So are you planning to organize an event and are wondering how to get more attendees? Sometimes to get people register to your event doesn't go as planned and you are struggling to get them in.
We know all about the long nights and the endless “What if nobody shows ups?”
Worry not, we’re here to help. Take a notepad and pay attention, the following ideas might come in handy if you want to know how to get more people to attend your event.
According to a recent HubSpot and Eventbrite survey of event organizers and attendees, 84% of respondents feel that attending events is an important part of their job, with 79% going to events specifically to learn something. However, over a third of those people are being left disappointed with the events they are invited to.
Start with some research. Go to online forums, send surveys via email.
Research what your target actually wants. You can also approach people after an event you organized and ask them what they liked and what they didn’t so you can make the appropriate changes the next time you’re a host.
Social media is a good way to reach your audience.
Create social media profiles for your event, as part of your branding especially if you plan for it to be a recurring one.
Create a hashtag that lets you keep track of what people are saying about you and in turn, your attendees will feel like they’re part of a group. Just remember to keep it short and simple!
Post frequent reminders on social media. Not so frequent that it’s spam, but you do want to remind people multiple times.
Don’t forget about copy and design
Once you know who you’re targeting and where you’re spending your ad budget, copy and design become very important elements of event advertising.
It’s the first thing potential attendees will see, so it should not only be eye-catching, but also have clear, concise copy and a strong call to action.
Add a temporary banner or image announcing the event to your website and social media channels. Everyone who clicks on your profile will see it right away.
Show them the reward! Most people don’t have imagination. You have to paint them a picture to let them know what they can gain from attending your event. Potential clients? Knowledge? Networking? Let them know!
Distribute the content through your social media outlets and emails. Make them believe they’ll regret it if they don’t show up.
Target influencers as being mentioned by one of these people on social media will get you an insane amount of leads. Today people are greatly dependant on recommendations from influencers who are experts in their respective fields.
Show influencers that you care. Take the time to write a handwritten invitation to an influencer or two, or maybe even send them some samples of your products. You could offer them a free VIP ticket to your event or a speaking slot the following year.
Video marketing presents several opportunities for promoting your event, too. The next step is to interview the star of your event. It may be a speaker at an expo or an artist the opening of an art gallery, but most events have a star.
Hire a freelance journalist and conduct the interview. You can later distribute it as a PDF format or even a video on your social media page to create a connection with your guests and give them a glimpse of what they’ll find at the event.
A press release announcing your event and what your attendees will learn at it. You should announce who your speakers are and describe the value that your persona will get from attending.
You must promote the event location, especially if it’s somewhere cool or interesting. Being able to see an exclusive part of a historical building or getting access to a special rooftop bar may convince some curious people to come and check out your event.
Content marketing is a must.
Event promotion through content marketing relies mostly on blog posts, infographics, and videos. Create thoughtful content that positions your brand as a thought leader or shows your audience how great a time they could have if they attended.
Post-event content reminds your fans of the great time they had during your show, builds affinity and goodwill, and makes them more receptive to future communications from your business.
Invest in email marketing as it is much too broad to go into detail here, but there are some simple basics. Be personal, segment your lists of contacts, and most importantly, don’t spam!
Add an announcement about your event to your email signature. Every one you get in touch with will hear about your event in a subtle way.
Make use of registration reminder email.
Also, give people an incentive to register early. Things like “early bird” discounts help attendees commit to coming to your event well in advance and will make time to come to it. They’ll also help you get a better idea of how many people are going to show up.
If you’re having a multi-day event, offer flexible passes that let people with busy schedules to attend part of it. If the only ticket option is a pricey three-day pass, you could be dissuading a lot of people from coming who can only make it for one day.
Create public events on Facebook and Meetups. People in the area and friends of friends can easily find out about your event using these sites.
Along with that take advantage of LinkedIn and Facebook groups (especially for professional events). These are places where people are already looking for professional opportunities, so chances are you’ll at least catch the eye of some interesting connections here.
Run an online giveaway or raffle.
It”s a good way to create buzz around an event is to organise a contest. This will help to create hype weeks prior to the date and announce the winner at the end of the event to motivate attendees to see the entire thing through.
After all these pre-event buzz, send out “save the date” messages early. People are busy, so make sure early on that you make it to their calendars. You don’t want to hear someone at the other end of the line going “I’ll see if I can fit it in”.
Have a flyer with a special offer for people who attend the event. Maybe it’ll be that extra factor that convinces them to go.
Don’t stop here!
You definitely want more audience in your next event.
Give return attendees a reward or incentive to come back next time. It’s great to have repeat attendees at your events.
Follow up post event.
Even if you perfectly execute every aspect of your advertising strategy, it doesn’t end when your event sells out. Write a blog post summarising the event and publish it with fun photos.
Send it out as a newsletter to your segmented email base even those who didn’t attend. And if you’re already planning for next year, don’t forget to tell your audience.
Follow the above ideas and get more people registering for your events.
Offer a networking session at your event. That way, people have an added incentive to make some really good professional connections.