Our Top Secrets to Making Your Event A Raving Success
Lately our Clients have been asking, what does it take to ensure that people come to my event? What's your secret? Any advice? So we set out to make sure you have what it takes to make your event a raving success. Take a peek.
By Ashley Fons
So, you want to host an event? Now what...
Plan ahead - there is nothing worse than waiting until the last minute and discovering your event will have low attendance or none at all.
Promote - you’ve got to reach out to everyone you know to let them know that you’re hosting this event that you’re very proud of and that you’d love their support. This means, emailing, calling, texting, talking with them at happy hour and sending them a personal invitation in the mail. If attendance is low within a couple weeks of the event, start offering a “bring a friend” special via US Mail, social media and email marketing. Leverage all of your communication channels - even your email signature!
Seek sponsors and influencers - there are local businesses that will help to build support and awareness about your event. Set up an event flyer on a bulletin at a nearby coffee shop or a location where you know your target consumer is likely to be or visit. Partnering with local businesses who’ve already got an established consumer base will echo your message louder than you can on your own. In addition, if they provide an offer to your guests, they’ll be able to get exposure to their brand as well. It’s a win-win. Make sure that their audience is relevant to who you’d like to see at your event.
Before your event occurs...
Seek volunteers - think of anyone who would absolutely love to be a fly on the wall at your event and let them know you have volunteer opportunities available. This is perfect for your retired neighbor or a university student that you know craving for exposure and professional experience. Either way, it’s a great way to make your team look larger, make your event look like it has better attendance and ensures your paying guests will have a wonderful time because you’ll have additional client services at the ready.
Secure the setting - you’ll want to make sure your venue is located near your guests that you would like to attend and at a date and time that is reasonable and convenient. You’ll want to steer clear of any big local sports games, political rallies, holidays or religious traditions (unless of course these events are relevant to your cause). If you know your audience will be likely to work a 9-5 job, keep that in mind and offer your event during the evening after work or on the weekend. Be sure your venue can accommodate the number of guests that you’d like to have and monitor your ticket sales to reflect that.
Okay, the date is set. Now how do I make sure people will come?
It's always a good idea to send your guests a pre-event reminder email. This can include where to be and when in addition to bios and photos of your guest speakers.
You can also encourage attendance and exposure via social networking tools like Facebook Live or utilize short video clips of speaker Q & A before the event date. This will get your guests excited and give them a sneak peek as to what to expect at the event. Be sure to prepare copy and speaking notes prior to recording so that you remember to encourage people to join you. Something like this:
We’re so looking forward to our event next Saturday, June 23rd in Toronto! I want to personally invite the lovely ladies within my network to join us for some sophisticated fun and empowerment. If you’re a savvy boss lady then I know this will be perfect for you. Check out the link in my bio and direct message me with any questions. Can’t wait to see you there!
You'll want your event invitation to contain compelling, juicy content and what guests can expect as a result of attending. To create a sense of community among attendees, create an event hashtag to be used on social media so that photos posted can be easily traced.
To encourage participation or raise money for a specific cause, you can include a giveaway or raffle at your event.
Registered and ready!
Engage - when people start to register for your event, thank them by tagging them on social media and let them know you can’t wait to see or meet them. Tag or tweet sponsors, influencers and speakers. Create a countdown on your social channels with how many days until the event. Tell your audience you can’t wait to share the finished presentation with them and that they’re in for a real treat. Then, follow people who inspire you and who may have an interest in your event.
Thank you and follow-up email - once a guest has registered, follow-up with them by saying thank you and that you look forward to seeing and meeting them. Then, offer social media widgets and a pre-written post for them to share on their social channels.
Hire a photographer - this is going to be key to getting great photography of your event and using it to promote your next event! Remember those inspiring, compelling invitations, this is where your photos and attendance are really going to make a difference. Don’t have the budget, no problem! Offer free admission or your services to them for a later date. Be sure that you request your photos back by a certain date so you can quickly or immediately post images from your event online for guests and attendees to view.
It’s the big day!
Confirm - talk to all of your vendors on the phone or in person to confirm what they’re bringing and at what time to your event. Make sure to touch-base with the other presenters or speakers casually to see how their preparation is going, see how they’re feeling and get them even more excited for the fun in store!
Communicate - personally thank your attendees for taking the time to come to your event. They are your guests. Hopefully, once you show them an excellent time, they'll be back as your guest the next time you are hosting! Enjoy.
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