A friend asked me by email today for advice on promoting a two-day event he is working on. This (with a few details left out to preserve his anonymity) is pretty much what I told him:
How to spread the word? Put together a press release about how powerful events like these can be. Tell why events like these are so popular now, and what makes yours special. Email your release to every magazine and newspaper in B.C. Also to every blogger on these issues you can find, and every site related to this industry, regional business groups, etc.
Have you considered pay-per-click advertising (eg Google Adwords)? You bid for appropriate keywords that might be used by your prospects on their Google searches - eg, "business," "stress", "sales," etc. You can restrict its visibility to BC (or any other geographic area), buy as many keywords as you want, and pay as little as you wish. And you pay only when someone clicks through to your website or sell page. It's the perfect ad medium for entrepreneurs selling niche products.
Another great site to check out is Yahoo Answers. You can search for people's questions related to the issues you help with, and then offer them a solution based on your experience. And in your answer you subtly promote your upcoming event. You may not sell many tickets on that site, but it has a lot of traffic and is well regarded by Google.
To get more attention, you might even offer a contest - say, announce you’re giving away a free ticket to the person who writes you the most creative (or moving) Twitter post (retweet) saying why they would like to attend your event. Get people excited!
Be bold. Be confident. This is work, but it's all healthy relationship-building. And an investment in learning what works and doesn't.