20 May 8 Proven Strategies to increase attendance at your event
You have worked hard to put together a wonderful event. You have chosen a great location that is easily accessible, an inspiring guest performance, chosen a fantastic lineup of speakers and activities, you’ve put together a delicious round of appetizer, a list of giveaways and raffle prizes, sound systems and other details. Now you just need the people!
Boosting your event attendance is important when planning an event. The goal is to secure enough ticket sales that will pay for the event itself or atleast break even and most importantly, increase awareness for future events. Follow these suggestions, and you’ll be sure to have a successful event that gets real results.
Here are 8 Proven Strategies to increase attendance at your event
1. Start planning early
We recommend that you begin the planning 5 to 6 months or even a year early. This gives you ample time to come up with a theme for your event, hire a keynote speaker, other speakers, sort out sponsors, venue, vendors, decoration, goodie bags and much more. You can never start planning too early.
2. Leverage Social Media for Marketing
If you’re not promoting on social media, you’re doing event marketing wrong.
The sheer reach of social media alone should be enough to convince you. Did you know that 2.7 billion people around the world are active on social networks? Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram especially are great marketing tools if used properly.
Hashtags are rampant in the social media world. If you want to promote your event on Instagram or Twitter, you want to create an event hashtag and use it for all of your updates. For example a Event Planning Convention can have the hashtag #EPC2020 when promoting the 2020 edition. Now, when you set a hashtag, you want to encourage followers and attendees to use it, too. And one good way to do just that is to run a contest. It can be as simple as “retweet to win,” or it may require users to take photos or videos and share. Whichever the case, make sure the hashtag is a requirement to enter the competition.
3. Offer early bird pricing
Have at least 2 different types of pricing: early bird and regular. You can even have more than one type of early bird pricing to encourage people to buy before the prices increase. This sense of urgency will encourage people to buy sooner. You can also offer group ticket rates, for instance where there’s a “buy one, get the other half off,” or a ticket sale discount for parties of 5 or more, to urge guests to bring friends and increase the overall ticket sale revenue and attendance.
4. Location Matters
Many factors are in play when looking for the ideal venue.
One of the simplest ways to increase attendance at events is to make sure the venue is located in a central location that’s relatively near to your intended audience. It’s also a good idea to choose a place that is both experienced in hosting similar events and that attendees would be excited to visit.
The location has to tick a few boxes. It needs to fit the theme of your event, have enough space for every guest and piece of equipment, or projectors and sound facilities.
And, once an invitation has been accepted or ticket bought, be sure to supply detailed directions for various modes of transport.
5. Invite Early and Follow-Up Regularly
When it comes to boosting your event attendance, there’s few things that can help out as much as giving your invitees plenty of notice. Whether you’re inviting over e-mail, on the phone or in person, be sure to give the person on the other end of the line as much time as possible. This reduces the chance of conflicts and also gives them something to be excited about in the future. Early-bird specials also go a long way to securing attendees long before an event.
Do remember to follow-up with a phone call as the date approaches: the one negative of an early invitation is that people do tend to be forgetful. It’s up to you to make sure your event stays front of mind for your potential attendees.
6. Give Your Attendees Something to Talk About
You can pump your event up with marketing jargon until it bursts, as long as you can deliver on what you’re promising attendees. During the event, you want your guests to be so wowed with the content that they’re compelled to instantly share with their followers.
The important thing here is knowing your audience. What would they find valuable? Do they gush over product launches? Maybe they can’t get enough of educational sessions. Whatever it is, knowing your audience will give you the insight you need to impress them. Remember, it doesn’t have to be over the top either.
7. Show your track record
Include background data, testimonials and the names of previous attendees who may be well known on the event website, social media or any flyers or electronic announcements that you send out.
8. Post Event Follow up
You got to lay the foundation for your next event.
After the event, we recommend following up with your attendees – even the ones who couldn’t make it. At the very minimum, you should send a “Thanks for Attending” and a “Sorry We Missed You” email. And if you have a marketing automation system, you could set up an automated workflow to nurture attendees with follow up messaging throughout the year.
By incorporating these three tips into your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to use FOMO to boost your event’s buzz and generate more engaged attendees. You wouldn’t want to miss out on this opportunity to connect with these highly engaged attendees!