Over the last few years there has been tremendous growth in the number of meetings and events in every city and tour in the country.
Some of this growth has come from local chapters of professional association adding special interest group meetings and “satellite” group meetings in outlying areas.
However, the biggest growth in the number of local meetings and events has come from individuals starting their own group or organization. These local groups are holding public festivals in neighborhoods, monthly networking meetings at bars and restaurants, and conducting educational seminars at a wide range of meeting locations.
It’s hard work to create a group and its series of ongoing meetings and events. But the riskiest part is marketing an event. You know who a speaker will be and where you’re going to hold an event, but you don’t know who will attend.
Effective promotion reduces risk
The best way to reduce the risk and uncertainty of holding an event is to use the most effective event promotion techniques possible.
For event organizers who are on Facebook this means sending an e-mail to your contacts. But, for many association chapters and local groups their members aren’t on the typical social networks. And, many organizations hold public events, such as street festivals, where it’s not practical to obtain e-mail addresses from attendees.
With so many more opportunities to attend local events and meeting, it has become harder for an event organizer to attract the number of attendees needed for a successful event. This is creating a special challenge for local chapters of professional associations that typically charge an annual membership fee in addition to a registration fee to attend the monthly meetings.
Increase event promotion to attract more attendees
For an upcoming talk (50 Ways to Promote a Local Event) I looked back at every event I’ve helped promote to identity the 50 best event promotion tips and techniques. The illustration shows the interactive event promotion mind map that I created for event organizers.
The mind map allows an event organizer to turn on or off the promotional techniques that are appropriate for each of their organization’s meeting and special events. A mind map is also a good place to store notes, links to vendors, and create project/task lists.
To cover most types of local events, I divided the “50 Best” list into these sections:
- Direct Marketing
- Online Marketing
- Specialty Items
- Mass Media
- Geographic Targeting
- Sponsor Partnerships
Over the next several weeks I’ll share the detailed event promotion techniques, along with examples, from all of these sections.
As you plan the promotion for your upcoming events, consider using new techniques to increase attendance and improve the experience for your existing members.