Deadline is approaching. You need to find a brilliant idea to make your event happen with a full list of attendees. How to attract a crowd to your event in 3 weeks or less? It is not only about a single success of an event but about your position and boss’s appreciation. We have gathered the best ways to promote an event and reach the right target group.
Why should you even organize events?
There is nothing more rewarding and proving the point than the end result. You, as event organizer, see all the satisfied people who are networking, sharing emotions, experience and developing their businesses thanks to the possibility you have provided them with.
And what is there for you? Your brand is now that one which organized an amazing event and gathered so many satisfied people. You are working with the real people, starting new contacts for your brand development and growth. There are many profits of organizing events and benefits of gathering crowds to attend it. The wider the audience you promote your event to, the bigger chance to get to interesting guests. Exploring the profile of the audience and their interests is a key factor in attracting crowds
You need to make sure you and your team understand well the essence of event marketing. Event marketing means promoting your brand or product through events. It is being often confused with event promotion, which is simply the promotion of an event, not the whole organization. While engaging in all event marketing activities (organizing your own events, attending them, joining as a speaker or exhibitor) you should have in mind a bigger picture in order to constantly follow your goals and priorities in a brand development.
Event promotion is usually spread over many weeks, but even in 3 weeks you can do a lot with a solid plan and good tools. Promoting your event depends a lot on how many attendees you are trying to gather. When you do in that short time period, you need to be aware that the result will not present the full potential of your initiative. However, there are few essentials and tips you can follow to do your best for the approaching event.
1st step – know your event target group
To achieve the big goal you need to know your event purpose very well. What are you reaching for? What can you offer with your event? What need can you fulfill? What are the interests of your potential clients? After answering the questions you will know where to search for your potential attendees. You can draw the visitors profile and reach them easier through the right forum, social media or even using a proper language and channel for that specific target group. You should spend some time to think about what exact social groups they like and what problems you can help them solve.
As customers sign up for the event or other experience you’re offering, an experience-relationship-management platform can help by gathering data throughout and organizing it into demographic, geographic and other segments. You can rely on this information long after the event as you seek ways to personalize follow-up with attendees and understand how the experience impacted their brand perception. Then you have also database for next events.
Attract the right crowd to your event
Your valuable attendees can not only help you grow a business but also use an event as a great place for their cases. It is not about quantity, because it must be a relevant group for you. If 1000 random people come, it will have a much smaller effect and fewer benefits than if it comes 200 but really those from the target group. You will not get a nice conversion, your sales funnel will not be fuller.
Gathering of people with random expectations towards each other is like buying likes on Facebook. It is just looking better than nothing but it is not developing your business and bringing you money. It is all about segmentation and reaching out to the right people. Have in mind the goal you set before the event and gather those who can help you achieve it. It is not about the quantity but about the quality of the target group, meaning the right people for your event, so you have to attract a crowd to your event but the RIGHT crowd.
Find the right means and the best way to promote your event
You can try everything at once, but will it work for you? Most probably not, it is not the best way to promote an event. You can spend a lot of money without seeing the result or, in fact, see the effect of one action without knowing which actually performed. While choosing the right methods for that one special event, it is very closely connected to knowing your target. Whether they will be encouraged by this method, source or media or they will not even notice and your effort could be wasted (just as your money).
#1 Email Marketing
Emails are great chance to reach someone directly through his mailbox. You can customize your message and engage the recipient with a compelling call to action. What is highly recommended is that you measure your target group’s activity after they receive your email. You can check opening rate or click-through rate to check how your campaign performs.
The very first thing that is visible is a subject line – make it catchy! Power of email marketing is that you can win someone’s attention through the personalization. It is highly valuable to put an effort and adjust an email invitation to the person you are writing to. Your email should have some must-have components to work as a bait. There are plenty of email marketing softwares which help you in data collection about users visiting your website and subscribing to your mailing list. Then, when you have necessary data, a simple move like adding your potential event guest’s name or personalizing subject line is making it look like if that message was written just for them.
When you contact your customers regarding the event, make sure that you are using a proper email address. General ones like sales@ etc. are not encouraging to open and react.
You probably want to describe the best you can how great your event is. But do you want someone to read it? Do not make it too long then. Switch on your inner editor – get rid of the sentence that doesn’t bring any valuable information. Use a proper tone adequate to your target.
Do not forget about your goal – you want to make people buy a ticket for your event or sign up on the attendance list. Everything should concentrate on getting people to complete this action. Make a visible CTA and encourage your readers to do what you wish them to, with a proper button.
