How to Get More Attendees to Come to Your Event: Advanced Event Promotion Tips
Mar 21, 2022 10:48:47 AM
Event promotions can be tricky. Even if you leverage social media and create a large buzz around it on your platforms, you can never be sure how many people will actually participate.
How do you get more attendees to show up to your event? How do you prevent registrants from forgetting about your event? We’ve got the event promotion tips you need to turn people into registrants, and to turn registrants into attendees.
People will come if they see value in your event, and this happens with both free events and events that cost a fee to attend. Even though money doesn’t equal this value, events that cost money to attend are often considered more exclusive; but don’t worry. Yes, people are more likely to come if they’ve spent money on a ticket; however, that’s not always the case. It’s important to promote your event as something truly unforgettable, so attendees feel like they can’t afford to miss it for the world.
The unforgettable elements start with the agenda. One of the best ways to get more attendees to come to your conference is to cover interesting, up-to-date topics. What happened recently that people would like to hear more about? What topics are important for your target group? If the topic is close to the hearts of the attendees – even better. Once you’ve mastered the focus, you can start looking for speakers. Some people wait years to hear from their favorite influencers. When choosing speakers, you should conduct your research regarding the who, where, and why. Was this person in your city/country before, or are they long sought after? If your answer is the latter, bring them on board to meet the demands of your audience.
Once you find the right speakers, begin to market this and promote your event’s value to potential attendees. Keep reminding people in a clear message that your event is an amazing opportunity to meet these speakers. Clearly articulate all of the advantages that will come from listening to the lectures and networking with like-minded individuals. Keep in mind that this doesn’t always require a sizeable budget. Some speakers agree to present for a reasonable price, and sometimes even for free if you offer them something valuable in return.
Proper networking is an invaluable benefit of an event. Make sure your attendees are a diverse group of people (while still having the same field of interests), like CEOs, startups, industry influencers, etc. Different people have different purposes while looking for business contacts during their networking time, and can provide value to one another in different ways.
The question is: how can you guarantee that your attendees will be able to retain the information of the entrepreneurs or marketers that they network with?
The answer is: QR codes. If every guest obtains their own personal QR code upon registration, they will be able to exchange them exactly the same as business cards, without the physical piece of paper.
For example, Eventory Scanner is a supporting application to the Eventory event tech ecosystem that utilizes QR codes for data collection at events, designed exclusively for event organizers, partners, and exhibitors, in which all data is encrypted and in accordance with GDPR. These QR codes are a perfect support system you’ll need that will give you a leg up on the competition, especially when it comes to networking.
After the initial event where you implement QR code technology, you can provide your attendees with statistics, such as the number of people that exchanged QR codes and how many business contacts were made. You could also ask some people for testimonials to further prove how useful your event became for those people. Data and happy previous customers are the best proof of your event’s value, and an easy way to promote your event on the next go-around.
When it comes to websites, making site visitors click more than one or two times to get to where they need to be is demanding, and people are likely to drop off of your website if they have to click too many times. That being said, you don’t want people to have to click too many times to register for your event. They may feel less inclined to do so if registration is too difficult. However, there’s also an issue if registration is too easy. For example, if you look at the attendees on Facebook Events, you may see outrageous registration numbers, but very few attendees. A lot of times, people who sign up for an event on Facebook don’t actually attend or participate. While there are many theories to this, one of the most important is that it’s just too easy; all you have to do is click one button and you’re all signed up.
When it comes to registering for events, if people are not asked to provide their personal data, click on other buttons, or accept privacy statements, they’ll sign up at the drop of a dime. While all of the extra clicks and information may be a bit daunting for users, it’s actually crucial for event organizers. Not only do the extra steps weed out people who don’t really care about your event but they also help with networking and event AI, if your platform is capable of such features. AI matchmaking helps to boost your event’s engagement and create meaningful connections like never before.
Potential attendees are more likely to be interested in your event if they feel like a VIP. An event promotion tip that helps to raise interest and increase value is to create special invites and exclusive tickets. For example, limit the number of possible attendees, and decide that only those who receive a “special invitation” can come. People tend to appreciate something more if they had to somehow earn it.
Special invites are a simple thing to do that allows you to create a VIP feeling among potential attendees. However, it’s worth noting that it’s important to keep a proper balance when it comes to exclusive tickets. If you limit your tickets too much, you may end up with just a mere handful of attendees.
There are always going to be too many things to remember. How many times have you stopped mid-step because you suddenly remembered that there was something important you needed to do? We make notes, set alarms on our phones, try to keep track of important tasks and yet, we often forget about something. The same thing happens with events; if you buy a ticket months prior to the day of the event, it’s can be hard to remember that you signed up.
Of course, this also has a lot to do with the value of the event – if your attendee cares about your event deeply, they’re far less inclined to forget about it. If you’re following the event promotion tips in this article, like creating an interesting agenda, inviting exciting speakers, proving value, etc., you won’t have to worry about registrants forgetting about your event. Just be aware that the date and venue can easily slip off of peoples’ minds; it’s your job to remind them.
One of the most important reminders is simple: send registrants a message; whether they’re emails, SMS text messages, pings on Slack, calendar invites, or another method. Send a message a couple of weeks before your event so that your attendees would have time to plan everything. Then, send messages as you prefer, such as a week before and a day before. It’s up to you how often and how many times you want to let them know your event is coming. However, avoid spamming your guests; you’ll want to gently remind people about the event, not irritate them.
There are so many marketing automation tools available, and personalization is one of the greatest. Inbound marketing is essential if you want to promote your event, and you can use these tools to create better, more relevant content for your clients.
Another helpful feature you can utilize as a reminder is easy calendar invites. There are tons of widgets and apps that let you provide a link to registrants that will allow them to add the event date and details to their online calendar.
When it comes to promoting an event, marketers are often so busy trying to get ready for the big day that sometimes they forget to upload fresh content on a regular basis. You shouldn’t just announce the event and then hope for the best. The days between the announcement of the event and the live day are the biggest times to advertise. Take advantage of your website your social platforms to write about how great your speakers are, how interesting this year’s themes are, prepare surprises, and keep those interested coming back for more, especially if you’re putting on another event in the future.
A good way to promote your event and keep people interested is to provide them with an event toolkit, or a list of things the attendees should know before the lectures/panels. This “toolkit” is both useful and informative so potential attendees can stay engaged.
Another one of the best ways to get more attendees interested in your event is to give them something tangible, even if it’s just deeper insight that they were not aware of. For example, we all love short, smart quizzes that are fun to take part in that come with an end result. They can be easily used as a promotional tool when you say: “Do you know everything about…? Fill this quiz and check your knowledge,” or “What type of…are you?”
Contests can get more attendees and bring the interest to a whole other level when there are prizes involved. This almost creates a similar feeling of exclusivity - letting people win something and allowing them to feel like a VIP. One way to do so is to announce that three people who signed up for the event will be chosen to receive a gift at the venue. There’s no limit to what you can do with gifts and prizes.
If you're new to the virtual and hybrid event space, let us guide you through the planning and promotional process. We specialize in all types of events, from virtual trade shows to in-person conferences and much more. We can help to ensure that your events run as smoothly as possible on a reputable virtual event platform. We’ll take care of the virtual venue so you can focus on turning registrants into attendees. Contact us today to find out more, or download our free e-book below, The 6Connex Playbook to Planning Your Virtual Event.