May 18, 2016
By Anderson Conte

It’s Sunday morning and you’re checking your News Feed on Facebook. What you think will just be a quick peek into your friends’ social lives, you’re suddenly inundated with pictures and video streams from parties and events you didn’t attend. You immediately feel a dip in your mood. If you’ve never heard of FOMO, I’m sure you’ve felt it at some point in your life – especially if you’re a millennial.

FOMO stands for “fear of missing out” and the epidemic has spread through social media and mobile devices. FOMO has boosted the event industry and increased online engagement, including check-ins and social sharing among attendees. With three out of four millennials spending more money on experiences than tangible items, this has been a blessing for event professionals. But how can meeting planners and marketers tap into FOMO and use it to increase attendance?

Everyone, regardless of age, wants to attend an event that they feel is popular amongst their peers. The goal is to provide your attendees with an event that’s too good not to share with their friends (and hopefully make them a little envious, too). Here are three ways to boost FOMO for your upcoming event:

1. Master Your Social Prowess

Like any great event, it’s important to start marketing early on. Integrate a social component into your overall marketing plan by including visual platforms like Instagram, Periscope, and Snapchat. An event hashtag will allow all your social media initiatives to be collected within a single trending topic. Plus it will help you and attendees share more easily and track everything that’s relevant to your event. Don’t forget to integrate a social share widget on all your marketing communications including emails and web pages to make sharing as easy as a “click”.

Facebook recently released a new feature for events. By creating a Facebook event, users can share that they are either interested or attending, a status that also pops up on their followers’ News Feeds, ultimately increasing your event’s reach. This also lets prospective attendees know who else is already registered, which could give them the boost they need to register. Encourage event speakers to share the event with their social media followers as well (using the event hashtag, of course!)

2. Give Your Attendees Something to Talk About

You can pump your event up with marketing jargon until it bursts, as long as you can deliver on what you’re promising attendees. During the event, you want your guests to be so wowed with the content that they’re compelled to instantly share with their followers (and if you use an event app, you know they’ll be on their mobile devices).

This is where I would tell you to be creative, and you think, “I’m not the creative type.” No worries. The important thing here is knowing your audience. What would they find valuable? Do they gush over product launches? Maybe they can’t get enough of educational sessions. Whatever it is, knowing your audience will give you the insight you need to impress them. Remember, it doesn’t have to be over the top either. Quality trumps quantity.

3. Increase Your Event’s Demand

Let’s tap into what we remember from our economics class (dust it of if you need to, this is a judge-free zone). Events become popular when demand is high. If demand is high, supply will be low (ie. a limited supply of tickets); therefore, people start to see your event as exclusive. Do you have attendees who have been to more than one event? Reward their loyalty by providing them information before the initial invite. Maybe send them an exclusive email about who keynote speaker will be a week before it’s officially announced. Recognizing your loyal participants with increase their chances of spreading the word and attending future events.

 

By incorporating these three tips into your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to use FOMO to boost your event’s buzz and generate more engaged attendees. You wouldn’t want to miss out on this opportunity to connect with these highly engaged attendees!

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