Event Marketing Lessons from Marie Forleo

You know that feeling when you see something really cool in action and you see in unfold right before you?  Last Fall, I had the incredible opportunity of attending Rich, Happy & Hot Live and saw Marie Forleo’s marketing genius at work. She used social media and online marketing so smartly to sell out her event with zero seats to spare and women flying in from 12 different countries and 27 different states for a global throwdown of learning, laughing and good times.

This is what every business needs to know about using social media for a sell out event, including getting the word out in the first place, strategies for engaging your audience and how to create momentum after the event.

Before the Event

  • Have a First-to-Know List – Build excitement before details are announced by creating an email opt in form and encouraging people to get on the First-to-Know List.
  • Hold a Contest – Make it big and generate buzz with a contest set to go viral.  Tell participants to enter by submitting an article or video below your blog post and encourage them to tweet, comment, share, and like by giving bonus points for social media activity.  Also, require each post to have your hashtag, official url to learn more about the event and your Twitter handle.
  • Take a Pre-Event Survey – After registering for the event, send a survey asking your participants what they want to get from the event.
  • Build Excitement – Every day leading up to the event send an assignment/countdown full of content, things to do and just encouraging messages.
  • Blog about It – Anything that requires money generally requires your target to talk it over with their spouse/significant other.  Send out a Key Influencer Guide coaching the target audience how to address these issues with their spouse/significant other.
  • Create a Hashtag for the event and be present in the conversation.
  • Create Tweetables to make it easy to share.
  • Create a Twitter list of who is attending and encourage communication and relationship building before the event.
  • Get Your Speakers Excited – Send out an email with your speakers Twitter handles and ask participants to follow speakers on Twitter.

During the Event

  • Take Photos – During the event have professionals taking photos live and post them to Flickr Live Stream.  Tell participants where to find the photos and give them permission to tag themselves and share the pictures on their social networks.
  • Get Candid Testimonials Instantly – Nothing sells like a real person telling you how incredible something is while they are experiencing it.  During breaks, have designated areas for participants to share their story and their experience.  Capture it and use it in next year’s campaign.
  • Give a Gift – Give a notebook or something valuable that participants will continue to use after they’ve gone home – something that will remind them about their incredible experience.


  • Give Even More – Send emails with an event wrap up, highlights and additional resources and notes from the speakers. Make it an easy to download zip file.
  • Get Feedback – Post an event survey right away while details are fresh.  Compile critiques and ideas into a list and implement during your next event.

I’d love to know other things you’ve done or seen to help promote an event.  Please share in the comments below.

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Katrina PadronKatrina Padron is an ex-Award Winning Director of Marketing who (at age 28) left her successful career to pursue her passion – building communities of raving fans for your business.  With a degree in education, a master’s in sociology from DePaul University and a career in marketing she found a way to leverage her powerful creative and strategic strengths, pursue her passion and share her uncommon talents with the world. Each week she teaches smart, simple, social media ideas to create a community of fans who love what you do and happily share your products and services with their friends.  Get your free tools here. She is co-creator of the Create + Connect Project: where creative entrepreneurs turn passion into profit.


  1. Really good information Katrina. I love the idea of leaving guests with a gift so they are reminded of you in the future. It’s also a lovely thing to do for people. Do you have any tips for generating interest in an event when you’re still in the early days of building a list? Start small? Make it cheaper? My worry with the latter is that it doesn’t seem a very ‘high value’ thing to do! Thanks so much.

  2. Love the breakdown Katrina! Thanks!

  3. Hey Cheryl –

    I’ve seen a lot of success with pre-feed praise. Contact people who have larger followings than you and also have a very similar core target. Ask them to review your event/offerings and give them a list of pre-written tweets to send.

    Hope that helps!

  4. Great tips Katrina!
    I agree Marie is a wiz at marketing her events.
    I hope to be able to make it next time to see her in person as well.
    I also really like your site!

  5. I like how she organize events, and the to do stuff is her mastery, simply I love Marie thats it! Thanks for the post!

  6. GREAT stuff girl. Thank you. Keep on living the dream! Love to see you ROCKIN’ the technology. This is also great for my business. My business is 92% FB. I am a Fitness Trainer and a Mindset Mentor. I also Train other Trainers HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS AND CREATE MORE MONEY IN THEIR BUSINESS.
    Breakthroughs are everything! Go Laura!

    Check out my website: http://www.cindyruccolo.com

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  8. Great article Katrina! I agree — RRH Live was phenomenal! Thanks for distilling the before-during-after in a handy check-list format for us.

  9. Thanks Ashley!!

  10. You’ve got a good weblog here! would you like to produce some invite posts on my site?