“Give me a good reason to attend.” That’s the unspoken thought when you tell your association members about your upcoming event. Your members want good value for money and an event that will help them in their lives and careers. In addition, your association wants a successful event with a strong attendance. So how do you meet in the middle and make sure you and your members get what you want? By marketing your event in a way that showcases it as unmissable and well worth the time and money to attend. Follow these four top tips to boost your association’s event attendance.
Answer the Biggest Question
The biggest question any potential attendee has is simply “why should I go?” If you want your members to give their time and money to attend your event, make it clear what they will gain from doing so. How will attending your event improve their lives? Instead of listing speakers, vendors or workshops, tell them how your event will increase their knowledge, give them a chance to learn from the best, offer an unmissable opportunity to meet potential colleagues, and anything else that holds true.
Make Social Media Work for You
Your members are on social media and you should be too. When it comes to marketing an event, social media offers plenty of opportunities:
- Use Twitter to promote your event – create your own hashtag to help the conversation grow
- Create a Facebook page for your event and devise a schedule of updates to keep the event fresh in everyone’s minds
- Let your email list know about your event
- Create a group on LinkedIn for attendees to meet an start conversations with each other long before the doors open
Create a Buzz
Regular social media updates are key to this. Don’t just post reminders – pose questions such as “have you got your tickets yet?” and “what are you most looking forward to?” If you want others to be enthusiastic about your event, show your enthusiasm.
Try using an early bird ticket scheme to encourage prompt ticket buying. Offer a free ticket in a Facebook competition. Keep finding new ways to talk about how wonderful your event is going to be for attendees, and encouraging them to join in.
Give a Preview
Once you’ve secured your speakers, give your members a taste of what they can expect if they attend. Ask your speakers to write you a guest blog post, record a short video, or sit down with you for an interview. Show your members what they can expect – and remind them that to enjoy that and much more, they’ll need to book quickly.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Quit When the Event Ends
Once your event is over, don’t quit marketing. Take the time to follow up with delegates and attendees to thank them for coming and solicit some feedback. Give them the option to stay in touch with you via a mailing list or social media. Take note of what they enjoyed about your event and offer them content related to those topics throughout the year to keep them interested in your association until the next time.