81% of the USA population uses social media. Can you imagine promoting your event without the usage of social media? It is like skipping the main channel of communication with the world or not printing posters or flyers a few years ago. You are basically passing on a huge stage to reach your target group from.
Generate event buzz with a help of the Internet. Social media is the perfect place to get attendees excited well in advance of an event. You can make official announcements on various social media pages and ask employees and partners to share.
Tagging anyone who will be presenting or speaking at the event shows your potential attendees who will be the guest. Engage those people in promotion so you can broaden your reach to all their followers. Remember also about showing them the value and the promotion they are getting to your target and how their brand is growing.
It is highly recommended to come up with a hashtag that attendees can use to ensure that their posts reach the right online audience. Promote this hashtag on all your materials, including your conference registration page and any materials at the venue. This way you are also able to follow what the world says about your event.
As of the first quarter of 2018, Facebook had 2.19 billion monthly active users. It seems to be the most advertiser-friendly media because of its advanced paid ad system. You can direct your adverts to the right target groups based on their interests, job, location and many more. Facebook has a very wide choice of targeting possibilities.
However, bare in mind that Facebook is considered to me more effective in B2C than B2B communication. Not only after but during the successful campaigns, you need to measure it and Facebook Analytics can be incredibly helpful in this case.
What can you expect from LinkedIn? Something more professional comparing to other media. For now, it is around 467 million users who are there for business (searching for work, event or partnership), not personal contact. If your event tries to entice people from a specific industry or your goal is to find sponsors or speakers for an event – it is one of the best places possible. Also, to reach a good target, do not forget about working on your LinkedIn connections and personal LinkedIn profile. It is important to create a content on your company page, however, People like talking to logos just as much as they enjoy talking to automated message systems when calling their cell phone provider. That is why your big power is your personal profile when you are reliable
There are also platforms like Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram. You can find more in the article about social media in event promotion. We have gathered also the most important tips which will help you. Every one of social media channel is different – that is why you should really think your strategy through. Your goal and your target group will prompt you as to which platform you should choose.
#3 Event discovery sites
While people browse multiple events to discover and join the most interesting one, let them find yours. With Eventory Discover Events, you can search using a name, location or dates. If someone finds something interesting for himself, he joins the event and downloads the application to get more information, check agenda and speakers.
That is also what people interested in your event would do. If you are organizing an amazing event, let others find it. There are many other event discovery sites, like Eventbrite or Meetup, when interested people can search for a valuable event.
It goes without saying that getting your event on top discovery sites can drastically increase your reach and sales.
#4 Google Adwords
More people depend on the Internet for information nowadays. More people read news websites and online magazines instead of the paper versions. More people are watching YouTube than they watch television.
Big and wise companies have recognized this shift and are now investing more in online advertising over the traditional ones to attract people to their events and pages. That shows how much of time the society is spending on the Internet. Use that time. There are many forms of online advertising, some already mentioned in the previous paragraph about social media like Facebook or LinkedIn. However, Google’s Adwords remains one of the most popular.
As Google is so far the largest search engine on the Internet, day by day millions of people around the world use it for getting information. You can attract potential customers to your services or attendees to see your agenda. There are advertisements in the search network (so-called Search) which are displayed when the user types phrase in which we want to be seen.
Ads on the GDN (Google Display Network) are banner ads or graphics, which can be directed by user interests, pages with a specific type of content (related to the topic relevant to your event), location, etc. You can adjust the targeting of the ad so that it hits the right target group.The good thing about Google Adwords is that until someone clicks your ad to visit your website or view your advertisement, it is free, what means: no result, no fee.
When you create your ad, it needs to be interesting, catchy and prepared for your target group. Have you heard about A/B testing? You can use it not only to your landing page, but also graphics, title, and even target. Find more in the beginner’s guide to the A/B testing in event promotion, which help create nicely performing content.
You are using your social media to get attendees’ attention. But your target is limited when you are doing it on your own. Here with help can come your sponsors and attendees. Sharing and passing content by is a power to spread a word about your amazing initiative and create event buzz.
It is recommended to engage event attendees, partners and sponsors to your promotion and creating that particular event together. It is giving them the feeling that they are part of the initiative. You can do it by creating a contest for your attendees which will encourage them to share your post because its creative and the content is valuable. You can also present your sponsors on social media and tag them in a post, send them the link so they can brag about their involvement and next investment.
