I cannot count the amount of times I have been so off when calculating actual rsvp’s versus attendance on the day.
Some days its a 8.00 am start, its raining, minus 6 degrees, tube strike and someone famous passed away and you will get close to perfect attendance. Other times, you have an amazing event, the sun is shining, you have done all the research you can to make sure there are no conflicts and 20% show up! God, its so annoying. Here are a few tips I have learnt that may not guarantee perfect attendance but, may give you more of an indication whom is actually going to show up so you don’t waste money on catering, using unnecessary staff and more importantly, have 100 spare chairs at your seminar which must be mortifying for a speaker!
If you want people to think you are throwing an event of value, charge for it. When deciding whether to attend an event I will weigh up the cost of giving up my time against what I will get from the event. Sure, its most likely I will get a few free glasses of champagne and if I stand close enough to the kitchen, a few canapes but is that worth my time? If I received an invitation for an event that had a low ticket price attached, not only would I think twice before purchasing but if I did, I can guarantee you I would turn up!
Check the diary
If you work for a professional services organisation and run seminars, a simple Google search will help identify any other events happening with a similar topic so you can avoid holding yours on the same date. Most professional services firms will advertise their seminars on their website. If you are planning to hold an event at an accountancy firm on some recent taxation legislation that has just been released, chances are your competitors are doing the same thing.. google, google, google and get in their first…
Reminder, reminder and another reminder..
Yes, you may think it irritating but if someone is looking forward to attending an event, guaranteed they are not going to care a less if they receive a couple of reminders are they? Have you ever had a guest or client say they would now like to decline because they received too many reminders? no, you haven’t soooo.. do it!
A final reminder the day before is oh so important. So many times I have forgotten to go to an event that I may have rsvp’d to a while ago and not had any reminders since! Just do it.
Venue is most definitely key. Budgets aside, try and not run the same event at the same place every year. It’s dull! When choosing your venue make sure it is easy for people to get to as well and ensure you have location maps with the invitation, not dodgy Google maps that anyone can make.
Make your location diagram easy by perhaps putting other points of interest on it that would be interesting to your guest. It’s quirky and memorable.
These are a few little tips that can help gauge a better attendance figure.. your welcome! lol