One of the biggest fears business owners have is creating and planning an event and no one shows up.

Why would this happen?

Could it be the content?

Maybe, but for now let’s assume you have an amazing workshop, book, or product launch planned that you’ve poured your heart into creating.

More likely, the problem is that you are making one (or both) of these mistakes:

1. You didn’t have the right elements in your promotional information

2. You didn’t share it with enough of the right people

So the keys are getting the information right and getting the word out to people who want it. Let’s start with the first mistake of not having the right information.

Elements of Effective Event Promotion

Below are the most important elements in order of importance. It is also the order they should appear in your flyer, website page, or on social media. Add as many elements as space allows with a minimum of the headline and the call to action.


Your headline needs to be powerful and speak to the problem or solution that your potential clients are facing. Spend at least thirty minutes brainstorming headline options. For more on this read my post: Are You Making These 5 Mistakes With Your Headlines.


It’s tempting to cram everything into your headline but don’t do it. That’s what the sub-headline is for. It’s a great place to name your target audience, if you haven’t already done so in your headline. It’s also the perfect place to add some of the benefits.

What Will They Get?

Restate who the event is for and then focus on benefits attendees will receive. Brainstorm a list and then pick the top three. You can use a combination of text and bullet points here.


If it’s free, say so. And you can still ask people to register for a free event. That helps create commitment and allows you to send an email reminder before the event.

If it’s not free, add the price (inclusive or exclusive taxes) with a clear call to action on how to register. For example, say: ‘Click Here to Register:’ if you have set up an online payment method on your website page. PayPal is a great option for this.

If you’re not set up automatic payment on your website you can always use a service like Eventbrite which handle all of the payments and registration.

And if you don’t want to make the arrangements to take payment automatically online, you need to specify the call to action and say something like: Send an email with the subject line: Reserve my spot. If you have a limited number of spaces available be sure to mention that.


Include the day of the week, date, and time. If you have a global audience include a link to a website that converts time zones like Time and Date.


State the address, city, state, and country. If it’s online, explain how to join the event.

About You

Again, the most important part of your promotional piece is the information about “what’s in it” for the people who attend. The benefits that they will get, and the reasons they should attend. And people do want to know who is behind the event.

So briefly share your qualifications and expertise and if there is space you can add a testimonial from one of your clients.


If there’s room, you can invite people who have questions, or who aren’t sure if the event is right for them, to contact you. Offer either your email or your telephone number, not both.

Bonus Tip: In addition to the written word you can always create a video about your event to supplement your text. It could be a video of you talking about the event or a compilation of power point slides outlining the event with your voice. Your video could include client testimonials as text on slides or actual client video testimonials.

I don’t recommend using only video to promote your event because not everyone will watch it and people like to review offers when making a decision, text makes that easier.

Now let’s look at the second mistake you might be making when you’re promoting your events, not sharing it with enough people who are interested.

Reaching Enough of the Right People

After you’ve taken the time to create an event and organize the relevant information, you’ve got to promote it. Yes really, and more than once. It’s best to start four to six weeks before the event.

Let’s look at some simple math. If you want 50 people to attend your event and your conversion rate is 20% (meaning that for every ten people who hear about your event, two sign up) then you will need to get your promotional piece in front of 250 people in your target audience. Make sense? Here is the formula: # of Participants You Want ÷ Conversion Ratio = Total # of People You Need to Reach.

Here Are 8 Ways to Get The Word Out

1. The first place to start with promotion is your own email list. Don’t be shy about this, you can share it several times. This is because not everyone will be ready the first time they see it and reminders help. If you’re not already building an email list for your business it’s never too late to start, here’s how.

2. You can also ask your Strategic Alliance Partners to promote your event. If you don’t have any Strategic Alliance Partners it’s time to change that. More on that here.

3. Share your event on social media. The amount of space you’ll have to share the information about your event will depend on the channel you’re using. Use all of the social media channels you are active on, think about: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest.

For the channels with the shortest amount of space like Twitter, you may only have room for the headline and call to action to click on a link for more information. When you have more room, add additional elements.

In addition to promoting your event on your Facebook updates, you can also create an Event on Facebook. Make it clear on your Facebook event that they need to go to your website to pay and register if it’s not a free event.

4. You can also put the information about your event: on your website, in a blog post, or both.

5. Another idea is to create a blog post you can refer people to who want to help you promote your event.

6. Utilize local online community listings or classified ads for in-person events. Many of them do not charge a fee.

7. Using Google AdWords is another way to promote your event and the great news is that you can control how much you spend. Get more on this in my post, How Google AdWords Can Grow Your Business.

8. And of course, you can always use a real (physical) postcard. Vistaprint offers good quality and extremely reasonable prices in a bunch of languages. Find out more in my post, Promote Your Business With Postcards.

The process is simple and not necessarily easy. Organize your information and figure out how many people you need to reach. Then choose the channels you want to use and start promoting your event.

I hope you’re starting to see that having the right information shared with the maximum amount of people will ensure that your event isn’t a lonely one.

© Stephanie Ward

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What are your favorite tips about promoting events? Share your thoughts and questions about promoting your events below in the comments section.

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