When it comes to creating successful corporate events, getting people to RSVP “yes please” can be a challenge. Even where you do get a positive response, in our experience free events often have a 50% drop out rate, while paid events can have up to a 25% drop out rate.
But it doesn’t matter how great your venue, speakers and entertainment are if nobody turns up. So, as well as planning and adding some magic, a crucial part of preparing for any great event lies in the promotion.
Here are some tips to ensure that your events are sought-after.
You want your event to stand out. So, in addition to a creative theme, you also need to give careful consideration as to how you will brand your event.
The name you choose should be easy to remember, engaging and convey what you are trying to achieve. As well as a name you could also consider a tagline to provide greater insight. Once done, you should use this brand to build awareness of your event throughout the promotion period.
To boost attendance at your live events, you should launch a creative campaign to inspire and attract your target visitors. As well as an original concept and execution, this campaign should also use data collection, analysis, and refinement to make sure it appeals to the people you want it to. As such, research into your market and your audience is advisable.
Once a theme is agreed, you must put a strategy in place on how to execute your campaign across multiple channels. For example:
- Targeted messaging through social media, websites, SEO, PPC, etc.
- Targeted message via more traditional media
- Engagement with influencers (bloggers, journalists, industry experts, speakers, etc.)
- The creation and use of event apps
- Leveraging partner networks
- Experiential guerrilla communications.
Make sure your software is working hard to deliver the attendee numbers you need by using a leading-edge event registration platform that offers more than just the ability to sign-up for an event. For example, people come to events to network, so, by using a system which shows potential attendees who else is going, they know they will be in good company.
Cloud-based registration platforms are a compelling and cost-effective solution. You can use them on a pay-per delegate basis, and manage your budget with regular recurring payments. But to really make them work for you, consider putting them in the hands of an expert. This way you benefit from the best quality software and an experienced pair of hands to take all those annoying niggles away.
Could outsourcing your event registration do more than free up some time? Could it also add value?
But a word of warning - you will have to make sure you don’t fall foul of data protection regulations. For example, you can’t take matters into your own hands and publicise a list of guests. However, you can use an online networking tool to enable people to set up meetings in advance of your event. And of course, if people have meetings in their diary they are far more likely to show up.
Companies that are still using Excel spreadsheets to store delegate information - or even antiquated online event registration software - could be in big trouble.
When it comes to event registration, email is still a key communication channel. You can use emails to showcase your speakers, promote key sessions, and to send reminders and announcements to registered attendees to create a buzz.
Including a video in an email is a fantastic way to ensure high click-through rates and create a more engaging experience. And, if encouraging more sign-ups is your main objective, remember to include prominent “Register Now” buttons.
Social media offers a great way to build excitement around an event and shout about it when it is happening.
For example, you could use social media to:
- Promote early-bird/group discounts
- Create drip-feed teasers
- Share images, videos, and testimonials from previous events to demonstrate success
- Create and share bespoke event content and encourage attendees to share it (e.g. press releases, advertisements, blogs, videos, etc.)
- Promote an event hashtag. Much more than a gimmick this will help your guests to connect, share information, engage with event updates and promote your event on your behalf
- Create landing pages, Facebook pages, or microsites to promote the event
- Create social media “stories” and encourage people to view them before they disappear. Capturing the best moments from a day (and vanishing soon after), stories are growing in popularity and are a fun, bite-sized way to present video content
- If you secure a big name to speak at your event, exploit their star power! Ask them to share your event info through social media to ensure your messages reach a much wider audience.
If your agency is registering your delegates online they should be providing a system that interfaces well with social media, making it part of your integrated strategy.
Get the media involved
If you want to capture media attention for your event, make sure that you create a press list and then distribute creative and informative media packs. As well as drafting a press release to get media attention before, during and after your event, you should also look to determine suitable PR opportunities and exclusives and approach your target media about these. Where possible you should also push for national coverage to ensure maximum exposure.
Event Planning Checklist
We know that you want to create successful corporate events that will be talked about for years to come (for all the right reasons). But how can you make sure that poor planning doesn’t let you down on the day?
Brought to you from the experts at Apex, our handy checklist will help you to reach your event goals and achieve a truly positive experience.
In this event planning checklist for event profs
- Planning the event. Establish your event goals, choose a venue and set your agenda
- Organising the event. Finalise all the details and add some magic
- Promoting the event. Create and launch a winning publicity campaign
- Hosting the event. Entertain, inspire and inform
- Promotion. Attract and retain visitors ahead of your competitors
- After the event. Capitalise on your event presence, long after it is over.
At Apex, we create and deliver objective focused corporate events that look fantastic. With 30 years' experience in this area, our philosophy is based on exceptional service, expertise and innovative solutions. Contact us today on +44 (0)1625 429370 or email [email protected] to find out more or for an exploratory conversation.