Marketing used to make Prashant Kakad uncomfortable — he thought hawking his own events was self-centered. But then Kakad, a DJ and the founder of Jai Ho! Dance Party, realized it’s actually “other-centered.” He creates events that “feel safe, inclusive, and joyful,” and marketing is “a means to the end, the end being able to create these amazing experiences.”
In other words, if you aren’t bold about marketing, too few people will get to experience that joy.
During Eventbrite’s RECONVENE Sessions event Spread the Word: Creative Ways to Market Your Event, three expert event marketers shared the tools, strategies, and channels they use to get the word out about their events.
Tayleur Crenshaw, founder of Gold Beams
Gold Beams is a California-based company that curates and produces events for Black creatives and the Black community.
1. Let your logo do the work
Your logo should be so catchy that when you slap it on a T-shirt, an invite, or the internet, it “alleviates the pressure of having to convince people to go to your event,” Crenshaw says.
2. Create FOMO through photography
Hire a photographer if you have the resources, and give them some guidelines, but don’t micromanage. For example, instruct them to take photos that show the scale of the event (which, in turn, should help instill FOMO in those who didn’t attend), and then trust their judgment on how to best capture visuals.
3. Promote your event in all the places where your audience already is
“Drop that link, baby,” Crenshaw says. Taking your festival to a new city? Share the event listing with local listservs and newsletters. Lots of people relocated during the pandemic, she says, and are scouring online platforms to find out what to do. Promoting an electronic music event? Seek out Facebook groups that revolve around EDM, and share your listings with that already-engaged audience.
Prashant Kakad, founder of Jai Ho! Dance Party and Bollywood Dreams Entertainment
Jai Ho! Dance Party has a DJ and dance-night presence in eight US cities.
4. Think of marketing as a way to learn new things and grow
Instead of considering marketing overwhelming, uncomfortable, or expensive, reframe it as an opportunity to challenge yourself, innovate, and grow – experiment with TikTok, Instagram Reels or whatever other emerging platform is attracting audiences.
5. Turn your most enthusiastic fans into natural ambassadors
Who gets super excited about your events? Bring them into the fold, and share ideas and nurture your connection with them. Their enthusiasm is valuable and can help you attract a larger audience. People who show up consistently could be cultivated into natural ambassadors for your events.
6. Leverage your tools
Have a smartphone in your hand? Take lots of pictures and videos at your event, and then turn them into Reels or a recap video afterwards. Study up and learn how to use portrait mode or take slow-mode videos.
Britteny Floyd-Mayo, founder of Trap Yoga Bae
Trap Yoga Bae events combine vinyasa-style yoga, affirmations, and twerking with music spun by a DJ.
7. Strive for (and cultivate) authenticity
It’s easy to get caught up in what other people think is best for you or your events. But as Floyd-Mayo puts it: “You can do anything you want to do, so why not be yourself?” Focus on whatever means the most to you, because your passion will shine through and entice others to join you.
8. Stand up for your audience’s values
Don’t be afraid to speak out about what you believe in — doing so helps demonstrate authenticity and, in turn, builds loyalty. Be honest and transparent, and speak clearly about who you are. It can be necessary to polarize; camaraderie will follow. Adopt that same mentality on social media too: Don’t get swept up in the tide and post things that aren’t relevant or don’t accurately reflect your values.
9. Ask yourself a few pointed questions
What’s something you enjoy doing? What’s something you can’t stop talking about? And if you could do this all day, would you do it for free? That can help guide you to the right endeavors — and your passion will make it easier to market them.
For additional tips from Eventbrite’s ongoing RECONVENE events series, visit our recaps hub.