Free Ways To Promote Your Next Event
Race day is set! You’ve nailed down a location and confirmed the logistics. You’re ready to rock n’ roll on race day, but there’s just one problem, you have to make sure people actually show up. In order to have a successful race day, you have to get the word out about your event. Budgets only stretch so far. If your race budget is running dry, it’s time to get creative and find free ways to promote your event. You’d be surprised at the number of marketing strategies available that are little to no cost to you. Here’s 5 free (or almost free) ways to promote your next event to ensure it’s a success!
1. Engage on Social Media
Having a Facebook page to promote your races is a great resource for followers. You can post updates, behind-the-scenes photos, and share stories that make the race exciting. You can also ask questions, give updates, and interact with the public. If you don’t have a social media following, you can buy likes, but the best place to find more followers is at your events. Set up a likes booth at each event to get more followers. Ask participants to like your page on the spot for a small incentive. If you have some extra money to spare, consider creating a Facebook Ad. You can target certain areas and increase your exposure. At the very least, a Facebook page gives the public information about your business and upcoming races.
2. Use Your Race Crew
Word of mouth is free and a great way to advertise. People trust the opinions of their friends and family, so use these connections to your advantage. Get your Race Crew to invite friends at their work or school. If your crew tells friends and family the race will be fun, they will believe them. Encourage people to show up in groups by offering discounts. You can also offer prizes for groups that are best dressed, largest, or fastest group, etc.
3. Involve the Community
Send out email blasts to participants who have previously attended your races. If you don’t have a list of contacts, make it a goal to collect as many as possible at your next race. Get a sponsor to donate a prize or buy one yourself for a raffle. Have participants provide their name and email address to enter the contest. You should be able to grow your email list by doing this at every race.
4. Contact Running Clubs and Coaches
Get in touch with your local running clubs to see if they can help you promote your event. Some running clubs will even sell you their mailing list, which would allow you to send out direct mailers or email blasts. Stop by your local high school. See if you can get in contact with the cross country and track coaches to see if their athletes would be interested in attending your race. Coaches help their athletes get faster. Races are the perfect practice run for athletes looking to improve their time, so be sure to point that out to the coaches.
5. Partner with Local Businesses
Having a giveaway at your race is a fantastic way to get people to attend. You can approach local businesses to see if they would like to donate some items or become a sponsor at your event. You can also ask if you could hang up a flyer in their store with your race details on it. Choose a popular local restaurant that people in your community frequently attend, or a gym/fitness club
6. Contact Local Media
Create a press release that details your event and what makes it unique. Put together a list of local newspapers or radio stations and send it to their editors for review. You will probably have to make some phone calls to try and get your story picked up by a newspaper or radio station. If you can make relationships with people in your community, they will be more willing to help you the next time around. If someone offers to help you, return the favor by giving them a free entry to your race.
Finding free ways to promote your event can seem like a daunting task, but with a little hard work and creativity, you will be sure to grow your registration. Use these tips to start promoting your next event and figure out which strategies work best in increasing your race attendance. If first you don’t succeed, try again. Whatever you do, don’t give up. Planning and executing races is not an easy task, stay consistent and eventually your hard work will pay off.
About Innovative Timing Systems, LLC: Innovative Timing Systems, LLC is a privately-owned company, providing leading-edge sports timing solutions and race timing services through a network of over 500 locations around the world. ITS provides advanced chip technologies, race kiosks, large athlete displays, live web updates, automated race photos, social media integration and mobile apps. Founded in 2008, ITS is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and has sales, support, and engineering facilities in numerous locations around the world.
About ITS YOUR RACE: ITS YOUR RACE is the leader in online event management. An all-inclusive endurance event platform, ITS YOUR RACE offers easy registration and results with custom features including sponsorships, advertising opportunities, GPS tracking, athlete photos, finisher certificates, fundraising, and more. Over 10,000 events have chosen ITS YOUR RACE.
Innovative Timing Systems is a registered trademark of Innovative Timing Systems, LLC. RaceTimes is a trademark of Innovative Timing Systems, LLC.