As a business, hosting events is a fantastic way to grow your brand, network, and foster company culture. And you can do all the planning in the world, but if no one shows up, you’re not going to achieve anything.
One of your top priorities in putting on an event is to get as many people to attend as possible. Whether you’re hosting a company barbecue, a fundraiser, or a marketing event, the more people that attend, the better it will be.
Unfortunately, it’s often difficult to gauge how many people will show up. Requesting RSVPs can be helpful, but it can also be scary when you only get a handful of replies. Your goal should be to feel confident that a large number of people will show up to make your event a success.
So, how can you get more guests interested in attending – especially if it’s an event that’ll benefit your company and your culture?
1. Promote, Promote, Promote
There’s nothing quite like good, old-fashioned marketing to get more people to attend your event. While things like flyers and email blasts are still effective, it never hurts to think outside the box when you’re trying to make your event stand out. If you’re creating a unique experience, make sure your guests know about it through your promotions. Better yet, encourage engagement as much as possible through social media.
You can go a step above a simple Facebook post by hosting a live stream to promote your event. You can give people a chance to look “behind the scenes” at what to expect, and answer any questions in real-time. Plus, you can showcase your personality while promoting the unique things you have to offer.
Focus on things like:
Show your guests what they’re getting out of the event! Often, a swag bag or giveaway is the best way to do that. When you can add something physical to an event that people can take home, they’re more likely to remember the good time they had. Plus, anything you give them with your brand/logo on it will remind them of your business every time they use it.
Your guests want to have a good time. When you can strike the perfect combination of something that draws them to the event and something that makes them remember it, you’ll know you’ve done your job. Plus, once you host one successful event, word-of-mouth advertising will do a lot of work for you in the future. We’ll talk more about how you can use the past experiences of your guests to network for your upcoming events in the next section.
2. Use Networking to Your Advantage
Most people think about networking when it comes to moving up on the professional ladder. But it’s also a great marketing tool for events – especially brand growth events and fundraisers. One way to get your foot in the door is to network at similar events to the one you’ll be hosting. Consider where your target demographic tends to go and set up a booth there.
Or, accept invitations to get-togethers and talk to others about anything you have coming up. It’s a great way to encourage people who are already interested in your brand to keep up with your calendar and respond positively to invitations.
You can even network online to promote your events. While sites like LinkedIn are known for being professional, you’ll draw more attention from potential guests if you’re willing to add personal touches to your promotion. Send customized invitations. Add a short story to your promotion. Get them connected and invested in what you have to say, so it builds their intrigue.
If you start to get responses to your event through a networking site, stay engaged. Respond directly to questions and comments. It’s one of the best ways to turn a “maybe” into a “yes” if someone is on the fence about attending. People like to feel listened to and special, even if they know there will be hundreds of other people at a party or event. Taking the time to offer a personalized response to someone can make a big difference, and it only takes a few minutes of your time.
Finally, network with people who have attended your events in the past. Make sure you keep it personal by sending them a direct email or note. Touch on how much you enjoyed having them at your previous event (and include a photo or two) before inviting them to an upcoming one.
3. Make the Rules Clear
No one wants to attend an event only to be confused about what to expect. We’re living in uncertain times and the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. One set of “rules” you should make everyone aware of ahead of time is what you plan on doing to keep your guests safe.
That could include things like:
- Requiring vaccinations or prior testing
- Wearing masks
- Social distancing
- Hiring a professional cleaning/sanitizing service
The safer your guests feel at your event, the more likely they are to attend and enjoy themselves throughout. If you truly want them to immerse themselves in the event and with each other, you can also have cell phone etiquette rules in place, especially if you plan on having speakers or entertainment.
No one wants to be “surprised” by certain restrictions when they first get to an event. So, informing your guests ahead of time about what to expect will ensure that everyone who is there wants to be there and knows what they’re in for.
No matter what type of event you are holding, having more people involved will always make it better. But, you have to be willing to put in the legwork to make it happen. Use these unique approaches combined with some traditional marketing techniques to get more people to attend your future events. When done successfully, your reputation for hosting will end up being your greatest marketing tool to get more people to attend.
4. Gift Attendees With Swag!
🌟 FEATURED SWAG PACK
THE CREW SAYS:
The Jubilee swag pack is the perfect choice for a fun event! It features everything you might need to feel festive and ready to celebrate.
SWAG HIGHLIGHTS: This swag pack features personalized greeting cards, fun holographic stickers, a stemless tumbler, sour belts candy, and a single serving of confetti.
RECOMMENDED FOR: This pack is recommended for fun events. Encourage attendees to throw the confetti in the air to celebrate a big announcement or serve them a tasty beverage in their new stemless tumbler. With some candy and holographic stickers, this pack will keep the fun going all night.
🌟 FEATURED SWAG PACK
THE CREW SAYS:
Whether you're showing off your new brand look for the first time, or looking to grow brand awareness, we're big fans of the Rebrand Essentials Pack to get the job done.
SWAG HIGHLIGHTS: Custom Mailer Bag, Eco Silicon Valley Hoodie, Insert Cards by Moo, Die Cut Stickers, Sock Club Custom Knit Socks, Bella + Canvas Tee
RECOMMENDED FOR: A custom branded swag pack that covers all the bases. Outfit your guests, VIPs, and loyal community with fresh swag paired with the perfect note.
P.S. Looking for more pack ideas? Check out some of the most popular options over at our Preset Packs page, including new Holiday-themed packs like the Winter Cozy Swag Pack and Jetset for the Holidays!
About the Author
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies.