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Events marketing is a crucial part of delivering a successful event. It can help you to:

  • increase awareness of your event
  • build engagement
  • attract audiences
  • generate ticket sales and other income

Please note that this page only offers you a broad overview of how to develop an events marketing strategy. This is because all events are different in terms of size, objectives, audiences, and budget.

1. Setting your marketing objectives

Outlining what you want to achieve and what success looks like will help identify the actions and marketing activity you need to take to get there. Clear objectives will also provide focus and motivate your team.

When applicable, we’d recommend that you set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely). Some of these goals will be intangible, such as “providing a high-quality experience across the customer journey”. Others will be tangible, such as “ensuring that ticket or communication enquiries are responded to within 24 hours”.

Examples of marketing objectives

  • income – set a target value of ticket sales and sponsorship income the event needs to achieve, or consider revenue milestones to reach
  • attendees – maintain / increase audience figures by a percentage over the course of the year
  • attract new audiences – increase the percentage of new attendees, and / or attract the percentage of audience out with the local area
  • digital marketing – achieve an uplift in social media followers / engagement rate, increase percentage of open rate and clicks in e-newsletter, increase number of website visits over the course of the year
  • attendee feedback – distribute a post- event survey, within two weeks, to ticket buyers which has a response rate of e.g. 15%

2. Setting your marketing budget

Your marketing budget will need to align with the tactics and tools you’ll use to promote your events. Calculate the expected costs of each piece of activity and identify which ones will likely give you the best return on investment.

You might want to include the following in your budget:

  • content marketing (blogs, videos, social media, paid partnerships, influencers, etc.)
  • resources like designers, website development, and marketing agencies
  • digital and print advertising
  • photography or videography
  • branding or signage, including design, print, and installation costs
  • merchandise
  • complimentary tickets for guests or competitions
  • market research / survey tools

You might also want to consider potential sources of financial support or value in kind. These can be funding, sponsors, exhibitors, merchandise, partners (local and further afield), etc.

Lastly, it’s best practice to include a 5% to 10% contingency for any unexpected or additional costs.

3. Identify your target audience

A target audience is a group of people defined by certain demographics and behaviour who are most likely to buy tickets / engage with your event. Your target audience can be segmented by, among others demographics, geographics, behaviour, or interest.

It’s worth having a think about who your main and secondary audiences might be. Asking the following questions will help inform what channels to use and where to focus your marketing efforts:

  • what kind of person will enjoy your event?
  • who do you want to engage with and attract?
  • where can you reach your target and wider audience?

  • Example of main audience

    • 25-to-50-year-olds from your local area
    • who have purchased tickets before
    • who are interested in literature talks and events, storytelling and learning
  • Example of secondary audience

    • people within the same age group as your main audience
    • who have the same interests as your main audience
    • who are from outside your local area
    • who have never attended before


4. Create compelling content

You want to engage with your audience as early as possible to generate buzz and to foster a community of potential attendees. Most events promote their event a year in advance and increase the frequency of their activity and messaging (email / social media posts) in the months and weeks leading up to the event.

What you should write

Think of key information to include in your messaging. These should communicate the value of attending your event and help motivate people to find out more and attend.

Your messaging should include:

  • what the event experience will be like
  • how people can experience it
  • why it shouldn’t be missed
  • basic event information
  • the event’s unique selling point (this can be the strapline that accompanies your brand)

Remember to tailor your messaging to your audience. It’s also worth considering what different messages you need when addressing different stakeholders like sponsors, partners, funders, exhibitors, etc.

Find more information on how to develop a PR / communications plan.

What it should look like

The look of your promotional materials and assets should be eye-catching. It should encourage people to follow through on your call-to-action, e.g. clicking on a URL for more information or to buy tickets. Before you start, it’s good to map out what content you already have and what you still need: videos, ads, social media posts, banners, flyers, posters, etc.

On your promotional material, you should also include social handles. This way, audiences can find out more information in the way they prefer to access information. You should also determine the types of content your audience reacts best to and engages with most, on each channel like:

  • social media posts
  • sharing user generated content
  • imagery
  • 15 or 30 second video teasers
  • behind the scenes content
  • endorsement quotes
  • survey statistics
  • long or shortform articles

Creating a consistent look and feel across assets is important to make your materials more recognisable and impactful. Your event logo should also be consistently used.

Read more about creating visual content on

Ensure that all your marketing materials and activities comply with relevant laws and regulations.

Find out more about marketing and advertising laws on 

Channel distribution

It’s useful to think of all the ways that you can generate interest and create a community of potential attendees through announcements like:

  • programme and ticket launches
  • lineups or special guests
  • volunteer calls and stories
  • community engagement effort
  • countdowns until the event
  • sponsorship or ambassador announcements

There are three defined marketing channels; owned, paid, and earned. You’ll find that you might want to use a different channel depending on your message. The strength of this channel is that it builds your (brand’s) credibility and increases the reach of your event messaging.


These are the channels that belong to you like your website, email database, and social media channels. You can use these to build further connections with your attendees by, for example, interacting with their posts on social media.

The strength of these channels are their ability to:

  • build long-term relationships with potential and previous attendees
  • encourage sales
  • create a community


This is when you pay to reach a certain audience. Examples include influencers, radio, social media, print media, outdoor and digital advertising. The strength of this channel is the power to:

  • target a wider specific audience
  • effectively raise awareness
  • drive higher conversion / ticket sales


This is when a third party promotes your brand or event for free. This could be:

  • word of mouth
  • media coverage
  • social shares
  • influencers
  • ambassador blogs
  • event listings
  • partner databases

5. Ticket sale considerations

Consider your approach to selling tickets as these will impact your marketing strategy and budget:

  • are your ticket prices competitive?
  • are there any trends to be aware of, for example, are consumers buying tickets later than normal?
  • will you run a limited “early bird” sale?
  • will you do ticket giveaways in return for free exposure?
  • will you offer concessions on tickets?
  • do you offer a waiting list for a sold-out event in case there are ticket cancellations?
  • if you need one, what does the seating map look like? (identify operational seats, ticketed seats, wheelchair accessible spaces, blocked views)

6. Evaluation

Refer back to your objectives to identify key metrics to measure. Track and measure the performance as you go along, not just at the end of the event. This is because you may have to change tactics or messaging if it is not yielding the results you expect. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • did you get a boost in sales after your social media campaign?
  • was there an influx of visitors to website after a press release was distributed?
  • what content is resonating and which channels are most effective in terms of driving awareness and engagement?
  • what do the following general metrics look like?
    • tickets purchased (so far)
    • clicks / conversions on ticketing page
    • total revenue figure (including tickets,  sponsorship, funding, and merchandise)
    • value in kind figure
    • size of social media audience following reach and engagement metrics
    • other campaign metrics


We made a PDF that will show you where you can find the analytics / insights sections for each social channel. These automatically provide a breakdown of the most important metrics for said platform.

Browse our "how to best promote events on social media" PDF.

Insights such as these can help shape future marketing plans.

It’s worth considering sending a post-event survey to those who attended. This can help steer future marketing activity by providing you with details on:

  • who your audience is
  • how you can improve the event experience / customer satisfaction
  • where people found out about your event / source of sales came from

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