The best way to Sell Out Your Next Event [+Tips From INBOUND Marketers]

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Ticket sales tip #1: Get John Legend to speak at your event.  

Just kidding.

Or not.

We did invite John Story to speak at one of our INBOUND events, but the truth is, you don’t need an A-lister to get people to go to. All of it comes down to planning — and part of that preparing means driving ticket product sales.

With online events being on the rise and remote work becoming the norm, it may seem easier than ever to reach a lot of people online. But the question remains the same. How can you get people to come to your event?  

We’re going to talk about some of our secrets together with you that helps us drive ticket sales for INBOUND each year. Ready to maximize the ROI for your next event?

one Reward last year’s guests.

If you have an annual event, the very first thing you should do is declare the event to last year’s attendees. The people who emerged the year before may be your biggest supporters and are more likely to immediately purchase the tickets, even if you don’t have all the details for the event  hammered out quite however. Show that you appreciate them by offering them a unique discount for signing up earlier and quickly.  

Plus don’t worry about emailing each individual manually. Rather, use an e-mail marketing service to send a personalized email to your contacts and prospects. Aside from using options like MailChimp, Emma, or ConstantContact, you can also use Marketing Hub to reach out to prior attendees.  

2 . Offer early bird pricing promote tickets on a scarcity design.

Have at least two various kinds of pricing: early bird and regular. You can even have more compared to one type of early bird prices to encourage people to buy before the prices increase. This sense of urgency will certainly encourage people to buy sooner.  

Consider structuring early bird pricing with a desk plugin on your event website. Our INBOUND marketers suggest highlighting the distinct distinction between an early bird plus regular ticket, making it irresistible for people to sign up. Add a date limit, too.  

Isabella Kirsch, INBOUND Marketing Manager, says, “We like to develop urgency with the pricing construction to engage our audience early on. It’s important to know what you’re relying on as your lever. Within a waterfall structure, for example , registrants are aware of price change schedules through calendar reminders out of your email team. In a scarcity system, tickets run out based on allocated amounts per price tier. ” 

Which one is definitely most successful?  

“We’ve done a lot of testing with models and found each can have success, ” Isabella says. “If you are setting up an event, changing the price on certain dates is a fine route because customers can be prepared and are compelled to behave before the price increases. When you are already getting a lot of buzz, the scarcity model gets people eager to buy early, since they don’t know when the present price is going to run out! ” 

3. Ask early registrants to write blog posts.

The people who register for your event very first will be among your greatest supporters — that means they’re also good candidates to create blog posts for you to help market the conference.  

For our first INBOUND event ever, we had the first registrant write a blog post, and in these year, we invited a previous attendee to write regarding their experience. Why?  

Instead of hearing from the HubSpot team why we thought our event  was great, these posts let you listen to why it’s  a can’t-miss opportunity from actual attendees. Third-party endorsements will always carry more weight, and don’t forget the power of social proof. Whenever we see other people are going to a celebration, we want to attend, too!  

Consider inviting them to compose on places other than your website. They can use outlets like Medium, LinkedIn, and even their own company blog to write about their experience or requirements for the event.    

4. Don’t just market your conference; promote the location!

In-person events are on pause for the time being, but they’ll return with time. When you plan an in-person conference, remember that the event’s location is prime marketing material.  

People thinking about your conference don’t would like to hear about the event, they want to learn about the city where it will be hosted. Frankly, the location of conferences can be one of the biggest draw intended for potential attendees — it could kind of hard to say simply no to an event in a cool, beautiful city.  

Promote other attractions near your conference that may interest attendees. If you can get discounted rates to some of those attractions, gowns even more of an incentive for people to attend your conference!

Holding the event online? We suggest offering local perks that will help people rediscover where they live. Think about partnering with local breweries, regional restaurant chains, or other attractions to offer discount rates to your attendees. Alternatively, you can partner with social-distancing-friendly service providers like GrubHub to offer a free meal delivery (either during the occasion or after).  

5. Get in touch with industry organizations to help promote.

In every industry, you will find professional organizations who would become more than happy to help you market your event. Get in touch with them, inform them about your event, offer email copy, and make it easy for them to promote on your behalf. This will help get your event in front of a large number of more qualified people that you wouldn’t normally have access to.  

Other business-related organizations, such as chambers of commerce, is going to be happy to list your event for free, especially if you offer discounts to their members. Additional companies to consider are regional, nationwide, and international associations centered on a specific facet of your up and down.  

