5 Strategies to Get Guests Talking and Increase Event Attendance
March 15th, 2018 by
With the right marketing strategy, your event will be the topic that everyone seems to be discussing. Potential attendees will feel compelled to join in the fun. Millennials have coined a term for this pervasive social anxiety: “FOMO,” for “fear of missing out.” This social enthusiasm is great at motivating that final step for a successful gathering: converting people who are merely aware of the event into participants who actually attend. Whether you’re still sending invitations or collecting RSVPs, every event planner needs to know how to make their big bash the talk of the town.
You know the contact information for your most dedicated fans and colleagues. Give newsletter subscribers and loyal customers the inside scoop, and they’ll be happy to make plans in advance. Include links to any special promotions or contests leading up to the event to help encourage your fans to spread the word and invite friends through social media. And be sure to tease out the event over a few targeted emails, building excitement and revealing new surprises that your customers can’t get enough of.
Whether it is your regular newsletter or promotional messages for the big event, less is more, especially when it comes to emails. Flooded inboxes are a familiar experience, and many people cull through their incoming mail on a smartphone, further limiting the time and screen space allowed for each message to make its case. When you’re promoting an event, don’t send out too many emails to the same recipients, or you may turn potential attendees into unsubscribers.
Facebook events allow you to track RSVPs and disseminate essential information. People need clear details about the time, location, and parking. Facebook makes key logistical information easily accessible, and it also provides a platform for easy promotion. With event marketing on Facebook, you can pay for promotion to get more views and attendees. Even without paying for advertising, you can design posts that encourage engagement. Produce exciting promotional infographics, and your fans will be happy to spread the word.
Schedule important posts for the early afternoon, preferably from Wednesday to Friday. Those times allow a larger number of active Facebook users to see your posts, and they can still share the news before the weekend. Social media also allows you to gauge enthusiasm and adjust your promotional strategy, depending on which posts get more engagement. Learn more about how social media management can help you find attendees for your big event on Facebook and other platforms.
Not everyone who clicks on your page will attend, but people who visit your website and event page have demonstrated interest. Target those undecided visitors with remarketing through Google Display or Facebook Display to remind them about the event and keep it top of mind. This is especially important if your event tickets typically sell closer to your event. As with other forms of targeted advertising, you can put your message in front of local viewers with relevant interests, and you can even filter by age groups and other demographic variables. Remarketing is special because it is tailored to potential guests who have demonstrated a very specific interest.
Not everyone checks Facebook more than five times a day, and it’s easy to forget about upcoming events. Online advertising provides reminders for converting interested viewers into actual attendees. Even users without a social media presence will still see advertising on search engines and other web page banners.
Advertisements are great reminders for upcoming occasions, but trusted online personalities can have an even more profound influence on attendance. Make your gathering popular by getting relevant influencers on board. In some ways, the internet is still a lot like high school, and influencers are the popular kids with a lot of sway over which parties and trends are “cool.”
Reach out to the internet personalities relevant to your industry and audience, and they may be interested in helping to spread the word. Some influencers are content creators who rely on sponsorship. Others are bloggers who share reviews and news relevant to their followers. Influencers make great VIPs, and they may also be interested in giving away tickets, further spreading the word.
Snapchat and Instagram Stories
If you’re targeting a younger audience, you need to keep up with the latest trends. Snapchat and Instagram allow you to tell a compelling visual story. The week and day of the event, be sure to have someone on staff dedicated to updating your feed with behind-the-scenes videos, live updates, and reactions from attendees. You can even get your influencer to take over your social account during the event to stir more excitement. Publishing a lot of content during the event, and encouraging your guests to do the same, is the best way to jumpstart your marketing and attendance for the following year.
From underwater welders to teenaged musicians, a surprising range of communities are active on Instagram and Snapchat. If you aren’t sure about the best place to reach your audience, then it’s worth getting professional help. Consulting services can help you determine which outlets are most effective for your industry and target audience, while lead tracking and analytics will help you determine how best to elicit reactions from followers.
Event marketing is about more than spreading the word. Use your established branding to show how every attendee will have a great time. With the right impression and frequent reminders, your local community will be FOMO-ing all the way to your big day. Whether you’ve booked an exclusive venue or amazing guest speaker, promotion (through advertising or social media) is just a way to spread the exciting news. Once you’ve done the hard work of planning a gathering, FOMO is the natural reaction of people who understand what a great time you have pulled together.
Have a big event coming up but no time to promote it? Request a proposal to learn how Search Influence can help you succeed.