It happens all the time. You know your event is amazing. You took pains to make your vision of it a reality, and then orchestrated a foolproof promotional plan. You went all out with pre-event surveys, personalized emails with unique signature graphics, and a red carpet-worthy VIP experience- to name just a few things. All your hard work appears to have produced the desired effect, as everybody’s talking about your event. Yet it’s common for event planners to find that their guest list isn’t as impressive as they expected. Maybe the number was less than they hoped for, or maybe they just didn’t reach the niche audience they targeted for this event. Whatever the case, the number of interested people who don’t sign up for events is often bigger than the number who do. Let’s explore a few reasons why this happens.
1. You’re not getting enough return on your investment
If you purchased ads for your event, it’s very likely that this was smart thinking on your behalf. Your ads are undoubtedly bringing traffic to your event website. But are they bringing the right traffic? This is an instance in which a little bit of extra investigating on your part can go a long way. Take a closer look at the analytics of your event’s registry page. A lot of people make the amateur mistake of focusing only on the amount of people your ads bring to your web page. But in this case, finding out who is visiting your event page is just as important as tracking the amount of visitors you get- maybe even more so. How many visitors being converted into paid registrars?
Finding the answer to that question means doing a little digging. Take a look at the analytics from the past year or so. How many people visited your website in the last twelve months, and where did they come from? How many of them came from social media, email, and search engines? Once you’ve gleaned this information, you’re more than halfway to understanding the problem so you can solve it. If, for example, most of your web traffic is from social media, it’s probably wise to keep investing in paid ads on the pages your visitors are most invested in. If most of your traffic comes from search engines, this has unique implications and advantages. It means that a lot of people have a need or interest in the kind of event you’re hosting. In other words, you potentially have a built-in customer base- as long as your event isn’t lost in the mix of countless other similar events. Creating SEO content on your blog and social media event pages helps bring your event into the search engine spotlight. You’ll also want to create one or more hashtags for your brand and event. Use it consistently on your social media pages as the date of your event approaches. If you’re offering discounts or giveaways to early registrars and/or VIPs, create a clever, unique hashtag for this part of your plan as well.
2. Your registration process is too difficult or long-winded
Research shows that more than half of the customers who start making online purchases don’t complete them. The main reason for this is that people are generally short on time, and thus on patience, too. When the registration process for an event is too difficult or involves too many steps, people are likely to abandon the whole process- or shelve it for later and forget all about it. So, keep it as short and simple as possible. This way, people will remember not just your well-crafted and executed promotional package, but how much time they saved during the registration process.
Last but not least in this category, make sure your registration process is mobile optimized. A majority of attendees probably register for events on their phones, so make sure it’s easy to sign up for your event on the go.
3. Your event doesn’t stand out from the rest
By this, we don’t mean just your event itself. Your entire promotional package should show niche audiences that your event meets their needs in a unique way. This will become the trademark for your event brand. Lots of events catch people’s attention, but don’t keep it. That’s why it’s so important to stand out from the competition.
It’s common for multiple events in the same industry to happen on the same day, and search engines are crowded with information about many of them. That’s why you need to seek out the help of large social networks and bigger industry names. This can be a daunting task if you’re just starting out. But with the right strategizing, it’s within your reach. Think about it. We’re living in an age where social media networks are both massive and personal. That statement sounds contradictory, and in the past it may well have been. But these days, large social media networks give a voice to large groups of everyday people with everyday needs. Many of these networks are led by social media influencers with friends and followers across multiple social media pages. If you can catch the attention of an influencer who is compatible with the culture and values system of your brand, you’ll exponentially expand your reach.
A word of advice: If you feel you that an influencer with a massive following is the perfect fit for you, by all means, go for it! But be sure to have a backup plan- or more than one, if possible. Social media influencers with moderate followings are less likely to be too inundated with emails and requests to respond to yours. They still have huge influence across many networks and can help you gain the kind of exposure that launches your event brand to new heights.
Video content is currently known as the most effective way to market your brand online. The videos you that feature former events or sneak previews of upcoming ones should be enhanced by visually appealing graphics that are unique to your brand. Your videos frequently make a first impression for people visiting your event page. They should give a concise overview of your event and brand, and the content should be relevant to a broad spectrum of people. It can be a tricky balance to achieve, but your videos should contain introductory information for novices in your industry and present something new and intriguing for experts. Most industries are continuously evolving, and even established brands have rising competition. They want and need to be on the cutting edge of their industry. Your videos should show how you can fill this need.
Going back to the first reason on this list, use the information gleaned from your analytics to decide where it’s most important for your videos to appear. Once you’ve figured it out, it’s a good idea to create a blog about your event (or your brand altogether). Explore topics that you know your audience will like based on their shared interests. Customizing your blog posts to multiple niche audiences has a way of bringing different people together to learn from each other and talk about your event on their web pages. Instagram is such a massive marketing tool because it uses creative visuals to represent your brand and event.
Customers ultimately want to engage in an interactive, personalized experience before, during, and after your event. For the most part, they want to feel like a part of your brand rather than a consumer, and they want some control over the agenda.