For HubSpot, one particular organization would be the American Advertising Association, since one of our own primary products is a marketing and advertising automation platform.  

Every single organization will be different. Some can agree to post your event for free, while others might require you to become a member. Others might not have the calendar at all, and rather will encourage your meeting to become a sponsor of their corporation. This is a great way to promote the big event to a wide range of professionals. It will also help you build backlinks for your event website, which will improve your SEO.  

6. Use LinkedIn for promotions targeted to your industry.

LinkedIn Corporation Pages, Events, and Organizations are a great way to contact people in your industry who may be thinking about your event. Take advantage of the capability to promote your event to thousands of relevant people in your market, on a social network built for networking — you know, the reason people go to events.  

Creating an event page upon LinkedIn also gives participants the opportunity to post questions plus network with each other. On groupings related to your vertical, you can post periodically (but not too often) about this incredible event that you’re web hosting. If you’d like your efforts to truly pay off, consider providing discounts to group users who share your blog post.  

7. Start competitions within your company.

Don’t forget concerning the giant network you have correct within your office’s four wall space — your employees. Encourage them to promote your event to the qualified prospects and customers they talk to through some friendly competitors.  

Incentivize ticket product sales by offering prizes to whoever sells the most seat tickets (give everyone a unique discount code so you can track it! ), or you could even prize a full team for working together to sell tickets.

Make it easy for your team to reach out to potential customers by creating an email design template that everyone can use.  

8. Consistently update social media accounts.

Social media accounts should have weekly updates with information regarding your conference, including hyperlinks to the event’s registration web page. Give your network the compelling reason to attend your conference in those updates, and a link to the sign up page to close the deal.

Consider posting quotes out of your speakers, which will advertise the astonishing people whom you’ve invited. Another fun thing to consider is definitely engaging with pop lifestyle through carefully chosen difficulties and “memes. ” The well-placed pop culture research can help you look current. Once again, choose these very carefully. We’d provide an example, but tendencies change so rapidly it would look outdated inside the week!  

9. Purchase paid ads on social media.

Leveraging your paid advertising options on social media is another way to target people in your market. Use targeted ads to advertise to your industry with links directly to the registration page. If you need help getting started, here is a guide for executing a Facebook ad campaign, and a guideline for executing a LinkedIn ad campaign.

The cost for these advertisements is on a pay-per-click (PCC) basis, meaning that you’ll only be charged when people click. It’s therefore budget-friendly, and you could also easily take a look at key performance indicators (KPIs) like sign-ups. To set up an advertisement, you’ll need a unique landing page with a form to sign up for your event and some great copy that will entice people to register.  

10. Leverage event sponsors for promotion.

Your sponsors will want to help you with promotion, because more attendees means more facetime with more people. But they’re busy. Actually busy. So the easier a person make event promotion with them, the more likely it is they’ll really do it. Provide sponsors with templated email copy plus discount codes so it’s easy to promote to their lists.

If you don’t however have event sponsors, it is simple to find a few, especially if you provide something in return. First, be sure to set up a “Sponsorship” or “Partnership” page on your occasion website. Most potential sponsors will want to choose between different ranges, and some would also prefer a custom sponsorship option.  

Being “visible” in front of five hundred people might not be enough intended for sponsors to join. Because it’s difficult to measure ROI upon visibility alone, consider sprinkling more concrete perks like a spot in your newsletter, an extra post on your company weblog, and a backlink from the support page. Tip: Consider creating this a do-follow link, as well — if your sponsors are usually SEO-savvy, they’ll take a look at the particular structure of the link they’re getting.  

Here’s the way our INBOUND marketers do it:  

11. Sprinkle calls-to-action throughout your website.

Your homepage should have a promotion to your conference. Your login page (if you have one) should have a promotion to your conference. Your blog should have banners promoting your conference.  

If you’re planning a huge event, most pages in your website should have links to your conference site, making it simple for anyone to find information about your event and register. Our own tip: these calls-to-action should be bold, easy-to-find buttons inside a color that’s difficult to miss.

And these CTAs shouldn’t be catch-all, either; rather, they should be targeted and highly tailored — especially for virtual activities. An in-person experience allows attendees to pick and select the talks they want to attend. Digital events have a set plan, meaning you must tailor the call-to-action and make your own value proposition clear.  

“Marketing is human 1st, ” says Andréa Hudson, HubSpot’s Senior Marketing Manager of Global Events.   “When we went virtual for INBOUND, leading along with empathy was a huge component of our strategy. When you’re responsible for scaling an industry event from 26K in-person to 70K+ digitally, it’s extremely important in order to prioritize your value task and tailor that for your audience. ” 

12. Issue different types of passes.

Some people may not be able to attend your whole occasion, whether they’re unavailable for that full duration, can’t be far from the office for so long, or even can’t swing the resort costs. Issuing different types of passes helps accommodate those people plus drive more ticket product sales.  

Consider passes like a student pass, a keynote pass, or a premier complete. Other options include basic, in addition, and pro passes. In our INBOUND event, we now have two options: the Digital pass and the Content move, which gives attendees additional entry to more content and information.  

13. Promote the “fun stuff. ”

Anyone heard of Cyndi Lauper? Anyone? Announcing a headliner artist will drive a lot of ticket sales as well as get people excited for more than just the content you’ll have during your conference periods.  

But you don’t have to invest thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars inviting a headliner, either. If you’re in a extremely specialized industry, consider welcoming a prominent industry specialist who will entice professionals to go to.  

You can also promote additional fun stuff such as social activities. The main reason people go to conferences is for the advantageous content, sure, but advertising the parties and some of the nighttime activities definitely helps. I mean, who doesn’t love to party?

For online events, you can host a digital happy hour where drinks are encouraged. Other ideas include booking trivia games, Jeopardy video games, and wellness sessions that will help attendees decompress between delivering presentations. Online zumba lessons, anyone?  

14. Gamify the particular act of event promotion and ticket sales.

Sponsor contests or games together with your network to promote your conference and drive ticket sales. During your webinars, for example , you can take advantage of the large audience to advertise the conference by giving aside free tickets to whomever tweeted the most with your webinar hashtag. Everyone loves a little friendly competition, and you’ll certainly love the free promotion of your event!

15. Ask your audio speakers to write blog posts promoting their particular sessions.

The success of an event just about all comes down to its content. Get in touch with speakers and ask them to compose guest blog posts that promote their sessions, and give the sneak preview of exactly what they’ll be discussing.  

It’s a win-win — they have more attendees excited about their program, and you get free content (that your guest blogger will probably promote to their network) to drive ticket sales.

Virtual Event Marketing Tips 

Getting people to buy tickets is one factor. Getting them to be aware of the event in the first place is another (seriously, it is hard! ).  

This really is especially difficult for electronic events, which can’t depend on physical modes of advertising such as bus wrapping and event swag. Stickers, mugs, t-shirts, and bus wraps were previously excellent ways to promote events.  

In an increasingly remote environment, you’ll need to think of new methods for getting the word out. For most businesses, virtual events are the just choice. But don’t be discouraged: hosting a virtual event provides tangible benefits over in-person conferences. “Unlike physical activities, virtual events, such as live streams or webinars, enable your brand to gain attention from international audiences, ” says Pamela Bump, Supervisor of Audience Growth with HubSpot.  

Ready to achieve a lot more people and get a lot more registrations for your virtual event? Here are three easy advertising tips that you can implement right now.  

1 . Create a exclusive event hashtag.  

Utilizing a hashtag will stimulate discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites. This hashtag can be used by everyone involved with your event — from speakers to sponsors to actual attendees.  

It’s up to you whether to include the year after the name of the event (#Event versus #Event20XX). We do like to include the yr so that all posts relate specifically to that year’s classes, speakers, and offerings.  

Your event should also have got its own unique social media users. While we encourage you to definitely promote the event through your company’s social media, consider making unique Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts for the conference. This will create a unique brand tone of voice and give attendees an account to tag in their posts. It may also help you separate event-related information from company news.  

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2 . Develop an online community.  

Part of the reason people go to activities is to network. Virtual occasions may seem exempt from this principle, because attendees are near a screen rather than interacting in person. By creating an online community, you’re re-integrating this necessary element into your occasion.  

It’s free, too. Facebook groups, LinkedIn organizations, and Slack channels are fantastic ways to put your own attendees in front of each other. A lot more, these groups make it easy for participants to invite other specialists in their network, increasing recognition and driving registrations.  

Our INBOUND marketers have a community-first approach when marketing the event. We want to make sure that participants know they’re not just a face in front of a screen, yet a member of an international community.  

3. Create an email drip campaign.  

Generate more registrations with an email drip campaign that will remind your contacts to sign up for that event. For those who’ve currently done business with you just before, consider providing a unique discounted code to thank them for their loyalty.  

The particular emails should align along with email marketing best practices. Include a compelling subject line, a clear going, a few lines of short and snappy copy, and an unmissable call-to-action.  

