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Using 'Facebook Events' effectively

You'll Discover:

  • 'Facebook Events' vs posting on your venue's page
  • How to create one-off and recurring Facebook events.
  • Features that experienced users may have missed.
  • Making the most of mentions, videos and Facebook Live.
  • Why it’s important to also post Facebook event info to your Facebook Business Page.
  • Ways to promote within the Facebook event page.
  • Ways to promote outside of the Facebook event page.

Facebook is currently the most used social media platform in Australia. According to Social Media News, there are approximately 15 million active Facebook users.That’s approximately 60% of the total Australian population.

With such a huge user base, and with the recent re-launch of the Facebook Local app to promote Facebook Events, many venues and artists use Facebook Events as the main way to promote upcoming gigs.


FB Events vs posting on Venue's FB Page

If you don't have a Facebook (FB) Business Page for your Venue, you don't need to bother with Facebook Events yet! Instead follow this guide to setup your Facebook Page.

Rather than simply posting event details to your Venue's FB news feed, there are a number of advantages in creating a Facebook Event for each specific event that you have. With each event, there is the ability to:

  • Have the venue or a performer create the FB Event, and invite the others to become event 'Co-hosts' to add and create content.
  • Invite venue and performer's FB Page followers, who have the option to RSVP as 'going' or 'interested'. In doing so, they receive notifications when you post updates or changes to the FB Event, and can sync event to personal calendars.
  • Add a unique date, time and optional price details.
  • Also share posts to Venue/Performer FB Page and personal FB news feeds to increase reach.
  • Convert event followers to also follow each Co-hosts Facebook Page. Your priority should always be to grow your FB Page audience rather than lose contact with FB Event followers once event is over.

So FB Events have many advantages, but take more work than simply posting info in your Venue or Artist FB Page. There's no point creating Events unless the venue and performers:

  1. Become Co-hosts.
  2. Collectively work to grow the event audience.
  3. Add great content.
  4. Keep details up to date (including set times so attendees know who's performing when),
  5. Cross promote the event through their FB Pages and personal news feeds.
  6. After event, each post to invite FB Event audience to follow the Venue and the Performer's FB Page, to cross-pollinate and grow each other's followers
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How to create a Facebook Event

Once you have logged into Facebook, follow this step-by-step guide:

1. Create the event:

Navigate to the events page on FB and find the ‘Create Event’ button (1). Then select to create either a private or public event (2). If you are looking to promote your event widely, we recommend making the event public so that it can be shared and found across FB’s network.

Screenshot of facebook events page and the button on the left that creates an event.

2. Cover images and videos:

In the following pop-up window, proceed to fill out all of the necessary information. When you go to upload a cover image or video for your event, Facebook recommends using images of “1200x628 pixels (about a 2:1 aspect ratio).” They also state “the recommended length for videos is between 30 seconds and a maximum time limit of 5 minutes.”

Screenshot of Facebook event creater - how to set a Facebook profile as the 'Event Host', image/video upload function followed by Event name, location and description.

3. Time of the event and co-hosts:

If the event is just a one-off event, select the ‘Occurs once’ option in the ‘Frequency’ drop-down menu (this will often be the default selection) and input the date, start time and end time of the event in the relevant fields.

If the event is an artist residency or a recurring event, a good way to let people know this is by creating a recurring event. To do this, select the appropriate frequency within the ‘Frequency’ drop-down menu. You can select ‘Daily’, ‘Weekly’ or ‘Custom’ - which allows you to select specific dates that the event will repeat on.

Another great feature is adding ‘Co-hosts’ to the event. This can be an artist’s page, venue page, promoter or someone else that can help promote the event to their friends/followers.

Screenshot of Facebook event creater - shows fields to input time/date of event and co-hosts.

4. Creating a schedule:

Creating a schedule is a great way to promote the set times for acts on the lineup. To do this, type in the name of the artist/performer into the ‘Item Name’ field (1). Then select the starting time (2) and the end time (3). You can then select the ‘+ Add Item’ button to add more items and create a set times list. Once you have finished inputting all of the set times, click ‘Save’ (5).  

Screenshot of Facebook event creater - Shows fields to input set times as a 'schedule'.

5. Keywords:

This makes the event more searchable when FB users use the search function. As you can see in the example below, when you add in a keyword there is a list of options that appear that you can select from. Keywords could be genre of the acts on the lineup, descriptions of what type of event it is and many more. The more keywords you have, the more searchable the event becomes. You can also select if your event is ‘Child-friendly’, which is vital in promoting to certain demographics.  

Screenshot of Facebook event creater - shows how to choose keywords that describe your event and make it searchable in Facebook.

6. Free Events:

If your event is free, FB provides three options for you to convey the appropriate information to prospective attendees. ‘Free admission’ will simply label your event as ‘Free’ at the top of your event. Selecting ‘Sign up on website’ allows you to input a URL for people to visit to register for the event. ‘Sign up on Facebook’ is an option that allows you to control the amount of people who can register for the event guest list. You can also control how many guest spots one individual user can select and also provide further instructions if necessary. This option could be useful in small or exclusive events.

Screenshot of Facebook event creater - options to to display free events as free admission, sign up on website or sign up on Facebook.

