Getting people in the door and onto seats is without question one of the major success factors for any event. No matter the size - a small group of 15 people, or a huge 3 day conference for 1,000 - how you communicate the good news will make all the difference. You want to excite, and connect your audience with the speakers and the content of the event - a little publicity will always go a long way too!
1. Hone in on your audience
This one is really the no-brainer, but more than just identifying who'll be on the initial invite list, it's worth spending some time to brainstorm the following:
- Does your audience have more than one segment?
- What are the key pain-points for your audience?
- What is the best way to reach your audience?
- What is the most suitable style/tone to reach your audience?
2. Find the ‘why’ - Tell them why your event is unmissable.
You've probably noticed that the best campaigns for big events seem to just flow - from the messaging, to visuals and graphics to the number of contact points. Each of these elements are intricately connected, but the central focal point here is always the why - why is your event a 'must do' for each market segment?
Thinking about your target segments [such as financial service providers and banking executives] and touching on what their pain-points are, it's now time think about how the speakers, content, entertainment - the stars of your event - are going to meet these needs, provide solutions and motivate your audience into action.
What about your event will inspire them to act and purchase a ticket without delay? Be sure to communicate these messages clearly.
3. Plan each touch-point
It's always a good idea to gather members of your team together, either event planners, marketing and sales and map out your communication strategy. There are quite a few things to consider here from;
- Your list of attendees (tailored, or public? who is your database?)
- Initial invite - look, feel, when to send?
- Does your event have an overarching theme? How will this be communicated?
- How will you follow up to confirm bookings and tickets?
- How will you use social media to promote your event?
- Press considerations - media release, radio, advertorial?
- Final number and cancellations - This can be tricky. The key is to find a great system that will effectively manage cancellations, refunds and wait-lists - a great ticketing system can go a long way to helping you avoid confusion.
Another important piece here is what value-add will you include in each communication? You might like to add some pieces of interest such as a video, or useful event information. Remember; the key is to excite and entice!
4. Technology for the win
There can be no doubt - automated technology is going to be your friend for any event. It will allow you to manage your communications, emails, social media posts and the all-important ticketing.
Some of the big winners are:
Social media - Hootsuite, for targeted event post scheduling
It's also a good idea to consider creating an email address specifically for the event, so that all communications are sent to one central place.
5. Look and feel of communications
At each point your communication style, visuals and graphics speak volumes to your invitees about the quality they can expect from your event. Aside from having killer keynote speakers, the content and messaging needs to be presented in a way that looks cool! Some key things to remember are; select a theme that peaks interest, use only updated and fresh photos, ensure you use a cohesive colour scheme and an event logo and graphics that make your event look like 'the business'. At this point it helps to invest in a talented graphic designer and web professionals.