Event Attendee Marketing – It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

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On your mark, get set, go.  That’s typically how some event planning can feel.  However, the earlier you start planning your event, the better registration – and attendance – will be.

Warm Ups

With any race, you need to complete your warm up exercises and plan your race strategy.  Take the time now to sit down and plan how you intend to attract attendees to your event.  Think about who you want to target, and how to reach those people.  While it’s great to fill a room, it’s more important to have the right people in attendance.  Identify your audience by organization, title, location, etc.

Jumping Over Obstacles

Once it’s time to start outreach, it may feel like you’re facing many obstacles.  But, just like with hurdling, it’s possible to break through inboxes and catch their attention.

So how can you overcome these hurdles?  Be personal.  People are more receptive when an email is addressed to them directly, instead of a mass email.  A research study by the Aberdeen Group reveals personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14 percent and conversions by 10 percent.  Go beyond addressing the person by name and tailor your email content based on the specific audience.  What’s in it for them?  Have they attended your event before?  Refer to it.  People like to know why this specific email – and event – is something they should be interested in.

Remember, creativity is key, but don’t take it too far.  You want to make sure to align with the event branding, and stick to your industry norms.  Lastly, brief is best.  The average American attention span is eight seconds.  Get to the point quickly or risk losing their interest – and therefore their registration.

Social on the Sidelines

While running is mostly an individual sport, it’s time to get social.  Create a unique hashtag for your event, and make sure to use it in all promotional materials.  Use the hashtag at the event with signs on tables, general signage, and your presentations, encouraging attendees to stay social throughout the day.

Run campaigns on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.  Wherever your audience is, remain active on that platform.  Promoted tweets or ads are important, but so is keeping up a consistent presence on social media.

Race Day

You’ve prepared, emailed, and socialized with the registrants, now it’s time for the big day.  Continue to change up your attendee marketing until you find what works best for your target audience.

What tips have you learned from previous events?

Chelsea Legendre, 11mark

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