Every time an event is planned, the top priority becomes to sell, sell & sell.
A poor event turnout is a nightmare for every event marketer.
Ensuring the right venue, catering, entertainment, and speaker lineup isn’t enough to increase event attendance when planning an event. It would help if you focused on delivering value to your attendees.
Increasing event attendance can help you achieve the following goals:
- Raise awareness among the targets audience
- Generate more leads that convert
- Build relationships with like-minded people
- Expand reach to potential attendees
So, do you want to know how to increase attendance at events? Fortunately, there are tried and tested steps to get more people through the doors.
In this blog, we’ll be discussing the following steps:
- Compelling Event Planning and Organization
- Powerful Marketing and Promotion
- Leveraging Event Technology
- Enhancing Attendance Experience
- Early Bird and Last-Minute Strategies
Overview of 5 Simple Steps in Attracting Attendees
Before you promote your events, you must know how to increase event attendance in any in-person, virtual, or hybrid setting.
By implementing the following steps, you can increase attendance at events.
1. Compelling Event Planning and Organization
For a successful event, you must create a master event plan and craft event activation ideas. And while planning and organizing, you must create a detailed timeline so everything moves smoothly.
Make sure you don’t keep it all in your mind, and don’t write it all down. As it will make it difficult to remember, keep everything in a document. Also, create strategies to increase attendance when crafting a compelling event plan.
To avoid any mistakes and ensure a successful event with maximum attendees, you must keep the following aspects in mind for planning:
- Venue contracts, logistics, and catering
- Speakers and presenters
- Activities and entertainment
- Online and off-line promotion pre-event and during the event
- Detailed marketing plan
- Sponsor and partnership
- Post-event marketing plan
Ensure everything you plan and design is in your attendee’s interest and will captivate them towards the event. Create a solid and actionable plan that ensures a smooth head start and a successful event.
2. Powerful Marketing and Promotion
There are a million ways to approach event marketing and promotion. Planning and effort can make a tremendous difference and make it engage effortlessly.
1. Utilizing Digital Marketing channels (social media, email, website)
As the world digitalizes, event marketing has seamlessly blended with the landscape. Utilizing digital marketing channels is no more an option but part of your event content marketing plan.
2. Social media
Whether you’re hosting an in-person, hybrid, or online event, social media promotion lets you engage with your audience creatively and boost event attendance.
Here’s how to attract attendees to your event via social media:
Hashtags – Create an event hashtag and encourage people to use it. Make sure your hashtags are catchy and easy to remember. Hashtags can be event name, theme, technology, and venue related.
Contest – One of the easiest ways to engage more people and make them attend your event is by tweeting, Instagramming, and Facebook postings, such as photo contests, giveaways, or idea sharing. Put your creativity to work and encourage user-generated content.
Collaborators & Ambassadors – You can collaborate with social media influencers and ambassadors to promote an event on Facebook or other social media platforms. They can engage their followers to promote your event before, during, and after.
Consistency & Interaction – Give your followers what they want with consistent posts and interaction opportunities that make them feel comfortable.
Paid digital channels – Paid promotion is highly effective on social media and can help your increase attendance at events. It enables you to reach a more targeted audience through demographic segmentation.
3. Email marketing
A great event email marketing campaign can boost event attendance. Here’s a workflow for email marketing that you can follow for event promotion.
- Generate interest in your event with a launch campaign
- Invite people to your event with discounts and offers
- Encourage people to share your event-related content
- Share event highlights about speaker, entertainment, and experience
- Make it easy for people to ask questions
- Keep them updated with event dates and timelines
- Thank people for attending your event in a follow-up email
4. Website & Landing Pages
Are you still thinking, why do I need an event page?
The answer is simple. It helps you drive traffic to your website and convert it into sales.
You can create two main types of event pages: event registration and lead generation. Both types support your conversion goals, compelling calls to action, and content that gets them to RSVP.
Here are the best practices to keep in mind when designing an event website or landing page:
- Focus on a single conversion goal
- Target specific audience
- Give your audience something to look forward to
- Set clear expectations for the event
- Make it easy to RSVP
For example, Adobe Max – The Creativity Conference, an event organized by Abode, will be happening this year. They have created an event page with all the relevant information about the event, speakers, entertainment, experiences, and networking opportunities. Also, the page has a clear call to action button that instantly allows the user to click and register for the event.
Source: Abode Max
5. Creating engaging content (videos, blogs, teasers)
Choosing the right type of content that drives an engaged audience is essential. While you could spend hours crafting a blog, video, or teaser, it may lose interest for several reasons.
