Feb 12, 2020
Read Time: 5 min
Written by Pete Zimek, founder and CEO of Novi AMS
Boosting your association’s event attendance shouldn’t add extra stress. Check out these effective strategies to execute your event and see a great turnout.
Planning and executing an event is a challenge enough on its own. As an association, you want to provide an opportunity for your members to learn and meet other people in their field. But how can you ensure that enough people attend your actual event?
Here are four tips to get you started.
As you aim to increase your event attendance, your communication method is key. This is especially important when you’re promoting your event and attempting to reach out to potential attendees.
Your members want to hear about your upcoming events, but they don’t want to be inundated with emails. Otherwise, they may start ignoring most of your outreach and miss an important and/or relevant event invitation. For that reason, be sure to personalize and appropriately scale your email outreach.
Choose an AMS with communication tools you can take advantage of. These tools should help you streamline your communication process by:
Having the right communication and email marketing system is one of the most functional tools you’ll need in your AMS to boost your event attendance. By offering relevant information about events that your message recipients would be most interested in, you’ll increase the chances that they’ll register.
Even more, if you can create segmented groups within your AMS’s communication tools and integrate with email marketing automation services, you’ll be able to streamline your entire email outreach process.
Building on your marketing outreach should only be one part of your plan to boost your event attendance. After all, once you have individuals interested in your event, there should be an easy way for them to register.
An easy registration process will create a great first impression of your association’s event. Allow attendees to register through your website and browse your event calendar, all while keeping track of the events they’ve registered for.
Use an AMS with an event management component that allows you to:
When you provide an easy registration process for your event attendees, the convenience and ease will make them more likely to complete their registrations. Allow them to review the events they’ve registered for so both they and your staff can stay organized, and create a personalized experience that helps them see only the ticket types relevant to them as they go through the process.
Social media is an effective tool you can use to promote your event. Its versatility allows you to promote before, during, and even after the event takes place. Even more, it’s a great way to stay in touch with your members.
Because social media provides your association with additional marketing opportunities and helps keep your members engaged, this can result in more event registrations.
This means you can:
Even beyond connecting your social feeds and pages, you can further promote your event with social media. Use strategies like:
Maximizing your social media outreach doesn’t have to be a challenge. With the right tools and integrations, you can easily interact with your audience and keep them updated on your upcoming events. Share a hashtag that can be used leading up to and during the activities, and create polls on Twitter for feedback and new ideas.
While communication, registration, and promotion are all important elements that can boost your event’s attendance rate, there’s still another strategy you can use on the backend to ensure you’re making the most of your events and encouraging engagement. This is leveraging your data.
Use your data to explore all facets of your current event, and to ensure your next event is even stronger than your previous ones. Not only will this help boost attendance, but it will make your future conferences and other activities even more engaging and relevant to your industry. Your events are created for networking and educational opportunities, so make yours count.
Your AMS should help you leverage data in the following ways:
If you want to boost your event attendees’ loyalty and encourage them to attend future ones, be sure to take their experience into account. Pay attention to numbers in association with particular activities that take place during your events, and use this data to get an overarching picture of how your events have performed. From there, you can dive deeper into the details and determine how to improve for next time.
Pulling together a high attendance rate for your events doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right tools and resources, as well as a robust AMS, you’ll be able to track the necessary metrics, engage with your attendees, and make it easy for them to register for and attend your activities. Give these strategies a try as you plan your next event!
An association management system (AMS), or membership database, is a software solution that organizes information about your members and helps manage your communications, event planning, and more.
Using your AMS, you can incorporate some specific tools to boost attendance at your events, whether you’re hosting a large conference or a smaller activity. We’ll cover a few key strategies you can use to make this happen, including:
Your attendance count doesn’t have to come down to chance. Be proactive with these tools and strategies as you plan your next big event.
If you’re looking for some of the top AMS solutions out there, check out this list.
Pete Zimek is the founder and CEO of Novi AMS. He has been an active participant in over a dozen associations, volunteering in roles ranging from committee chair through President.