low cost ways to promote your festival  

10 Low Cost Ways to Promote Your Festival

Event Tips

The old adage that you need to spend money to make money has its purposes. But one place people often under budget and over spend is advertising. Getting the word out about your festival doesn’t have to be costly. We’ve gathered up our ten favorite ways to save money and still have a great festival outcome!

Put Flyers on Everything

I know what you are thinking: printing is expensive. If you’re paying out of pocket for colorful and attention grabbing flyers to place on every window and light post in town, the pennies add up. But there are several ways to get around printing costs. First, you can ask local non-profits such as Chamber of Commerce, churches or a senior center. Or consider buying a used printer locally and print them out yourself.

Create a Facebook Event

promote your event on facebook
Facebook is like an online, international community center. Creating an event is free and you’d be surprised how quickly the details of your event will spread to potential attendees. Be sure to personalize it with tons of information and comment to followers regularly leading up to the big day. This will create and hold a buzz, guaranteeing a good turnout.

Hang Banners in Event’s Future Location

As early as you can place banners near or on the location of the festival. People who drive by regularly will have a regular reminder of the fun to come, and word of mouth is powerful. Don’t go hog wild with information. The name, date and time in a bold, readable font will be enough to entice potential participation.

Offer a Freebie

It’s amazing how easy a freebie or two will lure people to your festival. Make sure it’s something that is true to the nature of your event. Even something as simple as balloons or an edible treat for children or a 5 minute neck massage for adults will make the festival a priority of their time.

Giveaway Booths for Fun Activities

With most festivals, each participating business owner or advertiser rents a booth spot. But generosity often equates to a positive atmosphere. Giving away a spot or two for fun activities such as pumpkin painting for your fall festival or balloon artists will return to you in the form of happy attendees willing to spend more time and money at the festival.

Host a Parade

promote a festival with a parade
Everyone loves a parade, and if you have it before the festival, people tend to follow it to the full event. It could be a walking pet parade or even letting local participating venders drive cars with banners on the side. It costs you nothing besides time and a little planning, but will get the communities attention.


You can appeal to the competitive nature of adults or children by having a couple fun contests during the festival. Most large scale fairs have dozens because it’s something free that attendees can watch as well as participate in. Think strongest man, crawling baby race, eating contests, or three legged contests. Or something less physical, like a coloring contest for a donated ice cream gift card. Competitions are sure to have attendees laughing and making memories.

Old Fashion Ads

Though they’ve taken a backseat to the internet, local ads are great for advertising local events. Newspapers will often put them in calendar of events. You can also let the chamber of commerce or visitor bureau about the festival ahead, and they can spread the word with their already thriving local connections.

Online Ads

As I mentioned above, the internet has sort of taken over information disbursement. Use free ad websites such as craigslist.org or backpage.com to highlight all the wonderful reasons people should come, and update it regularly to keep it at the top of listings.

Create a Blog and Link Up With Participating Vendors

Another great way to leverage social media is to create a free event blog and email address. You can then use the email address to keep all things related to the festival separate, and include it in your advertisements and on flyers. Be sure to check the email and update blog regularly. Blogger.com and wordpress.com are very popular and offer a simple-to-use medium to share information and link with others involved with the festival.

Some great ways to link the blog is by having a business directory of the people who’ve rented spaces for the festival. You can exchange advertising of their business on your blog for them spreading the word that they’ll be at the festival! This can include sending a message to their email lists, posting flyers on storefront windows, or putting a flyer in their customers’ shopping bags. This is a wonderful way to take advantage of their customer base and give them exposure too!

Have you used any of these suggestions before? Have we given you some ideas you never thought of for your event? Please tell us about it in the comments below.

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