Quick and Reliable Event Promotion Ideas for Short Deadlines

Typically, when planning an event, you have plenty of time to promote it to your target audience. However, there are times when your deadline is much tighter - such as a few weeks away.

So, what can you do to ensure that your event is successful in those situations? Fortunately, we're here with some top event marketing strategies that work for last minute occasions. Best of all, some of these options are highly affordable (or free), so you won't break the bank when promoting your event. Also, these ideas work well for in-person, hybrid, and virtual event planning and gatherings alike!


Press Release

If you haven't used a press release before, this option works well for both last minute events, as well as planned gatherings. The purpose of a press release is to notify the public through established print channels, such as newspapers, magazines, and online websites. However, while a press release can cover a lot of ground, you need to make it captivating enough for journalists to take notice.

Here are the essential elements of an event press release: 

    • Headline - Make the headline as snappy and catchy as possible (even a little "clickbaity"). Use target keywords and put all the top words in the first 60 characters.
    • Summary - Think of this section as the TL;DR of your press release. Write the summary as if no one will read anything else.
    • Introduction - This paragraph should be about 20 to 30 words and offer essential event details, such as the date, time, and venue. If you're hosting a virtual event, be sure to include a link to the registration page or the virtual event URL.
    • Body - You want to go into more detail without dragging everything out. Ideally, the body should have one or two paragraphs that offer enticing information that will compel readers to come to your event.
    • Boilerplate - This section is the "about us" of your press release. You should include contact info and any pertinent details about your business. 

If you haven't written a press release before, it may be worth it to outsource the writing to a professional copywriter. This way, you can get the point across more effectively. By doing so, you’ll also have a higher chance of it getting accepted by major publications.



As an event planning business, you should have a sizable email subscriber list already. Fortunately, for last minute events, you can tap into this resource by sending details to your subscribers. If you've already segmented your lists, you can focus on the people who would be most interested in your event and then work from there.

If you don't have an email list already, you're facing an uphill battle. However, you can use lead generation tools to get new subscribers quickly. This tactic may not deliver as many guests as an established subscriber list, but it can provide a few qualified leads that can work for both this event and future occasions. 

To make your emails more enticing, follow these tips: 

    • Offer Exclusives - Perhaps email recipients can get a discount or get some extras that other people pay for at the event.
    • Offer Referral Codes - These codes can provide perks or financial compensation if a subscriber brings friends to the event.
    • Show Off Your Best Event Details - What's the hook of the event? A prominent entertainment act? Free food or beverages? Be sure to highlight those elements first since most subscribers won't read the entire email.


Special Ticketing

If you're selling tickets to your event, you can utilize some tried and true marketing ideas for events, such as special ticketing. This tactic involves creating various specialized tickets that will entice more guests.

Some examples of special tickets can include: 

    • VIP Access - Ticket holders can visit parts of the event that are not open to all guests. 
    • Preferred Seating - You can offer top-level attendees front rows or balcony spots. 
    • Swag Tickets - These ticket holders will get a specialized swag bag with contents from sponsors or the event planning committee. 

If you're using a virtual venue for your event, you'll have to get a bit more creative with your special tickets. For example, instead of a backstage pass, you can allow VIP guests to meet the entertainers separately within your virtual event platform, such as during a pre-event virtual happy hour.


Social Media

There are so many different ways in which you can leverage social media for marketing your event. No matter what kind of event you're having or how tight the deadline is, social media channels offer the best return on investment. Since you can set up profiles for free, you can tap into a vast audience without spending a small fortune. Plus, these platforms have tons of information about their users, ensuring that your message winds up in the right spot.

There are several ways to gain traction on social media quickly, such as: 

    • Trending Hashtags - Ideally, you can create your own trending hashtag, but you can also utilize those already going viral. Just make sure that you know what the hashtag is about before using it for your event.
    • Inbound Marketing - If you have interactive content related to your event that your target audience will find helpful, you can leverage those posts or videos to promote your event. Alternatively, you can create new material for the event specifically and share it across all channels.
    • Challenges or Contests - A social media contest is an excellent way to generate buzz and gain some traction among your followers. Prizes can include free admission or specialty tickets to the event. 

Another advantage of social media is that you can sometimes integrate them with an event planning platform, depending on your provider. For example, guests can RSVP through Facebook, tag themselves on Instagram for free tickets or swag, and even share their posts publicly on a virtual social wall.


Pay-Per-Click Ads

Sometimes, you have to spend money to generate as many leads as possible within a short timeframe. PPC ads work well because they're highly targeted and appear to a much broader audience. All you have to do is create a compelling advertisement and set a daily budget. One way to utilize PPC ads is to use QR codes. This way, you can track how well your promotions are doing and see what kind of ROI you're getting. Another important factor when it comes to paid ads is to make sure that your ads link to a landing page for the event itself. Ideally, users should be able to buy tickets immediately after clicking. This way, you can reduce friction and make your event more successful.


Let the Virtual & Hybrid Events Company Help!

Event technology is shaping the future, meaning that not all events will be held in-person at a venue. Virtual event planning is becoming more mainstream as guests and coordinators want a safe and easy way for everyone to meet. If you're looking for a virtual or hybrid event solution, let us help! We know what it takes to make a virtual trade show or other event a hit, and our software can deliver various benefits, such as video conferencing, digital surveys, or games. Contact us today to find out more. 

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