How To Market Your Conference Or Event

This article gives some pointers on how event planners can spread the word about their event, and offers some useful tips on marketing keynote speakers. 

By James Robinson

One of the great challenges of the conference business is the problem of spreading the word about your event. This is a difficult, time consuming task that requires constant marketing, clever digital strategies and leveraging the press. Many possible avenues for exposure exist with conference planning – sponsors, memberships, speakers, past attendees, and we recommend trying to use all of the channels. This article is not a blueprint for marketing, it’s just a helpful resource for conference planners.


Your sponsors will want to help you with promotion, because more attendees means their brand will be exposed to more people. But they’re often far too busy to help, so make it very easy for them. Provide sponsors with template email copy and discount codes so it’s easy to promote your event to their lists, and also gives you a tracking code to see how many tickets they’re selling.

Your Website

Your homepage should have a promotion to your conference. Your login page (if you have one) should have a promotion to your conference. Your blog should have banners promoting your conference. If you’re planning a huge event, most pages on your website should have links to your conference site, making it easy for anyone to find information about your event, buy tickets and register.

Have A Variety Of Ticket Options

Some people may not be able to attend your whole event, whether they’re unavailable for the full duration, can’t be away from the office for so long, or can’t swing the hotel costs. Issuing different types of passes helps accomodate those people and drive more ticket sales. 

Leverage LinkedIn

LinkedIn Company Pages, LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Groups are all excellent methods for contacting people in your industry who might like your event. Take advantage of the ability to promote your event to thousands of relevant people in your industry, on a social network built for networking. After all, this is why people attend events.

Location Matters In The Conference World

One of the great things about a conference could be the exotic location you’ve selected, or the fashionable city in which it will be staged. Spend time promoting the advantages of your location, because this can always be a huge draw for the attendees. Miami in February for a Boston audience is a serious bonus, so never forget to promote this part of your event.

Use Your Speakers

Conferences should always use the speakers to utilize their social media, record 1-minute videos about their speech, and give you articles for your email lists. Good speakers will always have a fan base interested in watching their live keynotes. You might be surprised how many tickets they can sell.

Try Doing A Podcast

With so many of us commuting to work in our cars, a podcast with your future speaker can also be an excellent method to arouse interest with potential customers. There’s nothing better than a 30-minute informal discussion to soft sell the talent on your roster. 

Book Speakers Early

We all know that selling tickets takes a lot of time, so the earlier you book them and start the marketing, the better you’ll be placed. We recommend six months prior for two reasons. The first one has been mentioned, but the second one boils down to availability. Often the most popular speakers are booked nine months out, and if you’ve negotiated your conference space and signed the contract already, having zero date flexibility can also narrow your pool of speakers. Booking in advance is the best strategy to offset these risks. 

These steps are a few recommendations for getting the most exposure for your event. It does take a little organization, and quite a lot of work, but this is how to boost ticket sales.