It doesn’t matter if it’s a small community block party or a holiday theme park blow-out, we all want a great turn out for our event, and for those guests to have a great time. We’ve put together some of our top picks for ways to increase the attendance for your next event—we hope you find these tips helpful!
Know Who You’re Reaching
It sounds silly, I know, but as time dwindles it’s all too easy to slip into a shotgun method of marketing and advertising, which means wasted dollars, and unknown level of coverage. Take the time well in advance of any advertising dollars spent to identify who you’re trying to invite and where they spend their time (and money); this should guide your advertising endeavors.
Choose The Right Partner
Even if you have budget to pull off the event on your own, look to leverage the resources of a potential partner—preferably with one who holds a sizable loudspeaker (figuratively speaking, of course). Seek sponsorships from organizations who are reaching the same audience you identified in the first step, and have specific skillsets or investments in different types of marketing and advertising, such as digital ads (or a large follower base), radio ad space, television, or regular print marketing material. They will be compelled to share the event with their audience and incorporate it into their marketing plan as a lead-up to the event.
Select The Right Location
In Chicagoland, accessible parking is key! Ensure you have ample parking onsite or nearby with multiple means of transportation for guests such as continuous shuttle from a remote lot, or partnering with an adjacent facility and using their parking lot off-peak hours for either guest parking overflow or all employees/volunteers/vendors. Also, selecting a location that is accessible from expressways and not buried in a neighborhood can raise exposure, especially if you gain permission from the grounds to post an event sign a week or two ahead of the event. Also, using barricades and temporary chain link fence panels are an excellent way to shrink an oversized location or effectively create entrances and exits for better crowd control.
Set Your Expectations, Plan Accordingly
This is where eyes glaze over—conversion rates. A free event often requires more effort to know and hit your attendance figures than a paid event. Why? Free events are easy to miss when there’s no skin in the game for the prospective guest. Even with an RSVP in place, no-shows are much more common. If there’s a cover fee, you’ll see a smaller level of interest, but a much higher percentage with convert to purchasers and attenders.
Regardless of the age of your audience, all age brackets are engaging on Social Media, so should you! Advertising on Social Media can be one of the most cost-effective ways to gain exposure with your target demographic. Be creative and fun with your content creation, and diversify your ads and posts so you can test what’s most effective.
If there’s one major takeaway from this it’s to get ahead on planning the marketing and advertising well before “go time”, so you know who, what, and where your resources should be used.