You’re know how to get people to your event. But finding potential attendees, reaching out to them, understanding why they bought a ticket or not — that all takes a lot of work, especially in the frantic couple months leading up to the event
It could be easier.
Building a community around your event and keeping that community engaged year-round gives you a ready-made group of potential attendees once the time comes to start selling tickets.
Here’s how to keep in touch with those future attendees throughout the year, from weeks after your event ends to weeks before the next one.
1. Right away: surveys and social media
There’s no better time to start building buzz than when your attendees are still buzzing about the excitement of your most recent event.
Send the surveys out within a day or two of the event ending, when memories are fresh. And show a little love to the attendees with a thank you note, letting them know the event wouldn’t be possible without them.
On social media, recap the highlights in a quick video or series of photos, both right after and a few weeks down the line. This will remind your attendees of all they got out of your event.
You can also post data about how many people attended, what the most popular performances were, or what got retweeted the most, plus any interesting tidbits you learned from the post-event survey.
A few weeks later, you might post a recording of one of the speakers or part of a musical act, once again reminding your community of the value of the event and spurring discussion on social media. And creating a little bit of FOMO among those who didn’t attend — expanding your community a bit more.
Don’t forget a call to action in your posts, either to pre-register for next year’s event or to ask them to subscribe to email alerts for the latest news and updates.
2. A couple months later: blog posts and newsletters
Now that the buzz has died down, it gets a bit trickier. You’re in the downtime between last year’s and next year’s event, probably without anything interesting to say about either.
So talk about something else.
By now, you know what your event community is interested in. You know what they do for a living and what they like most about your event.
Blog posts about the topics they care about — whether it’s an up-and-coming DJ or a local tech startup — can drive traffic to your webpage and increase your event’s reputation as a leader in your specific space.
In addition to these articles touting your insights into your field, these posts can also be:
- Interviews with performers, CEOs, chefs, or whoever your audience wants to hear from
- Round-ups of some of the top news in your particular space from around the web
- Guest posts and special offers from your sponsors
You can also send these posts out in weekly newsletters to your email list. If you’re using Eventbrite, you can easily connect with MailChimp to make this process a breeze.
3. Halfway in between events: teaser announcements
Now it’s time to turn your attention squarely to the next event.
Start sending out teasers, announcing performers or other details about the upcoming event as they are confirmed.
Send out a save the date and (again) encourage your event community to share the details with their friends and to sign up for email updates.
Keep this steady trickle of announcements and teasers going over the next couple months.
4. Two or three months pre-event: updates and promotions
Now you’re in the homestretch and it’s time to start turning those potential attendees into registered or paid attendees.
Refine your final pitches and tell them why this year’s event is unique and how it will build upon the excitement of last year’s. Ramp up the frequency of social media posts. Make your updated event page live, if it isn’t already.
Done right, these steps will foster a community of event-goers that transcends the event itself and keeps the conversation going all year long.
Ramp up your event marketing
No matter what time of year, there is always something you can communicate with both your previous and upcoming attendees to keep them engaged and part of your community. Just ensure that the content you serve up is relevant, engaging and timely.
Make sure your marketing is on-point by reading From On-Sale to Sold Out: Marketing & Promotion for Events.