Event promoters know the time, money and effort it takes to create buzz for an event. Continually selling the sizzle through ads, flyers, emails, etc. can be overwhelming. What if I told you there were some steps you can take during this year’s event to help make selling the sizzle next year much easier.

1. Create and promote an event hashtag.

If you are new to creating promotional material you might not be aware of the hashtag a.k.a the pound sign #. The hashtag is an easy way to curate content that is searchable within social media. What’s cool is you can create a fun and unique hashtag for your event. So when all of the Instagrammers, Facebookers or Snapchatters are at your event they can tag their posts with your hashtag, which will give you a wealth of content to choose from and turns your fans into a marketing machine.

This doesn’t happen by accident so make sure to include the hashtag in social media posts, email correspondence and and print materials.  Promote it on-site at your event as well as encourage your registrants to include it in their social media posts.

This will come in handy leading up to your next event when potential registrants want to see what type of experience your event will provide them.  They will be able to see your past event through the eyes of your registrants on social media simply by searching the hashtag.

2. Set Up a photo backdrop.

A rad photo backdrop is a surefire way to get your brand circulating around social media which will organically expand your reach.  This is because your attendees will want to share with the world what a cool event they just participated in and what better way to do it, than to snap a selfie in front of your awesome photo backdrop.

This is going to help equip your attendees with an easy and awesome way to share their activity with the world.  Make sure your logo is either repeated or large and prominent on the backdrop and be sure not to forget tip number one.  Share your hashtag with your participants so they include it in their posts.

Another tip would be to staff the background with a person to take the pictures. Selfies are great and I love them as well but to make sure your fantastic photo backdrop is pictured, some distance is needed.

3. Snap tons of quality photos

You worked hard to get people to your event. Now take advantage of this time and snap tons of photos of everyone enjoying the event.  This will give you an artillery of photos to use as promotional materials for next year.

Snag shots of people at check in, at the start line, at the finish line, on the course, volunteers at your aid stations, of the t-shirts, merchandise, medals, bibs, etc.  Think of any possible item or picture you could turn into an ad or post for next year.   From my experience everyone is busy on event day, you are going to ask everyone to take pictures but there is no guarantee. Leverage your network and find a photographer with the right gear not just a phone. Depending on your event budget find a volunteer designated to photograph or hire a professional. The cost of a photographer will pay dividends in the future, these will be invaluable leading up to next year next year.

4.Offer on-site registration for next year’s event.

Take advantage of the excitement people are feeling after completing your event.  Before they even leave the venue, offer them a special and exclusive promotion they can’t turn down if they commit to registering for next year right then and there.

There are many benefits to this, but a big benefit is, these early registrants will give you a leg up on planning next year.  This is because you will have some money in the bank really early on to start marketing or purchasing permits, etc.

5.Within 24 hours send a discount code for next year.

Incentivize the people who didn’t sign up on-site or those who couldn’t make the event.  Sure, some people might not know their schedule a year out, but that is where our (soon approaching) transfer feature as well as Voucher functionality can come into play (Stay tuned!).   Take on the  potential effort of having to issue a few transfers in order to secure a bunch of people and funding for next year.

If you take advantage of these five easy tips, you will set yourself up for success and on a path for securing many more registrants for your next event.

What other tips would you suggest to other fellow event promoters?  What actions have you taken at your event that have made planning and securing registrants for the next year easier?