Marketing will always be a concern when event organizers are measured simply by the number of delegates they get through the door. Fortunately, developments in social media and registration technology can now help boost delegate numbers and organically promote your events.
The ultimate goal is to supplement your traditional marketing efforts with some delegate-generated buzz. Here we’ve outlined some top tips for the three key areas you should start to focus on:
The potential impact of social media on delegate registration numbers at all stages of the event lifecycle cannot be underestimated. It all starts with creating compelling content that people will want to share, supported by some incentivised promotions. You need to:
- Set your event hashtag early – make sure you communicate it everywhere. People aren’t going to use it unless you tell them what it is!
- Maximise your registration buzz – where possible, build auto-tweet options with @mentions and hashtags into the registration process
- Incentivise sharing – consider setting up competitions and promotions to encourage your delegates to share your content
- Use content from last year’s event to give people a taster – recorded presentations, SlideShares, feedback and testimonials work well
- Shape your event – ask what people are looking for in the content programme, or get them to vote on hot topics
- Generate guest content – create a portal or guest blog and invite key industry figures to contribute
- Make it personal – highlight delegates from previous events, maybe @mention them and encourage them to return or ask what they are looking for next year
- Make it visual – check out tools like storify and twubs for some neat ways of displaying your social media content.
This might not be possible for all events, but we’ve seen some great success thanks to incentivised referrals such as these. Try to:
- Encourage your delegates to ‘refer a friend’ by offering prizes
- Offer reduced rates for second delegates
- Offer incentives to the first 100 delegates to register, or the first 100 through the door. These could range from free vouchers to use at the event, or preferable seating in sessions.
Email Teaser Campaigns
There’ll no doubt be a fair amount of pre-event email marketing taking place, so for a few sure fire ways to create some hype, you could:
- Build the buzz by integrating teasers into your pre-event email marketing
- Create quizzes or challenges that tie in with the theme of your events
- Create photo competitions
- Make it fun and encourage social-sharing at all stages
Social media has changed delegates’ expectations. They want to be able to interact with the event online and often expect to be able to shape it in some way. By following the tips above, these expectations can be used to your advantage and the enthusiasm of your delegates can be harnessed to generate event registrations and improve the overall delegate experience both for this event and for future events.
Make your event the best it can be by expanding your knowledge. Take a look at the related posts below or get in contact today to find out what Eventsforce can do for you.