Marketing your event is something that needs to get done and there is no tried and true way to know what works best. There are many ways to get the word out about your event, from digital to traditional, and you can spend your (probably small) marketing budget quickly.
The first thing you must do when you know the date of your event is put a ‘save the date’ on your website. Many of our larger customers have dates scheduled out 2 to 3 years and post those dates on their website and briefly mention it throughout the year, and then much more when tickets go on sale.
Ticket sales should be done at least 3 months before your event, but hopefully sooner if you include early bird prices which will help get some dollars in early. Do not do any heavy marketing until tickets are on sale. When tickets do go on sale, make sure you email all attendees from previous years.
There are trade show publications you can post ads in and websites that aggregate events where you can sponsor to be more prominently featured, such as Global Events List. Google Adwords is a digital tool that can help you get seen on a variety of website that have to do with your industry. Being active on social media also helps get the word out about your event, encouraging attendees to post on social that they are attending.
The last marketing channel to keep in mind is press. If you have a speaker from out of town or new topic that not many are talking about yet, make sure to send out a press release. Overall, there are many ways to market your event, but the best thing you can do is provide an amazing experience and encourage attendees to come back and bring their friends the following year.