You've finally completed planning your local event, and now you are looking forward to the big day. So, how do you let the world know about it without spending a lot of money? How can you promote your event for free and still ensure that people show up?

Between social media and good old-fashioned ingenuity
, you have plenty of no-cost marketing options at your disposal. Locally-oriented websites, your chamber of commerce, local merchants, Craigslist, and social media outlets all offer great ways to get the word out about your event. These promotional methods are not only free; they allow you to connect with your community and hone your marketing skills as well.

Build a website to promote your event. You can create a free website with user-friendly templates through a number of web hosting companies. You won't be able to choose your domain name, but you will have a place to post your event information. Even if your event is a one-time thing, you may have a need to use the web space again in the future.

Ask your local chamber of commerce to help share event information. Many have websites listing local businesses and events, and they are likely to welcome the opportunity to attract more visitors. Locals will be able to check out your event, but you might also draw out-of-towners looking for something to do while visiting your city or town. Ask local merchants for help promoting your event. If you have a website, you can offer to post a free banner on your site in exchange for posting fliers at local businesses. Or you can perform some simple service or offer goods as a trade. Most businesses will be happy to have the publicity or help, and you'll help foster a sense of community.

Make use of local classified websites to share event information
. Many cities, small and large, boast websites with forums, job listings, news, events listings, and free classified ads. If your town has such a site, make a request to post your event. Or consider introducing yourself in the forums, and letting people know about your event after a few exchanges. You never know who you might meet online; a local businessperson may have suggestions for free ways to market the event.

Post your event announcement on Craigslist for free. Even if your own town lacks its own space on Craigslist, chances are good that a nearby city has a presence there. It may be worth taking a little time to create a well-crafted post about your event, and you might even draw crowds from out of town. Promote your event for free online using social media. If you already have a MySpace or Facebook account, this opportunity has probably already occurred to you. However, be sure that you're aware of all possible promotional opportunities on your site(s) of choice. Actively seek out new friends who might be interested in your event, and continue sending out messages about it as your group of friends grows.