How to Get More Attendees at Your Meeting by Premila Whitney

  1. Know your meeting.  Know the strengths and weaknesses.  We often fail to recognize our areas that we need improvement.
    1. a. Wants beat needs most days (continuing ed credits at this conference an example)
    2. 2. Tips
    3. a. Tip 1. Do you homework
      1. i. Create list of potential attendees and ensure good targets
      2. ii. Find out all you can about potential attendees
      3. iii. Brainstorm with event team to determine ways to sell them on attending
    4. b. Tip 2. Make killer session titles
      1. i. Captivate with title.  Description will reel them in
      2. ii. Liven up your session descriptions
      3. iii. Craft strong learner objectives.
      4. iv. Spell out who should attend
    5. c. Social media is not the only tool
      1. i. Social media is another way to connect.  Everyone wants to feel loved….connected to.  Bad thing about social is you may get feedback that you may not want.  Removing negative posts can generate more issues.  Balance is important when using social media.  Humanize your social communications.  Using hootsuite is efficient but can communicate the wrong type of message to the wrong people – under age 35 on facebook, over 35 on twitter.  Also, be sure to respond to messages.  If you do not interact and speak back you will lose attendees.  Some government employees can lose their job if they use facebook at work.  Some governmental entities have social sites even if they are not allowed to use it internally.
    6. d. Get more out of your meeting without squeezing
      1. i. Hire and get volunteers that get behind their job.  if they are not happy with their role, they may become negative.
      2. ii. Get the right people to the meeting so target correctly.
      3. iii. Design unconventionally.  Maybe make the tradeshow floor different that the standard 10 x 10.  Ask exhibitors how you can craft the space to meet their needs.
      4. iv. Shorten the meeting.  Ex. Drop a 4 day meeting to 2 days.  People may be intrequed by the change.  Streamline general sessions.  Skip opening general session and make the closing general session more appealing (raffles, great content).
      5. v. Make a more interactive format so that attendees feel like they are part of the meeting.  New menu options – more creative.  Meet needs of new diets.
      6. vi. Getting your attendees back
        1. 1. If same venue come up with something interesting to bring them back.
        2. 2. Make the programs small so that they are easy to carry
        3. 3. Post event marketing – start marketing next year as soon as possible through facebook, twitter…..lock the attendees from this year down for next year.
        4. 4. Get listed on cvb early for next years conference
      7. vii. Brand meeting
        1. 1. Create an environment where people interact.  Look at the whole experience from the bags to the hotel and education.  All of the little aspects will help build the brand.

 

We could have put the website up earlier.  Register early and get a discount.  Can pay by a certain date.  Also start working on sponsorships for next year at this years meeting.  Have one person travel around to present the meeting to each of the chapters.

 

Tips – unconvential meeting space.  Get outside of the boardroom and into a unique space.

Call the potential attendees personally.

Have a nice reception for all attendees.  Attendees are like family many times.

Alternative seating will create interest, so will better food.

Have different companies sponsor different segments of the meetings.  They will write checks and also promote the meeting.  Make attendance free by getting large sponsorships.

Give out a unique speaker gift.  Example is photo that Florida Capital Chapter gives out.

Have a meeting flow plan prepared so meetings run smoothly.

 

 

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