How to get people to attend your events
-Amy Nebons owns event management company Blink Events LLC
Last post we talked about building effective strategy for your events to ensure you see a positive return on investment. This week we address a common fear: what if nobody shows up?
Getting people to attend your event is a part of your overall event strategy and contributes to how effective you are at seeing a positive ROI. Here are 5 sure-fire ways you can ensure the people you want at your event are there.
- Create event attendee profiles: Start back at the drawing board by truly shedding light on what types of people you want to attend your event. Compile a list of adjectives that describe your perfect attendee. Then allow these adjectives to manifest themselves into specific people. Don’t just throw paint at the wall by inviting everyone. Rather, be laser focused on creating a specific and concise list. Brainstorm with your team to create a list of your top 100 people you would like to attend and then allow your list to spider web out from there. You should begin profiling your target list of attendees about the same time you begin brainstorming your event objectives to ensure your messaging aligns with the intended audience that will be receiving it.
- Send your target group compelling messaging: Now that you have compiled your top 100 list, determine what avenues make the most sense for you to reach them. Develop captivating and unique marketing materials that you can send their way. Find ways where you can connect with them personally to share about your event. The key is to convince folks they MUST be at your event.
- Tap into existing networks: Form partnerships with like-minded, non-competing organizations that have an existing network of engaged individuals that you would love to have at your event. Together work out a strategic, mutually beneficial plan to reach those individuals and entice them to attend your event. Provide partners with email templates or copy that they can easily distribute to their networks, saving them oodles of time.
- Send unique invitations: Whatever happened to snail mail? Send out an eye-catching and clever invite that sets your event apart from all other events. Always include a call to action and a teaser of what can be expected on event day.
- Create incentive: Promise your attendees that they will be getting something out of your event. Time is money and your attendees will want to know what value is to be gained by attending your event. Provide (3) concise bullet points on why your event is worth attending in your outreach marketing material.
- Build event momentum: Talk about your event a lot and share all the exciting things that will be happening at it. Highlight your speakers, share content teasers, and advertise giveaways. Use your social media outlets to reach your audience. Take advantage of targeted ads to boost your post engagements and make updates frequently to ensure you are at the forefront of your audience’s mind. Encourage your in-house staff and early bird attendees to share the event information on their social media, thus increasing your reach. Ask your speakers if they wouldn’t mind writing a short blog post to provide a sneak-peak into what they will be sharing. Make it clear that this is the event that is NOT to be missed!
Now it goes without saying that if you go through all this trouble to make sure your attendees show up, you better deliver. Be innovative, be creative and be original.