In the previous blog on Marketing for a conference we looked at the promotion of the event and included tips on offline promotion and online promotion in this blog we will look at the invitation process and ideas on how encourage delegates to attend.
The invitation process for your conference needs to be efficient and professional
- For larger events use software products to manage the invitation process which sends out invitations, gather delegate data, and will show who needs to be followed up if they have not responded and produce statistical analysis.
- You need to build a suitable database from raw lists, customer lists, prospect lists, that are targeted to the audience you wish to attend the event. The database will need to be cleaned to make sure that all the contact details are correct. You need to invite far more people than you wish to attend the event as sometimes it can be only 25% of acceptance.
- Make sure all employees are promoting the event at every opportunity when talking to clients and potential customers, third parties.
- You want people to know about the event ASAP so a teaser or keep this date free can be useful before the main invitation is sent. The more notice people can have of the event the better, sometimes this can be 3 months before the event other circumstance 3-4 weeks. Remember reminders for those that have not accepted need to be built into the invitation process this can be by email, telemarketing phone follow up.
- Confirmation to invitees is very important for those who have accepted, you need to build up a communications channel to reduce inevitable drop out. Communications can include email messages, telephone, more detail on the programme and joining instructions.
How to get delegates to attend
Delegates will only attend after they find out’ what is in it for me’
- Spell out the benefits
- Offer an incentive or discount
- Offer them a valuable bonuses
- Make your event irresistible stress the benefits, offer worth while bonus material and state their value or an incentive for attending your events, such as discount on early bookings
- Focus strongly on how specifically your event helps to improve the lives of attendees
- Get other people and organizations to promote your event, look into sponsoring the event with another organizations. Target other businesses, suppliers, distributors to invite attendees from their own database
- Work with local press t raise your company’s profile, build relationships with local radio, look at free publicity in newspapers and magazines, send out a press release
- Measure effectiveness of everything you do, so that you know what works or does not for the next event
Further blogs on how to run a successful business event that has ROI will follow. To receive these valuable ideas and make sure that you do not miss any of the blogs please sign up we will deliver them to your in-box free. The blogs will be full of tips and ideas, to help you and your business in event management.
John G Fisher – How to run a Successful Conference
Philip Calvert – Successful Seminar Selling