As an event organiser, you have to juggle many stressors on the lead up to an event including securing a venue, staff, equipment, entertainment and competitive event insurance, to name but a few. However, arguably the most stressful part of organising an event is anticipating ticket sales and turnout rates. Will it be a small or huge event turnout? After all, there is nothing more disappointing than investing your time and energy into planning an amazing event, just for no-one to experience it.
So, how can you help guarantee a huge turnout at your next event?
We’ve put together a list of 5 tricks of the trade that have been proven to result in a huge event turnout.
Know your target audience
Before starting to market your event to the masses, you should define your target audience. While it can be a challenging exercise, having a clear idea of your audience can vastly improve your chances of a huge turnout at your next event. This is because your marketing strategies will be streamlined to a particular audience making your event feel relevant through tailored messaging and focused social platform advertising.
How to define your target audience in 4 easy steps:
1. Look at your existing customers or people that have attended similar events
What similarities can you find between this group? Are they of a similar age range? Do they share similar interests? Where are they located? Can you analyse their spending patterns?
2. Study the competition
Competition can be beneficial, depending on how you utilise it. Look into what your competition is doing right and analyse how they are attracting their target audience. This can be an invaluable activity as their audience will most likely overlap with yours.
3. Create customer personas
Customer personas are a collection of characters created to behave in the same manner as your target audience. Through profiling your potential customers, you can uncover individual personalities, aspirations, motivations, and annoyances which will aid you in effectively targeting the correct audience.
4. Focus on the right social media channels
Keeping in mind that social media platforms will fluctuate in popularity across target audiences, having a presence that reaches across all platforms is inefficient and ineffective. Instead, investing time and energy into the platforms favoured by your target audience will create a greater impact.
Simple but effective
When it comes to registration, the simpler, the better. Not only is the registration process the first interaction potential attendees have with your organisation, but it can also influence your events attendance rate and impact the number of no-shows you have. With advancements in event technology, fast and simple registration processes have become expected with many now exiting their browser at the sight of a long-winded online form.
Keep your registration process as simple as possible only collecting essential information such as name, contact information and email address. If you need to ask secondary details of the attendees, why not follow up nearer to the event with a second short form sent via email?
The power of social media
To put it simply, social media is powerful free online tool allowing organisations to reach a large proportion of the population. While different social media platforms cater to different purposes, they can all be used to help greatly increase the likelihood of a huge turnout at your event. As an event organiser, you can produce an impactful social media strategy that creates a buzz leading up to your event. It’s important that your social media reaches the right people (your target audience), and your event is presented as innovative and unmissable (FOMO) to generate potential customers.
5 ways to maximise your social media strategy:
Behind the scenes content
It’s human nature to be intrigued by the unknown. It’s the same with social media. On the lead up to an event, share snippets from behind the scenes. By doing this you are humanising your organisation by introducing an emotional connection and brand personality.
Feedback and reviews
It’s no secret that when, for example, picking a restaurant to eat at, most of us would rather eat at the one rated 4.5 stars against the one with no reviews. This is the same with events. Utilise your social media to gather feedback and don’t be afraid to show off positive reviews. A big part of the decision-making process is often swayed by recommendations and experience.
Hashtags are a great way of quickly reaching thousands of likeminded individuals instantly. It may seem like the best way to reach a bigger audience is to use the most popular hashtags, however, this can often lead to your content getting lost in a sea of similar posts. Look into the hashtags surrounding your event and take note of the lower trafficked hashtags. By including these, you are giving yourself an increased chance of being found by your target audience. Similarly, hashtags are also a way of researching your competition and looking into the responses to their events.
Follow the trends
The best way to strengthen your social media strategy is to research and incorporate the hottest trends around at that time. For example, with the continuous growth of TikTok, video content has become more popular than ever. Audiences are heavily engaging with video content in comparison to picture and text format. No-one wants to read a long written post anymore if there is a video summing up the same content. It pays to stay up to date with the trends of social media and your target audience.
Interactive social media
The use of interactive content such as quizzes, polls, and giveaways are impactful as they not only engage the audience in a light-hearted manner, but they also promote the sharing of content which means a wider audience having access to your event.
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
The fear of missing out can be one of the strongest motivators when it comes to decision making. The event industry has been boosted immensely by the spread of FOMO through mobile devices and social media. Nowadays people can’t wait to share their latest experiences with their peers online, whether it be through checking in or posting photos and videos.
FOMO is a powerful tool in gathering attendees. So, use it! Create an air of exclusivity around your event and build up anticipation. You can do this through setting an attendance capacity and promoting limited availability, creating a one-off experience, an appearance from a rare musician or an ‘invite only’ event. These are just a few ways you can create FOMO at your next event.
Customer service is key
Never underestimate the power of customer service. Even the most ground-breaking of events could leave a sour taste in your mouth if throughout you received poor customer service. An enjoyable customer experience plays an invaluable role in the capturing and retention of your customers. It also greatly increases the chances of your customers advocating your event to their network, therefore growing your organisations potential.
Remember to always treat your customers with kindness and humility. After all, the golden rule of customer service is to ‘treat others how you would want to be treated’.
Sometimes however, things can happen that are out of our control. No matter how successful your event is, ensure you have comprehensive insurance for your next event in case of any unforeseen damages or incidents. Additionally, in the same way public liability insurance claims can occur at any time, there could be circumstances beyond your control that consequently causes the cancellation of your event. Ensure you have adequate event cancellation coverage to reimburse any costs, expenses or loss of revenue that you cannot recover.