Achieving high attendance at your next event goes beyond booking a high-profile speaker or a fancy venue to draw in the crowds. If you’re looking to hit your target attendee numbers, it is best to employ a strategic approach. All event planners love a clear strategy!
We can break the strategy down into three clearly defined sections: reducing barriers to registration, communicating the value of the event clearly, and delivering excellence.
Let’s take a look at each one in more detail.
Reducing Barriers to Registration
There are a lot of things competing for our attention these days and potential barriers stopping people from attending your event. We need to remove as many barriers as humanly possible.
If you are skilled enough to catch the attention of a potential attendee, you need to do everything you can to convert that curiosity into a booking. Australians in particular are a nation of window shoppers, abandoning up to 76% of all online transactions without completing the sale or registration.
As a first step, make sure your website is accessible on mobile devices, as more people are now using mobiles to access the internet than desktops. If you can, use event management websites or total events management software, the registration forms should be clearly presented and quick to complete.
See if group registrations are possible (consider the HR manager with a team to register) or offer group discounts. Early-bird registration discounts can also get bookings moving.
The basic logistics of time, date and location can be a huge influence on numbers. Potential guests will investigate the location, so choose well by selecting a memorable spot that has experience hosting your size and style of events.
Research public events and holidays to ensure there’s no booking conflicts. Schedule learning events in the morning and social sessions or reward and recognition events directly after work. Try not to schedule events on Fridays to avoid end of week fatigue.
Communicate details clearly and consistently across your channels, including social media, email and the event website.
Guests should be able to find the information they need about getting there and the best nearby accommodation. Prospective guests should see the value the event offers and an easy way to register. Also ensure your contact form inbox is monitored so you can respond to enquiries or issues quickly.
Email is efficient for confirmations and follow ups, including a reminder a couple of days before the event. If you are targeting your audience, consider sending an invitation in the mail to convey value and catch their eye.
In the weeks leading up to the event, don’t be afraid to call invited guests that haven’t RSVP’d. It can be challenging but it can really make a difference to your numbers.
Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool – over 80% of Australians will take action on recommendations seen online – and it can increase attendance at your event. Make it easy to share event details on social media.
High Quality Delivery and Follow-up
Delivering the event itself is critical to the success of your next one. By providing content that is tailored to your demographic and paying attention to every detail, you deliver value for everyone involved. Guests will learn to rely on your brand once they have experienced what you can offer in person, because events are one of the best ways to build lasting relationships, emotional connections and loyalty.
Coordinating well means delivering an on-time, on-budget affair that leaves both guests and hosts happy. Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials and referrals. As you build a reputation in the field, your clients and guests will seek out your events.
A final tip that will help to sow the seeds for your next event: follow up with a thank you email that includes an unexpected value-add as a gift. Keep it relevant to the subject by making a note of any follow up requests during the sessions themselves.
If you would like to implement an all-round strategic approach to your events, why not partner with the team at Nectar? For information about past events we’ve delivered, click here.