The Dos and Don’ts of Event Promotion: Common Mistakes to Avoid & Best Practices to Follow

Photo by Artem Bryzgalov on Unsplash -- event promotion

New York life would be simpler with a handbook of dos and don’ts. Do have your MetroCard ready before you reach the turnstile. Don’t—and we mean it, mister, do not—steal that cab. Transgressors would be punished with Saturday morning detention in front of Grand Central, passing out said instruction manual to newcomers. We’ll just have to wait for that idea to gain traction. In the meantime, we have a different kind of list for New York event planners: the dos and don’ts of event promotion. Read on to learn common mistakes to avoid and best practices to follow when promoting your events. 

Event Promotion: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Let’s get the don’ts out of the way first because it’s easier to avoid mistakes than to undo them once they happen. 

Don’t Rely Too Heavily on Your Existing Audience

Whether you’re a NYC event planner organizing a corporate event or a rave, chances are that you or your client already have an established audience. Certainly, many, if not most, of your likely attendees will come from this audience. However, relying too heavily on this audience may leave your event as sparsely attended as a late Friday afternoon work meeting.

Don’t Rely on One (or Two) Marketing Channels

In that same vein, don’t rely on the same old marketing channels that netted your existing audience. One of the purposes of an NYC event is to raise your (or your client’s) profile. You simply have to expand your reach to increase brand recognition.

Don’t Make Event Marketing a One-Person Show

Your event marketing efforts should not happen within a silo. Give everyone involved an opportunity to promote your event. Encourage stakeholders to include the event in their email signatures, share the event on their social media accounts, and talk to customers directly about the event.

Don’t Over-Promise, then Under-Perform

Don’t under-deliver on your promises. Deliver on the hype you’re building. Whether you’re building up the entertainment, the speakers, or the networking opportunities, make sure you fulfill and, hopefully, exceed your promises.

Dos of NYC Event Promotion

As necessary as it is for us to wag our fingers, telling you what not to do isn’t all that fun. Let’s talk about the things NYC event planners should do when it comes to event promotion that will make your shindig the event of the five boroughs

Do Create an Event Value Proposition that’s To-Die-For

What does your target audience most want? Oftentimes, your attendees want to raise their profile or boost their brand in some way. Whether it’s a trade show, a dance party, or a corporate event, people want to be where the action is. Create a value proposition that makes your event the place where everybody, who is anybody, will be. 

Do Create an Event Brand Identity

Your event should have its own branded identity that complements, yet remains separate from, the brands associated with the event, such as a company or industry brand. Creating a fully fleshed-out brand for your event will help you expand your marketing beyond the confines of the company or organization your event is associated with. As a separate brand, your event will have its own:

  • Website
  • Logo
  • Social media profiles
  • Marketing content

Do Establish Goals and KPIs for Your Event

Goals spell out what you want to accomplish. KPIs establish the grading system that will tell you how well you’ve accomplished your goals. 

At the most basic level, establish how many attendees you want at your event. From there, work out other KPIs, such as client leads, email subscriptions, bar sales, or event upsells. 

Do Analyze Your Website and Marketing Data

Track everything—and we mean everything. Tucked inside numbers, such as website visitors, website usability stats, social media mentions, and email click-throughs, is a treasure trove of high-value information that will guide your marketing efforts to success.

Do Segment Your Audience

Segment your audience and create marketing materials for each group. Corporate CEOs and accountants have different goals, and the marketing you send to each group should reflect these differences. When it comes to more social-orientated events, segment according to gender and income—you get the idea.

Do Create a Sense of Urgency at Each Stage of the Pre-Event Timeline

Urgency elicits FOMO—that fear of missing out that propels us toward epic experiences. When it comes to marketing your NYC event, FOMO can be worked into each stage of the marketing timeline.

  • Create an early bird special.
  • Create promo codes with an expiration date.
  • Create limited-time specials offer that throw in a little something extra, such as a group lunch with an influential speaker.

As the NYC event date approaches, create a sense that tickets might sell out.

Do Learn More About Event Promotion at The Event Planner Expo 2024

We could keep talking about event promotion, just like the woman in front of you at the deli who won’t stop chatting up the clerk despite the winding line of waiting patrons behind her. But if Saturday morning detention in front of Grand Central becomes a thing, we might get stuck next to her as we pass out instructions for life in NYC. We don’t want that.

And you don’t want to miss out on The Event Planner Expo 2024, where you can learn about all things event planning from over 50 speakers, hundreds of industry exhibitors, and thousands of events industry professionals. The Event Planner Expo 2024 will be a veritable who’s who of event planning in New York and beyond. Get tickets today before they sell out.


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