Event planning can be a daunting process alone, without worrying about whether any of your delegates are going to show up. No one is immune to that pre-event panic, picturing empty chairs or untouched canapés. We have years of experience hosting events and have seen countless delegates walk through our doors.
We wanted to share our top tips and tricks to help you increase awareness for your event, so filling the venue is one less thing to worry about. Keep reading to make sure you have done all you can to ensure your event will be packed with enthusiastic delegates, from start to finish.
Boost event attendance with the right people
When it comes to increasing attendance at your event, your email list is going to be your best friend. Put those contacts to good use and send invitations out to everyone you have information for. This is the easiest resource at your fingertips to exploit, so make the most of it! The more personal you can make your email, the better, so where possible try to use personalised greetings. This is a fantastic way to make your recipients feel special and more likely to engage with the contents of your email.
Go one step further and incorporate sentimental phrases like ‘a special invitation for…’. This will not only make them feel warm and fuzzy inside, but also add an air of exclusivity to your event. Include all the relevant information in the email; time, date, location, and any exciting topics that will be covered, try to keep the read time under two minutes to keep your recipients mind from wandering.
To further increase awareness for your event, you can ask your email recipients to nominate someone who they think would enjoy attending or forward it to a friend or colleague who might be interested.
Don’t forget though, whilst filling your event is a priority, the old saying rings true: ‘quality over quantity’.
You want to make sure you are targeting the right audience, so carefully consider the demographic. Having the right audience at your event will ensure everyone is benefitting from excellent networking opportunities, bringing their own unique expertise, and are genuinely invested in the topics up for discussion.
A great way to establish who you want to be targeting is to use data from past events to build your ideal user persona. Think about what interests they have, what age group they belong to or what industries they are active in.
Most importantly however… don’t bombard them! Nobody enjoys receiving countless emails about the same thing repeatedly, even if they are genuinely interested. Make sure the content in the emails you do send is captivating as well as informative. If you are still looking for ways to boost circulation of your event, then consider including it in a company newsletter to keep your event at the forefront of readers minds.
How to drum up interest for your event
Advertise the value of your event to potential attendees by circulating information about the topics up for discussion and any guest speakers or panellists who will be featuring. Posting speaker bios or introductions will spark interest and encourage attendees to engage with your event.
Highlight the objectives for the day and let them know what they will be getting out of joining you. Perhaps it’s a new industry related development? Or a particularly influential guest speaker. You want them to think that missing out is simply not an option by making clear all the ways your event will add value to their careers.
Conferences are fantastic for attendees to network with likeminded individuals and build relationships within their specific industries, or maybe even in new industries they are hoping to branch out into. Let them know about all the amazing networking opportunities your event has to offer. This could be a Q&A panel to connect guests with speakers or inviting them to breakout sessions or social mixers that will allow attendees to build their own connections.
Raise awareness for your event - social media marketing
We have already discussed the benefits of email marketing, but it doesn’t stop there! Social media will be a huge asset to the marketing of your event. Keep your attendees excited by including sneak peaks of what’s to come or guest speaker profiles. There are so many options for this one, so get creative. You could create a branded hashtag so all your posts, and anyone else who might be posting about the event, can be found together.
Audience polls and chat functions will keep engagement high and provide a great medium to find out what attendees are excited about or provide valuable insight into an industry sector, whilst making your event the best consumer experience it can possibly be.
We are sure you’ve heard the saying ‘a picture is worth a 1000 words’ before and this couldn’t be truer for your social media marketing. When picking out imagery to accompany your social media posts, use images that are inspiring and eye catching. Images tell a much more compelling story which our brains can interpret faster than it can words. In fact, the human brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds which is a whopping 60,000 times faster than text!
So, keep this in mind when picking out the perfect picture to match your content. As the event draws closer you could even create a time-lapse of the venue being set up and dressed and have a countdown leading up to the big day to drum up excitement.
Offer incentives to increase event attendance
It’s no secret that everyone loves a freebie and there are countless ways for you to use this to incentivise registration to your event and increase event attendance. Offering early bird discounts for people who sign up early will encourage them to purchase tickets sooner rather than later, this can also give you key insight into how popular your event is going to be. Advertise a reward for those who show up early or on time with front row seating or perhaps a free drink on arrival. That way you can be sure your venue will be packed from start to finish!
Asking potential guests to refer a friend who they think will find your event particularly interesting and offering a reward for the referral is a fantastic method of increasing awareness for your event. Similarly, offering group registration discounts is another great trick to boost signups and you can be sure that large numbers of people will be arriving and attending together.
You want signing up and purchasing tickets to be as easy as possible for your guests so make sure everything is simple and accessible. As we are sure you know, people have become fantastic multi-taskers and often complete tasks on the go. Make sure that your website's mobile friendly to facilitate this, so people can register to your event wherever they are.
Providing the option to pay for tickets in multiple instalments may also encourage people to sign up there and then, rather than waiting for payday to roll around and risking forgetting all about it.
One of the more positive impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the events industry is the newfound appreciation for hybrid and virtual events. Consider including a virtual option to your event as this opens it up to those who live further afield and beyond any venue's capacity. Just remember to make sure it adds as much value as the live event, keep guests engaged by incorporating virtual breakout rooms, polling sessions or Q&A events.
If you’re on the hunt for the perfect venue to fill with all your guests, the HAC has everything needed for your event to run without a hitch. With ample space for delegates to mingle, top tier catering and state-of-the-art AV facilities all in an iconic London location, it has all the components to make your event one to remember! Get in touch with the team on 020 7382 1533 to find out more.