After putting time and effort into your business event, it would be heartbreaking to have low attendance. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for business owners to experience this.
According to an Eventbrite survey, 84 percent of businessmen and women feel that attending an event is an important part of their job and 79 percent are eager to attend an event because they feel they’ll learn something beneficial for their chosen career path. However, more than a third of people who took the survey said that they’re often highly disappointed with the events they attend, and they don’t want to go back in the future.
Despite knowing this, about 51 percent of organizations still struggle to improve their attendance. Although lack of interest in your event could be the problem, it’s more likely that you’re simply not doing enough to advertise it properly. When you plan your next event, here are some ways to improve attendance.
Create a Buyer Persona for Each Event
“You want you make sure that the audience attending any show is, at least, the right audience,” says Cass Phillipps, an event producer in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Eventbrite research revealed that 47 percent of event organizers either do not have or are unclear on buyer personas for each event. They also lack a well-defined goal for attendees, and this lack of targeting leads to a waste of time and resources.
As you create your buyer personas for the event, start with a clearly defined goal. Ask yourself what attendees will gain from the event and how it will address key challenges. Consider what they would like to learn more about and appeal to the creative and problem-solving nature of each potential attendee.
Use Physical Advertising
You’re probably already using digital marketing to spread the word, as you should be. It’s an excellent way to efficiently reach a wide audience. However, don’t forget about the physical realm of marketing as well.
You see, ad blockers are getting more and more common, and if consumers want to surf the internet without seeing advertisements from anyone, it takes one click to block them all. But when you stretch a banner across the front of your building or send several flyers and event notices in the mail, they can’t shut that out. You’re able to reach them on a new level, and those who could really benefit from your event won’t miss out.
Over-Invite Your Guests
If you only invite the number of people who can fit inside your event venue, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
“I tend to double, triple, the amount I can actually hold as far as RSVPs go because of the fickle nature of people,” Dave Welty, the event planner at Maloney & Fox says. “Even in a good city, where you don’t have a big drop off, you lose 50 percent [of the people you invite], almost guaranteed and in New York you lose sometimes 70 plus percent.”
He recommends over-inviting by about 40 percent for free events and a smaller percentage for paid events. You’ll usually get more people who actually show up when they pay for it, but people usually won’t quibble about missing a free event.
Network with Others in Your Field
Working with others is an excellent way to spread exposure for your business. By teaming up with others in your industry or in a complementary one, you not only spread the word to your clientele, but theirs as well.
Peruse your list of contacts and look for partners and sponsors. Ask more partners to join than you need. Out of everyone you ask, it’s likely that only a small percentage will be interested. If everyone joins, the more the merrier!
As far as collaboration goes, Phillipps suggests using online mediums. “Start small. Meetup.com is a great place to start an event idea to just acquire fresh faces, to do a small thing that you really can’t lose that much money on, [such as] a lunch where everybody covers themselves,” she says
A successful business event is not as difficult as you think if you have the right tools at your disposal. Be aware of the impact that your event can have on its attendees, and use your knowledge of your industry and buyer personas to create an unforgettable experience.