(This is a contributed post)
Events are important to anyone running their own small business. This is especially true when hosting a small business event yourself. An event is a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of your brand, showcase your industry expertise, and make a little money while doing so. To reap any of these benefits, however, you must first get people to show up. This can be tricky, but there are many tactics to try. With that in mind, here are five ways to attract attendees to your event.
All entrepreneurs should understand the importance of returning customers. While you should strive to grow your customer base, it’s those that have already bought from you that will keep your business afloat. After all, those consumers need much less time, money, and effort to get them to buy again. The exact same rule applies to previous attendees. Because of this, you should remember to send an invitation to anyone that attended a previous event of yours.
Although you probably would have liked it to be, your event won’t be the only one of its kind. There are lots of others out there, many of which will have the same demographics as yours. Rather than avoid these events like the plague, you should book booths at them. As long as you aren’t direct competitors, there is no reason why you can’t promote your event while you’re there. This would allow you access to a pool of people you might not have reached otherwise.
People interested in attending your event don’t just want to hear about the event itself. If they’re traveling from out of town (perhaps with some carry on luggage), they will want to learn about the local area too. Promoting other attractions near where your event is being held, therefore, is very important. If you’re hosting at one of the leading conference centres in Geelong, for example, you could write about the Botanic Gardens on your websites. Sometimes these attractions are the biggest draw for attendees.
Almost everyone is on social media these days, making it a very useful marketing tool for small businesses like yours. Just as you would promote a promotion or product launch, you should use your social media platforms to inform your followers of your event. Posting interesting content, such as videos, and working with social media influencers, will likely widen your reach. You might also want to invite certain followers directly through an instant messenger.
No matter how great your event is, if the price isn’t right, many people won’t be able to attend. To solve this problem, you could allow complimentary access or give out free tickets to some would-be attendees. You might also want to launch a competition where the prize is access to the event. Although this won’t boost ticket sales, it might encourage these people to purchase a ticket next year. You could also offer cheaper tickets to those than buy early.
With these tips, you should have no trouble attracting attendees to your business event.