By now, you may have heard just how important well-planned and well-executed events can be for your coworking space.
When done right, coworking events can help you:
- Build community
- Acquire new members
- Elevate your brand
- Improve overall retention
- Drive additional revenue
There are so many incredible events you can plan for your community, from sound baths to happy hours to paint nights. But how can you ensure people actually show up to your event?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about promoting events in your coworking space. If you’re looking to develop a comprehensive event marketing strategy, this is the article for you.
The importance of promoting your coworking events
Promoting your coworking events is imperative to driving attendance, and therefore, value.
The greatest challenge we hear from those in the community when it comes to their events is attendance.
The old adage, if you build it they will come, does not always apply when it comes to putting on a great event, especially if you are a new space. Your members’ time is valuable and attendance can be sparse.
In marketing, it’s often said that you need to spend 2x the amount of time promoting something as you do creating it. This is because the success of an event, or any marketing effort for that matter, depends on people actually participating or engaging with it.
Without effective promotion, your hard work in creating something might go to waste. In other words, if you don’t promote it well, it’s almost like not doing it at all.
How to develop a coworking event promotion plan
Below we’ll map out exactly what you need to know to develop an effective plan for promoting your coworking events in and outside of your community.
Note that this article assumes that you have already planned an event and are solely looking for promotional ideas. If you need help with coworking event ideas, check out our ultimate guide to coworking events.
1. Define your goals
Defining an objective is like setting the compass direction before embarking on a journey. It’s a fundamental step that provides clarity and purpose to the event’s planning and execution.
Having a well-defined objective ensures that the event serves a specific function, whether it’s:
- Community building
- Lead generation
- Member education
- Or more!
This clarity guides decision-making at every stage, from choosing the event format and content to allocating resources effectively.
A clear objective also enables the measurement of success through key performance indicators (KPIs) and post-event assessments, allowing you to determine if the event met its intended goals and how it can be enhanced in the future.
You should have defined the objective well before you began planning the event. Now is a good time to bring that objective front and center – whether it’s to attract new members to your space or develop the network of existing members. This will in turn make your promotional plan more effective.
2. Determine your audience
Defining your audience is a critical step in your event promotion plan. In many cases, your audience will be your coworking members or your pre-defined coworking Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). However, in some cases, your audience may be slightly different such as:
- Specific niche in your community (ie. new families, women)
- Potential investors
- Small business owners to develop business partnerships with
Defining your audience will streamline your marketing efforts when it comes to event promotion. Instead of scattering resources across various channels hoping to attract anyone and everyone, you can direct your resources where they’ll have the most impact.
3. Set your timeline
One question we often hear when it comes to event promotion is, how far in advance should I begin to promote the event?
Promoting a local event for a coworking space typically requires a shorter lead time compared to larger, more complex events. Here’s a rough timeline for promotion that you can apply to your own space:
- Four weeks out: send out a “Save the Date” announcement to give people a heads up about the event.
- Three weeks out: provide all event details including the date, time, location, and agenda. Consider offering an early-bird promotion.
- Two weeks out: continue your marketing push, posting once more across all channels
- Final week: ramp up your promotion efforts with social media reminders every other day and an email blast
- Day before event/day of event: continue to promote it through social, sharing live updates, photos, and video clips.
The timeline above is only a rough outline of what you may choose to follow. However, it can give you a good idea of what a promotional timeline may look like.
4. Align on a promotional budget
How much you will spend to promote an event is usually a function of how much you expect the event to make. In event marketing, the budget for event promotion is typically anywhere between 15% and 20% of expected revenue generated.
For example, let’s say you are hosting an influential keynote speaker at your coworking space to drum up buzz in the community. You are planning on selling 100 tickets at $20 a piece. If you anticipate your event to bring in $2,000 in revenue, then you may spend anywhere from $300 to $400 to promote it.
But what do you do if the goal of your event is not to acquire members? In that case, you’ll need to use your best judgment when it comes to setting up a promotional budget. In some cases, especially for a small scale event, you may not need a budget at all.
5. Create a compelling offer
To get people to attend your event, especially new individuals who may not have heard of your space before, you may want to consider creating some kind of incentive for attending.