7. Paid events:

If there is a door charge for your event, you can input this via the ‘Pay at event’ option. If patrons need to purchase tickets prior to the event, the ‘Get tickets on website’ option allows you to input the relevant URL. The third option is ‘Request tickets on Messenger’. This option might be appropriate if the event is a small and quite exclusive event, however for general gigs and live music, we would advise against this to avoid extra admin.

Screenshot of Facebook event creater - options to display paid events as pay at event, get tickets on website or request tickets on Messenger.

8. Finalising your event:

Select ‘Create’ when you’re ready to publicly post your event. If you’re not ready to publish your event you can ‘Save Draft’ or ‘Schedule’ it to go live at a certain date and time by clicking the down arrow next to the ‘Create’ button and selecting ‘Schedule’.

Screenshot of Facebook event creater - finalising your event and choosing to make it live instantly or schedule it for a later date.

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Promoting within a Facebook Event

Inviting friends to the event

Screenshot showing share button to invite your friends, share in messenger or share event as a post.

The ‘Share’ button on your event page enables you to promote the event to individual people following your FB Business Page. Once you select the ‘Invite Friends’ option, you can filter down invitees by area (e.g. Sydney, NSW), group, attendees of past events that you have attended and more. Each event organiser (or co-host) can only invite up to 500 individual users.

There are also options to ‘Share in Messenger’ to individual FB users and ‘Share as Post’ to your FB page. AgoraPulse recommends inviting friends before promoting the event more widely, as “users crave authentic and transparent content from brands, but are also only likely to pay attention (or even see it) if other users are already paying attention.”

Posting video/image content of artist

Marketing organisation Bizzabo recommend posting behind-the-scenes or exclusive content within the event to excite registered attendees. Sharing this content to followers further engages them “providing your most excited audience with awesome content will encourage them to share your event with their friends.”

AgoraPulse says that “as people engage with content on your event’s page, this may also show up in news feeds of their friends, increasing the visibility of your event even further.”

Content ideas include new videos from artists/performers/venues or tailored content (e.g. Q&A’s with artists). Get creative!

Facebook Live is also a useful video feature. Bizzabo’s comprehensive guide here shows ways to effectively engage attendees and viewers. Activate Facebook Live on a smartphone by selecting the ‘Go Live’ button shown below:

Screenshot showing Facebook live button in a Facebook event.

All relevant parties (venue/artists/performers) post regularly in the event

Ensuring that the event spreads as far as it can comes from a joint effort between venue, promoter (if involved) and artist/performer. By adding each individual entity as ‘Co-hosts’ of the event (refer back to Step 3 above), they have access to edit the event and post within the event themselves. They can also invite their own followers and friends to the event and post about it easily and effectively. This is encouraged to be included in the very early stages of the gig being organised to set a precedent.


Promotions could be a good way to further engage with existing attendees and also encourage them to invite their friends.

Some of examples of this could include:

  • Share this event and tag ‘Venue name’ or ‘artist name’ to win a free door spot/food voucher.
  • Next person to purchase a ticket will receive a gift (voucher, drinks tab, free ticket, etc).
  • Answer this question to win a meet and greet with performer/artist.
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Promoting outside of a Facebook Event

Post event link to your venue FB page

Just because you have a FB Event, doesn’t mean you should not also promote it on your Venue’s FB Business page. Followers of the page may not be following the specific Event so could miss useful info. Post this link on the page with a variety of different information and updates, like behind-the-scenes info on preparation, set times, food and drink that’s available (and when the kitchen is open until), venue specials or any other creative ideas.

Here’s an example from The Bank Hotel in Newtown. Note how they have tagged the artists in the post to both notify the artist and provide a reference for prospective attendees:

Screenshot of event post example from The Bank Hotel, Newtown. Features artist Clypso promoting her 'Cameo' Tour and how her Facebook profile has been tagged in the event post.

Pin to top of page and cover images

Screenshot shows how you can pin a post to the top of your Facebook timeline. Usually found at the top right of your post.

Once you have promoted the event via a post on your FB page, you can then pin the post to the top of your timeline. This means that it will be one of the first things a visitor to your page will see.

Another way to draw attention to this is by creating a custom Facebook cover photo that promotes a particular event or a number of upcoming events.

You can see an example of this courtesy of The Slyfox in Enmore, who have a rotating gallery of cover images promoting upcoming events in their venue:

Screenshot shows how you can have a rotating gallery of images as your cover photo on Facebook to promote upcoming gigs.

Post event link in relevant groups/pages

Finding groups that might be interested in an event at your venue is a great way to tap into a specific audience. So if you're able to, take the time to research and join groups (especially useful for groups you intend to post multiple events in). They may be groups established around a particular genre, geographical area or even around a topic or theme that has some relevance to the event. But be careful to check the terms of the group before posting in it, often certain groups have rules around the types of content that can be posted and promoted.

Here is an example from the Sydney Blues Society group on FB:

Screenshot shows an example of how you can promote an event in a relevant Facebook group. Example from Sydney Blues Society promoting Rebecca Johnson gig.

Boost event using Facebook Ads

If you have a little budget to throw behind the promotion of an event, then use Facebook Business. You are able to extend the reach of your post, select the audience demographic, budget and schedule of the promotion to suit your purpose and allocated spending. To begin this process, select the ‘Boost Event’ button on the event post.

Screenshot shows how you can boost a post's reach through Facebook Advertising. Button can be found in the bottom right of your post.

You can read more information about FB Business here.

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