So you’re organising an event and are wondering how to get more attendees? We hear you, sometimes promotional t-shirts aren’t enough! We know all about the long nights and the endless “What if nobody shows ups?” Worry not, we’re here to help. Take a notepad and pay attention – the following ideas might come in handy if you want to know how to get more people to attend your event.
50 Pocket actionable tips that will help you get more people to attend your event
1) Ask them what they want beforehand. Do some research, go to online forums, send surveys via email. Research what your target actually wants.
2) Approach people after an event. Ask them what they liked and what they didn’t so you can make the appropriate changes the next time you’re a host.
3) Send out “save the dates” early. People are busy, busy, mate! Make sure early on that you make it to their calendars. You don’t want to hear someone at the other end of the line going “I’ll see if I can fit it in”.
4) Tease them. Are there going to be cool giveaways? Mouth-watering appetisers? Amazing speakers? Then tease them! Maybe the caterer can lend you some pictures or the speaker can send you a video preview. Distribute the content through your social media outlets and emails. Make them believe they’ll regret it if they don’t show up.
5) Create social media profiles. As part of your branding, consider creating social media profiles for your event, especially if you plan for it to be a recurring one. Study your target and decide on which outlets will work best in the particular case.
6) Create a hashtag. A hashtag lets you keep track of what people are saying about you and in turn, your attendees will feel like they’re part of a group. Just remember to keep it short and simple!
7) Target Influencers. Influencers are trendsetters with ones with thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) followers. Being mentioned by one of these people on social media will get you an insane amount of leads. If the influencer trusts you then the others will as well.
8) Show them the money! Most people don’t have imagination. You have to paint them a picture to let them know what they can gain from attending your event. Potential clients? Knowledge? Networking? Let them know!
9) Interview the star of your event. It may be a speaker at an expo or an artist the opening of an art gallery, but most events have a star. Hire a freelance journalist and have them conduct the interview. You can later distribute it as a PDF format or even a video to create a connection with your guests and give them a glimpse of what they’ll find at the event.
10) Run an online giveaway or raffle. A good way to create buzz around an event is to organise a contest. Create hype weeks prior to the date and announce the winner at the end of the event to motivate attendees to see the entire thing through.
11) Add an announcement about your event to your email signature. Every one you get in touch with will hear about your event in a subtle way.
12) Create public events on Facebook and Meetup. People in the area and friends of friends can easily find out about your event using these sites.
13) Take advantage of LinkedIn and Facebook groups (especially for professional events). These are places where people are already looking for professional opportunities, so chances are you’ll at least catch the eye of some interesting connections here.
14) Post frequent reminders on social media. Not so frequent that it’s spam, but you do want to remind people multiple times.
15) If you have a blog for your brand, announce your event there too. Readers are probably already looking for information about your brand there anyway.
16) Add a temporary banner or image announcing the event to your website and social media channels. Everyone who clicks on your profile will see it right away.
17) Use Canva to easily create announcement images for things like your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Include the title of the event, the time and place so people have all the important information at a glance.
18) Hand out creative flyers. Design a flyer that people would like to collect instead of throwing away. Experiment with textures, colours, forms and types of papers. If you need inspiration, here you may find some.
19) Organise a friendly drink. Invite the speaker and a few influencers for a drink or a nice dinner (Don’t forget to talk about the event, of course). Chances are they’ll remember you and talk about the experience afterwards. There’s nothing like word-of-mouth publicity.
20) Pin a tweet or Facebook post the top of your page so it’s the first thing your social media users see.
21) Go guerrilla! Guerrilla campaigns, when done well, can be a powerful tool. Luckily there are tons of resources online where you can get ideas for your own bit of guerrilla marketing. Please make sure you check your city’s laws regarding publicity in public spaces. We don’t want you to get into trouble for vandalism!
22) Approach Local Businesses. Strike a deal; perhaps in exchange for handing out your flyers, they might want to showcase their products at your event. This can be a good way to cut expenses on catering, decorations, etc.
23) Show influencers that you care. Thanks to the era of the email, regular old mail has become something special. Take the time to write a handwritten invitation to an influencer or two, or maybe even send them some samples of your products.
