Event attendance: time for a boost
Whether you’re planning a large exhibition or hosting a small conference, converting registrations into attendance is a common difficulty for even the most experienced organiser. Empty seats can be detrimental for speakers looking to build their network, can devastate the relationship you have with your sponsors and damage your reputation. However, these five steps can help convert your event registrations into attendees.
Communication is key
Continually communicating with potential visitors and delegates is proven to boost attendance. So, once users have registered to attend your event, respond with interesting and well-timed welcome emails. This will engage with them and establish a relationship between them and you. Bear in mind that these emails are four times more likely to be opened, and will get five times the click through rate, compared to other forms of email. It’s also crucial to send out timely reminders via text or email prior to your event. This will keep your event fresh in the minds of registered attendees. A good rule of thumb is 14 days, seven days, three days and one day before.
All in the detail
It’s important to be informative about your event. Outline what visitors and delegates will gain by attending and affirm the benefits. If there’s potential for gaining new skills and knowledge, making important connections or networking, make sure they are aware of this. You could even send a video preview of what’s on offer – be clear about the incentives. The more detailed you are, the more people who have registered can make an informed decision about attending.
Social media has shown itself to be a very powerful tool to boost event attendance, and there are several platforms available. Facebook event pages give you the ability to invite relevant people to your event and keep visitors and delegates updated with information. You can also encourage users to like your page, share your posts and check in on the day. Remember, the more your event is mentioned on Facebook, the more people will see it. Twitter is equally as effective, and a unique event hashtag will make potential attendees feel part of a group. It’ll also enable you to keep track of related Tweets. On either of these platforms, you could offer an online contest and tease visitors and delegates about potential giveaways, which gives them more reason to attend.
The key is to utilise social media to create a buzz about your event and encourage registered users to attend, but Regbox platforms go one step further. We can integrate social media into our registration process, which can increase registration by up to 5%.
Connecting with people from specific industries and fields can spread the word further about your event. So, if you already have an established relationship with an industry influencer or blogger who shares your target audience, don’t be afraid to ask them for some promotion. Mentions by one of these trend setters could gain you hundreds of leads – if their followers trust them, they will then trust you. However, if you’re starting from scratch, it’s not advisable to contact these people for the sole purpose of promotion. Instead, invite them along to your event as a VIP. It’s also important to work closely with your event sponsors and exhibitors to leverage their contacts and relationships.
To drive signed-up attendees to your event, make sure you tell them exactly what it is that’s so unique about it. Why should they leave their busy offices to come to your event? Often, event organisers can lose sight of the bigger picture, and forget to notify their customers of the reasons why their event is more important than others. What is your USP and why should delegates attend? Once you know what your unique attribute is, you can work it into your promotion and shout it from the rooftops. Always give your event credibility, and make it stand out from the crowd.