You are back on track, organizing large in-person corporate events post-covid. You have found an amazing venue, the catering team is all set up, and you even posted a few pictures on social media. However, on the event day, more than half of the seats are empty. Ouch!
We want to help you avoid this by revealing how to increase event attendance, even if it’s your first time organizing an event.
How to Increase Event Attendance
Having a low turnout after putting so much energy into organizing an event is every event planner’s worst nightmare. Lucky for you, there are several strategies you can implement to ensure you get everyone excited and fill all the seats at your event.
Understand Your Target Audience
Understanding your target audience is crucial because it helps you create an event that matches your audience’s motivation. Before you put a lot of resources into promoting your event, you need to understand why people would want to attend in the first place. What do they hope to get out of the event? What will motivate them to come?
According to the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, 92% of people attend events because they want to learn something. 78% of attendees come because they like the location, while 76% come to look for networking opportunities. Based on this data, you need to create customer personas and design event activities that will meet each of their needs.
You can satisfy these needs by having speakers that are respected authorities in their niche, setting up your event in an appealing location, and inviting thought leaders that can provide ground for networking opportunities. By organizing the event with audience needs in mind, you will attract more people.
Personalize Your Invitations
Now that you know who your target audience is and what they want out of your event, it is time to send them personalized invitations. Yes, you can advertise on social media, prepare flyers or even use influencers to spread the word about your event.
However, nothing beats a personalized invitation. Personalization can vary based on the demographic of your audience. For instance, if you are targeting a young audience, you can send casual personalized messages.
On the other hand, if your audience is seasoned professionals in a certain field, you might want to be formal. Either way, ensure your emails are engaging and professional, and mention the recipient’s name.
Make It Easy for People to Register
The average human attention span is around 8.25 seconds. If you make the registration process for your event long and complicated, most potential attendees will leave without registering. So, you need to make it really simple for people to register.
- You shouldn’t make people provide a lot of unnecessary information. Only collect information that is pertinent to your event.
- If there’s going to be a registration fee, provide multiple payment options such as PayPal, credit cards, and bank transfers.
- Allow people to register and pay as a group. This might encourage higher event attendance since one person can pay for others, such as friends and family members, at once.
- Keep people on your site. The registration process should happen in one place. When you send people to another site (say for payment), they might get suspicious and opt out.
People love free stuff. If you offer good incentives, you might be able to sway people that were not initially interested in attending your event.
One great way to do this is by offering discounts. These include:
- Early bird discounts
- Alumni discounts
- VIP discounts
- X% off on tickets
- Buy one ticket, get one free
- Media discounts
- Student discounts
Just get creative with your discounting techniques to encourage as many people as possible to sign up.
For instance, instead of selling 200 event tickets and having most of the seats remain empty, offering incentives can help you sign up more than 1,000 people. While this means you will lose money on tickets, you may gain more in terms of selling more products and services at the event.
Leverage the Power of Video
Video is one of the most effective ways to create buzz around your event. While we also recommend investing in quality photography, the immersive nature of the video is more likely to attract attendees. In fact, HubSpot reports that more than 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands they support.
There are several ways you can use video to spread the word about your event. These include:
- Recording short clips to update your audience on how the event planning is progressing
- Interviewing the organizing team
- Revealing major speakers that will be at the event
- Providing a sneak peek of the event location and its surroundings
- Organizing a live Q&A session about the event on social media
The most important function of video, however, is live streaming the event for people who can’t attend in person. Sure, there is a ton of value you can gain when people attend your event in person. However, live streaming the event will enable you to connect with more people and potentially inspire them to attend future events.
At Vario, we offer customized event production solutions and through the use of video, we can help you create a memorable event experience. Using our skilled team of visionaries, content coaches, graphic designers, and video producers, we turn passive attendees into active participants with compelling visual content: opening/closing videos, transitions, animations, infographics, augmented/virtual reality and holograms.
Take Advantage of Influencers
The quickest way to get the word around about your event in this social media era is using influencers. One way to do this is by inviting influential people to speak at or emcee your event. You can also provide ticket discounts for influencers to encourage them to attend.
Alternatively, you can also use influencers to distribute your giveaways like free tickets or event merchandise. If you don’t have a big budget for the big names, you can still use micro-influencers who are well-known by your target audience.
Micro-influencers usually have highly engaged audiences and can help you attract more attendees. It is no wonder that 77% of marketers prefer working with micro-influencers than big celebrities, according to Shopify.
Getting more people to attend your event can be frustrating. However, with the right event marketing strategies, you should be able to fill all the seats. Just ensure you understand what your audience wants, send out personalized invitations, design a simple registration process and take full advantage of video marketing.