It’s the event organisers worst nightmare – the one question that makes them wake up in a cold sweat in the days leading up to the event. What if nobody turns up?
There’s not much you can do about last-minute illness and childcare problems, but luckily, there are lots of things you can do to boost attendance at your next amazing event. So, if you’ve got an incredible event tent and you need people to fill it, follow these 10 handy tips:
- Make sure your event has a unique ‘hook’. You need something that will pique guests’ curiosity so much that they will turn up just to satisfy it. This could be a weird and wonderful venue, such as a giant outdoor marquee in an unusual site, or a secret mystery guest (drop loads of hints though so they can start to speculate who it is).
- Lay on transport. It may put a bit of strain on the budget, but making it easy and indeed fun (how about organising a double-decker London bus for your guests?) to get to the venue makes it more likely they’ll come along.
- Keep interest levels high. Post regular updates through your social media channels to keep energy and excitement levels high, and nudge guests into reaffirming their RSVP – this will remind them that they’ve agreed to go.
- Give away freebies. It may be a cheap trick, but you’ll be amazed how many people will turn up just to sip some free champagne or take home a goody bag.
- Focus your attention on influential, high profile guests. If an industry leader, celebrity or other high-profile guests is 100% definitely confirmed, everyone else will follow.
- Consider charging for tickets. You might think that a free event will attract the most guests, but more people may actually come to an event where they’ve paid for a ticket in advance. This is because there is nothing to lose by backing out of an invite for a free event, and people can simply change their mind on the day. Consider a small ticket fee and make sure you’re offering as much value as possible to guests attending the event.
- Collaborate. Working with another high-profile partner can work wonders at boosting numbers on your guest list, helping you look beyond your own customers and natural audience to bring in new markets.
- Invite far more people than you can fit in your venue. Unless you’ve got a vast event tent with loads of room, you might think this is a risky strategy, because what if everyone turns up and you’re over capacity? This is very unlikely to happen – in fact, you’ll actually find that you’ll lose around 50% of your guest list as the event approaches.
- Sell the event as a crucial networking opportunity. Make the event appear unmissable, selling it as a once in a lifetime chance to meet and mingle with all the movers and shakers in a particular industry.