In-person, live events can be a fun and profitable revenue stream for any multiplatform publishing company. When passionate people are committed to a topic, they want to go to the source; the company, the author, the guru, the expert who really knows the content. They want an interactive presentation. They want to be able to ask questions, see facial expressions, and read body language. This is what major publishers are good at doing, getting those big-name keynote speakers and presenters to draw in a crowd. Event listing websites help you get the word out.
The events of 2020 completely threw this revenue platform for a loop, and many publishers lost money in those early months. However, the good news is that virtual events have been successful for just about every publisher we’ve talked to. While there’s this certain glamour of traveling to a new location and networking with new people face to face, you can’t deny virtual events are incredibly accessible. For the publisher, they’re also fantastically affordable.
Some of the largest publishing events of the year have been successfully transformed into virtual events:
- Forbes hosts the CMO Summit (and other events), which they turned into the CMO Summit Virtual Series.
- HOW hosts the hugely popular How Design Conference, which they turned into an immersive virtual experience including a virtual exhibit hall – a significant feature of the event in prior years.
- Farm Progress hosts the Farm Progress Show, which became a new virtual experience.
Of course, these are significant examples, with thousands in attendance. The niche publishers we work with are seeing positive results as well. Harvard’s Program on Negotiation has gone from in-person, on-campus negotiation seminars to completely virtual—and has sold out all of their events in advance.
Promoting Your In-Person or Virtual Events with Event Listing Websites
Whether you’re using Zoom, ON24, or another solution for virtual events, you’ll still want to list your conference or seminar online through event listing websites for people to find it. Yes, the majority of attendees will come directly from your email promotions, but the task of adding your event to various event listing websites isn’t too time-consuming and worth the effort to discover new audiences.
B2B Event Listing Websites
If your event is focused on professionals, consider using some of the event listing websites used more by this target audience.
Eventbrite is both a ticketing website and a listing website. They allow you to register users and collect money for your tickets using their system. If the event is free, they don’t charge you a dime. Additionally, they have an app that allows you to check-in people at the door if the event is in person. Once your event is in the system, you’re automatically listed in their directory. Eventbrite is hugely popular in the tech event community, but it spans across every niche from tech to health and investing.
10Times is a worldwide platform for listing events and is incredibly popular in major cities like New York, and features events from companies like O’Reilly to IBM to Princeton. There are several niche magazines hosting events, as well as professional organizations. What’s also nice about this event listing website is that they have a section specifically for online events, allowing people to browse thousands of online event listings. It’s also user-friendly, making it easier for people to find your event. The price is free, but you can pay more for placement.
AllTech Conferences is an excellent resource to list your event for free if you’re in the tech publishing niche. Just scrolling through all the tech events on this site shows the sheer amount that are now virtual. Instead of a visitor deciding if they’re willing to fly to Germany or China to attend a specific event, now they can pick the event they want to attend based on the content presented instead, imagine that! If you’re in NYC, Gary’s Guide is another good one for this niche.
Colloq is a little different than the listing sites above, in a good way. Since it’s not US-based, it might be better for international events, but you can list your event or search for free like the other sites above. Additionally, users can also engage with an event and follow up with it afterward. You can publish your live stream, add media coverage links to your events, upload slides, and create a little portal for your event.
LinkedIn has gone back and forth on the events feature, but it seems like it’s now here to stay. The benefit of listing your event on LinkedIn is that you can also promote it through their ad system, which can give it the visibility you’re looking for.
Facebook might seem like a non-professional platform for a B2B event, but BBC reports, “6 out of 10 people admit they can’t get through the workday without checking their social media, according to online learning firm Udemy, while two-thirds of us say Facebook is the biggest time-sink.” If you have a Facebook page for your business, it’s worth using their event listing platform.
B2C Event Listing Websites
If you cater to a more consumer audience, the sites below work better for general audiences. Meetup.com is another type of event site, although we didn’t see it as a good professional fit, so we left it out of the review below.
The use of Facebook’s event platform is so prevalent in B2C marketing, you could pretty much stop here. Any consumer-facing event has a place on Facebook. The promotion of events is easy because you can use their cheap ad platform to do it. Additionally, when users reply that they are or might be attending an event (usually just to remind themselves to think about it later so that it shows up on their events list), all of their friends will get notified that they want to attend the event. It’s a no-brainer for any event, both B2B and especially B2C.
This venue and restaurant review community has an event section for local events that get listed in the community calendar. Members can also say whether they’re attending the event and review the event when it’s ended. As a (free) member of Yelp, you can list events in the closest big city to the event.
Eventful is owned by Entercom and is very popular for music, community, and educational events. To your benefit, this site has an email newsletter that reminds users of upcoming events in their area. Eventful is definitely more of a consumer-based website and would be recommended for charity, free promotional events, or even a booth promotion at large events. They do, however, also have a “conference” section where you can list professional events. So far, it seems underutilized; it offers more free features (photos, social media links, etc.) than many competitors.
One other bit of advice is to look for local enthusiasts in your niche. In Boston, we have BostonTweetup, hosted by Joselin Mane, who curates an ongoing listing of Tweetups in the Boston and New England area. You’re allowed to add events yourself, and he sends event shout-outs and updates to his list of over 19K followers. Try to find people like this in your area when live events are back up and running.
Additionally, Evvnt is a platform that allows you to submit your event to more than a thousand different event listing websites.
You may also find opportunities to list events in your local newspaper websites. Many business and community newspapers accept event listings online.
Which event listing websites do you use and love? Share in the comments below.
Originally written January 2009 and updated yearly.