you need to promote your event. Then, work backward from there. 

  • Create a content calendar: have a schedule planned for when certain marketing activities must be implemented. 

  • Build the hype: focus on executing pre-event marketing activities to increase registrations and ticket sales. 

  • Ride the wave: have a strategy for promoting your event as it’s happening. An example of this could be using a particular hashtag on social media when posting about the event or livestreaming the event on YouTube. 

  • Keep the hype going: the marketing doesn’t stop once the event ends. In fact, after the event has finished, it’s crucial to keep the hype going for as long as possible to generate more leads and sales. 

7) Analyzing the Metrics

Event Success = What you get out of it ÷ What you put into it

Post-event, you’ll want to analyze what went well and how it can influence your future event strategies.Refer back to the business goals and KPIs you set at the beginning. See where you excelled and where you fell short. 

You can check metrics such as sign-up-to-show-up ratios and event engagement rates. This can help you determine whether you missed a valuable opportunity to interact with your prospective customers.

When you use a tool like HeySummit to analyze your event metrics, you can visualize all your event data on one handy dashboard like this:


Armed with this data, you can make clear decisions about what you’ll do differently for your next event. 

B2B Event marketing vs. B2C event marketing 

 These are the main differences between B2C and B2B  event marketing. 

  • Target audience: B2B events are targeted at businesses and professionals whereas B2C events are targeted at individual consumers.

  • Content: B2B events are focused on building thought-leadership status by providing value to businesses. B2C events, on the other hand, often aim to spark an emotional connection through entertainment and social experiences.

  • Marketing message: B2B events highlight products or services that are relevant to businesses and professionals. Conversely, B2C events highlight products or services that appeal to individual consumers.

  • Sales process: B2B events involve a longer sales process as there are multiple decision-makers involved. However, B2C events often involve impulse purchases and may be more focused on driving immediate conversions.

  • Goals: The ultimate goal of B2B events is to generate leads by building relationships and establishing credibility in the industry. In contrast, B2C events aim to generate buzz, traffic, and sales.

Event marketing for solopreneurs vs. companies

The biggest difference between hosting events as a solopreneur and as a company is that companies tend to have a bigger budget. Here’s what solopreneurs double down on when it comes to event marketing:

  • Social media

  • Email marketing

  • Affiliates and referrals

  • Coupons 

  • Collaboration with other local and small businesses in their industry

  • Holding more intimate events like workshops and webinars 

  • Personalized marketing approach, e.g. directly reaching out and inviting prospects to events or tailoring event content to their specific needs

  • Word-of-mouth

Here are a few examples of what companies can do for their event marketing:

  • Hire dedicated staff for the event to manage the planning process as well as logistics and promotion

  • Invest in event technology like mobile apps to enrich the attendee experience

  • Form partnerships with other corporations and media outlets 

  • Reinforce event awareness and messaging as they likely already have strong brand recognition

  • PR tactics such as press releases to generate media coverage

  • Host large-scale events with thousands of attendees. 

Key takeaways

Follow the steps in this guide to help you plan a successful event that generates leads and helps your business grow. You don’t need to overcomplicate things to host a successful event; choose one event format and double down on one or two strategies (that you know will resonate with your audience) to market that event.  

Defining your event marketing strategies doesn’t need to be a hassle. An all-in-one event platform like HeySummit can take care of the tech and marketing side of your event so you can focus on the creative part and start hosting events your audience loves!

Discover how easy event planning is with HeySummit and get access to your free trial today.

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