Hitting Attendance Goals for Virtual Events 

Every year, more than 25, 500 people attend INBOUND. The marketing campaigns are aggressive, but with good reason: we’re 100 % confident that this event may enrich attendees’ professional lifestyles. We know they’ll walk away along with valuable knowledge that can help them advance their careers.  

To hit attendance goals for the virtual event, you mustn’t be shy or very humble. The value you bring to your own attendees can’t be found somewhere else. That’s why you’re investing thousands upon thousands of dollars to generate an event that educates, entertains, and provides value.  

All of us also can’t overstate the importance of using data to create diverse campaigns that address various stages of the buyer’s trip. “Tactically, the marketing blend needs to be dynamic and impactful, ” says Andréa Hudson. “There is no turn-key, blanketed approach in achieving a sell out. Digging into the data and making informed choices based on that data will be the only way to exceed your own targets. ”

Here are a few of our own tips for hitting attendance objectives at your next event.

one Look into the KPIs of prior events you’ve held.  

To better market your event, you’ll want to know how your own previous event marketing strategies fared. If you’ve held an event previously, take a look at the data so you can improve this next one.  

Some helpful historical data to look into would be:  

  • Number of registrants 
  • Number of attendees 
  • Conversion rates on your event’s landing page
  • Conversions in social ads 
  • E-mail open and click-through-rates 
  • Number of leads
  • Generated revenue
  • Individual session registrations 
  • Session comments

In line with the data you gather, you can make more sophisticated decisions regarding your landing page design, your social copy, and prices strategy.  

2 . Determine your target attendees plus tailor the agenda for them.  

This is a really important stage. If you know who you’re focusing on the event to, you can make marketing campaigns that highlight the specific value you bring to them. As a result, you’ll get a higher number of registrations, better engagement, and higher presence rates.  

Alternatively, you can create an agenda first, after that identify the type of buyer who does be compelled to buy a ticket. You should identify both psychographic and demographic information of your target audience to better align your messaging.  

3. Develop an event marketing plan.  

Now that you have your historical information and target buyers, it’s time to create a marketing plan. There will be four principal tenets: website, organic social, paid social, and email.  

On your company website, be sure to include consistent calls-to-action to check out the event website (preferably, it could take visitors straight to the landing page where they can indication up).  

On your event website, be sure to clarify your own value proposition. For example , which includes a list of your speakers helps it be clear that you’re devoted to offering valuable content.  

Launch ads on the best social media platform for your business (if it’s a B2B event, for example , you’d likely opt for LinkedIn).  

A message campaign is also crucial regarding providing event reminders plus invites to buy tickets.  

4. Provide sneak previews of the content.  

A lot of us love to know what we’re in for before making a purchasing choice. By providing sneak previews by means of email and social — and even on your website — you’re giving potential guests a taste of what they’ll get if they buy a ticket.  

Your speakers can film a “session trailer” telling more about the info they’ll share during their discussions. One thing we do on INBOUND? We give access to notable content from previous years. That way, people can see the value they would get should they choose to attend.  

five. Provide on-demand recordings.  

Why? Some potential participants may be too busy to attend a live virtual event, and if you only offer a reside option, you’d be disheartening those who would prefer to watch the particular sessions on their own time. This could open up your event for more people and thus increase registrations.  

6. Give business discounts or group discount rates.  

What better method to increase attendance than simply by inviting groups to purchase tickets? Many organizations buy passes for entire teams. A few companies take their whole workforce to events. This is a sure-fire way to sell tens and even hundreds of tickets at any given time.  

7. Prioritize accessibility.  

Closed captioning, reside sign language interpreters, plus assistive technologies will make your event enticing to a lot more registrants. Dedicate one or two team members who are ready to provide support should an attendee have a problem with accessibility or require accommodations.  

Be sure to also include a form on your website for accessibility requests, and provide written plus visual materials ahead of time in widely-used file formats. Your accessibility initiatives should be powered by inclusive design principles.  

If you make your own event inaccessible, you’re ignoring a segment of your potential audience. Don’t forget to advertise your options designed for accessibility, which would make it known to potential buyers that they will have the essential accommodations to attend.    

Sell Out Your Next Event 

If we could leave you with 1 last tip, it would be to brag. Brag about your speakers, brag about your sessions, and brag about the amazing tools your attendees will walk away with after the event. After all, people are investing on a ticket. You want them to know they’ll receive a worthwhile return on their investment.  

Editor’s note: This awesome article was originally published within August 2012 and has been up-to-date for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

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