How to engage your guests in order to maximise event attendance.

The event industry has changed considerably in the last few years. Both technological advances as well as the expectations of clients have seen the role of an event manager morph into something akin to that of a producer. Orchestrating a piece of work that involves multiple touch points – each of which is equally important – takes an incredible amount of skill.

Events need to be riveting adventures, and the planners who successfully pull this off are masters at conducting a performance that delights their guests, and in turn, their clients.

Event attendance is directly linked to expectations that are set from the get-go.

It’s crucial that that your event evokes an emotional response – where each aspect meets, and then elevates the expectations of your guests – from beginning to end. Positioning an event as one that’s not to be missed is the single most important element in facilitating optimum event attendance. Getting this right is easier said than done, and relies on treating every single element of an event as equally significant.

Event publicity can either ensure your event attendance is optimal or leave you with empty seats.

Pre-event publicity, which includes your invitations and teaser info published on social media, lays the foundation of an event. If this isn’t done correctly, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Pay particular attention to the way in which you address your guests, the visuals you use and the information you include on the acceptance form. Each aspect needs to intrigue and excite – if it doesn’t, your event attendance is bound to be dismal.

Social media campaigns conducted in the lead-up to an event are incredibly effective in increasing event attendance rates.

Large-scale events – both corporate and commercial – are becoming increasingly reliant on social media as a means to create awareness and encourage hype. Running a pre-event campaign that uses social media integrated email and SMS is crucial in facilitating an air of anticipation. An added bonus of social campaigns run prior to an event is that they’re able to garner a substantially higher level of exposure for your event than if you were to rely on your invitations alone.

Once you’ve established an air of expectation, make sure your event lives up to it.

It’s one thing to get guests excited about an event but holding a function that caters to this is another story entirely. Ideally, guests should walk into an event that they’ve been looking forward to attending, and immediately feel pleased with their decision. All facets of an event need to continually delight – make sure you’re elevating their experience throughout. From the welcome drinks and décor, to entertainment and dessert – make sure that guests leave on a high note. If you’ve planned an exclusive piece of entertainment, then match the entertainment to other elements of the event such as food. Similarly, if you’ve used awe-inspiring décor, make sure that this isn’t the only stand out feature.

If you’re running an event with speakers, make sure that their presentations are entertaining.

You might have garnered maximum event attendance but if guests have to sit through a lecture that’s the opposite of scintillating, all of your efforts will have gone to waste. Regardless of topic, make sure that your speakers are able to entertain their audience. School them in presentation methods – using a big screen, an emphasis on visual content and a conversational, interactive tone should be pre-requisites.

As events continue to morph into experiences, being able to successfully produce awe-inspiring affairs will separate the men from the boys.

Image Credit: rfidhy