We realize that even in this age of social media stardom, not enough platforms are designed to support this kind of personalized, interactive relationship. We’re happy to announce that our upcoming event-focused social media app, Plans, was created with this need in mind. It takes more than just a curated image to forge a unique relationship with a loyal customer base. Plans focuses on cultivating quality experiences for event-goers, not just images and followers.
Here’s how it works: When you use Plans, your newsfeed will be populated by events based on the shared interests of you and your friends. Rather than followers, you make friends and add them individually. It’s not only a fun, easy-to-use place for people to connect with others who share their interests- it’s also an ideal platform for event planners to get people talking about their event.
Because Plans was designed to cultivate meaningful experiences for people with just about everyone under the sun, it’s a great space for event planners to cultivate quality relationships. In an age where multiple events within the same industry often happen at the same time, quality means more than quantity. Stay tuned into our blog for more exciting info as our launch time approaches.
4. Attendees are tired of the same old venue
Generally speaking, attendees want your event to take them to new places. While some of this relates to ideology and experience, in this case we mean it literally. Although some of us are creatures of habit, most people like to see new places and learn new things. So try a new venue to keep things interesting for loyal attendees, and you’re likely to attract new ones as well. Even if it’s a conference for people you work with, people in your industry, or potential investors, a new venue can hold attendees’ attention and inspire them creatively. If it fits within your budget, consider investing in a spa and wellness day for your co-workers and employees. Creating a retreat-like experience can make a business conference feel more like a getaway than a responsibility. Incorporating relaxation and self-care into professional environments is a trend that seems to be growing by the day. A spacious venue with a serene, meditational quality can clear and invigorate the mind.
Interestingly, research has shown that for a large percentage of attendees, the venue is the deciding factor when considering attending an event. Only you know your attendees’ preferences, but it’s a good rule of thumb to change it up sometimes. Consider the fact that routine generally comprises much of people’s daily home and work life. They may not get to invest in something special for themselves often, and when they do, they want to feel immersed in a new, exciting experience.
When seeking out a new venue for your event, consider the location of prospective venues. Is it in the heart of a tourist hotspot? If so, you should be promoting your event to people who don’t live in the area as well as those who do. Is the venue nearby a popular restaurant, a beach or boardwalk, and a shopping area? Is it nestled in an eclectic neighborhood with historic value and charm? Does the area have spectacular scenic views? Is it within walking or short driving distance to a theme park or other kid-friendly spot for families with children? Is there something in the area for all ages? Where are the closest hotels or Airbnb’s? These are just a few questions you should be asking yourself when choosing a new venue for your event.
It can also be smart to hold your event in an original spot in a popular city or area, a hidden gem that your attendees may not have discovered before. Change can be tricky to navigate, and you should base your choice on analytic data and the shared interests of your attendees. But it’s often well worth it- by holding your event at a new venue, you’re not only giving attendees a new experience, but possibly showing them dimensions of your brand, they haven’t seen before.
5. You’re not creating suspense and giving attendees new experiences
Again, new experiences create more excitement around your event and get people talking. It may be that lots of people are very interested in your event- or events like yours- but there are so many like it to choose from that yours gets lost in the crowd. Aside from changing up your venue, there are several ways you can keep your attendees’ interest and attract new people. Make an effort to get popular or unique sponsors and partners for your event. Not only will doing this increase exposure for your event tenfold and catch the eye of new prospective customers, it will also help brand you. If your event has sought-after speakers, influencers, and sponsors, your attendees will start to associate you with them. Word of mouth will spread like wildfire as people share their experience with friends. People will start social media conversations about the event that connected them to their favorite brand or influencer.
Securing the right sponsors, partners, and speakers for your event may seem like a daunting task. But it’s within your reach if you try- and don’t give up after a few rejections. (Like we mentioned earlier, potential sponsors are often inundated with requests, but if you shoot within your range, you’ll eventually form the amazing partnerships you want). One way to catapult your name to the top of potential sponsors’ and partners’ list is to incentivize them with freebies. We already talked about giving freebies, discounts, and VIP experiences to attendees. But you should also entice the brands you want to work with by offering freebies, discounts, and product giveaways. Also, many sponsors with moderate followings- and even some with huge fan bases- could still benefit from your promotions. Offering to promote the brands you want to team up with is always a good idea. Every customer base is unique; even if your prospective partner has a bigger customer base than you, they could still stand to benefit from exposure to your attendees.
When was the last time you introduced a new product or released something brand new? Doing so can really motivate people to come to your event, especially if there’s a chance to win free or discounted new products or access to new experiences with your brand. Whether you see your new product or content as big or small, let your attendees know about it beforehand. Let the press know, too- you never know who is going to be interested, and exposure is never a bad thing.
We hope you were able to learn something new from our top 5 reasons why interested people don’t sign up for events. Every brand experiences fluctuations- it’s a byproduct of entrepreneurship. But if you keep up with your attendees and have the right tricks up your sleeve, the highs can be amazing, and the lows can open up new opportunities.