For service providers, event marketing is a staple in today’s business environment. The face-to-face time with prospects in a setting that highlights your industry expertise carries excellent marketing value. But first, you need people to show up. How do you market events successfully using the Internet?

Social Networks

Sites such as LinkedIn.com and Facebook.com allow users to add event information to searchable calendars that are viewed by thousands, if not millions. Also, the technology allows you to promote your event to your network of contacts, which in turn can share the event info with business colleagues and friends. When you are building your social network online, focus on new contacts that are prospects – not just former colleagues at your last job or high school friends.

Landing Pages

Whether your online presence includes a website or a blog (better), create a landing page for your upcoming events; well in advance of the event. Just adding the date and venue is not enough; include bios of the speakers, photos, testimonials from previous events and the benefits of attending. Ask each of the speakers to write a blog post or topical summary for publishing on your website. Subsequently, add a link to the event landing page to your online profiles and ask your social network contacts to share the info with their networks: Linkedin.com, Plaxo.com, Facebook.com, twitter.com, etc.

Blog About It

Once you have your landing pages and profile links setup, go out and join the conversation. Add valuable content to industry blogs and forums. Discuss the topics that will be covered during your event and offer solutions – avoid sales pitches for the event.

Press Releases

Create a press release for your event and distribute it to your email list as well as media outlets that target your intended audience. There are several inexpensive and free press release outlets – a quick search will give you all that you need: PRweb.com, PRlog.com and so on.

These are just a few ways to promote your event online and there are numerous others (Videos, Podcasts, Webinars, Teleseminars, email marketing, etc.). A business colleague, Peggy Duncan, is a prolific speaker and online marketer. She has an excellent post that elaborates on the topic: read her post here. Another great resource is Peg Corwin’s (another colleague) post on Internet marketing, which you’ll find here.