You and your team have worked hard to put together your best race event yet. All your ducks are in a row, and you’re having a record year with sponsorships. The next step? Getting people signed up!
If you can hire someone to help promote your race or pour money into tons of ads all over town or in various publications, then…great! If not, then read on for some quick and easy ways to promote your race for little to no cost.
Before You Start
Before we get into where and how to post your event publicly, you need to gather some basic information. The event details, along with some choice photos illustrating all aspects of your event, will make it much easier to plug-and-chug the information into various media.
At the very least, the information should include:
- Event Title
- Possible Event Categories
- URL to Event or Tickets
- Event Description
Keep this handy in a Word doc so you can easily copy and paste it later.
Most people forget to post their event to a separate Facebook event page. It’s easy to bypass if you have a Facebook page for your race. But having a Facebook event page gives you an opportunity to separate your event from your page, make your event searchable on Facebook and allows you to invite friends directly to your event. It’s free and simple!
Just like your Facebook timeline, you have an event cover photo that you can include with your event. You don’t have to make this cover photo complex; you can simply find an awesome exemplary photo of a past race to include.
You can also create a more artistic graphic with more images, say, spliced together. You can easily do this in PowerPoint: Select all elements on the slide, right click and “Save As Picture” for a quick way to make your image. The total size should be 784 × 295 pixels or a ratio of 2.66 inches wide to 1 inch (so you can do, for example, an image that is twice as large or 5.32 inches x 2 inches).
Once you’ve uploaded your image, copy and paste the information from your Word doc into the respective fields.
Finally, invite all of your Facebook friends to join! Check out this cool way to invite all of your Facebook friends to an event with a simple URL.
You’ve probably run across multiple event calendars in the city where you live as you searched online for things to do. These are an excellent way to get free publicity for your event and most, if not all, are free and easy to use.
Do a simple Google search such as “event calendars Austin” or “thing to do in Austin.” You will no doubt find tens of pages of event calendars.
Some event calendars may require you to create a login and password, so use the same one for each as your go-to login credentials for just event calendars.
Some race directors are iffy about signage, but in many markets, it definitely works. Places like Starbucks and even locally owned establishments have bulletin boards or tables dedicated to promoting public events. You may want to take a Saturday and Sunday to map out good areas where these kind of venues are and hit every single one with a poster and/or postcards.
Want another free gem? Local newsletters! Most neighborhood newsletters love to post local news regarding upcoming events in the area. Sometimes they’ll even do it for free as an editorial piece. The best way to get in is to just call your local editor to discuss the race and what angles they could use to make the story more interesting. Offer to provide any photos or to put their reporters in touch with a coach, volunteer or star participant. If you have someone who can write an article for you and offer that to the editor, then even better!
Websites like BubbleLife and Patch offer options to post events as well as articles that almost immediately get published.
With a little thought, earning publicity for your event doesn’t have to take up a ton of time nor cost you a penny. Look around for opportunities to share your race and its mission or story with the public. Start early, follow a plan and you’ll have your best year yet!