So you’ve spent a lot of time and money to create the perfect event. You know people are going to have a great time. There are going to be ample opportunities for them to network, along with great information they are going to be supplied with. The venue is exquisite, meals are to-die-for, and you have some events lined up for everyone that they are going to have a great time at. You’re so excited! Now… how are you going to get people to sign up for it? What are you going to do to attract people to this great event you’ve worked so hard building?
1. Market to the Right Audience
When one thinks of hosting a smaller meeting, many still inevitably assume they’ll look into big chain hotels that wiFirst, you’re going to need to make sure that you are marketing to your target audience. Figuring out what types of people you want at your event may seem easy enough, but it should never be taken lightly. You don’t want to attract the wrong kind of crowd that you won’t be able to further your own brand and business. So always make sure you ask yourself… what do I want to accomplish with this event? What would you consider a success? Your answer will help you to figure out who should be targeted!
2. Consistently Market the Event on Social Media
There are a variety of ways to make sure that you are staying connected with everyone on social media. Create a LinkedIn and Facebook Event to start generating buzz for the upcoming event you are holding. Also create a Twitter #Hashtag for your event that can be used to mark keywords and topics that you want to be easily accessible! This will let people find out what’s being said easily about your event more easily. Make sure to promote that hashtag on other promotional materials you may send out for the event (email, newsletters, your website, direct mailers, other social media accounts, etc.) so it generates more buzz, as well! And don’t forget to use it yourself! Using the hashtag DURING the event can also be beneficial, as it will pique interest during the event that may garner additional inquiries about future events you may hold!
Also consider leveraging paid advertising options on social media, as well. Use targeted ads to reach out to those who may not otherwise see it, and make sure your registration information is clear and concise on all social media posts that may be going out. Using a direct link to your website where registration can be found is a great way to do this.
Finally, when it comes to social media, make sure people can find you! Include your social media accounts on your websites, within your emails, and any mailings you may send out. Don’t forget to include links to your social media sites in any newsletters you may send out, as well!
3. Offer Discounts
Consider offering early bird pricing to those who may sign up before a specific date in advance of your event. More often than not, people will feel a sense of urgency to save money, which will encourage people to sgn up quicker. Make sure you market the two different prices so people see a quantifiable reason on why it would be beneficial to sign up sooner, rather than later.
It’s also a good practice to offer discounts and rewards to attendees who have participated in one of your past events, as well. If your event is annual, open up registration to return attendees first. They know what you will be offering and will be familiar enough to know that what you offer is going to be a quality event. Show you appreciate past attendees by offering them a special discount for signing up early.
4. Make Registration Easy
Don’t promote your event and get people to finally decide to pull the trigger, only to make registration a hassle and time-consuming. The process needs to make participants feel comfortable about attending, while being respectful of their time. Make registration available on your website, where they can use their credit card or PayPal account to make the process easy. Also set up an email to go out a few days before the event to remind them of what they need to do, along with directions and any other information they may need to attend.
Make sure the call-to-actions are visible and apparent on your website, with links leading to registration easy-to-find. Including links on most of your website pages will make things easier for potential attendees, as well.
5. Promote the Location and the “extras”
Are you holding your event or conference at a big draw location? Are you providing special incentives and extras that everyone is going to be able to be a part of? Locations can be the deciding factor for people on the fence about attending your event. Promote other attractions that are close to where you are going to be that may interest people and see if there are discounted rates you can provide on outside activities. This will make your event even more of a draw for people to sign up!
Announce the headlining events for your event or conference that may drive sales, as well! Get people excited about what they can expect and that there will be more than just content for them to soak up.
6. Invite Guests to Blog About The Event
Are you partnering up with specific guests who may be sponsoring different content or are going to be speaking at your event? Invite them to spread the word on their own social media accounts, or to blog about what attendees can expect. They will be more than happy to help you promote your event, as they will want it to be just as successful as you! Ask them to give a sneak peak on what they will be providing during their sessions
Provide specific copy that you would like to make sure is included in any promotions or blogs they may write to make it as easy as possible for them to promote the event on your behalf. Just think of the extended audience you’ll get when you reach outside of your own network!
By just following these tips, you’ll help to increase the attendance and sales of the large conference or event that you have had in the works for months. With all of the hard work you have put into this to make it a success, don’t let it fall by the wayside when it’s time to market it!