Increasing event attendance and proving the ROI is a dream come true for every event organiser. After weeks and months of hard work to put the event together, a massive attendance is a huge validation. It’s an incredible feat to accomplish when you’re juggling so many things in the event planning processes. But all this is easier said than done.
An effective event marketing strategy is an essential step to boost attendance at your event. You certainly don’t require a big advertising budget or celebrity endorsement to market your event. Just follow these event marketing best practices to boost event attendance without impacting your budget:
CREATE AN EXCITING EVENT WEBSITE
The event website is the face of your event and the cornerstone of all your marketing efforts. Make sure you have a compelling description, bios and pictures of the speakers (wherever applicable), event image, event-related videos, testimonials and interviews from last year’s attendees. The image can be as simple as your event logo that can be shared on social networks. Finally, don’t forget to include a prominent registration form! Take inspiration for your next event from these sample event websites.
OPTIMISE YOUR PRE-EVENT EMAILS
Email marketing campaigns are all the rage these days as they are very effective in luring attendees to the event. Make sure your pre-event emails have enticing subject lines and content that describes the event in the best possible way. Prevent spam filters from capturing your emails by avoiding sales jargon and limiting the number of URL links. And if it’s appropriate for your market, try to send these emails on the weekend when open and click-through rates are usually higher. An email campaign executed in the right direction is a sure shot way to boost event attendance.
USE YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE
Yes, you heard it right. Often overlooked, these real estates at the bottom of every email are a great way to amplify your event. Did you know that by the end of 2016, it is predicted that 1:1 business email volume will rise to 143.8 billion per day. If you directly deal with clients, prospects or industry peers, include a call-to-action to drive more registrations. A compelling email signature gives the recipient a reason to explore further and increases the level of professionalism your company shows.
INCREASE MEDIA EXPOSURE
Using media or industry partners for event promotion can prove beneficial for boosting event attendance. People are more likely to attend an event if they find it mentioned in all the relevant sources. Planners can submit details of the event to the local press, associations, Chamber of Commerce etc to ensure maximum exposure of their event.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO GENERATE PRE-EVENT BUZZ
Since events are social occasions, you must leverage the social networking platform as well to promote your event and build awareness. Create a unique and short hashtag to spread the word about your event on social networks. Give your prospects a sneak peek by posting behind-the-scenes pictures and your event teasers. It helps build an online audience that may become your event attendees.
USE CONTESTS TO ATTRACT NEW ATTENDEES
Incorporating a contest (or, in case of larger events, an award ceremony) into your pre-show marketing campaign will help a great deal in promoting your event. The reward of cash, merchandise, free service, award and/or even recognition will attract the immediate attention of prospective attendees and at the same time get them excited about the event. This will indirectly help you in boosting event attendance. Ensure that the contest encourages attendees to interact together and is in sync with the overall theme of your event.