3 Ways to Create a Well-Attended Event Without Spending More Money or Driving Yourself Crazy
You've paid the money, bought the food, stayed up, been running around all day and what happens?????? 10-20 people showed for an event in a room that fits 100-200 people. You feel bad for the person you paid to be there and you look at the faces of the board members and they are as frustrated as you, because this didn't turn out the way it should have for the event. There are many ways to create a great event, but I will share a few today and a few later on as well. The fun stuff may be easy to plan for or maybe we just KNOW people will show for the "fun" stuff, but the same tactics can be used for ALL events.
#1: Use energy to Collaborate with Professors
You can actually send them personal invitations to your event and why they would enjoy attending. When is the last time you received a personal invite to an event? It made you feel good even if it was out of the blue. Your name was on an envelope and it was to you. Heck, it takes a little more work and effort, but it's worth it. This can be 3-5 sentences and it can be hand delivered by staff or a student for maximum effect. In the letter you can ask them to offer extra credit or participation points for attending and how it will benefit the students. A student's success is a professor's success. If students feel better, they will behave better in the classroom and even at work. This has a full service benefit. If our students are engaged, they will produce and feel a part of something. If you help them understand this, they will be more likely to collaborate as well. Quite a few professors are
#2: Book the event in a room smaller than the expected number.
Unless tickets are being sold and it's THE EVENT OF THE YEAR/SEMESTER, we don't always know what might happen. Have a second option, but needing to find more space is better than a room for 200 with 20 people scattered everywhere. Pack a room and while people may be close or "uncomfortable" initially, they will know to show up on time or early next time and your events are the place to be.
"NOTE" if you are in a big room or a room to fit the number of attendees, have a student or staff member there to help seat. Have them fill up each row one by one, from to back. If you are in an auditorium, fill up the middle section the same way but first. A success of any event can be based on where the energy is. If you have all of the energy coming from the same place and not scattered about, you will win. You can always explain as you open the event, why you have them seated the way you do. They'll understand and many of them may be members of organizations so this will help their events too.
#3: ALMOST ALWAYS have music playing a few minutes before the doors open.
If there is a silent them to your event, then you may not want music; however, let the playlist match the energy of the event. Music, videos or some kind of multimedia will help you engage the room in whatever way makes sense before the event starts. You can play familiar tunes or instrumentals, but either way a playlist prior to every event. A student can be tasked with this and you can be quality control. We want to give them something to listen to or an activity. Again, the event OFFICIALLY begins the moment they approach the door.
Know Your Audience & Be Inviting.
I've done this a long time and it seems crazy to say this, but so many events don't welcome its guests with the "I'M SO GLAD YOU'RE HERE WITH US" vibe. People go to Chick-fila sometimes just because they're nice. People fly Southwest Airlines just because they are fun to be around and fly with even though there are other airlines that may be "better" overall. Heck, people go to Starbucks and other places because they ask your name, then repeat your name when your order is ready and they really want to get it right. These are small pieces that most people, organizations and even companies ignore or don't pay attention to when creating an experience for an audience. We want to give them the energy we expect from them once they approach the event and even throughout the marketing process. Remember these 4 tips and watch the quality of your events RISE in vibe and attendance!
I'll provide more tips in the near future.
ENJOY and I look forward to working with you in the near future!
Stan Pearson II, MBA
Award Winning Speaker & Motivational Comedian
Chief Visionary for Mental Flight School
5 Time Author
Former Student Affairs Pro
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
Husband & New Dad to Baby III
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