Hosting an event isn’t about getting just anyone to show up to your venue—it’s about getting the best attendees possible to walk through those doors. No matter how much time or how many resources you put into planning an event, it will be difficult to find success if the right crowd is not in attendance.
Who makes up the right crowd? The people who will be most receptive to your event’s purpose and message. It’s important to not only gauge attendance by the number of people in the room, but to also consider the likelihood that the people in that room will help your event reach its ultimate goal, whatever that may be. In order to ensure that your guest list will help secure your event’s success, follow our six tips for marketing your event to get the best attendees.
1. Reward those who attended previous events. If you’re planning an event that takes place annually, or even if your company has recently hosted an event, specifically target prior attendees in the marketing efforts for your upcoming event. If someone has attended one of your events, chances are that he or she is interested in your company and is someone you want on your guest list. Give past attendees special early access and discounted ticket prices to encourage them to attend again.
2. Partner with industry organizations to help promote your event. No matter your industry, there are likely professional organizations with whom you could partner in order to promote your event. Make it easy by providing them with the copy and other promotional materials. In turn, the organization will promote your event to a group of people to whom you might not otherwise have access, but who make up a good target market for your event’s marketing efforts.
3. Promote your event via social media. This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because it is easy, powerful, and extremely cost-efficient. Your social media followers are a self-selected group of people who are actively expressing interest in your company, and who are willingly listening to what you have to say. Promote your event to your followers—even if they can’t make it, sharing your event’s details via social media will help generate buzz and word of mouth, increasing the likelihood that a potential quality attendee will find his or her way onto your guest list.
Want more tips for integrating social media into your event marketing plan? Check out our free eBook, The Event Marketer’s Guide to Social Domination.
4. Use LinkedIn promotions to target your industry. Because LinkedIn is a specifically professional platform that allows users to search for and target people based on their industry and job title, using LinkedIn advertising and sponsored posts may be a smart way to promote your event to the people for whom your event is most applicable.
5. Ask speakers to promote your event. If you’ve lined up speakers for your event, ask them to promote it via their personal social media accounts. If he or she is presenting at your event, there is likely some overlap between your speaker’s target audience and your target audience—which is exactly the type of person you’d want at your event. If you’ve deemed the speaker noteworthy enough to stand in your event’s spotlight, take every chance you get to let people know he or she will be there. The person you want at your event will be as excited about it as you are.
6. Pick a good location. You probably don’t want your event to be about its location, but you also don’t want to choose a location that will deter people from showing up. Whether it’s your event’s city or venue, choose a location that is enticing and exciting, and promote the location as part of your event’s marketing efforts.
Event pros, do you have any other tips for building the best guest list possible? Share them in the comments below, or tweet us @eventfarm.