Getting Bums In Seats


By: Kelly Choi

Picture this scenario: you’ve been planning an event for months and have slaved away researching a venue, exploring catering options, perfecting the décor, and much more on a long list of arrangements. But on the day of the event, as you eagerly await for the arrival of your many guests, you realize you can barely fill the room. This is a nightmare for any event planner. It’s also a nightmare for guests who are expecting a chance to mingle with a group and presenters who are anticipating a good audience.

Well there are some surefire tactics we can suggest that promise to fill those seats:

Know your event, know your audience

Think of the top three goals you would like your event to achieve. What is the message that you want your attendees to bring home? Knowing what your event’s goals are will help narrow down your list of potential invites and sets your event apart from others.

Spend more time on promotion and start early

Too often people put all their time into detail decisions. Rather than focusing on whether to go with the swan-folded napkins or fan-folded napkins, don’t forget you need to get the word out! Promotion is so much more than just creating a Facebook event page. Thanks to e-mail marketing and social tools like Event Brite, creating a campaign is a cinch. Begin planning your outreach early on in order to give people lots of notice and more opportunities to consider attending.

Create an email and social media marketing timeline

E-mail marketing services such as MailChimp or Constant Contact are ideal for event invitations and notices. Keep your audience in the loop about your event by sending out consistent e-mailers with a variety of subject lines, starting first with the initial “save the date” notification, the actual invitation, and then one or two follow up emails leading up to the event, as well as a “thanks for attending” note following your event which is a great chance to get feedback.

For social media (SM) marketing, create a comprehensive schedule of tweets about your event and consider creating an event hashtag to start some buzz. For example, if it’s a golf fundraiser, you could use #pitchinandputt and synch them up with your other SM accounts for a wider reach. Find more great SM tips here: WiredImpact.

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