How Event Marketing Has Evolved With Social Media Over The Last Decade
Event Marketing

How Event Marketing Has Evolved With Social Media Over The Last Decade


I can safely say that most marketers today leverage event marketing to promote their brands. In fact, if you’re working with a marketing agency, this might be among the tricks it recommends to reach potential customers. 

Creating an event marketing plan typically guides you on how, where, and when to engage your target audience. If executed right, it can not only increase your website visitors but also generate sales.

But here’s the thing—event marketing wouldn’t be such a powerful digital marketing tactic without social media. 

Social media platforms like Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) allow event attendees and marketers to interact freely and form in-person connections. This could be all you need to generate leads.

Eager to learn more? 

In this article, I’ll discuss four ways event marketing has evolved over the past decade, thanks to social media.

Let’s get down to business.

1. More Effective Event Promotion 

Social media has made event promotion easier by helping event marketers create a buzz for their events before they start. With platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, potential attendees can engage, ask relevant questions, and get valuable feedback. 

This allows you to share important details about your upcoming event, including what attendees should expect. As a result, it could pique their interest and boost attendance. 

Here are some easy ways to use social media to promote events:  

Facebook Events 

Facebook Events is a tool that allows you to create a landing page for your next event, providing details like: 

  • Event name
  • Event date 
  • Time of the networking event
  • Event schedule 
  • Host or co-hosts 
  • Ticket URLs 
  • Event location 

Remember, Facebook has about 3 billion monthly active users, and is currently the world’s largest social media platform. 

With a Facebook event page, a great deal of them will likely see your event on their feeds and events tab, enabling you to reach a wider audience. 


Once your followers know about your upcoming event, they might tell their friends and relatives about it. 

Here’s an example of a Facebook events page promoting a poker championship at Sycuan Casino Resort: 

Image via Facebook

Instagram Stories 

Marketers also use Instagram stories for event marketing. Instagram had more than 2 billion monthly active users as of January 2023. And a vast majority of them watch or create Instagram Stories often.

So, why are Instagram stories effective in event promotion

Well, they’re captivating and can effectively reach and engage your target audience. In fact, they can lead to one-on-one conversations. The key is to highlight your event’s main activities to let potential attendees know what’s in it for them. 

As you promote your event on Instagram Stories, remember to include essential details like host, time, date, and location. 

Using powerful CTAs can also boost conversion rates. For event marketing, I suggest the following to drive people to sign up:

  • Book now
  • Sign me up 
  • Reserve my seat
  • Save my spot 
  • Count me in
  • Get tickets now 

Check out this example of an Instagram Story by professional dancer Lestwinson to promote a dance tournament. Note how there’s a link to drive ticket sales.

Image via Instagram

Events Marketing Hashtags

Hashtags are still in style, especially for event planners and marketers. This is mainly because they make your event content more discoverable. With them, you can reach more potential attendees, even outside your following. 

That said, your hashtags must be relevant to your event and the niche. For instance, if your event is a music event, you should have hashtags related to it. Also, they must be branded to ensure that people recognize your event. 

Using clear, catchy, and memorable event hashtags is advisable to draw more attention to your event. 

While at it, vet the hashtags to confirm they’re unique and appropriate. The last thing you want is to promote corporate events with the same hashtags used to market adult content.

How can you ensure your hashtags are exclusive to your event? 

It’s easy. 

Type them in the search bars of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. If nothing comes up, you can go ahead and use them. 

Valuable Tips To Promote Events With Hashtags

More tricks you can use to make the most of hashtags for event marketing include: 

  • Use your hashtag across all social media platforms to broaden your reach. 
  • Comment on posts with your event hashtags. 
  • Encourage guests, speakers, and hosts to use the hashtag when telling their fans/followers about the event. 
  • Include the hashtag on the event registration page. 
  • Use the hashtag even after the event. This keeps the conversation going and is a great marketing strategy for future events. 

Here’s an example of a social media post leveraging a hashtag to market an event. Apple used the hashtag “#AppleEvent” to promote the brand’s iPhone 15 event launch in September 2023. As you can see, it was short, clear, and relevant. 

Image via X

Giveaways and Contests

Giveaways and contests are a fun way to increase event attendees’ interest in your event. This is the primary reason you should incorporate them into your event marketing efforts. 

Let’s face it. We all enjoy free stuff and wouldn’t mind attending an event to get our hands on them. For instance, if you provide online tools, you’ll likely attract more leads for your upcoming event by promising a free trial. 

You could also organize a contest before the actual event to drum up support for it. For example, ask potential attendees to share your event’s poster on a platform like X. Remind them to include the relevant hashtags and tag their online friends. The person who garners the most retweets or likes walks home with a giveaway. 

