It has been said, “If you lead a parade and no one follows, you are just taking a walk.” A corollary might go something like this, “If you hold an event and no one comes, you are just being self-indulgent.” Obviously, there is no reason to hold an event or meeting if too few people show up to make it work.
With the Covid crisis almost behind us, many organizations are planning upcoming events. Whether it is a healthcare conference, seminar, workshop, or a just a networking event, these gatherings play a pivotal role in furthering the healthcare industry. But if no one shows up, then it serves no purpose at all.
There are several simple things that can be done to increase attendance and participation at most events and meetings and ensure there success. If you plan on coordinating such an event, here are some things to consider:
1. Have a Purpose
No one really likes to discuss the mating habits of walnuts. If the purpose of your event seems uninteresting or too common, people will not see the benefit of attending. The reason, topic, and speakers or entertainment should be fresh and either relevant or fun to ensure that you give your attendees what they want.
If you can get both relevant and fun, you will have a winner. Keep in mind that often the attendance at this event is related to the quality of the previous events that you have hosted. The quality has to stay high if you expect to maintain a decent crowd.
2. Invite Great Speakers
The speakers you hire will play a vital role in the overall success of your event. If you want people to show up, then having good topics and speakers to discuss them will be paramount in determining whether people want to attend or not.
If you are serious about finding some big name speakers who have the power to draw people, then websites like Keynote Speaker and Motivational Speaker are great resources for finding a speaker for your event. They have listed some of the top speakers in sales, marketing, business, corporate culture, finance, innovation, and more.
3. Pick the Right Venue
Finding the appropriate venue for your event is just as important as finding great speakers. If you live in an area famous for uncomfortable weather or storms, outdoor events can be very risky. Have an alternative plan and make sure that the event advertising makes this clear. If people are planning to come to your event, they want to know that it will happen and the weather will not be a problem for them.
The place should be nice and well known. People do not like to have to hunt very hard for the place where an event is being held. If you are rich and famous, you might get by with a lesser venue, but everybody else needs to pick a great place to be able to draw a crowd.
4. Have Great Food
Food never fails to attract people. Although it may not always attract the numbers and type of people that you find most desirable, food will bring in enough people to fill in for some who just could not make it. Food that is better than sandwiches will entice more people. Make sure that the menu is part of your promotional materials. If people see specialty foods, you will get their attention even if the reason for the event does not.
5. Goody Bags
One of the main draws of the celebrity events and award shows are the goody bags. These things are packed with value and attendees not only love them, but brag about them. If you want people to show up to your event, then coordinate a great gift bag.
Buy big ticket products and have a drawing at different points during the event to give them away. Offer free tech equipment if the type of crowd fits this type of prize. Select appropriate gifts for the expected guests. Men tend to like toys and tools. Women tend to like more feminine products like lotions, creams, candles, and personal items.
6. Advertise Heavily
You may want to do more than just send out a few emails to your contact list. Use sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to get the word out to your potential guest list. Encourage word of mouth promotion. Make sure to start early so that you have sufficient time to let as many people as possible know about the event and why they should be a part of it.
7. Have Great Entertainment
Often local bands or gifted comedians with good area wide credentials can go far toward bringing in extra guests. “Quality is the priority for this” suggests Sean Adams of Motivation Ping. “If you want to inspire people to come to your event, then focus on quality.” In the same way, avoid old worn out party games. Find some fresh new games to break the ice or for awarding prizes. The internet is full of sites that can offer many choices. You will need to pick the games that fit the type of event that you are planning.
8. Use An Event Planner
There are many types of event planners who have expertise in designing an event and its promotional materials that have an impact on guests. The event planner should know how to put together an event that will be a hit every time with everybody that attends. With the planner’s help, increasing attendance should be a lot easier to accomplish.