- Class or workshop
- “Lunch and Learn” session
- Open house or customer appreciation party
- Fundraiser for local charity
- Weekend-long retreat
- Networking event
- Trade show or services showcase (held with peers)
Your events can be free or paid, and there are pros and cons to both types. For free events, you may get more registrations than actual attendees. Because there is no personal investment, there can be less commitment to show up. For paid events, your audience may be smaller than it would be if it was free.
Any kind of event that you hold gives you a chance to reach out and invite your audience, plus get exposure with media and online event calendars. Perhaps you have some local prospects who have been circling around you but haven’t quite been willing to make an investment. A free event might be just what you need to dazzle them and convert them into paid clients.
Once you decide to hold an event, you need to spread the word as much as possible. Here are some suggestions:
- Promote your events on local community calendars. Your local newspapers, magazines, and news programs are likely have free events calendars available, and some may even write a brief article about your event.
- Create a free event listing with craigslist.org.
- Check out fullcalendar.com. For about $20 they will promote your event to dozens of publications in a metro area.
- Send an announcement out to your email subscribers.
- Promote the event via social media—repeatedly.
- Send a press release to local media.
- Remind people about the event. People often wait until the last minute to register, so repeat exposure is golden here.
- Ask peers and clients to help you spread the word.
- Attend local business networking events and hand out fliers.
- To manage the event registration process, try eventbrite.com.