6 Techniques To Get Delegates to Flow to your Event
Planning on hosting an event but worries about your ability to engage your audience and get bums on seats? Fear not. Here, you’ll find proven tips on how to to get people show up. We recently put these techniques to the test ourselves in March when hosting our seminar - ‘5 Quick Tips To Increase Your Online Visibility.’
1. Social Media
Social media is a great place to start as there is a good chance you may well already have a relevant following who would be a good fit for your event. For our event, we put together a banner to share on our social media pages - this is something you can put together in Photoshop, or using a free software online such as 'Canva'. This should be eye-catching so people want to stop and read it.
Social media allows you to engage with people who have similar interests. A good way to use this opportunity is to find similar events to your own and engage with those who attended. Look to keep these searches local to where the event will take place; most people won’t want to travel too far, depending on what your seminar/event is.
You can pin posts/tweets to the top of your page on Facebook and twitter, we done this when marketing our seminar, it means that if people go to your profile, this is the first thing they will see.
It’s good to find the balance of how often you should share the post. If you start this, let's say, five weeks before the event, it’s probably good to share it once or twice a week at first and then get more frequent the closer it is to the date. You want it to stick in people’s minds the closer it is to the date, hence the increase.
Instagram is a bit different; you’ll want to get the information across but don’t overwork it. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, you can’t share a previously uploaded photo (without uploading it again). We shared a post to tell people about the event and then closer to the time; we shared some teaser posts - we had one of the practice run-through which can be seen in the image below.
Like on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, general posts were made about the event with a call to action. Before any of this though, Chris asked on LinkedIn what would be the best time to host a seminar - morning, afternoon or evening. This helped to engage with people and give a subtle hint that we were planning a seminar. There was a variety of results that came from it, but we chose the morning as people could go back to work and put their newly learned techniques into action. Also, later on in the day, other priorities might crop up.
When it was closer to the event, he posted a reminder post, explaining there was only a limited tickets left with a call to action.
EventBrite is a website which hosts your tickets to an event - You create your event on the site, and it gives you a page of your own for images and a bit of a brief about the event. In our case, this was free for us to use because our event was free. If you charge for the event, EventBrite will receive 3.5% of the ticket price (for each ticket sold) + an extra 49p - this is capped at £19.95 per ticket. Card payments will also cost you a further 2% of the ticket price.
Using EventBrite gave us an estimate of how many people would show up to the seminar, keeping track of how many tickets were sold, as well as giving the email addresses of everyone who bought tickets.
It also gives you some information on how people reached your event page. However this isn’t always amazingly accurate, so you’re probably better of creating a tracking link which you can do on the website. This is something we should have done but will keep in mind for next time.
Tracking links should be made for each area you’re going to be sharing the links for example: facebook, twitter, email. Whatever it is, if it has its own separate link then you can see exactly what you need to do more work on. For example, if not many sales are coming from Twitter, you can look into it and see what you can improve.
First, start by getting a list of people together, you know would be interested or at least know of people with interest. Clients are a good place to start as they’re more than likely already interested in what your seminar is about. Then go through people you have communicated with in the past. (Use a tracking link as mentioned previously to see if people buy their ticket this way).
If these people don’t get back to you straight away, you might want to send follow-up emails to see if they can get back to this instead.
Previously, I mentioned that EventBrite gives you the emails of the people who have bought tickets. It’s a good idea to send them a reminder email just before your event, and we do this a day or two before the seminar - this helps you get a better understanding of exactly who is going to turn up.
We could next time try outreaching to Sixth Forms or Colleges to get people to the seminar as they are likely to have some individuals who are interested in learning about digital marketing. Is this something you think you could do?
So these days everything is online, so I think we sometimes forget about phones and that we can actually talk to people and not just have text on a screen as a form of communication. If you’re on a call with someone who sounds like they would either benefit or enjoy your event, tell them. If fact there’s probably more of a chance they will turn up since they have spoken to you rather than over email.
With all of the online ways to get the word out on things, people forget one easy and shall we say, cost-effective way of getting the word out, word of mouth.If you’re in a conversation with a client that sound like they would be interested in your event then just tell them, even if they don’t feel like they would benefit from it, they might know someone who might give it a try.
5. Press release outreach
We got together a list of magazine and newspapers that we thought might be interested in advertising our seminar. We looked at local business magazines and blogs and contacted them via email - unfortunately, nothing came out of this, but next time we know that we need to step up and look into where we went wrong.
We all like something for nothing, it’s just human nature, so give them something for free? Our event, we put together little ‘thank you’ bags with our logo on the front (this also help to promote us further) - the bags included a few business cards, a flow branded pen, a bar of chocolate and a bag of popcorn. Doesn’t take much to make people happy, does it?
With all of the online ways to get the word out on things, people forget one easy and shall we say, cost-effective way of getting the word out, word of mouth. If you’re in a conversation with a client that sound like they would be interested in your event then just tell them, even if they don’t feel like they would benefit from it, they might know someone who might give it a try.
So, when planning your marketing strategy for your seminar/event remember the things I’ve talked about here, take special notice of the things we’d missed out.
If there is anything you’d like to discuss or any questions you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0191 640 2700.