How can you successfully lead people into this path and consequently sell out your event? Going from zero attendances to having people discuss our events without us even knowing.
Looking at many marketeers and event planners online, best practices and adding to that our own experience, we have 9 tips for you that sell out your event.
1) Know Your Audience
Where do they socialise? Which networking sites do they use online? What do they read? For example; for a B2B event, it might be more effective to promote your event on LinkedIn, Google+ and in trade journals. Also, you could ask journalists or bloggers from industry magazines/blogs to attend and write about your event. Or have your main speaker share knowledge through an interview or a small presentation. In this way you can create a desire for your event, leading to a possible higher attendance rate (desire ->action, AIDA model).
2) Word Of Mouth
This is still the most cost effective way to promote. Which isn’t suprising, we all trust a friend’s recommendation more than a review online. Start WOM by speaking to leaders and influencers in your space (journalists, public figures, bloggers, or trendsetting fans). By offering group incentives, you can anticipate people to talk about your event to others, for example a limousine pickup.
3) Social Media
Networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will enable you to reach a lot of people right from the start. Create #yourevent and let your community create a buzz for you. Use support photos, for example the flyer of your event online that people can share on their page or on someone else’s page. Let presenters of your event share some of their expertise on your social media networks/with your blog readers, let them engage with potential audience.
4) Offline Marketing
Most of the time we tend to forget that not everyone uses the internet, so devote a part of your promotion to offline marketing tools. Think of a guerrilla marketing action at trade shows where your target audience is or at a public space such as a tube or train station.
Use direct mail with a little present or teaser, that deviates from the standard A5 envelope.
5) What’s On the Invite
Date, location, content and speaker. Attracting an industry guru can easily triple the number of attendees for your event.
6) Event Website
Besides basic information, add a news feed, a public forum, announce special guests and show who your sponsors are, list the event programme of what to expect (create awareness & interest, AIDA)
Interact with your audience, video and pictures of past events, agenda highlights (topics to be covered), seat registration/opportunity to buy ticket online, countdown to the day of the event, hotel and city information including discounts (interest, desire -> action)
7) Videos and Webinars
76% of marketeers identified video marketing as their main success factor. Create a video to visually promote your event and build excitement. Hold a webinar, to give people a sneak peak of your seminar.
For example; TED talks has gathered 800 million views, since they decided to open up viewership to the online public. Now the series is growing from a meeting of minds into a force that could change the future of education.
8) Exclusivity and Secrecy
Providing a hint of exclusivity and secrecy could make your event more special by having an introduction- or invite- only. For example a VIP afterparty by invite only.
9) The Rule Of Three
In order for a consumer to actively think about purchasing your product or in this case buy a ticket for your event, you have to reach them three different times. Think of, e.g. promoting your event with an online video, an article in a trade magazine and a guerrilla marketing action at a trade show/tube station. Of course, don’t forget the traditional channels – e-mail, direct mail letter and a phone call (awareness -> interest)
Bear in mind that these 9 tips are all individually effective when it comes to promoting your event, but even more powerful when used in combination. Use as many methods as possible, as it is more likely to increase your level of success!