One event marketing strategy that won’t cost you any money, but could help you meet and exceed your attendance goals is viral, or “buzz,” marketing. Viral marketing is a strategy that encourages individuals to pass on marketing messages to others. Here are some simple ways to incorporate it:
- Send an e-mail about your event, encouraging recipients to forward your e-mail to others. If you have 500 people on your distribution list, within a matter of seconds they can expand your reach by two, three, even 10 times what it was. This is an excellent way to get the biggest bang for your event-marketing buck.
- Include a statement on all marketing literature, printed or electronic, encouraging people on your distribution list to share event information with others. Word of mouth is more valuable than increased ad exposure with certain target markets.
- Consider distributing “secret passwords” via e-mail or word of mouth that attendees can use to secure discounted admission or special perks.
- Hold a contest rewarding people on your distribution list for inviting others. For example, if you are planning an annual membership drive for an association, give a prize to the member who invites the most potential new members.
- Capture new attendee information. Make sure that e-mail and other contact information is captured during registration. You don’t want to lose all those new people viral marketing brought you.