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Tips & Tricks: Marketing and Audience Building
Tips & Tricks: Marketing and Audience Building

Marketing tips from the Eventive team, many of whom are former festival programmers and staff!

Iddo Patt avatar
Written by Iddo Patt
Updated over a week ago

Check out these tips & tricks for building audiences, generating buzz, and marketing your event -- directly from the Eventive team!

Grassroots Audience Building

Find Community Partners to Seed Your Audience

One of the most effective ways to work with community partners is to leverage their network to help you sell tickets! When you reach out, offer to recognize them as a sponsor on the film’s screening page in exchange for help spreading the word--just be clear about coordinating your communications!

Offer Discount Codes

Offer discount codes that partner organizations can share with their own members and followers to incentivize audience crossover! Create unique discount codes for each partner organization to track where your audience is coming from.

Collaboration is Key

You might be surprised by how many educational institutions and non-profit organizations are eager to partner on events in order to share expenses and avoid competing for audiences. This works best when you contact them early on, but even last minute overtures can yield support!

Ask board members to help you sell passes

Passholders can help seed the audience for in-person events and generate buzz for virtual events, resulting in more ticket sales. Consider assigning your board a quota of passes they have to sell to get the ball rolling!

Include local celebrities in your programming

Find individuals in your network who have strong local connections or social media presence, and ask them to moderate panels, intro a film, host a party--and help promote their event! The more influential people you involve, the more impactful your whisper campaign.

Spreading the Word and Increasing Brand Awareness

Promote Your Festival in the Eventive Discovery Portal

We want to help new folks discover your festival! You can learn how to set up your channel here, and then new audiences will be able to find (and search for) your festival in our discovery portal.

We try to highlight current festivals at the top of the page, and also use this catalog as a reference when we schedule our social media shout-outs for upcoming events. Please contact if you have any questions.

Email Marketing

Emails are like short stories with media, links and action items, designed to engage your audience’s heart and mind.

Whether you’re using our Mailings feature, integrating with Mailchimp or using another email platform, think about how you’re communicating the “5 Ws + How” through short, poignant text--and most importantly, through images, video and graphics!

Who: Who is your audience for the email? Try some A/B testing to see what they find compelling, or consider sending some targeted emails to specific audiences. With Eventive Mailings it’s easy to segment your audience based on pass type, events attended and tags!

What: You can’t always include your whole film program in an email, so try highlighting one key event or part of your program to drive traffic to your Film Guide on Eventive.

Why: Why should they come? Maybe it’s to support a cause, or build community, or celebrate the power of art! Make this “Why” the focus of the Welcome Page on your Eventive Native site.

When & Where: Advertising the date and venue for special events is a good idea, and it’s easy to drive people to your Eventive Schedule for a full list of showtimes...and tickets!

How: Every email should have an action item, and how to complete that action should be as clear as possible. Feel free to send folks these audience how-to videos for reference!

Social Media Engagement

You are the best expert on which social media platforms your audience responds to most, but here are some suggestions that apply across the board!

  1. Use eye-catching graphics, images and video. Compelling visuals are worth more than 1000 words--and certainly more than 280 characters! When you customize your design for Eventive, make sure to make some social media graphics as well!

  2. Plan one post per day per platform. Leading up to your festival, post once per day about specific films and link directly to their Eventive screening or film pages. You can schedule these posts in advance--and then still have some spontaneity in your feed by sharing (and “Liking”) posts from other cool people in your network!

  3. Tag the right people. Your posts can’t be just a pile of tags, but aim to get 3-5 tags into each one to increase your chances of being shared and seen. And you can always tag us! Twitter & Instagram: @eventive_org | Facebook:

  4. Be intentional with your #hashtags. Do some quick research on which hashtags are trending, or look up a #hashtag in the search bar to see if people are talking about it and find the tags people are using the most

  5. Some posts are just for fun! If all you post are advertisements for your programs, you won’t get as much traction as you will if you have some posts throughout the year that are just for fun. You want to inspire people to comment or share, so you gain more followers. You could give a virtual high-five to an artist in your community, or invite people to submit a caption to a funny film still--go nuts!

Learn how to integrate your social media with Eventive here.


Whether you’re planning a virtual, in-person, or hybrid festival, we’ve learned that most filmgoers’ experience starts online--and paid advertising is one way to get their attention!

  1. Start with earned media and free advertising. Often, your local newspaper is eager for content and happy to feature your festival in a story about local arts programming. They may also have an online calendar that’s free to post in. And community listservs can be a great place to start spreading the word!

  2. Print is not dead! Newspaper ads, handing out postcards at local businesses, and posters around town can grab the attention of those who are less active online. And if you print a QR code on your materials, you can drive traffic to your site and sell tickets.

  3. Paid digital advertising can also help you sell tickets, but these efforts are most effective when you choose a very targeted audience for boosting your posts. Even if your virtual festival is available nationwide, you may see the greatest response from folks living in your region who self-identify as film lovers! Learn more about Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Instagram Ads and Google Ads.


Eventive Analytics can help you identify your most engaged viewers (a.k.a. future donors and volunteers), buying behavior and most popular films--all great data to help you inform future programming!

You can also use Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel to track where your ticket buyers are coming from so you can adjust your focus and spending accordingly. This data will be especially helpful when you design next year’s marketing campaign.

You can connect your Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel tracking IDs to Eventive in your Virtual Catalog and learn about using Google Tag Manager with Eventive here.

Looking to set up Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel?

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