Hosting an event that has pitiful attendance can be an awfully discouraging experience.
You invest way too much hard work and preparation into planning events to end up with a dismal turnout.
But the truth of the matter is… If you haven’t taken the required steps to pair your event with a powerful marketing strategy, you will always leave attendance up to chance. (A risky move that can quickly shatter all of your planning efforts.)
Fortunately, putting together event marketing strategies to increase attendance is a simple practice that will not only get more people enthusiastic about coming to your events, it will also improve the overall quality of your event.
Many of the ideas that will be presented in this article have been mentioned in our previous post, Best Lead Generation Tools For Post Event Marketing, where we discussed step-by-step how to attract and keep prospective attendees engaged throughout the entire development of your event.
Increasing event attendance, as with any sales process, is about strategically advancing your targeted attendee through a process of small commitments that will eventually lead to selling them on attending your event.
3 Easy Event Marketing Strategies To Increase Attendance
1) Stimulate Collaboration – As much as you believe your event is the best thing since sliced bread, it’s your job to instill the same conviction in your prospective attendees.
You’ll want to begin getting a commitment from your attendees early in the process. To do this, it’s important to make them an intricate part of the event’s development.
Set up a Facebook page for your event where you can get your prospects to collaborate on various components of the event; topics to be covered, speakers, branding, prizes, food, entertainment, etc.
Conduct exciting polls, surveys, and other activities that are engaging.
Action equals interest! If you can get people to take action to help your event take form, then you’ll have a good chance of increasing their interest in attending the event itself.
2) Collect Contact Information – The next step in your event marketing strategy is to begin building a solid list of contacts.
This is another small commitment that you’ll want your prospects to take so you can weed out the “tire kickers” and focus on those serious about attending.
Design an event promotion page that highlights all of the benefits for those who’d like to attend.
This promotional page will sell the key components of your event with an attention-grabbing headline, an informative sub-headline, bullet points of top benefits, social proof elements (Testimonials, Reviews, Comments), make a free offering, and most importantly include a short sign up form that’ll collect names & email addresses.
Alternatively, you can have visitors of your promotional page “opt-in” by sharing their mobile phone # so you can text them updates & exclusive VIP offerings.
Individuals who give you their contact information are indeed “REAL PROSPECTS” and your most likely candidates for becoming attendees.
Armed with a quality list of “Hot Leads”, you can now make an informative guestimation on the number of attendees there will be at your event.
As a rule of thumb, you might expect 1/2 of those who signed up on your promotional page to actually attend your event.
3) Ask For The Sale! – There’s no better way of calculating attendance than by selling event access a few weeks before the event.
This is not always possible, but when it is, don’t hesitate to ask your leads to buy “passes” to the event well before the date it will be held.
You can partner with one of the many online ticketing websites like Eventbrite, TicketMaster, Brownpapertickets, or maybe you’d rather work directly with a business PayPal account.
However, you decide, make it as easy as possible for attendees to purchase a pass to your event. You’ll also want to provide an “offline” purchasing option for those who aren’t comfortable with online ordering.
If your event is not one that’s suitable for presales admission, then we highly recommend setting up a page where your leads can RSVP and respond to your event invitation.
Facebook allows event planners to post and announce their events with followers. Post your event and share your event Facebook page with everyone, especially those on your list.
If you put these 3 event marketing strategies into action, you’ll be able to make a much more accurate estimation of the number of attendees you can expect.
Following each of the steps will enable you to dramatically increase attendance so that all of the hard work poured into the event will pay off!