How can you increase the attendance of your online events?
- Share your events on social media
- Upload promotions frequently
- Encourage your speakers and attendees to promote
- Try to personalize the event
You’re hosting your first webinar. You want to talk about something relevant — maybe about how COVID-19 is affecting the live events industry. As soon as you start your event, however, you notice that there are only a few people who came in to join. Probably around 20 people less than what you were initially expecting. Now you’re starting to wonder about how to increase the attendance in your next online event. Granted, you were able to generate meaningful discussions with your attendees, but you simply can’t shake off the feeling that you truly could’ve done things better to get more people into your event.
Increasing the number of attendees to your event may be daunting at first, but as long as you take advantage of the digital channels available to you, then you’re on the right track. Here’s how you can do it.
Share Your Events on Social Media
Sharing your online event on social media is probably one of the easiest, yet most effective ways to go about it. Think about it — there are approximately 3.9 billion people who are active on their social media accounts. Even more so now in the time of COVID-19, as people are almost always online, scrolling on popular apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
What if you can take advantage of that? What if there is a way for you to reach a big chunk of those 3.9 billion people for your event? In fact, even just a single Tweet that talks about your event can already generate an average of 1,500 engagements — and that’s just on a single social media platform.
The key is to not limit yourself. Make use of all the social media accounts that you have at your disposal. This is a great way for you to get an initial engagement boost from potential attendees that are viewing your promotions.
Upload Promotions Frequently
Here’s where things might get a little bit tricky because you may need a bit of foresight when it comes to how often you should post promotions. Particularly, you have to make sure that you’re giving yourself at least two to six months of preparation before you begin broadcasting your event to your viewers.
These two to six months can give you just the right amount of time to upload your event’s promotions at a far more consistent rate. Here, you’ll realize that both quality and quantity matter for your online event. For example, you can’t just expect to gain more attendees by uploading rehashed versions of a single infographic on all your digital platforms. Instead, you’ll want to diversify it.
Always see to it that anything you promote is related to your event and doesn’t veer away from expectations. Mix up your content marketing ideas and make sure that they’re eye-catching enough to pique the interest of whoever comes across them.
Encourage Your Speakers and Attendees to Promote
Another thing that you’ll want to do is bring in your speakers and attendees to promote the event for you. No, this doesn’t mean letting them take in the reins of all your efforts, but rather encouraging them to play a bigger part in the success of your event.
Your speakers and attendees are also your resources, which is why you’ll want to leverage them when it comes to advocating or promoting your event. The best thing about this is that your speakers/guests are already established in their field. This means that they can help you reach a wider network that you may not have tapped into yet.
For example, try to feature some of your attendees or speakers in a sneak peek of sorts. This means publicizing your interactions with them through social media replies, comments, or pre-events where some attendees can communicate with the speaker. All of these are effective ways of building the hype and excitement around your event and reaching a broader audience.
Try to Personalize the Event
As much as possible, you’ll want to make your potential attendees part of the event itself. They’re not just spectators, but they’re also critical avenues for engagement.
With this in mind, you should see to it that your event is personalized enough. This means that every piece of content that you upload or every ad that you run online should be speaking or tugging at the hearts and minds of your viewers. Promote the event in such a way that your attendees see that it’s an important event to be a part of and not just something that they’ll just ignore as they’re scrolling.
Let’s go back to the example of the live events industry. As you know, there are many people who have been displaced or laid off from their jobs because of restrictions on mass gatherings. To get these people to show up to your online event, promote it as if they will learn and benefit from the event. They’re already giving you something, which is their presence — the challenge is for you to give them something valuable in return, that they will really find a practical use for.
Knowing how to increase the attendance of your online events is crucial if you really want to tap into a broader market/audience. Online event planning doesn’t just happen in a day, which is why you need to be prepared when promoting it.
Some strategies you can do include: sharing your event on social media, uploading useful and relevant content frequently, leveraging your speakers and attendees, as well as personalizing the event. Although these techniques may take a lot more time, practice, and experimentation, they’re definitely effective in growing your attendee numbers.