If you’re hosting an event as part of your marketing strategy then you are absolutely doing something right. In-person events have been proven to help customers gain a better understanding of a product or service. They also improve public perception of the featured brand and can generate more regular customers. In an increasingly digital world, live events give attendees the chance to experience a company with their own eyes and form genuine connections, so it's only fitting that you use an equally personal way of reaching out to your potential attendees to boost event attendance (but that’s not to say that you shouldn’t also use social media to spread awareness of your event!).
Putting on an event isn’t always easy though, and when you’re investing lots of time and money you’re going to want to make sure that you get great results. Naturally, you’re going to need a good turnout to get a high ROI, so it’s important to do everything you can to increase the number of attendees. Below are a few things to remember in order to maximise attendance for your in-person event, while keeping things cost-effective and running smoothly.
Don’t underestimate how long it takes to organise something. If you want to avoid frantic last-minute attempts to salvage a messy event then you need to give yourself plenty of prep time. Generally, 4-6 months of planning is ideal. This gives you plenty of time to organise a venue, activities, a guest list, and an effective marketing strategy.
Have you hosted an event before? If you have then it may be worth examining any attendee information that you collected last time. With this, you can determine the types of customers that are most likely to attend any future events and select potential guests from your current customer data. Also, if you review your CRM and social media analytics, you could even tailor the nature of the event itself to optimise levels of customer engagement. Remember, information is key. It’s important to use what you have, so see what worked in the past.
Create a guest list of those that have a proven interest in your company. They may have attended past events and are therefore likely to attend again. While events are a fantastic way to build interest and attract new customers, they also give businesses the chance to more intimately connect with their customers and nurture brand loyalty.
You’ve identified the VIPs on your guest list, now it’s time to reach out to them. If you have your customers’ addresses on file, consider sending them a handwritten letter inviting them to your event. Unlike emails, personalized letters are almost always opened, and receiving such an intimate invitation will surely surprise and delight your potential attendees and boost event attendance exponentially. With Scribeless, designing and sending personalized invitations to your most valuable customers is quick and easy. We can even deliver at mass, so it doesn't matter how popular you are!
A handwritten note or letter can boost event attendance by letting your key targets know that you care, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore those who aren't as familiar with you. Advertising your event through social media is still a sure-fire way to get the word out there and attract the attention of those who may not have a history with your company but are open to trying new things. In fact, by putting effort into your digital marketing, you also emphasise how personal your correspondence through handwritten letters is, presenting it as something deeply meaningful and unique.