Meeting Planner Convention Guide to Boost Attendance

1. Have an Event Marketing Plan

Create an event marketing plan that clearly defines your goals, your budget, and internal and external resources. The plan should be mapped out as specific as possible, but keep an open mind throughout the planning process. If you see that something is working better then other marketing initiatives, adjust your plan according...and vice versa.

2. Brand Your Meeting or Event

Branding your meeting or event with a look and feel sends a consistent message to your attendees and will attract their attention. The brand should carry through all promotional materials, including e-mails, the website and materials offered on-site.

3. Use the Web

Having a website or a designated section on your company's website for information about the meeting, conference or event is essential to providing information to attendees. You can provide a wealth of information for a fraction of the cost of sending that same information through the mail. Get your website up as soon as you can. If you don't have complete information available, provide a way for people to sign up to be notified when more information or online registration is available.

4. Offer Group Rates

Offer discounted rates to multiple attendees from one organization or if you hold multiple conferences, meetings or events a year, offer discounts to individuals who attend more than one.

5. Location, Location, Location

The location of your meeting or conference can play a large role in increasing attendance. If the majority of your potential attendees are on the east coast, it may not make sense to host a conference in California. If they are spread out across the country, try alternating conference locations between the east coast and west coast. If you have a national presence and are looking to gain an international presence from Europe, consider an east coast location.
Also consider the type of audience and the location type that will best appeal to them such as a resort, a downtown location or an airport hotel.

Get the Word Out!

It is hard for people to come to your meeting or event if they don't know about it! Consider offering free registrations to the trade press and send out press releases before and after to increase coverage. You can also trade advertising on your website with other industry related sites.

Need help boosting your meeting or event attendance? Contact Designing Events at or 866-867-1933.

Bizzy Ratcliffe, is one of the co-owners of Designing Events, a premier global provider of planning, management and marketing services for events, meetings and conferences.

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