I recently found a pretty interesting thread on LinkedIn about promoting events in Japan. I’ve been talking a lot about SEO and web design, but real events are still quite a powerful way to go! I compiled some of the best ideas I found on that topic:
Reaching out the English-speaking community: “Many universities have an English Club or International Club. See if you can get in touch with them. (note: foreign studies universities also sound good)
Put in an announcement with Metropolis magazine. They’re published once a week on Fridays. It’s mostly meant for foreign community but I think some Japanese also read it (note: quite a few job postings are there, you may use it to find potential customers who need certain services).
Lastly, might be an outside shot but you could try firing off an email to this group – http://www.tokyo21c-club.com/open/english/theme/theme.html”
Japanese + English, if you have a marketing budget : “A low cost post card (or pamphlet, booklet…) mailing could do wonders. (this is essentially meant for individuals, but mailing companies for business prospection can’t be a bad idea)[...]
If you want the Japan times to some publication to cover the event, then get the name of the person to contact at the publication. Send them a letter telling them about the event and why they should cover it. Hit on the BENEFITS of covering the event and why it would be of interest to their readers. Then follow up with a phone call. (sounds wise. Make your event worth it and you may get such publicity).
A lot of answers mentioned the likes of social marketing, SEO, and networking through websites such as LinkedIn. Since I’ve covered several of these topics already, I encourage you to follow the links directly.