Event listings websites form an important part of any event marketing strategy. Free listing services such as Yelp, CBS Local, Time Out, Eventful, LastFM and dozens more offer event promoters access to an enormous local and global audience of over 78 million event-goers per month. With that kind of reach, it’s very important that promoters take advantage of this free promotion method.

The pros are obvious – for free, promoters can access many new channels for marketing event information, ticket links and artist lineups. This can drive awareness, attendance and, critically, ticket sales. By piggy-backing on the popularity of some of the world’s top event sites, event organisers can overcome relative obscurity especially with brand new events. There are, however, some downsides. Adding listings to these sites is time consuming, taking up hours or even days depending on the number of events and how many sites are used. Additionally, sometimes editorial restrictions on the individual listing sites make it difficult to categorise events properly and premium content can steal away reader attention.

In order to use listing sites as effectively as possible, promoters should consider the following:

  1. Making sure your events are properly categorised:
  2. Always tag your events with lots of specific keywords. Don’t just use terms like ‘music’ or ‘gig,’ try to delve into minor genres and use artist names, venue names and locations to help searchers as well.
  3. If there’s no field for tags when submitting your event, include it in an email to the listing site editor, or add tags to the event description. There’s no point in listing your event on listings sites if no one can find it!

Making your event stand out:

  1. Always use a picture and make sure it matches the editorial criteria of the listing site (some sites require large images, some small, and some a certain size ratio). Listings with photos are much more likely to attract reader attention
  2. Always include a ticket link. If someone is browsing a listings site and finds your event, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to attend.
  3. Use lists or bullet points when describing the event or the lineup. Big blocks of text are hard to read and off-putting for readers on the listings sites.

Time efficiency:

  1. The evvnt software package includes automatic event broadcast that allows promoters to post event listings to 40+ sites at once, meaning you only list your event details once and the rest are posted automatically. This is the most effective and efficient way to list events online
  2. Offer internships. Many young people are interested in breaking into the events and entertainment space and are willing to work for lower pay in order to add event work to their resume. Get interns to help with event listings and in return offer them the chance to get involved in other areas of your event work. Make sure that internships are value added to your interns, however – for more information on the rules and regulations surrounding internships, visit the Internship Charter produced by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
  3. Pick the most relevant listings sites and ignore the others. While this does mean you’ll miss out on some of the web audience of event-goers, you’ll at least begin to get an idea of what types of listings work on which sites as you try 4 or 5 each week.

Never underestimate the value of free listings sites – there’s no better way, for free, to reach a large audience of online readers looking for events – exactly who you want to reach! Try adding your event to free listings sites and see which ones work best for your events.

Tips for event marketing success:

–      Use event listing sites to promote your event to a wide audience
–      Tag events properly & always use photos to make them easy to find
–      Be time efficient in your listing strategy, either through using evvnt software or selecting a limited number of key sites.

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