5 Ninja Strategies to Filling Your Next Event
What if nobody comes?
This is usually the first question that comes to mind after a speaker decides to hold an event or a webinar. And it's also their biggest worry. How do you fill your event? Even if you get a bunch of RSVPs, how do you make sure everyone won't flake out? Imagine the embarrassment if only 1 or 2 people showed up. And it's not only your name and reputation on the line—there's a LOT of money to lose running an event that flops.
Running a seminar or a workshop is a great strategy for small businesses to market themselves and generate leads—but only when it's done right. So how do you fill the room? It was a lot easier to have people attend an event 20 years ago. You just sent out a flyer or made an announcement, and people would show up. But with the changes in the marketing landscape in today's world, not to mention the sea of competitors, it's much more difficult to attract and retain attendees.
So what do you do?
Let's go over the top 5 strategies to not only filling but selling out your event, again and again.
- Have a solid engagement process.
Gone are the days when you can just hand out invitations or sell tickets 3 months before the event and expect people to actually come. Today, you need to keep them engaged and hard market within 3 months, or else they'll fall off the radar.
You need to keep your prospects constantly engaged by providing them with interesting, compelling and valuable information every week. For example, you can do a short video one week and send out a blog post the next week; anything to keep them interested in the event.
- Keep it small.
20 years ago, it was easy to fill up a room with hundreds of seats. The trend today has shifted and people are coming together in smaller groups, usually 50 or so people at a time, and mostly online. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing—smaller groups make it easier for the speaker to engage and connect with each and every one of the attendees, compared to a room filled with hundreds of people. A word from the wise; don't aim for large crowds until you've filled at least a few smaller rooms successfully.
- Do a video series.
This is a good strategy to keep your prospects in the radar. Keep them interested with a series of 20-minute hits that give them something to do and a chance to gain extra points or small prizes. Make sure your videos, website and emails are mobile-friendly—most people today access online content from mobile devices, so if you aren't mobile-friendly, you're losing a lot of customers.
- Have a really good one sheet.
Speakers who are just starting out need a really great speaker sheet, complete with an impressive bio, a great picture, testimonials, and 2-3 topics they speak about. Every great speaker usually has a signature topic, so hone in on your expertise and decide on your signature talk. Remember, specificity is key. And as you build your experience, ROI can also be added to your sheet.
- Pay to play.
There are three ways to get on stage. First, you get invited. Second, you offer your services. And third, get on someone else's stage. This is called "Pay to play"—you have to pay a little upfront and then do a split of sales on the backend. This strategy is perfect for speakers who are just starting out, so utilize it.
There are many strategies you can implement to get people to attend your event, but the most important thing to remember is to keep people engaged. This is the game changer that will truly set you apart. So get innovative, and use your creativity to come up with ways to capture your audience's attention and keep them engaged. The best event you could ever run will not only make you money and elevate your status, but offer a life-changing experience that people invest in themselves to come to—and will talk about with their friends and family both online and offline until it spreads like wildfire.
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