There’s nothing quite as gratifying as hosting a well-attended event. It may look effortless, but behind the high turnout and the buzzy atmosphere, there is — as every planner knows — nothing but careful preparation and hard work. A key indicator of event success, attendance should never be taken for granted. But as this blog explores, there are certain tactics that planners can reliably lean on to pull in the crowds to create an occasion that is memorable, meaningful and valuable.
Start Right With a Clear Vision
Before you begin planning in earnest, define the purpose and objectives of your event. This will ensure that you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve while allowing you to tailor your decision-making process to appeal to your target audience.
Know Your Audience
On that point, it’s absolutely crucial for planners to know and understand their audience — especially if maximum event attendance is the goal. By researching and gathering data on preferences, interests and demographics, you as a planner will be able to build an event that piques your attendees’ interest at a personal level, encouraging them through the door and into your event.
Mix and Match Tactics for a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
An effective marketing strategy plays a key part in driving event attendance and so it makes sense for planners to deploy a rich mix of traditional and digital marketing tactics to reach potential attendees. To that end, consider the following ideas:
- The creation of a bespoke, compelling event website. This should be well-designed and user-friendly and contain all essential event details — including registration information — as well as engaging content.
- The savvy use of social media. Because you’ve already done your research into your audience, you’ll know their favoured platforms. Take the time to promote your event on these channels and be sure to include striking visuals, event teasers, and carefully targeted ads. Social is a great place to tap into your attendees’ sense of FOMO, all the while playing up your event as an unmissable occasion.
- A carefully deployed email marketing campaign. Once you’ve built your list, craft personalised invitations and updates to keep delegates and potential attendees up-to-speed with your event.
- Make the most of collaborations and partnerships. Work with influencers, industry leaders, or complementary businesses to expand your overall reach and credibility.
Set Realistic Goals
In order to gauge and ultimately build on the overall success of your event, you should take the time to establish measurable goals. When considering event attendance, this, for example, could be something as simple as the number of attendees you aim to attract. Setting clear benchmarks will help you to track your progress and to adjust your strategies, as needed.
Offer Early Bird Discounts and Incentives to Boost your Event attendance
Tactics such as early registration discounts or exclusive incentives for delegates who register in advance can be a useful tool for increasing attendance. These strategies help to create a buzz of urgency around your event while rewarding attendees who commit early.
Create and Hype Engaging Content to Build Anticipation
If you really want to pull in the crowds, then compelling content is a must. Build an occasion that features inspiring speakers, lively panel discussions, practical workshops and outstanding entertainment. Tease your incredible content via pre-event activities — think behind-the-scenes footage, countdowns, carefully crafted email campaigns and social posts — to build anticipation. The goal here is to leverage a sense of FOMO to get delegates through the door.
Seamless Registration to Smooth the Way for Increased Attendance
A straightforward and intuitive registration process is yet another way to encourage attendance. By taking the time to ensure that your event has an easy-to-navigate online registration system with clear instructions and secure payment options, you can help to increase the likelihood of delegate attendance.
Utilise Event Management Software for Maximised Event Attendance
In a similar vein, event management software can play a significant role in event attendance by enhancing the overall attendee experience. In addition to streamlining the planning process, a good event software system can help with tasks like registration, ticketing and delegate communication.
Leverage Your Event as a Networking Opportunity
As our recent whitepaper indicated, networking is the number one driver behind event attendance. Maximise attendance at your event by incorporating dedicated networking sessions, icebreakers, or even a mobile event app that connects individual attendees and their peers with similar interests.
Offer Unbeatable Value
If you want to maximise event attendance, you have to be sure that your event is delivering value to your attendees. Think: what does my event offer? Be it outstanding session content, expert insights, networking opportunities, freebies or exclusive perks, broadcast what you’re offering to attendees and make it absolutely clear they can’t get it anywhere else.
Collect and Act on Feedback
Finally, after your event, take the time to survey your attendees to identify areas for improvement. Actively use this information to enhance future events with a keen eye to increasing both attendance and the strength of your relationship with your audience.
The satisfaction of a well-attended event is unparalleled and yet, from a planner’s perspective, there’s more to a successful occasion than a high turn-out. By deploying specific strategies and tactics and taking due care to know and understand the needs of their delegates, a planner can build on the success of each and every occasion, drawing in and engaging with their audience time after time.
Running live, virtual or hybrid events? Want to maiximise event success? Give your attendees an event experience they’ll remember with technology you can rely on. Learn how Eventsforce can make your next event fabulous and successful. Book your personalised demo now.