It might be that you need to give your marketing strategy a little more thought. Here are our top five reasons why you may not be filling your seats.
#1: They Don’t Know About It.
It’s too obvious, right? But when you are eyeball-deep in event logistics, it’s easy for marketing to become an afterthought. In reality, marketing should be the FIRST thing you think about when planning your event.
Start by putting together a simple event marketing strategy. Who are you trying to attract? What do they care about? How will you make the content of the event relevant and exciting to them? What are they willing to pay? What industry websites and publications do they read for their information? How and when will you communicate with them? Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll better understand how to bring value to your audience through your content and speakers.
#2: They Can’t Relate.
Prospective attendees should immediately connect with the event, and be compelled to learn more. They need to know exactly how they’ll benefit right off the bat. Fancy slogans can sometimes miss the mark. So when you’re putting together your marketing materials, always include a simple and brief description that includes who should attend, and specifically how they will benefit. This simple step can make a big difference.
#3: Your Topics and Speakers Are Old News.
People attend conferences and seminars to get new ideas. You need to give them valuable content, or they’ll move on to the next event. Find fresh ideas for topics and speakers by looking at industry websites and publications and making a list of topical themes in the most recent blog posts and articles. Check the Facebook pages of leading industry organizations to see which posts have generated the most activity.
It is good practice to pull out surveys from previous events to remind yourself of what went over well, and what didn’t. Looking back at reports from previous years will also give you an idea of which sessions were most attended, and who attended them. Even better, ask past attendees about which subjects most interest them.
If you’re struggling to generate the reports you need to make decisions, you may want to consider looking at event registration software that gives you in-depth event reports and built-in survey functionality. It’s worth the investment if it can help you make better decisions in the future.
People are looking for value, and there is a limit to what they will pay no matter how compelling the content is. This is particularly true if your attendees are paying out of pocket. Before you set the cost, make sure you’ve finalized your budget, and have a good idea of how much sponsorship money you are expecting to bring in. After you know how much you need to bring in to cover costs, you will be able to calculate the minimum that you can charge based on the number of attendees you are anticipating.
From there, you’ll want to research the costs of other similar events and consider the value of the content, location, and number of days when determining the maximum amount you can charge to reach your target registration numbers. You may even be able to get some feedback from some of your loyal members on what seems reasonable.
#5: The Event Registration Process is Too Difficult.
Difficult-to-navigate systems give people an excuse to abandon their registrations before they complete the process. Sometimes those people forget to return to complete the online form.
Making your prospects provide too much information is a sure-fire way to frustrate them. Instead, keep it as short as possible and only collect the information you really need. As we mentioned earlier, a good online event registration product can really help when it comes to making the event registration process easy for your attendees.
Once you have your registration system in place – test, test, and test again!
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