#6 Content marketing
It is important to know from the very beginning what it is that you want to achieve and how you are going to do this. Again, target group. Know who you are creating content for – what are they interested in and where do they hang out online? By having set personas for your event, you can deliver tailored content directly to them. If this is not your first event of its kind, use data gathered from previous events to help you identify the type of attendee who will be interested.
Providing a valuable, for your audience, content and sharing knowledge is making you trustworthy. They know that you are experienced in what you do and moreover, willing to share this with others! Inbound Marketing is letting your clients find you on their own by the content you share.
A business blog should answer common questions your customers have. Then the company is perceived as helpful, knowledgeable source of both: content and product. So it proves that the association knows how to do the right events, too! It is easier to pay money for a valuable event to someone who has already supported you, even for free, with knowledge.
Also, educating your attendees provides you with easier communication with them. It is beneficial for both sides. When you want to make a deal and your client is aware of how some mechanisms work and what is possible to achieve, it is making the process faster and based on mutual understanding.
Content marketing is also a tool for reaching people who may be interested in your event and do not know about it yet. They read an article solving their problem, get acquainted with a given company and its event and being satisfied with what they had so far. They are willing to reach for the event which is another dose of what they already got from you.
The key is for you to produce the content connected with your event and your attendees’ interests. That’s how you achieve trust and success through content marketing and how you attract people to your event.
Hype is the key – top tools to skyrocket event registration
#1 Youtube channel
Instead of a constant boring block of text, create videos that educate the highly targeted conference audience on your topic. Or better yet, send them videos full of tactics specific to the event. For example:
How to get the most out of this year’s event
The insider’s guide to navigating exhibit halls
10 Tips for networking at events
How to build your personal agenda
You can also present your partners, venue, topic, basically everything you want, via video content, which is giving it more dynamism. Make an interview with a speaker, it can last just 30 seconds but it is much memorable and interesting than the written one. Video content is the king right now!
The key here is to make this about them, not you. Be seen right from the start as a resource and attendees will keep opening the emails you send and watching videos you provide them. It is all about generating enthusiasm and hype for people who have already purchased tickets as well as persuading those who are on the fence about attending. Show them the emotions they will experience while they cannot wait for the beginning of your event.
Infographic is a delicate mix of data and visuals which delivers immediate learning. Much more effectively and quickly than thousands of words. Infographics caption the attention of potential attendees.
They can be used for a variety of things including showing a previous timeline of your events. You can share the history of your company in this way and inform new customers about how far you have come since the beginning of your business. This can incite interest from your customers, generate new leads for your business, and encourage investors or B2B partners to do business with you.
Your infographics can be distributed through the social media and emails. Remember about healthy text/image ratio. Watch out also for mailboxes blocking messages which cointan only pictures as spam!
#3 Agenda hype
A common mistake in event management is presenting an agenda very late. So why should someone be interested earlier in your event? People do not want to buy a pig in a poke, they want to know what they pay for. And that is something you should definitely do much earlier than 3 weeks before your event. You do not have to present full agenda at once. It is normal that things are changing or the division is not ready. You can always present topic by topic, speaker by speaker.
Timing is not the only problem. When you plan your event, think about the order of sessions and how to separate them during the day (or a few, depends on your event). Avoid putting all the famous speakers on the first day, give attendees a reason to visit the venue on the second day as well.
#4 An event app
Tools like event app can help you follow your attendees and their engagement. From the app itself, you can send invitations for your event to your contacts. That is giving you another opportunity to reach your target group. Do you see them joining your event? Are they starting new connections and talking with other event attendees? If you got your attendees to the event app, be sure that you measure their activity and engagement.
You have them in the app, so what? You can make a poll for your group to ask about their expectations and prepare something just as they want. In order to gain more attendees coming to your event, when you see what your current app users like, you can assume what will work for others as well. If they like the app like Eventory, they could share an information about its usability, write comments and encourage others to join your event as well.
Important to remember is that observing and measuring your progress and effects does not mean waiting until the end of the event. If you see that some parts of the promotion are not going well, that is the high time to intervene. Mobile app connected with website is showing you statistics.
One of the keys of how to attract people to your event is putting a marketing strategy in place and constantly tweaking it. To make sure this is a fully informed strategy, you should monitor the performance of your posts and campaigns to determine which activities are working their best. This will help you avoid wasting time on efforts that do not work. 3 weeks is not much time, however, with the best tools to promote an event, enough to reach your target and show them your assets. Important is to think and have a bigger goal in mind, cause your single event influences the whole brand and a company it represents.