That enables you to reach a larger pool of potential customers or attendees. Even better, it could bump up ticket sales, making way for your event’s success. 

Again, giveaways and contests build brand awareness, as Attrock confirms. This might win you more potential attendees for future events. 

Take a look at how Sight & Sound Music Center included giveaways in their event marketing plan to encourage attendance. 

          Image via Facebook

Creating Successful Giveaways and Contests

I recommend these tips for event planners and marketers using giveaways and contests for event promotion:

  • Use paid promotion to target your preferred audience.
  • Leverage a form builder to create a giveaway registration form. It allows you to collect data about potential attendees interested in the free gifts and engage with them.
  • Establish clear rules for participating in the giveaways and contests. This guides participants on the steps to take to win. 
  • Pick your giveaway or contest social media platform, depending on the features of each and your following. For example, Facebook is most popular among millennials. So, if they’re your target audience, it should be your go-to tool for contests and giveaways.    
  • Announce winners and plan for future events, if any. 

2. Creation of Shareable Content 

Social media enables you to produce and share content to promote your event. The pool of shareable content includes videos, articles or blogs, memes, infographics, and listicles. 

Sharing them via social media could be handy in expanding your event marketing campaign. 

As an event marketer, you can also take advantage of visual testimonials while creating shareable content. They’re more compelling and can help you earn your potential attendees’ trust. 

But here’s what you must keep in mind. People prefer sharing different types of content. 

According to recent statistics, 51% of individuals would rather share videos than other content. Social media posts hold the second position, with 26% of people saying they’re likely to share them with friends. 

Image via Wyzowl

So, which is the best type of content for the event marketing process? That depends on your event marketing objectives and resources.

Of course, videos deserve top priority if you want to attract more social shares. Ensure you understand your target audience and event marketing objectives before creating your event promotion videos. This will help you identify the most powerful content to include. 

For example, let’s suppose you’re marketing networking sessions. You can use footage of people interacting in a social setting. If your target audience for the in-person events is kids, the individuals mingling in the video should be kids, too. This makes the video content relatable and appealing to potential attendees. 

Social media posts with visuals like infographics, photos, and charts are also worth a shot. 

Your live or virtual events will likely have a larger attendance when you post shareable content on social media. Also, include a link directing potential attendees to the event website. It will enable them to access more information about the event. 

3. The Rise of Influencer Marketing 

Many event marketers today promote events by getting social media influencers to share them with their personal networks. This trend is so popular because event attendees and potential customers tend to consider recommendations from people they know.

Therefore, people will likely show up at your upcoming event when an influencer they follow prompts them to.

There’s no doubt influencer marketing works for both event and brand promotion via social media. 89% of marketers say they will maintain their investment in influencer marketing or funnel more funds towards it in 2024.  

So, how can you get the most out of influencer marketing when promoting an event? I have some pointers: 

  • Study your target audience on social media to understand their interests. 
  • Target social media influencers that match your target audience’s preferences and brand. 
  • Build your influencer strategy, incorporating features like visually appealing content and branded hashtags.
  • Tell the influencers about your next event’s potential attendees and their needs. 
  • Get the influencers to hype the event before you hold it. 
  • Encourage the influencers to share relevant content pre and post-event. 

Here’s an example of a poster professional footballer and influencer Christiano Ronaldo shared to promote Gamers8 in 2023. 

Image via Instagram

4. Technology Integration 

Event marketers use software like Wistia, Loom, and Vimeo to create event promotion video content to share instantly via social media. These tools don’t just allow prospective customers to view your videos and learn more about your upcoming event. They can also comment and react, enabling you to measure video performance. 

In our increasingly digital world, you can also use event technology to learn the best event marketing strategies to use on social media. But how? 

For starters, AI allows you to analyze data from potential attendees’ social media profiles to deliver personalized event marketing content.  

Sensor technology like eye tracking for UX testing might let you know how potential event attendees perceive your offerings. This can help you create powerful event marketing content matching their interests.

The market is also full of apps and software to plan and share your event details via different social media channels. A great example is Bizzabo, which you can seamlessly integrate with social media.

Take Advantage of Social Media for Event Marketing

There. Now you know how social media has changed the event marketing arena within the last ten years. 

If you’re planning to host trade shows or other events to grow your business, I strongly endorse social media for marketing them. With it in your event marketing strategy, your chances of connecting with your potential attendees are high.

This is because social media boosts engagement between potential attendees and increases exposure for your events. 

Ultimately, you can increase your event’s attendance and achieve your event marketing goals. 

Ready to make the most of social media to market your event? Start your event marketing campaign today.


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