If you run an organization that holds regularly scheduled meetings and networking events, there are many online invitation services that automate the process of creating, distributing and collecting fees, if applicable, to attend. Meetup, Eventbrite and Mailchimp are but a few.
Our organization, The Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SoPE), a global non-profit with a mission to help members get their ideas to patients, has a network of international chapters that meet on a regular basis that offer education, resources, networks, mentors, access to investor partners, peer to peer support and non-clinical career guidance for health professionals and others in our open network.
Selling as many tickets as possible to help grow and sustain our organization, like this example, is both a goal and a top stressor for event organizers like SoPE chapter leaders and co-leaders. If you’ve already deployed all the promotional tactics in your playbook, consider some new ways of getting to “sold out.” Here are 30 creative event promotion ideas to help skyrocket your ticket sales.
Like any social media marketing and engagement campaign, you should experiment with the content of your communications, track the results of your experiments, and make changes as indicated by the data. Experiments might include:
- Testing entrance fee elasticity of demand
- Different business models, like subscription models, two for one, discounts for holiday events, etc
- Layout design and prominently displayed buttons making it easy to join or attend
- Cross marketing with other organizations in your local innovation ecosystem
- Making sure that your events are repetitive, redundant (offered on multiple communications platforms) an relational (interconnected to your website and social channels)
- Changing how you promote event sponsors and hosts
- Showcasing frequent attendees and highlighting ambassadors and using their testimonials to spread word of mouth
- Offering introductory discounted or free tickets or promo codes to attend an event to get a low cost way to “kick the tires” and experience what your group is like
- Embedding a promo video, graphics, photos into the invitations
- Creating a compelling story with a call to action describing why those invited should spend their discretionary time and money to attend your event (HINT: who is your customer and what problem do they think attending your event will solve at a reasonable price?)
- Changing the days of the week or time of day for meetings
- Changing locations, particularly given traffic patterns, access, safety and parking availability
Like recent election results indicate, nothing wins like winning and successful events build momentum for future successful events. Experiment and learn. Try a little and learn a lot.