If you love meeting folks in person — either to attract new friends and clients and opportunities or catch up with existing contacts — it’s a good idea to have engaging events.

What’s a good idea for an event? That’s another article. But here are five tools to help you announce and promote your events online at little or no cost.

1. Facebook Page Event lets you to easily create a description of your event. Besides the when and where, you can add photos, videos, links and comments. By editing the page (at "Wall Settings"), you can make the event tab the default landing page for visitors.

You can invite guests either by sending a message to your Facebook friends (from your Facebook event section) or by importing e-mail addresses from Outlook, LinkedIn, and other contact files.

Tip: If you created Facebook lists, you can send invitations to particular lists.

The guests can easily accept the invitation by clicking on the Facebook event page RSVP. Guests will be listed on the event page. As you attract more guests, others can see them and be tempted to join the crowd.

After the event, you can add photos, video and more to make it a memorable event. Your Facebook event page will also link to past events.

Tip No. 2: If you use keywords in the event title, you can be found via Google. You can also advertise your event on Facebook.

2. Eventbrite is a neat event invitation tool. You can offer free events or charge a fee. Besides the description, location and dates, you can add photographs, links, and videos.You can send invitations from your e-mail address book, Plaxo, or Outlook. Eventbrite will also publish your event.

Eventbrite lets you promote your event with widgets, including an event calendar widget and day-countdown widget that you can add to your Web site or blog (make the widgets from the "Manage" section, under "Promote"). You can even include a vanity URL link.

Eventbrite also makes it easy for you to share your event invitation via social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, among others. You can even publish your Eventbrite invitation on Facebook.

3. E-mail newsletters. You can easily e-mail an event invitation using various e-mail newsletter services. Event invitations can be sent to the folks who have already subscribed to your newsletters or to new prospects. E-mail newsletter services include Constant Contact (free event marketing for 60 days), MailChimp (free for small groups) and eCampaignPros.

If you know of other e-mail service companies, share them in the comments. …CONTINUED

E-mail invitations are good since they provide very useful analytics, including the percentage of e-mail opens. ECampaignPros lets you see the e-mails of those who clicked links you included in the invitation. This is helpful to determine which links work best. You can also send follow up e-mails to these folks.

4. Meetup.com is a great way to promote your events. The neat thing about Meetup is that folks can permanently join your Meetup group. In this way, members will automatically know if you have another event. It is a great way to grow a group of future event guests. With Meetup, you can communicate with group members easily.

A neat thing about Meetup: it sends e-mail remindersabout your upcoming events. Meetup also allows you to send messages to all members of your group or those attending any of your events.

Meetup just added a new feature that lets you live-stream video from your home page via Ustream or LiveStream. You can also add sponsor logos and links to your events. Meetup charges $45 for three months of service. Meetup.com has a blog you may find interesting.

5. Taweet is an easy way to advertise events on Twitter. You simply give a description, date and time, and add a link to the event. You sign on through Twitter to send it out to the Twitterverse. What makes it interesting is the ability to add all of your future events. So, if anyone clicks to see one of your events, they are taken to your Taweet page and can see all of your future events. Here’s an example from a Taweet account.

A neat bonus is the ability to create a widget of your events and place it on your blog or Web site, via Tawidget. You simply get the code and embed it on your site.

There you have it, folks. If you use other online methods to announce and promote your events, share it with us in the comments.


What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

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