No doubt you are capable of organizing an incredible event. But is it still amazing if people don’t show up? Here are six tips to attract more attendees:
Choose a location and date that is most convenient for your audience
This is perhaps the most obvious consideration, but understanding the factors that should determine that decision might be more complex than you think. Venue capacity, services and amenities, layout, and accessibility are all important to factor into your decision, though some might hold more weight than others. For instance, if your target audience is primarily located in one area, accessibility would have a positive effect on attendance. Similarly, certain times of the year might be busier depending on their professions, so prioritizing prospects is key in the planning stage.
Tailor the content to your audience
The core of any great event is the value of the content that is provided. That value is determined by its relevance to its audience, which is why it is important to identify and segment prospective attendees before planning a content strategy. After attendee personas are established, content can be created around their preferences.
Personalize invitations and other communications
People want to feel special. The more your communications appear to be one-to-one versus en masse, the more people will respond positively. Part of this means highlighting the most relevant content for each segment of prospects. Depending on the quantity and quality of content offered at the event, invitations can include personalized pricing – ensuring prices reflect the value attendees will derive from the event.
Promote via social media channels
Social media is probably the easiest way to promote your event for free. Creating a Facebook event, sharing photos on Instagram, launching an event hashtag on Twitter, and creating a Snapchat filter can all build up the anticipation before the event. Additionally, increasing your social media following provides an opportunity to engage with attendees and potential attendees year round. The buzz around your event on social channels will also make those who did not attend wish they had, increasing the likelihood of their attendance the following year.
Give out swag or other prizes
Advertising free giveaways or prize drawings provides an incentive to attend an event and engage with activities that offer a reward. Handing out branded conference swag with practical uses (backpacks, water bottles, phone chargers, etc.) promotes your brand while also providing more value to attendees, an added bonus for their attendance. More powerfully, prize drawings encourage attendees to participate in surveys, social media contests, product demonstrations, or other activities. Giveaways can also organically enhance your social media presence.
Take attendee input and feedback into account
The best time to identify areas of potential growth is immediately after the event, when attendees can provide the most complete feedback and you can put their input into context. Offering raffle prizes or other incentives to complete post-event surveys can increase the volume of feedback. Analyzing engagement on social media can also prove an effective way to track attendees’ reaction to the event. Aggregating responses and debriefing after the event is the first step to make your event even bigger and more powerful the next year.
After successfully marketing your event, it’s important you have the tools to match registrations with existing contacts in your CRM. Read our blog to learn how to increase your contact match rate.