Nothing is more frustrating and disappointing than spending countless hours and lots of money planning an event only to have a mediocre turnout. Conferences can be tricky. When you are dealing with a crowd of people anything can change – schedules, availability, jobs. So how do you guarantee that those same people will come again next year? Obviously, you can’t do that. You just have to promote your event all over again the next year.
Here is a list of best tips to boost conference attendance:
- Audience Surveys: Doing your research is an important part of event planning, so find out what your target audience wants and doesn’t want. People like to give their opinion and feel like they are a part of something.
- Choose the current venue: Make sure you select a location that is convenient for most of your guests. It should be a place that attendees would like to visit, and not so expensive that it drives up the cost too much and discourages people from attending.
- Invite early and follow-up: It’s super important to invite everyone early. So, make sure to confirm all the necessary details of the event months before it starts. You can even pop it on your site a year in advance and start selling tickets, before confirming the location.
- Personalize invitations: Sending personalized invites is a great way to stand apart from all the news everyone is bombarded with every day. Send personal invites to people who have attended the event in the past, or if it’s a new event, send an invite to leads who have come in through your website.
- Don’t compete with similar events: Never schedule your conference to conflict with a similar event in your industry. You should look for other dates that would work better. The only exception to this is if you want to schedule your event immediately before or after that other conference. Then you will have a better chance of getting the same attendees to come next year.
- Have the speakers promote your event: If you have invited some well-known people to speak at your conference/event, chances are that they have medium to large social media followings. Ask them to promote your event, to post it on all of their various social media channels, early and often.
- Follow-Up: This might not help boost attendance beforethe event, but it can certainly help entice attendees to return next year. Sending a thank you will go a long way in making guests feel appreciated. Be sure to ask for their feedback to improve future events, and provide presentation materials, photos, or videos from the conference that they can reference long after they return home.