In preparation for this week’s newsletter, I reached out to a few of my loyal readers to ask if they had any event related topics they’d like me to address. One of my lovely readers told me about a very specific problem she is trying to overcome right now. It’s an issue we have all faced (including myself – many times!), so this week’s edition is dedicated to this lovely reader.
This is the situation:
You’re organising an event and all the technical boxes have been ticked – a solid email marketing campaign, exposure in industry media, great advertising spaces, good programming (according to feedback), responsive telemarketing, full expo, great sponsorship… on paper it’s a perfect event. The problem is – delegate numbers are way down from last year.
Below are my top 8 tips for attracting delegates to your event.
Create content in a different way to the usual. How are things usually done for events in this industry? How can they be done differently this time? It’s important to create content that appeals to the 5 senses. Think of some unusual ideas to stimulate the senses in each aspect of your event – it may lead you somewhere innovative that will excite potential delegates.
Did you have feedback forms at last year’s event? As difficult as it is to look at negative feedback, don’t take it personally! Last year’s negative feedback is the best way to improve your event this year. Honest opinions from an outsider’s point of view are valuable! What didn’t you provide for them last year? Get in contact and communicate to them that you can fix those problems this year.
It is human nature for your delegates to ask themselves “What is in it for me?”. This event is not imperative for their survival, so you need to give them a reason to go.
Make a list of the current benefits for attendees. Ask yourself if this is what your target wants. If not, what do they want that they can’t receive somewhere else? It could be a combination of a few things – professional development in an entertaining atmosphere… Be specific and put yourself in their shoes. This step may seem obvious, but review and review again!
Does the marketing for your event arouse emotion in the reader? Or is a bit too clinical and cold… If readers can emotionally connect with the event you are advertising, they are more likely to want to attend. Think of the chosen location, sections in the program – how can you pull at their heartstrings?
People will come from far and wide to see good entertainment. This alone will attract delegates to your event. If you have the budget to include a headline act in your program, then book one and watch the guest list grow. If you don’t have a spare few $10K, an exciting live show (that comes with great promo to include in your marketing) will give your event atmosphere and make it more appealing to your delegates. Advertising good entertainment promises potential audiences an experience that they can emotionally connect with. If they are on the fence deciding whether to attend, quality entertainment could be the push they need.
Is your venue easily accessible by transport? Is there available parking etc? Is it easy for your potential delegates to physically get there? If transportation is an issue, solve it.
7/ Related Industries
Look at attracting delegates from related industries. This will mean including their industry related issues into your event, but you will in-turn be attracting twice as many potential delegates. In addition, it will increase networking opportunities for your original target – feeding their wants even more than before!
8/ Don’t be afraid to ask
Pick up the phone and ask past delegates who are not attending this year (at this point) why they aren’t coming. A casual, friendly chat will let them voice their opinion and will shed light on the crux of the problem for you. Fix this problem, tell your target you’ve fixed it and voilà!
If you’d like to have a chat about how I can help with a few extra attractions for your delegates, please feel free to shoot over an email or call me on 0430 110 824.