24) Brand an army with your logo. The following article talks about how an entrepreneur made $500k in revenue by giving away free t-shirts. It’s not as crazy as it sounds. If you saw a large group of people all wearing the same t-shirt you’d grow curious, wouldn’t you?
26) Create suspense. Do you remember Shakira’s single She-wolf? No, me neither, but I do remember the viral campaign that went along with it. What we can learn from Shakira, if anything, is that we can create suspense around our event.
27) Run a contest. Approach a school related to your type of event and offer to run a contest. You don’t have to offer cash as a reward, maybe a couple of tickets to the event will do.
28) Provide sponsorship. Offer to sponsor a sports team, a choir or even a theatre play. Providing a sponsorship will give you an opportunity to place your logo on everything from uniforms to websites.
29) Offer a networking session at your event. That way, people have an added incentive to go – the chance to make some really good professional connections.
30) Have a flyer with a special offer for people who attend the event. Maybe it’ll be that extra factor that convinces them to go.
31) Distribute the flyer at a place or another event that your target audience will already be at. If they’re already all in one place, take advantage of it!
32) Send your contacts a text reminder a day or two before the event. Just in case they “forgot” about it (or if they also really did forget about it).
33) Don’t underestimate the power of a poster or flyer. Maybe your local library, bars or tourist hotspots will let you leave some flyers or put up a poster (if this is appropriate for your audience).
34) Invite your friends personally. If your event could really use a few extra people, try seeing if your friends would be willing to come.
35) And see if your friends have anyone else they might like to bring along. Depending on the type of event, they may have the perfect person in mind.
36) If there’s someone you really want to come, offer them a free entrance or ticket. That’s just one less reason they have to not show up.
37) Give return attendees a reward or incentive to come back next time. It’s great to have repeat attendees at your events.
38) Also, give people an incentive to register early. Things like “early bird” discounts help attendees commit to coming to your event well in advance and will make time to come to it. They’ll also help you get a better idea of how many people are going to show up.
39) Promote the event location, especially if it’s somewhere cool or interesting. Being able to see an exclusive part of a historical building or getting access to a special rooftop bar may convince some curious people to come and check out your event.
40) Try to convince people in the industry to promote your event. Send them a quick personalised message and see if they’d be willing to help you spread the word. Lots of people are willing to lend you a hand if you just ask!
41) Try to get cool event sponsors or freebies in exchange for promoting a brand at an event. if you have stuff that people want, it’s easier to persuade them to come.
42) Think carefully about who your target audience is for your event. It’ll be easier to shape your promotional stuff to a specific audience then, and it’ll increase the chances of it resonating and convening someone to show up.
43) It’s also crucial to have your ideal audience in mind when you’re choosing speakers and vendors. You want them to look at your event and think “Hey, that’s the perfect event for me! I’ve got to be there.” Don’t be afraid to focus on a niche.
44) Make sure you give people all the information they’ll need to attend the event. If they have to ask or have doubts, it’s an easy excuse for them not to go.
45) Don’t forget the power of teamwork! If you’re not sure you’re the right person to round up people to come to your event, or simply don’t have the time, find outside help (whether hired or begged off friends).
46) Having speakers or using vendors? See if you can get them to promote the event too. They’ll be interested in having the maximum number of people hear their speech or check out their products, too.
47) Are you going to be releasing something new at your event? Let people know, even maybe journalists and press if it’s a really big deal.
48) If you’re going to have something especially cool at your event, let people know so they’ll be enticed to come. (Though don’t spoil any surprises).
49) Invest in email marketing. Email marketing is much too broad to go into detail here, but there are some simple basics. Be personal, segment your lists of contacts, and most importantly, don’t spam!
50) If you’re having a multi-day event, offer flexible passes that let people with busy schedules attend part of it. If the only ticket option is a pricey three-day pass, you could be dissuading a lot of people from coming who can only make it for one day.
Is there something we missed? Do you know of a good way to market an event so that lots of people will show up? If so, please let us know. For more awesome content, keep reading the Printsome blog.
Printsome is a T-shirt printing agency in the UK based in London that delivers all across the UK, from printing T-shirts in Brighton to York and anywhere in between. So, if you’re after a T-shirt or custom clothing, get in touch for a quote and indulge yourself in some awesome customer service.