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Using billboards to advertise your event | A guide

27 March 2024
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When it comes to advertising events in a way that’s engaging yet has mass reach, the possibilities are endless. Channels ranging from social media to radio mean that there are multiple avenues your business can take to generate buzz.

But one channel that’s often overlooked despite its effectiveness is out-of-home (OOH) advertising — specifically billboards. Offering a unique and impactful way to reach a broad audience, the right billboard marketing strategy can generate a lot of buzz for your event.

In this guide, we’ll help you understand the benefits and strategies needed to see the benefits of billboards in advertising your event. Let’s dive in.

Suggested reading: OOH advertising is on the rise — get your business up to speed with our guide on How out-of-home advertising supports other marketing channels!

Understanding the benefits of billboard advertising

Before we get into the best practices for forming an event advertising campaign through billboards, let’s cover why they’re so beneficial in the first place:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Unlike ongoing product promotions, events are typically marketed for a limited period, making billboards an ideal platform. Their large format and high visibility ensure that your message reaches a vast audience quickly, maximising impact while keeping costs in check.

  • Broad reach: Billboards aren’t just large; they’re strategically placed to capture the attention of a diverse audience. Whether located on bustling city streets, busy highways, or in local communities, they guarantee exposure to a wide range of demographics. This broad reach is invaluable for event advertising, as it allows you to connect with potential attendees who might not be reached through traditional or digital media.

  • Greater engagement: Community engagement is always going to be important for your business (especially if it’s a small one.) Billboards, particularly those in local areas, create a sense of community involvement. They can be used to promote local events, fostering a connection with the audience that digital advertising often lacks. This local focus not only boosts event attendance but also strengthens your brand’s presence within the community.

How to go about procuring a billboard

With the above covered, we’re going to take you through the steps needed to actually get your billboard campaign started.

Finding the right location

The first step in billboard advertising is finding the right location. So you have to consider factors like traffic density, audience demographics, and proximity to the event venue.

The choice of location should align with your target audience. For smaller, community-focused brands, placing the billboard in your local area may be most effective. On the other hand, bigger brands might opt for a broader spread across strategic locations.

Either way, the best course of action to take would be to lean on an OOH provider that specialises in billboard advertising. With their expertise, you can pass on your needs and goals and leave them to work out the crucial details of how best to get your billboards up and running.

Selecting the right billboard style & format

There are a few different types of billboard styles that you can go for:

  • Traditional billboards: Ideal for wide audience reach, these paper billboards are a classic choice. However, their visibility can vary based on the time and location.

  • Digital billboards: These are excellent for dynamic events where details might evolve, as the content can be easily updated. They’re eye-catching, stand out in any setting, and can be customised in multiple different ways.

Styles aren’t the only thing you have to think about. Billboards also come in various formats, from traditional large-scale billboards to digital screens and smaller bus shelter ads or screens in pubs, shopping malls, etc. The choice depends on your budget, the nature of your event, and the desired impact.

Popular options include:

  • Digital 6 Sheet (D6): Small, impactful posters ideal for conveying simple messages in places like bus stops and train stations.

  • Digital 48 Sheet (D48): Larger, more prominent billboards suited for a varied demographic, often placed in elevated positions for greater visibility.

  • Spectaculars: These are large-scale, high-impact billboards seen in iconic locations like Times Square. While more expensive, they offer unparalleled visibility.

Pro tip: For more information on the different kinds of billboards out there, read our insights on billboard advertising.

Designing, scheduling, and displaying your ad campaign

Once you’ve got the above specifics down, it’s time to actually design your ad and get it set up!

Your ad should convey the essence of your event succinctly and attractively. This means bold visuals, clear messaging, and a strong call to action. Remember, you have only a few seconds to capture the attention of passersby. So take advantage of multiple, engaging features like:

  • Stating how physically close the board is to the event and including directions for potential attendees.

  • A daily countdown to the event, helping create anticipation and excitement.

  • Dynamic copy that changes for different locations.

Remember, understanding these various options is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to curating billboards that can effectively advertise your event. Looking to an expert in OOH marketing won’t just act as a cost and resource-saver — it’ll uncover paths to better advertising for your business in the long run.

Suggested reading: Learn more about why billboard advertising is so effective in our comprehensive guide.

How Alight Media helped the MBS Festival generate success

Our collaboration with the MBS Festival at the NEC is a testament to the power of well-placed billboards. The campaign utilised 10 strategically chosen D48 panels across Birmingham and Coventry, resulting in over 54.3K impacts and 33.3K plays.

This approach not only boosted pre-show ticket sales but also introduced the festival to a new audience, illustrating the effectiveness and reach of targeted billboard advertising.

Leveraging Alight for your billboard needs

Billboard advertising, with its unique blend of visibility, reach, and community connection is an excellent tool for promoting events — especially if you’re a small business or agency looking to make a mark in today’s marketing space.

At Alight, we specialise in providing tailored billboard advertising solutions. Our expertise lies in understanding the unique needs of small businesses and crafting campaigns that deliver results. We offer competitive pricing, comprehensive support, and a commitment to making your event a success.

Choosing Alight means gaining a partner who is invested in your success. We offer a range of services, from location scouting to design and analytics, all aimed at maximising your campaign’s impact. Our team works closely with you to ensure that your billboard advertisement not only reaches but resonates with your target audience.

To explore how billboard advertising can transform your event promotion, or to start planning your campaign, contact us today. Let’s make your event the talk of the town!