What Does it Take to Create an Event Marketing Strategy on a Small Budget?

Event Marketing

January 6, 2024

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As an experienced event planner who has executed countless successful events on modest budgets, I know it’s possible to implement an impactful event marketing]strategy without breaking the bank. 

But it does require strategy, creativity, and focus.

In this post, I’ll share my proven framework for developing a small budget event marketing plan that drives real results. 

Whether you’re launching your first event or are an experienced planner lacking inspiration, I’ll provide tactics to help you promote your next event impressively despite limited funds.

Ready to unlock the secrets to executing buzz-worthy events that people can’t stop talking about–all on a bootstrap budget? Let’s get started!

Always Remember to Start By Setting Measurable Goals

It’s easy to jump straight into brainstorming flashy event marketing tactics before defining what success actually looks like.

But without clear goals tied to business objectives, you’ll end up wasting precious budget on vanity metrics that don’t move the needle.

Before you plan a single thing, clearly define 1-2 specific, measurable goals for your event campaign.

Focus on goals that align to your core business priorities.

For example, if brand awareness is your key objective, make that your #1 goal and orient your strategy around the actions that drive awareness among your target demographic.

With measurable goals set, you have a framework to assess potential tactics and eliminate any that don’t directly align. 

This prevents wasted spend and ensures the freedom to get creative within your budget.

Hint: I have another post on putting together an epic event strategy over here. 

My Routine for Planning Events on a Bootstrap Budget

Notebook open with the words scale, marketing, and business plan schedule on it.

I am happy to say that I have achieved super successful events with low budgets (mostly from my days working with luxury travel companies!), and my routine directly influences my ability to get things done and find ways to make the event work on a budget.

My routine when developing a small budget event marketing plan includes:

  • Defining Success Metrics: I start by getting very clear on the 1-2 goals for the event campaign and identifying the specific metrics that indicate success for each goal.
  • Brainstorming on Brand: I brainstorm event marketing tactics tailored to a brand’s unique strengths and positioning. This stimulates creative ideas aligned to the brand’s values.
  • Researching Competitors: I research what peer brands are doing for event marketing to spur new ideas and identify gaps.
  • Finding Sponsorships: I tap partnerships and sponsorships to fund elements of the marketing plan in exchange for event promotion.
  • Optimizing Tactics: I constantly assess potential tactics against my goals and budget. I optimize mix based on impact, cost, and alignment to brand.
  • Getting Social: Since social media marketing is largely free, I dedicate significant time to crafting engaging social content and partnerships.

With this focused routine, I’ve been able to execute 50+ events globally within tight budgets and still drive strong awareness, engagement, and lead generation.

Related Post: What Is an Event Marketing Plan? A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Event Marketing Plan

Some Advice from an Mentor 

I like to shake it up with info from all over the web. My friend and mentor Kori has some critical advice for you. She says, to speed up you have to slow down.

And when it comes to doing something well and with excellence, especially in regards to events where it’s literally ALL about being of service to your audience, you need to be willing to be in it for the long haul.

Which means no racing to plan an event as fast as possible because that’s when mistakes get made and your brand reputation suffers. 

For more great tips like this, check out her Instagram here!

Never Let Limited Funds Limit Your Ambition

Side profile of woman writing at a table with lot of green plans surrounding her.

Don’t allow naysayers to dissuade you from executing an exciting event concept due to budget concerns. 

Because with the right strategic approach, you can absolutely pull it off on a modest budget. 

Never let limited funds limit your vision and creativity.

With clearly defined goals and success metrics guiding your efforts, you can achieve tremendous awareness and engagement on any budget.

You need Disciplined Goal-Alignment Above All

Now, just because you don’t have a Google-sized budget (but like, who does), doesn’t mean you can’t plan and execute an incredible, brand-boosting, FOMO-inducing event marketing plan.

This does mean you need to be strategic before you can jump right into planning and creative mode, but I know you can do it because I’ve done it!

Let’s be specific in mapping out how you can plan and execute an amazing event marketing plan on a budget, even if you’ve never planned an event before:

  1. Define 1-2 Specific, Measurable Goals Aligned (SMART) to your business priorities
  2. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track for each goal
  3. Audit potential tactics against goals to eliminate any that don’t align
  4. Research creative execution options aligned to your brand goals
  5.  Identify and Leverage Marketing Channels That Offer Free Exposure (e.g. Social Media, Email Marketing, PR Outreach

Because I know how important staying on track and on budget is, I put together this free (really free!) Event Marketing Blueprint for you.

Use it to execute a killer event marketing plan that skyrockets your brand visibility and growth. 

Click here to download Event Marketing Blueprint

Wrapping it up! 

I’ve shared my proven framework for strategically developing and executing an impactful event on a modest budget.

From defining success metrics to optimizing tactics, hopefully it equips you with actionable strategies to drive the best possible results for your event.

Which tips are you planning to implement immediately from this post??

You are now well on your way to planning and executing an incredible event marketing plan.

Remember, you can download my Event Marketing Blueprint to help you plan and promote your amazing event right here.

Click here to download Event Marketing Blueprint

I hope this post has been helpful!

Any questions? Comment below or shoot me a DM on Instagram!

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The right event strategy + the right event marketing + a connection-hungry target audience has the power to position you and your brand as a 5-star thought leader, community builder, and purpose-driven connector. 

You invest in your business and brand for the long term when you incorporate events into your marketing and brand strategy.

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