How to Draw a Crowd

4 Steps to Draw a Crowd at Your Event

By Bob James

Drawing attendees to events remains producers’ runaway biggest challenge, as Sam Lippman’s latest ECEF Pulse proves.

Six in 10 producers name attendance acquisition their Number 1 challenge, according to the study, while numerical event attendance has declined three straight years in a row.

That’s a pity, because drawing a crowd ain’t rocket science. The formula goes as follows:

Step 1. Build an evergreen e-list by promoting your event year-round. Use e-mail marketing and social media. Smother prospects with great content. Supplement those tactics with retargeting. And rent prospect lists, to be sure you’re covering the universe.

Step 2. Mobilize your speakers, sponsors and exhibitors to help spread the word. Tap influencers to do the same. Make it easy for them to help you. If some resist, move on: there are more than enough enlightened ones out there to make a king-size dent in your universe.

Step 3. Telemarket VIPs. They merit a special touch. And roll out at the same time some targeted direct mail―attendee marketing’s Old Faithful.

Step 4. Hire a decent agency. Attendance acquisition isn’t a DYI project. If you want a recommendation, I have one.

Bob is with Bob & David James, Inc. Opinions are his own. He can be reached at Bobjames@bobanddavidjames.com.

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