Promote Buddhist Events Online

A resource list of websites and tips for marketing and promoting Buddhist events. The initial focus is for promoting events occurring in the Bay Area, but if good regional sites are submitted, additional regional categories can be added to the page. Please send marketing tips or suggest new sites to

San Francisco Bay Area

This site is specific to Marin County California at present, but they have plans to expand into other regions. Posting events is free.

Craigslist San Francisco
San Francisco Bay Area region. It's not a visually beautiful site, but it has very high traffic. Supports HTML in the event description field, so it is possible to embed photos if hosted elsewhere. Google owns a stake in cragslist. Response rate for event postings is typically zero, but may be worth the effort since it is free to post events.

Tribe: SF Bay Area Buddhism and Meditation
Discussion group on Tribe that encourages members to post to announce upcoming events. Tribe is a social networking site that has lots of other "Tribes" (discussion groups) with Buddhist themes which are sometimes specific to different lineages or regions. Use the search feature to locate them. Free to join & post.

North America
Event-focused site where you can post events to different "Metros." Supports HTML in the event description field, so it is possible to embed photos if hosted elsewhere. A Yahoo company. Free to post events.

Retreat Finder
Focused on United States, but also covers Caribbean region, France and Italy. This site is a bit homespun in it's user experience, but is clearly targeted to visitors who want to attend or promote retreats and retreat centers. Basic event listing is free.

Haven't tried this service yet, but it looks promising. It seems to be more of a system for promoting events to your existing mailing list, pre-registering people and collecting donations or fees. Eventbrite offers an free basic service as well as a paid premium service.

International or Not Area Specific

Covers numerous cities in the United States and around the world. On the home page, click the city name closest to your event location, then click Events, then click Post. Free to post events.

Covers numerous cities in the United States and around the world. This is more of a social networking site that allows one to organize a real-world meeting to discuss an affinity topic that the organizer chooses, e.g., a Buddhist topic. Might be great for grassroots face-to-face Sangha building. Free.

This is a social networking site targeted at spiritual people. It soft-launched early 2006. Some Buddhist events are posted in the "zEvents" section. Posting events is free.

The leading social networking site with hundreds of millions of members. Post events and then invite friends from the area near the teaching. Posting to the Events section is free.

A leading social networking site with tens of millions of members. As of this writing, there are a lot of Christian events posted, but almost no Buddhist events. Posting to the Events section is free.

Yahoo Groups
Over 1,400 groups with "Buddhism" in the name or description; 60+ groups with "Dzogchen," 1,000+ with "Buddha," and 1,600+ with "Buddhist." Add your region name or other keywords to narrow your search results and find Yahoo Groups that fit your region and sensibilities and then apply to join. Groups normally require one to join before posting. Usually you'll want to join and then gently interact a bit with the group for a few weeks or more before you start posting events, otherwise the group moderator may mark you as a spammer. Concisely contributing to threads started by others on safe topics and including your Dharma Center URL or event URL in your signature is a more respectful way to get the word out if you are brand new to the group. Free.

Google Groups
Formerly known as / Dejanews / Usenet. Similar to Yahoo Groups listed above but not as full-featured in terms of the functionality. Same search tips and posting caveats apply as mentioned in Yahoo Groups description above. Free.

Google AdWords
Create your own ad campaign by writing concise text ads that appear within Google's network of AdSense sites and inside Gmail and other Google properties. Fees vary by keywords and CPM.

Google Analytics
"Google Analytics tells you everything you want to know about how your visitors found you and how they interact with your site. You'll be able to focus your marketing resources on campaigns and initiatives that deliver ROI, and improve your site to convert more visitors. Google Analytics has the enterprise level capabilities you'd expect from a high end web analytics offering and also provides timesaving integration with AdWords. Of course, Google Analytics tracks all of your non-AdWords initiatives as well." Requires you to add some code to all of the pages in your site that you want to track. Believe it or not, it is totally free.

This is a weblog community, another flavor of social networking that has some Buddhist members and postings. Does not seem to have an events section. One would need to join and become part of the community and announce events on your blog or mention it to your Xanga acquaintances. It's more of a long-term play rather than simply advertising upcoming events. Basic free membership and premium paid membership.

Joining various WebRings is a way of building some free traffic to your event website. Because the WebRing navigation block is not that aesthetic, I prefer to create a separate landing page for the ring visitors which then uses body copy to drive them to the event page, rather than putting the WebRing code directly into the home page or event page. There 60+ Buddhist rings you can choose from. Also, you might look for local area specific rings that are not necessarily Buddhist and see if they will let you join. If you are feeling ambitious, you can even create your own ring tailored to your own topic and/or region, and then recruit a network of ring members.

Please send your marketing tips or suggest new sites to

Last updated: 2009-02-25