4imprint, LLC
Woman creating art.

| Updated: October 16, 2023 5 min read

Cover Story

How to do event marketing

Posted: February 08, 2023 | Updated: October 16, 2023 | Taylor Fischer 5 min read

5 event marketing tips

  1. Create SMART marketing goals
  2. Choose a unique theme
  3. Incorporate countdowns
  4. Encourage attendee sharing
  5. Run a pilot

When Outside the Lines Art Studio in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, opened for business, owner Danielle Ingeri hosted an open house and handed out a practical gift to everyone who attended. The imprinted tote bag was a big hit and has continued to raise awareness.

Reusable grocery tote with a logo.

Value Grocery Tote

Raise awareness about your event with branded products.

The meet-and-greet provided a chance for people to come in, walk around, ask about services and see how things are set up inside the studio.

Customers received a tote bag filled with goodies, including rubber duckies, temporary tattoos, candy and other items. What’s more, New Jersey state law is that people have to bag their own groceries, so the tote bags will come in handy on a daily basis.

Research shows the number one reason people hang onto promotional products is because the product is useful. Outside the Lines Art Studio’s bag fit the bill perfectly.

“Community members compliment the bags all the time,” said Danielle Ingeri, owner.

“I take them with me to the supermarket and people will stop me and ask, ‘Where’d you get the bag?’ I always carry a couple extra just in case and give them out. People ask about where the studio is. Any new customers always walk out with a bag. Handing out the bags has definitely provided foot traffic. Plus, the bags are practical for grocery shopping,” Ingeri said.

A table with supplies set up for an event at an art studio.

From a small virtual launch party to a huge seminar or annual fundraising gala, events are only as successful as their turnout. These five event marketing tips can help ensure your next event is a smashing success.

1. Create SMART event marketing goals

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. SMART goals help ensure your event is a true success, rather than just a fun get-together that doesn’t actually advance your organization. It also helps improve your marketing effectiveness.

Here’s how to do event marketing using SMART goals:

  • Specific: Decide how you will decide if the event is a success. By sales growth? New email sign-ups? Amount of brand exposure?
  • Measurable: Make sure you can quantify your goals and that the numbers will help your overall business. For example, exactly how many leads or sales do you need to gain to improve your quarterly performance?
  • Achievable: Run your goals by other people in the organization to make sure they’re realistic.
  • Relevant: Make sure your goals are relevant to the actual event you’re marketing.
  • Timely: Set a timeframe to achieve your goals.

2. Choose a unique theme

Selecting a one-of-a-kind theme for your event helps you stand out. Choose a theme that appeals to your specific audience and ties back to your brand. Maybe your audience is into outdoor activities. Maybe they live and breathe math and science. Maybe they’re busy parents.

As part of the theme, invite a guest speaker to talk about a topic related to the theme. A speaker who’s seen as an authority by your audience can help boost attendance. Attendees feel they’ll learn something that will add value to their life, while staying engaged and entertained.

3. Incorporate countdowns

Countdowns can generate buzz around your event. They’re great for encouraging last-minute registrants to go ahead and sign-up. They’re also good for keeping people who already signed up excited and engaged. Registrants can share on social media how they’re counting down with you and will see you in two days, three hours and five minutes.

4. Encourage attendee sharing

Almost 80% of people say user-generated content highly impacts their buying decisions. And people say user-generated content is almost 10 times more impactful than influencer content.

Icon of people creating online content.

When registrants and attendees talk about their experience—before, during and after the event—they create interest. Other people in your audience will want to be sure they don’t miss out next time.

5. Run a pilot

Piloting an event can help gauge interest in products/services and ensure everything will go smoothly before a public launch.

Beacon Broadband, an internet provider based in Brookings, Oregon, decided to pilot fiber internet in a new area. About 50 locals signed up to be the test customers and make sure the fiber internet would work well at providing high-speed service for a set amount of time.

Performance polo shirt and quarter-zip pullover, both with logos.

Silk Touch Performance Polo and Taza 1/4-Zip Performance Pullover – Ladies

Establish your company with branded gear.

At the end of that time, Beacon Broadband hosted a pilot event as its ribbon-cutting precursor. Test customers were invited to share their experience. Staff wanted to be recognizable, so they purchased branded Silk Touch Performance Sport Polos and Taza 1/4-Zip Performance Pullovers. Each customer also received a goodie bag to take home.

“We provide fiber internet in rural areas where no other internet companies go. We’re a direct subsidiary of the local electric co-op, called Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, and having their name on our gear gives us a lot of credibility,” said Bill Gerski, vice president of marketing and sales.

“Our branded shirts help us establish ourselves in the community and build awareness,” said Gerski.

When test customers’ experiences with fiber internet turned out great, Beacon Broadband opened its internet services to the entire community.

To celebrate, staff held a ribbon cutting outside the new building and invited customers. With barbecue, branded gear and some goodies, the event helped the company show its appreciation to customers.

Person cutting a ribbon at an event.

Event marketing that fills seat after seat

These event marketing tips can help make your next event a success. As Outside the Lines Art Studio and Beacon Broadband discovered, knowing how to do event marketing is an effective way to get the word out and help your organization grow.

Useful products to help your event be a smashing success

Bamboo speaker with a logo.

Grand Stand Bamboo Bluetooth® Speaker

Reaches 30 feet and plays for 2 hours.

Bamboo cheese board with a logo.

Lade 3-Piece Bamboo Cheese Set

Bamboo coaster with a logo.

Fuse Marble & Bamboo Coaster


Looking for more information on this topic? Email [email protected] with inquiries.