This incentive can then be used in all of your marketing materials, and should be accounted for in your promotional or event budget. Examples include:
- Discounts on coworking memberships (for both new and existing members) such as 25% your first month or two weeks free
- Prize drawings for rewards such as gift cards or free memberships
- Early-bird discounts such as 50% off ticket price (if it is a paid event) for those who sign-up through the promotion
Most coworking spaces will offer a discount on coworking memberships for attending the event, especially if it’s an open house or happy hour where the goal is to acquire new members.
Not only does this offer help fill your coworking event, it will also help convert those attendees into paying customers.
6. Define your channels
There are many different channels available to you when it comes to your marketing plan. Some examples you may want to explore include:
- Social media (organic and paid): platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be used for advertising your event, both through your owned feeds and via paid acquisition (digital ads).
- Email: email newsletters can be highly effective when it comes to getting the word out about your event, especially when marketing to existing members.
- Website: your website can be a great way to promote your event, especially if you receive a decent amount of organic traffic already. This could include a website banner, pop-up, or dedicated landing page.
- Local newspaper: advertising in a local publication, such as a newspaper or magazine, can be an effective way of reaching a highly targeted audience.
- Mobile app: if your coworking space is using a white-labeled app, you can advertise the event directly in the app to ensure everyone sees it.
- Member messaging platforms: are you using WhatsApp, Slack, or a messaging platform in Optix to communicate directly with your members? If so, these can be great places to let them know about the event taking place.
- PR: a larger event may be fitting for a bigger PR push, especially if you are a large-scale coworking network holding a significant event, such as a conference.
We typically see the most success when coworking operators utilize a combination of channels to get the word out about their event, such as paid social media advertising to bring in new members and email and mobile app promotion to encourage existing members to attend.
7. Develop content
Almost all channels you utilize will need content. Whatever you choose to create, it should include the:
- Name of the event
- Information about the event including what people will receive for attending
- Cost and/or promotional pricing (if applicable)
- How/where to sign up
This is also the stage where you’ll want to spend some time thinking creatively about what your content will look like and whether or not it will be part of a larger campaign push. If you plan to promote your event in physical spaces, you’ll need to account for how things will look when printed.
Note that not all of the information listed above has to be included in the digital graphics you create. You may choose to include more information about the event in the copy accompanying it or on a dedicated landing page.
However, whatever you choose to create should be eye-catching and compelling. Below is an example of a graphic that could be used for paid or organic social advertising. You can see how the branding can easily be converted into an email or website banner as well.
Tip: When developing content, create a core piece of content that can then be repurposed and redistributed across other channels. For example, film a 2 minute long video for your website that promotes the event. Then, shorten this into smaller clips for social media, include the video in your next email newsletter, and share the video with local publications to be shared on their own channels. This way you can get greater distribution with just a single piece of content.
BONUS: Harness the power of word-of-mouth
Word-of-mouth is easily one of the most effective ways of drumming up excitement for an upcoming event. However, it is also one of the most challenging ways of marketing, especially if you are a new space without a large audience to begin with.
Here are some ways of organically drumming up word-of-mouth to support the promotion of your coworking event.
- Encourage members to spread the word within their personal networks
- Implement a referral program or incentive for member referrals
- Facilitate attendee-generated content through event hashtags and social sharing
If you can provide your members with a strong incentive to spread the word about your event, you could find its promotion much easier overall.
Measuring and analyzing the results of your event
Congratulations! You have successfully held a coworking event and promoted it yourself. Now is the time to take what you’ve learned and apply it to future events and promotional plans. This includes:
- Tracking registration numbers, ticket sales, and attendee engagement to get a sense of how many attendees you had, and how many convert to members later on
- Collecting feedback through member surveys and post-event evaluations
- Identifying areas for improvement and future event ideas and promotion, whether that’s exploring new channels or new event formats
The goal here is to be continuously refining your event promotion strategies so that they continue to become more effective in time. Ask for feedback, implement it, and continue to look at ways that you can better support your community with your events.
Getting started with promoting your coworking event
The success of your coworking events hinges on effective promotion. Crafting a comprehensive and strategic marketing plan tailored to your audience is key to drawing attendees, fostering community engagement, and achieving your event objectives.
From leveraging social media and email marketing to creating engaging content and harnessing the power of word-of-mouth referrals, promoting your coworking events requires a multi-faceted approach.
If you’re looking for a solution to streamline the management of your coworking events and space, check out Optix. With its robust features and user-friendly interface, Optix can help you optimize event planning, enhance member experiences, and grow your coworking community.
Take the next step toward coworking success by exploring Optix features today.