Events help you build your network, meet like-minded people or strike conversations with prospects. In order to grow your business, you must show up at events and tradeshows.
However, to acquire clients and new connections through your event, you need to ensure that there’s a good turnout. The higher the number of attendees, the higher your chances to connect and converse with more leads. That happens only when you market your event properly.
Here is a handy list of ways to get more people to attend your event and make it a tremendous success from the get-go. Some of these suggestions will likely refresh what you already know, but hopefully, you’ll learn a new trick or two!
Let’s dive right in.
Put an event banner on your website and social media pages
Set the stage for your inbound audience.
Start by designing an attractive banner image with the date, location and any star detail of your event, and put it on the top fold of your website to instantly let all visitors see it.
Also add a CTA button asking people to “Join the Event”. A well designed banner image will help you get more conversions..
Do the same for your social media pages. Banners are highly effective in Facebook and Twitter as it’s the first thing your visitors and followers will see when opening your social handle. Even LinkedIn has a customizable background cover image feature. Use that to make your audience aware of your upcoming event.
Send offer emails to your subscribers and potential attendees
Gather all your subscribers and leads in one excel sheet, craft an exciting “we are organizing an event, here is an offer” message. Use mass mailing tools like MailChimp (or if you want to do it simply through gmail, then add the Mail Merge plugin).
Be careful with your words though, you don’t want your mail to be marked as spam.
Here’s an effective example from Bounce Exchange. It includes offers and enticing details of the event.
Brag about your star event speakers over social media
Spend a bit more to hire stars. The idea is to leverage the popularity of your event speakers to lure many more fans and admirers to your event.
For example, Money 20/20, a leading payment and fintech event, uses the power of visual marketing effectively in their social media engagement. They utilize caricatures, gifs, and short animated videos to highlight their event speakers.
Give people a reason to sign-up early
Give people a reason to commit to attending the event. Give offers and privileges to early joiners. Create urgency and make the offers for a limited period of time.
The exigency of the offer is critical to your cause. Much like in the example above, a simple top fold section of your web page is enough to draw people’s attention. Make people look at your ads.
Incentivize your attendees with offers/deals to refer their friends
The more audience you have, the better opportunities for networking and client acquisitions.
Do you already have a sure base of attendees? Then ask them to bring their friends and colleagues. Offer both parties additional discounts or coupons that benefit them in some way at your event or otherwise.
You can collaborate with your partners or sponsors and give your attendees great deals, free products, meals, offerings or advice, and promote each other on your respective platforms.
Ring the reminder bells
Now that you have an audience, you have to keep them engaged until the last moment.
Remind people that your event is happening on X date, who the organizers are, all the stars who are invited and speaking. Promote your event on multiple channels.
Conduct polls. Get opinions. Write articles about your event, engage in the comments section.
Tweet, use hashtags. Make a trend and your own very hashtag following your event and its related activities. Prompt people to use those hashtags and your brand name with each post. Keep the rhythm going.
You have to give gentle, timely reminders, not assault your prospect attendees’ senses. Strike a balance when it comes to delivering reminders.
Blow the bugles of your event plan
Have a solid event plan? Communicate it to your attendees.
Prepare and organize your schedule and make it public. Tell the audience the various activities, stage events, and star speakers to create a sense of surety about what is going to happen.
A properly broadcasted plan enables people to organize their time around your event, decreasing the likelihood that they will skip it.
Do this well in advance.
Offer premium access to live video streaming of your event
Don’t leave your audience out just because they couldn’t attend the event because of a busy schedule, distance or the attendance fee.
Shoot live coverage on video, posting snippets, pictures and live polls.
Prompt the attendees to use hashtags and tag themselves in social media posts about when they’re going to attend your event.
A promise of an insider peek in itself might drive people to your site and social pages, and maybe to your event too!
Facilitate chat & interaction between attendees
Assure your attendees a constant interaction. Networking and communication are important for event attendees.
Chat software like Brazen enable us to do what we love – communicate with other like-minded people. It can even act as a forum or support center for attendees to make inquiries or express their thoughts.
Your audience will appreciate the chance to talk directly to attendees of your event instead of waiting for the event to be over in hopes of having a chat. After all, we do attend events with the motive to expand our network and make new connections.
Choose suitable times & facilities
If you want more audience, pick a bustling area to hold your event. Consider holding your event on the weekend to enable more people to show up.
Ensure that the event location is readily accessible, has facilities to sustain your audience in case the event drags or more than expected numbers show up. Small conveniences will help boost the attendance. Keep that in mind.
Getting people to attend your big event doesn’t have to be an affair that you have to sweat over. The digital age has provided us with innumerable tools to attract and reach out to our target audience.
To get the word out about your event, employ everything at your disposal: social media, websites, discussion forums, emails, event/sponsor collaborations, and so on.
The Internet makes the world small. Use it to connect with your audience and have a blast at your event.
Have some digital strategies that you’ve used to lure in more attendees? Feel free to weigh in with us in the comments below!
Deepasha is an entrepreneur, visual marketer and the Founder of Crackitt. Crackitt helps startups and enterprises harness the power of visual marketing to generate leads and close sales through explainer videos and infographics.