You are probably wondering…
How do I get more people to attend my event?
You’ve been looking for event marketing strategies that actually work.
You already know the “why”.
Getting more people to attend your event means more fun for everyone around. Nothing like a pumped event. Plus, more attendees mean more ticket sales and chunkier profits. And if you get it right, your next event will attract even more people.
Question is: How?
Marketing an event to make it sell out can feel overwhelming. You have to do so much at the same time. Especially if you are hosting the event for the first time.
Here are 6 proven event marketing strategies that will help kickstart your event campaign in high gear—and keep it that way.
1. Know your ideal attendee
This one’s huge.
So you think you know your target audience?
You’ll want to find out what makes people attending events like yours tick.
You are not trying to get a restraining order by stalking your target attendees. Rather, you’re trying to figure out what they’re looking for in an event they’d consider unforgettable.
Targeting, aka segmenting, can help you find out what would motivate an ideal attendee to show up at your event.
You can also learn if:
- They are more likely to appreciate live or other types of events
- They are more receptive to events shared through Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. (You’re better off promoting an artsy event on Instagram instead of LinkedIn, for example.)
Why would this person feel compelled to attend the event in-person? Are they into face-to-face networking opportunities?
Engage with at least five industry influencers, major social media groups in your niche, and offline networks. This will help gauge what your target really wants to experience.
You can also use a tool such as SurveyMonkey to gather insights into what’s interesting to your ideal attendees.
Understanding your target’s motivations will inform every other event planning decision you’ll have to make. Yes, it is that important.
2. Be specific about your main goal
You’ll want to fine-tune your event marketing campaign with the end goal in mind: From theme to décor to budget to to the venue to even the tone of voice you’ll want your speakers to use.
What do you want? To:
- Sell out the hottest networking event in town?
- Create awareness around a worthy cause?
- Create a fun, monthly event friends and families can look forward to?
- Meet your clients face-to-face?
Always have a call to action.
Your target attendees are smart and can recognise a sales pitch way before it gets around to becoming a call to action.
So you’ll want your speeches, discussions, brochures, social media promotion posts directing all the attention towards the value the event is likely to add to attendees’ lives—not just your bio.
Focus on what an attendee can expect to gain from showing up.
3. Social proof your event
Social proofing is about building trust. You should put efforts into building a community around your event where it matters most.
You wouldn’t want to attend an event that has zero footprint on either traditional or digital platforms now, would you?
Can you create a LinkedIn group where you set the agenda and encourage insightful conversations with relevant specialists?
If so, go ahead and create one.
Feel free to start out some 180 days before the event—or even earlier, depending on the event size. Be sure to have reputable influencers chime in and offer useful insights you can quote in your blogs and cut out for relevant social media channels.
Remember: Social proof is also about increasing engagement. Be sure to drum up the conversation in the channels you post to.
Connecting with powerhouses in your niche can position you as a noteworthy player worth taking insight from.
If you’ve hosted a similar event before, see what worked and what didn’t. Hopefully, you have collected feedback from a chunk of attendees. Make sure each event is better than the previous one.
4. Become the early bird that catches the worm
Here’s the thing: Marketing an event close to the actual day can quickly spiral your event marketing budget out of control. Trying to reach large audiences in a short time means you have to invest in multiple marketing channels in a bid to hit all angles at once.
A good example:
Inbound marketing—such as content marketing and email marketing—is up to 61% more affordable per lead compared to outbound marketing techniques such as TV and billboard advertisements.
However, inbound marketing can take up to 3 months to start showing effectiveness, depending on the timing of the event.
Some ideal attendees might even be booked up for other events. Ideal speakers may be unavailable.
You may be forced to shell out much more to get replacements. Else you’d have to settle for less talent and skill than you intended. Such a mishap could potentially cost you a chunk of attendees the next time around.
5. Let them know what they need to bring
One of the most powerful reasons potential event attendees fail to register or show up is the lack of details about the event.
Every event host is quick to reveal the theme, venue, guest speakers, and date of the event. But savvy event marketing professionals also provide details such as transportation links, accommodation options near the venue, event program, availability of food and drinks nearby—all in one place.
The smarter way to do that is by creating a dedicated event page. Using an event page from Billeto, for example, can help you assist potential attendees with finding speakers’ bios, street directions, venue parking and dining options, registration information, and related media.
The best event promotion pages can even help you sell the event with the help of user-friendly ticketing widgets embedded on them.
6. Request feedback from attendees
Whether you are an event promotion veteran with nimble fingers to show for it or just starting out, taking post-event notes is powerful.
It helps you know how to not only be ready for the next event, but also how to continuously set your events apart. You’ll increasingly attract a better following and attendees.
Over to you…
Successful events don’t happen by chance. They follow this proven framework. Start taking action immediately and you’ll be creating sold-out, irresistible events. Every. Single. Time.