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Let’s be real: promoting a small and medium-sized event comes with completely different challenges than marketing large, stadium-style events. It’s not just about working with a smaller budget: smaller events also tend to have fewer team members, limited audience reach, and a host of other obstacles that make it tough to compete in the marketplace. 


We’re here to help! After helping thousands of event organizers sell millions of tickets to small and medium-sized events, we’ve compiled all our best tips into one blog. This post will dive into:

  • Strategies that give you the biggest bang for your buck
  • Ideas that are quick and simple to execute
  • How to get free promotion

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Let’s start with the most common challenges of marketing smaller events and how to address them:


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1. Limited Budget

Challenge: Small and mid-sized events often have limited budgets for marketing activities.



  • Focus on cost-effective marketing strategies such as social media, email marketing, and partnerships with local businesses.
  • Leverage free tools and platforms for promotion.

2. Limited Reach

Challenge: Reaching a large and relevant audience can be difficult without substantial resources.



  • Utilize social media to target specific demographics.
  • Partner with local influencers or organizations that have a broader reach.

3. Competition

Challenge: There may be many competing events or activities vying for the same audience's attention.



  • Highlight what makes your event unique or special.
  • Offer incentives such as discounts, freebies, or unique experiences to attract attendees.

4. Brand Recognition

Challenge: Small events often struggle with brand recognition, making it harder to attract attendees.



  • Build a strong, consistent brand identity across all marketing materials.
  • Engage in community-building activities to increase visibility and trust.

5. Resource Constraints

Challenge: Limited human resources can hinder extensive marketing campaigns.


  • Automate marketing processes where possible (e.g., using email marketing software).
  • Focus on the most effective channels and prioritize efforts based on potential ROI.

6. Measuring Effectiveness

Challenge: It can be challenging to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts with limited tools and data.



  • Use free or low-cost analytics tools to track engagement and conversions.
  • Set clear, measurable goals and regularly review progress to adjust strategies accordingly.

7. Audience Engagement

Challenge: Engaging and retaining the interest of potential attendees can be difficult.



  • Create engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
  • Use interactive and multimedia content to capture attention and encourage sharing.

8. Time Management

Challenge: Balancing event planning and marketing efforts can be overwhelming for small teams.



  • Create a detailed marketing plan with timelines and assign specific tasks to team members.
  • Consider outsourcing certain tasks if your budget allows.

9. Technical Skills

Challenge: Lack of technical skills in digital marketing can hinder online promotional efforts.



  • Invest in training or utilize easy-to-use marketing platforms and tools.
  • Seek help from volunteers or interns with relevant skills.

10. Building Partnerships

Challenge: Establishing partnerships with other organizations or influencers can be time-consuming and challenging.



11. Maintaining Momentum

Challenge: Sustaining interest and momentum leading up to the event can be difficult.



  • Plan a series of promotional activities leading up to the event to keep the audience engaged.
  • Use countdowns, teasers, and regular updates to maintain interest.

12. Last-Minute Changes

Challenge: Handling last-minute changes or issues can disrupt marketing plans, which can be even more painful when you’re managing a limited budget or working with a smaller team of staff.



  • Have a contingency plan in place for common issues.
  • Communicate transparently with your audience about any changes to maintain trust.

By anticipating and addressing these challenges, you can create a more effective marketing strategy for your small or mid-sized event, ultimately increasing the chances of its success.

12 Marketing Tips for Small and Medium-Sized Events

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1. Create a Compelling Event Page

  • Use Event Platforms: Use platforms like Passage to create a professional-looking event page (at ZERO cost to you!). Follow our top 5 tips for creating an event page that drives ticket sales
  • Include All Details: Ensure your event page includes all necessary information, an attractive description, and engaging visuals.

2. Use Social Media Effectively

  • Create Event Pages: Use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to create event pages and share them within your network.
  • Leverage Hashtags: Use relevant and trending hashtags to increase visibility.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Regularly post updates, teasers, and behind-the-scenes content to build excitement.
  • Collaborate with Influencers: Partner with local influencers who can promote your event to their followers.

3. Start Email Marketing

  • Build an Email List: Collect email addresses from your website, social media, and previous events. Follow best practices for growing your list.
  • Send Personalized Invites: Craft personalized and compelling email invites to engage your audience.
  • Regular Updates: Keep your audience informed with regular updates about the event.

4. Leverage Local Media

  • Press Releases: Send press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, and TV channels.
  • Community Calendars: List your event in community calendars and local event listings. Make it easier on yourself by using Passage’s Promote Your Event feature. 

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5. Collaborate with Local Businesses

6. Flyers and Posters

  • Design Eye-catching Materials: Ensure your promotional materials are visually appealing and contain all the necessary details.
  • Distribute Locally: Place flyers and posters in high-traffic areas such as cafes, libraries, community centers, and bulletin boards.

7. Word of Mouth

  • Encourage Attendees: Encourage your friends, family, and attendees to spread the word. It can really help to give them a sample email or social media post which they can just edit or adjust for their own voice. 
  • Offer Incentives: Provide incentives such as discounts or freebies for those who bring friends. Try using Social Media Discounts to get more people to share your event when they buy tickets. 

8. Online Event Calendars

  • List Your Event: Post your event on popular online event calendars and platforms like Eventbrite, Meetup, and local event websites.
  • Make It Easier: With Passage, you can submit your event info once and send it to dozens of local directories and event listings. We’ll handle all the formatting and outreach. 

9. Content Marketing

  • Blog Posts: Write blog posts about the event and related topics to attract organic traffic.
  • Guest Blogging: Contribute guest posts to popular blogs and websites in your niche.

10. Engage with Community Groups

  • Online Groups: Promote your event in online community groups and forums relevant to your event.
  • Offline Groups: Attend local meetups and community gatherings to spread the word.

11. Offer Early Bird Discounts

  • Create Urgency: Offer early bird discounts to create urgency and encourage early sign-ups.

12. Use Affordable Online Ads

  • Social Media Ads: Use highly targeted ads on social media platforms with a small budget to reach your audience.
  • Google Ads: Consider running a small-budget Google Ads campaign targeting local searches.

Final Thoughts

Marketing a small or mid-sized event comes with several unique challenges that can impact the success of your promotional efforts. By leveraging these strategies, you can effectively promote your small event even on a limited budget. The key is to be creative, utilize free or low-cost tools, and engage with your audience consistently.


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