5 Easy Ways to Attract Attendees to Your Event

November 8, 2015

Christine Cullity and Ken Ferreira

Christine Cullity, Director of Marketing and Ken Ferreira, National Sales Application Manager, at Convention Data Services. Collectively, Christine and Ken have 36 years of experience in the tradeshow industry. 

It’s the age-old question that all show managers ask, “How do I attract more attendees to my event?” The goal is to not only attract attendees to your current event, but to turn them into repeat attendees for years to come. A comprehensive and targeted marketing approach that encourages conversation and interaction will help you reach the greatest number of potential attendees who will in turn share the experience with their colleagues.

#1. Analyze, personalize and segment your data:

Begin your campaign strategy by leveraging your event’s existing data. Slice and dice your data into historical and current registration information categories. In the historical category include first-time attendees from your last event, attendees by region, and attendees by buying power. In the second category include all of your current data from your social media efforts, invite-a-colleague, exhibitor invites and registration abandonment. Use this data to create and target specific markets.

#2. Engage your attendees:

The invite-a-colleague program uses the influence of your current attendees to reach their contacts and engage potential new attendees who are not currently in the event database. Email recipients are more likely to open and act on an email from a trusted source and colleague. 

Proven to cut through pre-show marketing emails, this program has consistently shown the highest registration conversion rate. 

#3. Engage your exhibitors: 

When your exhibitors promote your event it is a win-win situation. The exhibitor invite program gives your exhibitors a tool to reach their existing list of customers and referrals. By helping to increase the attendance, they give themselves the opportunity to expose their brand to a wider audience of potential customers and increase their lead generation. Offer and encourage your exhibitors to use marketing tools to drive attendees to your event and their booth.

#4. Social media makes the difference:

A great deal has been written about using social media, but it truly is the key to reaching a larger and wider audience for your event. Think of it as an enhanced version of the invite-a-colleague campaign. Get your exhibitors and attendees to embrace the use of social media to leverage their existing contacts and create new ones. 

#5. Don’t forget about your speakers: 

Your speakers are a valuable asset and can help promote your event to additional audiences. View your speakers as your social media evangelists and offer them promo event codes to share via social media.

Marketing your event begins with your data. Capturing, analyzing and leveraging your data from your past events is the key. Use that data to implement these five strategies and attract enthusiastic attendees and exhibitors to your next event.

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Partner Voices

Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.