How to get More Eyeballs on the Screen
One of the most common frustrations I hear from people who do their own events, especially now that many are doing more online events, is how can I get more people to attend my events, or how I like to phrase it “how to get more eyeballs on the screen”? It is also one of the ways that I help my clients.
When we were doing in-person events, the problem was similar, the question was “how do I get more butts in seats”.
Why am I not getting better attendance?
The problem is becoming more prevalent with online events. Online events appear easier to do, so many people are doing their own online events. Then wonder, why did I not get the attendance that I wanted? I am seeing it, I am hearing it and decided it was time for me to help. I am putting together a course to “Learn How to Do Your Own Successful Online Events”. I have dedicated a whole module to “How to Get More Eyeballs on the Screen”. However, this is only one module out of six modules to learn how to create successful online events. I want to emphasize that how to get more eyeballs on the screen is a combination of many different factors – your plan, timing, content, and strategy that all work together to put together a successful online event.
Set yourself up for Success!
You need to set yourself up for success. The number one way to do this is to plan ahead of time for your event. Just because you can create an online event in a day or two does not mean you should. Think about it, if someone asked if you could do something in a few days at a certain date and time, would you be free to do it? I do not know about you, but my calendar most likely is full. When you set a date ahead of time and share about it to others, you have a higher likelihood that people can attend your event and they will be able to block their calendars to do so. This is even more important if you are thinking about a multi-day event or an event that lasts multiple hours.
What do you need to do? – EVERYTHING!
Also, when you have more time, you have more time to communicate about your event. It takes time to do all the different communications you need to do to have a successful event. The most successful way to get “eyeballs on the screen” is to do EVERYTHING. I have been successful for the most part doing EVERYTHING and as a result, my clients do not usually need to pay for any advertising.
What is EVERYTHING? – everything!
- Event Platforms. Start with setting up all the appropriate event platforms – Eventbrite, Facebook Event, LinkedIn Event, Meetup, and others). These event platforms are a combined invitation and registration site and most also have other ways that make it easy to share with others and help to promote your event. I especially like Eventbrite where you can set up to collect valuable attendee data. You can set up these different event platforms to all work together.
- Social Media. Using Social Media posts are especially important. You can do different types of posts sharing from the Event Platforms and just driving people to the event platforms and this can come from all the different social media platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, Insta, Twitter… I usually help my clients myself, have them also share and include any partners/sponsors to do the same. The more people who can share is better to get the word out.
- Facebook and LinkedIn Groups. Do not forget that you most likely belong to different Facebook and LinkedIn groups – do not forget to post your social media to these groups where they are both applicable and allow posting.
- Email Lists. Do not forget about the power of your Email lists. Share about your upcoming event with those that follow you. Ask your followers to share about your event. Ask any event partners and sponsors to include in their emails about your event. Sometimes you need to make it easy for them and provide them what they need to share and give them incentive to share.
- Membership Groups. Membership groups can be important. Think of Chambers, Rotary Clubs, Networking Groups… You may be able to talk about your event in front of others at membership groups. You may be able to post on their pages or Facebook group. Some will even help in the promotion of an event.
- Personal Reach Out. Personally reach out to people who come to mind for your event. Phone calls, personal emails, texts and sending messages through LinkedIn, Insta and Messenger.
- Hold Pre-Events. Ahead of time pre-events can build up awareness and excitement for your event – speaking to groups, use of videos and sharing on website and social media, host a webinar, hold a Facebook live event…
Paid vs Free Event
Whether to charge or have a free event is another common question, especially for online events and does effect attendance and getting “eyeballs on the screen”. There is no correct answer and it depends on your goal and what results you want to get from your event.
Free events tend to get more registrations but also more “no shows”. The attendee did not pay anything so if something else comes up and they get busy they have no skin in the game to attend the event, so they just do not show. If you set up the registration correctly, you still captured the attendee data even if they did not show. You can always reach them in another way. To just build awareness about a new program and your brand, sometimes a no charge event makes sense.
Paid events are a great qualifier for an event but could reduce attendance. Only people who are really interested in your event will pay so the audience is most likely to be made up of your target audience. Since they paid, they are most likely to show up. Having fewer qualified attendees is sometimes better than having a lot of attendees who just signed up because it was free. You can work with pricing on your event depending on the program and what you are offering. Sometimes even charging a minimal amount and donate that to a charity will help qualify the attendees of the event.
Power of Events – Even if no one shows up!
I always remind my clients that even if no one shows up to your event, your attendee and others will know more about you than you not doing an event at all. They will also like you more for doing an event, even if they cannot attend. The know and like part of the know, like and trust is better achieved in doing an event even if no one shows up that doing no event at all. And if people do show up to your event, the know, like and trust all get built faster than not doing an event at all. This is just part of the power of events and why it should be part of every business’ marketing strategy.
Reach out if interested in discussing your next event or learning more about my course so you can have your own successful online event. I would like to help you get more “eyeballs on the screen”!