Growing your database of attendees can be a little difficult sometimes. You hope to see fresh faces with each new event you organise, but things don’t always work out that way. In this post, we will explore 8 ways that will help increase your list of attendees.
1. Social Media Communities
Getting people involved and talking about your event during all stages of your event is a good thing. It creates interest, awareness and sparks discussions. So where do you begin?
A good place to start would be Facebook. These days, almost everyone has a Facebook account – be it for personal or work purposes. It has become the virtual identity of people and the go-to social media platform for the latest news and scoops. It is almost an extension of one’s self online. What better place to get the ball rolling?Create a Facebook Page for your event way before the actual day. Invite your potential attendees and use the page as a launchpad for conversations. They would have an online meeting place to socialise, discuss and plan their own event itineraries.
To target a more business-oriented audience for your event, starting a LinkedIn group would be a great idea. A LinkedIn profile serves as a person’s professional profile in the world today. Think of it as the central networking platform for the corporate world. With a LinkedIn group, you can start discussions on specific topics your event will explore. Get the input of professionals who could be your potential attendees. Not only that, your group will be the best place for people to network as well.
Another two platforms you could leverage would be Google+ Communities and Twitter itself. With Twitter, start Q&As and #hashtags to better promote your event. Have people tweeting using those #hashtags for the conversations taking place. You could even @mention your event’s featured speakers or industry experts to increase visibility.
Kickstart communities for your event on different platforms. It will give you the opportunity to reach out and connect with your potential attendees. Create value for them through content and a great community experience. They just might return the favour by spreading the word for you.
Another popular media platform – YouTube. Generate interest within potential attendees through YouTube video campaigns. Get them sharing these videos to get the message out. Some ideas for consideration would be:
- Short and informative snippets that talk about your event.
- Teasers that give potential attendees a brief idea of what to expect.
- Funny videos that need not be about your event but serve to generate buzz – with the possibility of going viral.
Whatever the angle you pick, more views you get from YouTube videos would help generate more attendee leads in the future.
3. Virtual Tickets/Webcasts
In the past, distance and time were some of the negative factors for potential attendees to pass on events. The Internet solved those problems. You are now able to offer live streams or recorded videos of your event to people online. Reach out to people you never thought you could before by:
- Creating virtual tickets for attendees unable to be present at your event. Give them access to live webcasts that keeps them connected to the event from wherever they are.
- Offering recorded segments of the event for attendees to keep. This gives them the flexibility of viewing your event’s content any time.
Engage more attendees on new platforms for your event and expand your outreach.
4. Complimentary Access
Give complimentary access to attendees that may have opted out of your event due to prices. You won’t get any sales, but this approach helps increase the number of potential attendees for future events. Let people experience your event – a taste of what they might have been missing out. This will allow you to reach out to them when they have a proper impression of what your events offer.
Photo Credit: Graphic Conversation / Mark Wathieu / Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)
5. Mobile Ready
These days, almost everyone has a smartphone. Figures from eMarketer estimate 2 billion consumers worldwide to get smartphones by 2016. With everyone viewing content on the go from smartphones, not being mobile ready would be unwise. Optimise your event websites for mobile platforms. You could even use QR codes in your marketing campaigns for potential attendees to scan and find out more event details.
Want to know if your site is mobile friendly? Check out our Google Search now promotes mobile-friendly sites article.
6. Personalised Emails
Sending generic e-mails to a wide list of potential attendees could get your event on their radars. It might not be enough for them to say yes though. We as people prefer e-mails catered to us – to show that the sender knows and cares enough to find out about us. For your next e-mail campaign, take the time to craft specific e-mails for specific people. Potential attendees will appreciate the fact that you have made the effort to discern who they are and what they do. This in turn may attract them to come for your future events.
Go green. Contribute to charities. Give attendees the chance to be a part of something bigger. When people know of your commitment to society, it will be good for you because they know you have the future of the world in mind. They know that if they participated in your event, they might be doing something good for society in return.
8. Social Media Walls
Leverage on the communities you have built for your event by using social media walls onsite. This keeps the momentum of your social media campaigns. You could:
- Promote your event using the #hashtags you’ve created online.
- Feature tagged social media posts on big displays live.
- Create opportunities for attendees to interact within the event, as well as outside.
- Open communications between you and your attendees.
Social media can only help drive publicity for your event – and it doesn’t stop there. You can further promote future events to them now that you’re connected.
Need some ideas for social media wall platforms? Check out our 7 Social Media Wall Platforms for Your Next Event article.
We want to hear from you.
What other ways are there to further increase attendees at your event? Be it hypothetical or tried and tested methods, do share it with us.
Photo Credit: Conférence NWX2012 / Frédéric BISSON / Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)