Therefore, make sure you strike the right balance between promotion and creativity while maintaining consistency.
You can create video trailers for your event that help you convert for your audience.
You can start a blog with interesting topics related to the event and what the audience can look forward to.
You can share teaser videos as sneak peek content to captivate the audience and give them a reason to click.
6. Collaborating with influencers and partners
Also known as a brand partnership, influencers and partners help your nurture to thrive and grow your event reach. However, when managing relationships with them, you must know how to negotiate the best offers and provide an event sponsorship package. It can help you reach their followers, who might also be interested in your event.
For a successful brand collab to increase event attendance, follow these tips:
- Determine your goals
- Get to know your influencer
- Personalize your approach
- Automate your campaign
- Set influencer performance metrics
- Communicate clearly
For example, IBM posted on social media about the talk with IBMers at CannesLions2023, revealing the next IBM collaboration to attract more people to their upcoming events.
3. Leveraging Event Technology
There are multiple ways to increase attendance at events by enhancing engagement. Here’s why you need to add event technology to your guide to event marketing:
- Increased motivation
- Social interaction
- Knowledge retention
- Fun and enjoyment
- Improved attendee experience
- Enhanced data collection
Do you want to know how to increase event attendance by leveraging technology? Considering the event goals, you can opt for different event technologies. For event marketers, numerous event technologies and tools will engage more people and enhance your event experience. Here are the eight best event technology trends to consider:
Augmented and virtual reality
- Live streaming
- Contactless check-ins
- Digital floor plans
- Event gamification
- Wearable technology
- Event mobile app
- Projection mapping
Event technology can help you create a well-rounded event and transform the on-site experience to increase attendance.
4. Enhancing Attendee Experience
How can I increase attendance at events? The answer is by enhancing the attendee experience.
To dazzle attendees and increase attendance, you need to identify audience touchpoints. It can help you create a satisfying attendee experience.
For example, Web Summit 2023 shared a lineup of speakers at their event to attract attendance and shared a piece of brief information about what they will be speaking about.
Another great example of enhancing the event experience is offering networking opportunities for your attendees. MozCon is a one-of-a-kind conference that lets digital marketers come together to experience and share a phenomenal event.
Another great example of enhancing the attendee experience is making the event unique. ICMS Australia, a leading conference organizer, set up a sketch bot for the guests to draw and print selfies through a unique technology experience.
Also, you can connect with expert events marketing agency to make your event more immersive and interactive for your attendees and increase attendance.
5. Early Bird and Last-Minute Strategies
After months of weak sales, people finally started event registration. While we hope events are sell-out situations every time, don’t you wish there was a way to drive sales earlier?
Early bird and last-minute strategies accelerate sales by incentivizing attendees to register early by offering discounts. You can set a certain time or make some tickets available at discounted prices for a limited time.
For example, the first 50 tickets from August 1st to 7th will save 20%, or the early bird discount is valid from August 1st to 31st.
Early bird discounts create FOMO (Fear of Mission Out). Once you’re done with early bird – sold out – it creates hype among the target audience, resulting in more ticket sales and increased event attendance.
For last-minute strategies, you can offer VIP registration and coded discounts. They pressure the target audience to act instantly and create a perceived value in their experience.
For example, Summer Sussex Night Out, a night of entertainment, offers early bird prices with a limited-time offer.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can I enhance the overall attendee experience?
Five best ways to enhance the overall attendee experience:
- Gamification & virtual experience
- Poll and Q&A session
- Collaborate with event tech partners
- Networking opportunities
- Use lighting to set the mood
Should I involve the local community in my event?
Yes, local community involvement will boost event attendance. Here are some other benefits:
- Increased local community support
- Broader reach and promotion
- Cultural integration makes the event more meaningful
- Valuable insights and ideas
- Create a vibrant environment to increase attendance
- Build the positive reputation
What are early-bird and last-minute strategies?
There are several types of early-bird and last-minute strategies. Here are some of the best strategies:
- Early bird discounts
- Exclusive access for early registrants
- Limited-time promotions for early bird
- Last-minute discount to boost sales
- Flash sales
- Partnering with the local community for last-minute promotion
Building hype factors and adding a wow factor to your event doesn’t necessarily increase attendance. You must go beyond and walk the extra mile to achieve numbers impacting your brand.
As suggested above, it takes much planning. From content quality to different event experiences, getting people to your event demands additional efforts that make you stand out in the industry. Make your event an experience the audience can’t miss, and be ready to increase event attendance.