Wooing Event Attendees in the Digital Age

Want to increase attendance, and attract the right type of participants?
We show you how.

When it comes to your next event, you want as many butts in the seats as you can manage, right? We get it. And while boosting your numbers is a great goal, you don’t want that boost to be a one-time thing. No, you want them to get so much out of your gathering that they are clamoring for next year to roll around so they can come back for more. That means targeting participants receptive to what you can offer and giving them something of value.

Your next event may not be on par with Coachella, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a whizz-bang affair. We’ve got a couple of choice tips to help you find the right potential attendees and entice them with the right info, ensuring a successful event that they want to take part in again and again.

Stake a claim

The first area you should focus on when planning your upcoming event is how to promote it to the right people. Start by trying to infiltrate your attendees’ brains—What do they want to learn about? Where are they struggling? What content do they look for to find answers?

Determining your ideal attendee will not only help you generate the best content for the program, but it also will steer you in the right direction for how to reach out and connect with these people.

Possible ways to reach your dream attendee would be through a press release, marketing videos or social media posts. But be sure you give each of those ideas some meat. For instance, the release needs to include a list of speakers and what you think an attendee will get out of the event. Video marketing provides several options, from a highlights reel of last year’s event to entice new attendees to previews of the upcoming speakers. And when it comes to any social media content, imagery counts—so make sure you opt for something that will grab their attention.

Spread the word

When it comes to promoting your event, there are five main ways:

  • Social media
  • Email
  • CTAs
  • Influencers
  • Paid distribution

Social media is all about the imagery, but you also want to be sure you make it as personal as possible to appeal to prospective attendees. And don’t discount email. It can work, if you do it right. Be catchy, be relevant and be clear about what you are offering. And make sure it is easily shareable. For CTAs, you want to include as many traceable links as you can, without driving someone crazy. Be strategic and pay attention to which ones get clicked so you know what to promote more next time. Influencers are another route to consider, but you have to make it mutually beneficial. If you persuade the right influencer to share your event with their followers you will get in front of a lot more eyeballs. Finally, paid distribution can help you spread the word with a very targeted group, if your funds allow.

Sign ‘em up

Last, but certainly not least, you want to optimize your sign-up page. This means focus on creating a page that stands out and will encourage people to take that leap from looking to buying into your event. This starts with your graphics, but a word of warning—be sure the imagery will load quickly. Nothing turns folks off more than a delay as a graphic loads. And of course, you don’t want the page to look cluttered.

Next, use a contrasting color for your CTA so it is very noticeable to anyone visiting. Basically, you want it to smack them in the face, making it obvious what they should do next. Also, don’t beat around the bush. Tell them what the event is about straight away. If anything could be confusing, it’s better to over communicate, too.

Be sure to provide contact information if any attendee has any questions, problems or concerns. And don’t forget to follow up once someone registers. From order confirmations to reminder emails as the date approaches, all are vital to keeping attendees happy and in the loop.