5 Tips for FREE Effective Event Marketing

It’s that time of year, you’re preparing for your event and this year you want to it to be even bigger and better than ever, but how do you accomplish that? This is the conundrum for any event looking to scale. The term ‘marketing’ is broad and far reaching, and there seems to be a new offer to drum up interest for you around every corner, but they all cost money, and not everyone wants to or can spend their event budget on marketing initiatives.

Below are five great tips from our athleteReg event professionals on how to grow your event for free!

Streamline Your Social Media

Don’t run away yet! While this suggestion may seem vague, there are a few concrete ways to effectively and efficiently use social media to your advantage, and you can implement them right now.

  • Utilize all channels – Make sure your event at least has an account across the big three: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can’t reach an audience on these platforms if you don’t use them! If possible, make your handle name the same across the board.
  • Streamline images and text – Make your account descriptions and pictures consistent. You’re building an event, but you’re also building a brand: pick an event logo and stick with it so people can become familiar with your brand.
  • Cross-post – The large social media channels often easily cross-post, so you can create a post on one platform and then with a click or a swipe apply it to others. Use this feature to cut down on post time; focus on making one post really good and then reflect it across all your social media channels. There are some great marketing tools out there that can help you do this like HootSuite.

Use Hashtags

Picking an event hashtag is a great way to take advantage of the tagging system on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. (A hashtag is a term of your choosing with this symbol in front of it: #. For example: #myevent)

Hashtags may seem over done, but if you pick a specific one for your event and use it from day one, your participants will start to use it too. On event day, if people are used to using your hashtag you’ll also be able to sort through it to see all of the awesome pictures and comments that people have posted.

If you are ready to add hashtags to your event on athleteReg or want to learn more, go here.

Enable Referral Codes

Use what? That’s right, referral codes. You may not have heard the term before, but it’s a great feature that incentivizes your participants to market your event for you.

A referral code is a code that is generated for your participants once they complete registration; it triggers a reward once a certain number of people have used the code to register. Confirmed participants can be encouraged to share their code through email, their social media channels or word of mouth in order to earn the set reward. Here’s the cool part – you set the reward yourself! You can choose for participants to earn a discount on their entry, some swag from your event, or perhaps VIP access if they get a certain number of people to register for your event with their code. This is some serious incentive for your already registered participants to talk up your event.

Want to know more? Learn more about referral codes here.

Setup Earlybird Pricing

A great way to get people motivated to register for your event is to use earlybird pricing. Offering a discount to those willing to commit early is a great way to avoid that last minute, nerve-wracking crunch of registrations the week before event day.

You can use event tools like fee schedules, which increase your entry fees after certain pre-set dates or block pricing, which bumps up your entry fee based on how many people are in the event, to accomplish this. Make sure you talk these features up to get people motivated to register!

Use Email Marketing

Email is a powerful tool, and one that you can use to boost registration for your event. If you have a database of previous participants don’t be afraid to send them emails about your up-coming event; these are people most likely to register, and with a well-timed email reminder they’ll get their friends excited about it too.

Using email you can also keep your potential participants and previous participants abreast of incentives or limited time offers (like early-bird pricing). We also have a tool that allows you to quickly view who is a returning participant and then reach out to those past participants who have not signed up yet. To learn more, read about that here.


Using the above tips you should be well on your way to a solid marketing strategy that will keep your participants engaged and your event more well-attended than ever before.