Chris Chu is the Content Marketing Manager of Picatic, an event registration platform geared for event organizers, enterprise, non-profits, and developers.
7 Ways to Promote Your Event That Will Help Supercharge Registration
When you’re promoting a corporate event you can’t just take a bigger budget and throw it at the wall, hoping it’ll stick. Instead, you have to try to think beyond your comfort zone.
Having a strong strategy for promoting your event is critical to your success. You could have the best event in the world, but if your prospective audience doesn’t know about it, you - and they - will miss out.
When thinking of ways to promote your event, ask yourself “how can I take some of the most common and typical methods of promoting a corporate event and twist them into something new?” People are exposed to more information nowadays, so your only hope is to find a way to grab their attention in this sea of information.
Here are 7 ways you can promote your corporate event to help supercharge registration.
1. Unique & personalized invitations
Technology has opened up a lot of opportunities for us to do more. For example, invitations to conferences or seminars don’t have to consist of a simple text email only. The sky’s the limit in terms of what you can create for invitation letters, so why not put a bit more effort into it and make the experience a little more personalized?
There are tons of customization options you can go with to make your invitations more special. Whether you choose to print out unique cards physically or send interactive online invitations, you can go a step further to “wow” your guests.
When creating your invitation, make sure you don’t forget the key information that you’ll need to display:
- Reason (The purpose of the event)
- Time (When the event is being held)
- Date (What date(s) the event is being held)
- Location (Where the event is located)
- Duration (How long the event will last)
2. Business-specific agendas
A great way to get people excited about your events is to show them exactly what’s planned before the event even begins. Releasing a business-specific agenda that provides extensive details on the itinerary of your event can be enough to hook your guests. You can even segment the agenda for different segments of your audience.
Usually, it’s better to divulge this information in your invitation or event page so that people know what to expect. This is where you want to bring out all of your big guns. Note which speakers are going to be talking, what they’ll be speaking about, and when they’re scheduled to speak. A lot of event attendees are interested in who you managed to get as a speaker, so highlight your efforts there!
3. Special guests
Try to lock down some special guests for your event as a way of increasing registration. Corporate events are great for networking, so having access to a valuable guest is an excellent method of driving attendance. This doesn’t just mean a celebrity keynote speaker, it means people who will be a draw to your audience and who are willing to meet and interact with your attendees.
You can also leverage these special guests (or influencers) by asking them to share their participation with their followers. Social media is always a strong method of driving traffic and awareness. By accessing their followers, you can increase the reach of your event to users that are within the same niche.
4. Targeted social media boosts
For corporate events, your best bet for social media is probably going to be LinkedIn. You can try to run some targeted campaigns on LinkedIn to improve your ticket sales. With over 500 million active professionals, you can target the exact segment you’re looking at for the best results.
LinkedIn has a wide variety of paid ads to choose from, but personally, the best results come from personalized ads directly to people’s LinkedIn inboxes. These are called Sponsored InMail, which are personalized messages that are sent directly to the people you target, which would be the audience for your corporate event.
The reason why this method is so good is because it’s personalized and easy to digest The responsive design of Sponsored InMail makes it visually appealing on desktop or mobile. It also prominently displays your call-to-action (CTA) and brings your ad to your target’s face.
5. Build an online community
This idea takes a bit of preparation for it to work, but having access to an online community can make your life a lot easier when you’re trying to people to attend your corporate event. Online communities are groups of people who shares the same interests as you or your industry.
You can either find one online (through Facebook, LinkedIn, or Reddit for example) or you can make a group somewhere. It honestly doesn’t matter where you host your community. They all have their pros and cons, but make sure that your audience will be willing to sign up to whatever platform you use.
The key to accessing these communities and not being ignored is to be genuine. You should contribute to the community first. Your goal is to get people talking in your community. Once people are engaging, that’s when you can drop in your sales pitch whenever applicable. A good rule of thumb is for every 1 message you write that directly promotes something of yours (like an event), you should write 3-5 comments that helps someone in your community. Focus on participating and you’ll build up a strong list of guests that you can reach out to.
6. Local sponsors and incentives
Reach out to local companies that you would like to have as a sponsor for your event. Having sponsors can offset some of your costs. Think creatively, and look to B2C events for ideas - depending upon your venue, your sponsors can potentially provide catering, AV, apparel, etc.
They can also provide swag, gifts, or goodies. The best types of gifts for attendees are usually the ones that they can use after the event. We’ve seen amazing successes from people using keychains, flashlights, USB sticks, etc. When approaching sponsors with a proposal, there are a few key things to remember:
- The sponsorship isn’t about you! Highlight how your event can help your sponsor reach their objective.
- Look beyond visibility. You want to promote how you can promote engagement out of the sponsorship opportunity.
- Think of the long-term. Repeat sponsors are great because they understand the value you’re offering and they want to work with you!
7. Privileged pricing & promo codes
Working up different promotional pricing strategies is one of the best ways to increase registration for your event. There are a ton of different ways you can use promo codes and privileged pricing to boost attendance.
Here are just a few of the methods that could come in handy:
- Early bird pricing: Provide a discount for people who purchase your tickets in a limited window of time when you first open registration.
- Influencer promo codes: Pass these codes out to your guest speakers and influencers so that they can give their audience and followers a chance at discounted passes to hear them speak.
- VIP discounts: You can send this to audience members who have either attended your company’s events in past or who are valued customers or prospects.
And that’s it! Hopefully these tips will help you increase registration for your next event.