Can you imagine one of your clients saying, ‘I have too many people interested in my product and just don’t have the time to help them’. V2 has moderated thousands of events and to this day we haven’t had a company complain about too many attendees. On the flip side, and on nearly every call the question we do get is: “Is there anything you can do to increase attendance?’ Even though there are hundreds of best practices and ways to promote an online event, today we will cover three important ones around gathering attendees that we typically see.
The first and most obvious attendee driver is inviting your existing clientele and your lead list. Of these two it’s surprising how many folks don’t invite existing clients to their online events. A marketing axiom in direct mail campaigns cites, ‘Whoever bought last, buys next’. This isn’t meant literally, although many times it is true. Often what this means is that your existing clients are your single best champions and will likely promote your event to their sphere of influence.
Another common attendee gathering method is to find a sponsor or co-presenter. Look to companies like UBM, AutoNews or ABA who want informational content to present to their subscribers. Keep in mind there is a fee that goes along with this ‘sponsorship’. Also understand that even though they guarantee a certain amount of registrants there is no attendance guarantee.
The last method I will cover is buying a list. There are two common strategies for list acquisition for online events. The first and simplest is buying an excel spreadsheet with your target demographic. The second is to put an informational asset into syndication like a white paper or video (The folks that want to access this information are required to put in personal identifier such as an email address). Of the two methods syndication is more effective but also much more expensive.
Author-Cam Nicholson, V2 Business Development, has been in the conferencing industry for seven years, spending five of those as an Online Services champion with Microsoft.