Fill your seats and get a crowd at your business event with these easy tips!
So, you have business events that you really want to sell out. You might be running it primarily to please people working for your company, or you might be trying to get some exposure for your company among the public.
Simple enough, except you might not be an experienced organiser with a big budget.
Now you’re scouting for some ideas to make sure this event you’re doing isn’t going to be a flop.
Or you’re already doing well but you know you can do better.
Either way, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll be closely following the tactics of Kelvin Newman, the man behind selling out the Brighton SEO conference, which sold all of its 3,500 tickets in 10 minutes last year. We’ll also have some of our own advice slotted in.
Here are some simple but powerful tips that small businesses can apply to start selling out events in Singapore.
1. Make Sure Your Event is Actually Good
Sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s the first thing you need to make sure of. It helps to build a long term relationship with your audiences. Try to aim for a point where your customers don’t even need to think before registering for your business event. Because they know it’s going to be a value packed event.
For example, check out this event posting by DrinkEntrepreneurs on Ann Siang Road.
They’re so in-demand that they even have an ‘Overflow’ ticket type.
Here are a couple of tips to help ensure that your event is worth attending:
- Invite speakers who are skilled at Public Speaking
If you don’t have access to somebody who is fairly skilled in presentation skills, you can easily scout the internet for comprehensive guides and catering your events to the proven structures they share. Here’s a resource we recommend.
Chances are, if you’re looking to organize a business event, you already have a confident and clear idea of how it’s going to go.
- Provide good content
This sounds almost basic but it’s easy to get carried away with over-ambitious event plans and get too fixated on your sales/attendance results, especially with your first few events. Content usually suffers as a result when this happens.
Some speakers get so worried of ‘giving too much’ that they give too little. To avoid this mistake, be clear in your structure way before you present and be authentic.
- Add a Special Twist
Business events are usually formal and corporate. DrinkEntrepeneurs took that and turned it around on its head. They combined drinking and business networking into an event and now they have an ‘Overflow’ ticket.
If you’ve been running events for some time, you could have a bunch of Any photos or videos you have of attendees from previous events would be considered visual assets.
You can tickle their inner teenagers by making them feel like they’re missing out.
Be generous with professional photographs and videos that are specifically show how much fun people are having and how attentive people are. This will wake up people’s inner curiousity and move them to check out your event.
This video on the MTPCon’s website is a perfect example of utilizing visual assets to attract participants.
Better yet, you could get live testimonials of your most engaged participants and use those videos and promotional material.
It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one – Bain & Company
You could also be sitting on a goldmine of people who are ultimately easier to promote to than people who have no idea who you are.
People who’ve paid real money to you before or physically attended your events are way more likely to say yes to your future events than those who haven’t.
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% – Marketing Metrics
You could call them or send an email to refresh them on who you are and sell them on your even t.
4. Start Early
Take a lesson from the concert and Hollywood playbooks.
Marvel movies get you all hyped years before they’re even made.
Celebrity concerts sell out in seconds thanks to their well timed posts that really build anticipation.
There’s one thing that all of the above have in common: early promotion.
If you know of a business event you’re going to promote, start today.
Even better, start selling during your current events.
Bonus: Start adding an early bird rate if you haven’t already. The ‘sold out’ notification on the early bird tickets will create a fear of missing out for your current event which will carry over to any future events that you organise.
5. Use Scarcity
If you’re aiming to get 100 people to your event, set the limit at 80. And allow people to purchase tickets on the day of the event with a markup on the price.
This way, each time you host an event, you will continue to build a reputation of always selling out your events. This will create an ongoing impression that they need to act fast on your events.
Do NOT extend your early bird rate as this will greatly diminish your customers impression of you and will not take your future promotions as seriously.
Referrals are the hidden gold mines of businesses.
Here’s an example to illustrate just what we mean.
Humans are social creatures and naturally share useful things with each other.
If your friend tells you just how much he enjoyed the new burger stall that just popped up.
You’re more likely to go and grab a bite than if you had seen a typical advert on Facebook.
This is a classic example of a referral. Human’s intuitively trust and grasp the value of a referral way faster than any usual ad campaign.
One of the best ways to utilize referral marketing is with a contest.
The more people your attendees invite, the higher their chances of winning something. Have a valuable enough prize so people will actually be incentivized to take action.
If 10 participants refer 2 friends each, in a 100 person event, that’s triple the initial number of attendees you initially had.
You could also utilise a team member or friend discount where registering together with a friend allows you to get a certain discount.
7. Utilise Event Management Websites
Sometimes, you just need some extra help to manage your event. Alot of people might just hire an event management company to take care of things. This is more common for huge events that have huge budgets. You won’t always have the budget to hire an external agency for a small – medium sized event.
In these cases, it’s worth turning to an event management website like Eventbrite to help ease the burden of managing and promoting an event.
Event promotion, selling tickets and keeping track of attendance numbers makes up a large proportion of the work when it comes to running an event. Eventbrite will make it easier to manage those aspects, and it won’t cost you a bomb either. In Eventbrite’s case, you only need to pay them a minute commission for each ticket sold. If you event is free to attend, then you won’t need to pay at all in most cases!
Other businesses that will benefit from the same customers you are promoting to should be the first ones you should go to.
You could get them to promote on their social media in exchange for having a booth or some airtime to promote their product or service during your event.
They could have an email list which they can send a newsletter update to or just a Whatsapp or Telegram broadcast group.
Notice how they’re both promoting the same event on their respective organizing accounts?
Either way, this would be a great place to utilize your visual assets to boost your partners’ promotion efforts.
Having just one price can greatly limit your profits from a single event. Maximize revenues and have more room to promote and create a better event by utilizing pricing & perks.
Other than using an early bird rate. You could develop special perks for certain prices.
You can provide special training, or give out goodie bags filled with products from your business that don’t cost too much. Other things you can provide at a low cost to your business include VIP meet & greets and even seat preferences.
Airplanes are notorious for doing this, and it works out pretty well for them.
As long as the value allocated to the price tier you are offering makes sense, it should greatly increase your revenue from ticket sales.
It could be team leader positions in business organizations that bring along their team members to almost every relevant business event they go to.
It could be CEOs who attract a bunch of employees from their own organizations to come along.
Or it could be notable thought leaders within your industry that have large followings by default.
Treat these people right by offering them special perks, exclusive rates and do favors for them.
Think about it as marketing cost, an investment in treating these people right will drive loads more customers as a result.
Events are always a tricky thing to master in the beginning but can be really smooth once you regularly do it.
And sometimes even great events don’t sell out, and that’s okay.
These tips we gave you can greatly ramp up your event attendees as soon as next week if you implement them.
Need a quick capital injection to hold a fairly large conference? Intend to build a long term strategy that revolves around events that brings in consistent revenue?
Look no further as we can easily help you with any short term capital needs of yours.
FS Bolt is a product of Funding Societies Pte Ltd. Submitting an application is quick and easy. You can get an approval decision with 2 hours and receive your loan of up to $50,000 within 24 hours!