Whether you’re hosting a one off or first time event, or you’re putting on an annual occasion, having a great turn out is essential to the success of your conference. However seasoned an organiser you are, it’s always worth looking at new ways of attracting delegates. Have a read through our top 12 suggestions, we bet there are things you’ve not tried yet…
Never underestimate the power of choosing the right location for your conference. Make sure travel to your venue is inexpensive and hassle-free for delegates. It’s also worth checking out the post-conference entertainment options even if you’re not laying on any extras. It never hurts to let potential attendees know what they can do in their spare time around your event.
Be vigilant that you’re not hosting your event on the same date as something else big, either in your industry or nationally. You might not care about the FA Cup Final, but that doesn’t mean your delegates feel the same way. It’s also worth ensuring your ‘save the dates’ go out as early as possible.
Don’t ever presume that last year’s delegates are a given. As your event grows you might want to start segmenting your data – last year’s attendees need approaching with fresh marketing and a new message. It might be a nice idea to communicate with this group of people via postal mail with hand-written envelopes and signed letters, for that personal touch.
With all the logistics and marketing involved in running a conference, it’s important not to forget about its content! Spending the time talking to potential delegates about topics and speakers they want to hear about and from will pay dividends when it comes to attendee figures.
Make sure your event registration is done by a very simple, online tool which is mobile optimised. Don’t let any glitches or distractions get in the way of a potential delegate signing up.
Offering a discount on the ticket price for early bird sign ups is a great way to encourage sales.
To target special groups of first-time delegates, spend some time researching LinkedIn groups. Once you’ve found a group of people who you think might be interested in your conference, approach the moderator of the group and ask if they would be interested in promoting your event.
Make sure you’re casting your net wide enough by considering potential delegates from other industries associated with your core audience. You might need to add in a few extras speaking slots to accommodate them, but done cleverly, the subject matter should be relevant to all parties.
Reach out to industry bloggers. The good ones will have a trusting following and a blogger’s endorsement could do wonders for your tickets sales.
Similarly, it’s worth investing time and money in nurturing the right media partnerships. Endorsement is hugely valuable in marketing your brand, so although this might be more of a long-term strategy, it’s well worth dedicating the time to.
Pay Per Click advertising is a great way to target a relevant audience to inform them of your event. Whether you’re using search ads on Google or targeting by industry on LinkedIn there’s a wealth of paid advertising opportunities online that will ensure you reach the right audience at the right time. If you don’t have anyone in-house who can run a PPC campaign for you, there are lots of companies to whom you can outsource.
If you’ve sent out direct invites to your event, make sure you chase up RSVPs with a phone call a few weeks before the deadline so no one misses out. The personal touch can really make a difference in attendance numbers.
We organise 100s of conferences every year at W12 Conferences, so if you need a little extra support, we can help. Our in-house Events Team know the venue inside out and are experts at giving delegates what they want. Call us today to discuss your next event on 020 3313 1606.