It's desperately frustrating these days getting people to follow through on their desire to attend an event. Even if they've committed in principal, by registering, it doesn't actually guarantee that they'll show up.
It's the fast pace of the modern world where all too often people can be easily side-tracked by something else that comes up at the last minute. And disappointingly it doesn't even mean that they got a better offer; more like the alternative offer was front of mind and resonated with how the person was feeling in that split second when the decision was made. Which means your event gets forgotten and you've got a growing list of 'no shows'.
There are three tactics you could incorporate into your event marketing that will turn this situation around and get you double your attendance numbers. It's simply a matter of knowing where to start and what to do differently!
Getting More People to Register
The first thing to overcome is how you will entice them to consider attending your event.
For some people the fact that they'll get to see you in-person will be enough of an incentive for them to come; which is fantastic.
However, what about all those people who have already seen you before; at a book signing perhaps? These people will need a bit more of a push.
Then there are those people who've never heard of you or your book at all. Getting these people to take action is even more challenging.
To get the more reluctant to consider your event, you'll need some form of bribe - an incentive that sways their decision to register for your event.
As an Author your best option for an incentive is Limited Access.
Limited Access is where people can only get something -
- At a specific place
- For a set time
- In reduced format
- In lower quantity or smaller distribution
Basically, in the mind of your potential attendees, something that is 'collectable' or a 'limited edition'.
Things that work -
- Photocopies of some of the hand written research notes you have for the book you're promoting
- Photocopies of the unedited first chapter of one of your next books in development
- Photocopies of a short story you've written especially as an event incentive
- Photocopies of rejected cover art designs or illustrations for your book
By increasing the number of people who actually register in the first place you are increasing the number of attendees based purely on the statistics/the percentages.
Getting More Registered People to Show Up
The next spot where you can lose attendees is in the few hours before your event is due to start. This is when a bad day at work, rain or alternative things to do can get in the way.
You need to get a message in front of your registered attendees at this time.
From experience, email can be a bit 'hit or miss', which leaves us with the one thing people just can't resist... their mobile phone.
If you've been able to capture people's mobile phone numbers when they registered, then you've got a huge advantage.
In the past PR agencies would get an intern or junior employee to sit down with a phone and a list of phone numbers and call everyone on that list to remind them of the event.
These days we have VoIP and Internet telephony so there are all sorts of new telephone services that didn't exists a few years ago.
The one that helps you here is Call Loop. Call Loop allows you to set up (SMS) text messages that are automatically sent out to your registered attendee list of telephone numbers (it's like email marketing for phones).
With Call Loop you set the date and time you want registered attendees to receive your reminder SMS and this clever system sends it.
A simple reminder like this gets people to incorporate the idea of them attending your event into their plans. They begin to problem solve things like car parking, transportation, meals, phone calls etc. to fit in around their commitment to being at your event. Once you are front of mind like this it becomes much harder for someone to break their own commitment.
Getting People Excited That They Came
The final part of the puzzle is to counter any reservations, or what's called 'buyers remorse' in the sales world.
Buyers remorse is the thinking and feelings we get after we've purchased something that we now think was a bad decision.
In the world of events it happens when a personal sense of duty or obligation drives us to go to things or do things that we'd rather not. This is how you can end up with a few difficult people at an event who heckle or are just a distracting nuisance to other attendees.
You want to put a stop to this sort of thing as soon as you possibly can. No one wants resentful people at an event. Not You, not the organisers and especially not the attendees!
You dampen this sort of thing by leveraging curiosity - adding a surprise or some mystery element to your event.
As an Author you understand the importance of revealing information in the right way in your books. This is the same concept, just applied to your event marketing.
You give hints and clues that create intrigue and curiosity in the lead up to your event; including in your reminder SMS.
Then when people arrive at the event you reveal a little more to add excitement and further stoke that curiosity.
Done well, or just done OK, you get a highly receptive audience and anyone who may have been reticent about attending is now on board.
The mystery you reveal at your event can be pretty much anything, from an announcement about a new book, to a guest presenter, a film screening... anything your audience would respond to positively.
So go forth and use these 3 simple tactics -
- Give them a registration incentive (to be received when they attend);
- SMS them a reminder on the day of your event; and
- Create curiosity with a mystery element in your event.
With these three strategies working in your event marketing you can double your event attendance overnight... and they work for live events and online events like webinars and teleseminars equally well.
Comments are closed.