I was sent an email recently by one of my friends and she asked me if I was the event planner for a specific company how would I get more people to attend the events.
My first response was I wouldn’t be focusing on attendees as an event planner, that is marketing’s job.
Here’s where it’s fun for me though. Questions like this stoke my fire of ideas. I have an experiential event marketing background and I’ve seen all kinds of fun, crazy ideas that gets people engaged in an event.
With this specific company and question, I see a few gaps and a big one is incentives. This is a common issue with event creators. They want to make and keep as much money as possible. Ok, I get that completely, but sometimes if you give a little you can gain a whole lot more.
I want to talk about monetization, incentives and your local community.
If you have a local business, the first thing you need to do is build local awareness. I’ve been coaching lots of business owners lately who want to start doing events on this specific tactic. It’s common sense, but we get so caught up in the big picture that we forget to look at what’s right in front of us.
We can’t find the needle in the haystack because all we see is the haystack.
If you have a desire in the next 6-12 months to plan an event, whether it be a workshop, retreat, seminar, symposium; you need to start in your local community. Partner with other local business owners and create smaller engaging events.
- Networking parties at a local gallery
- Mindfulness Nature Hikes
- Spring planting in the local community gardens
- Community clean up projects
- Spa Days
- Events around all the holidays – Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Labor Day and more.
- Follow the lead of all the brands and how every holiday is time for a sale.
- Partner with a local non-profit
- Partner with the local radio station
Put your business, messaging and branding in front of your community. Make them think about you. Make them remember you. Show them the value that you deliver.
If you decide to do build locally, create consistent events. A few of my associates do coaching with a outdoor/nature twist. I advised them to create their own Mindfulness Nature Hikes. This puts them in front of their target audience and they can be open and share their message to those who show up. After continually creating this easily accessible event, they are building trust with the people that show up weekly or monthly and they can lead people to buy their programs, bigger ticket items, including their higher end events.
- Build trust
- Build rapport
- Show value
- Build relationships
- Have fun
- Don’t pitch
Now that you have established yourself as a trusted resource in your community, your local audience is going to talk about you to their friends, family and neighbors. You’ll be the talk of the town and hopefully it’s the good kind. You will start attracting more people to you and your business.
Now you can monetize your events. There are more than a dozen ways to monetize your events. Rather than giving them all to you here, just go download the list and you can have it handy when you create your next event.
While you are determining how you want to monetize your events, you need to also consider how you want to incentivize your event. What can you give away? What kind of game or competition can you create? What does your audience like? Can you do BOGO (buy one get one)?
Here are some ways to incentivize your event:
- BOGO – buy one get one (half off or free)
- Early Bird Tickets
- Extended Early Bird Tickets
- Free Books
- Discount Tickets
- Free Tickets
- Raffles and Drawings
- Discounted or Free Programs with purchase of a ticket
- Discounted or Free Consulting
- Post Event Events (meet and greets with speakers/celebrities, private masterminds, private coaching, etc)
You can create any kind of value add on that will be attractive to your audience. The important thing is to think about who your target audience is and what they like, then create the incentives.
Be generous within limitations, but also don’t be stingy.
The more people you can get into your event, the more people you can present your message and sell your products and programs too. If you have an empty room, you have no buyers and no new clients.
Build your community. Create a strategy to monetize your event. Develop your incentives. Fill your event.
Don’t have an empty room.
Are you ready to plan your next event? Or events? Book a 30 minute call here to discuss your vision.