Most exhibition and conference marketers will tell you it’s a digital marketing jungle out there. To grow event attendance, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research says, “attendee marketers use 14 channel tactics over the course of a marketing campaign.” So, it’s complicated.
However, there is a simpler way to think about attendee acquisition marketing. Rather than dwell too much on how to distribute the “here’s why you should come to our event” message, think about who is speaking.
Event marketers have access to three voices to grow event attendance:
Take a look at the role the three voices play in delivering a cohesive message about the value of the event.
The brand voice is the most authoritative. It exudes confidence (the organization behind the event is experienced), leadership (the event demonstrates what’s new and what’s next) and understanding (event programming gives participants what they need).
The brand voice can come across well on most marketing channels, from direct mail, email and the event website to print advertising. And as much as attendees protest about too much marketing on too many channels, they need the brand voice—the proverbial adult in the room—to lay out the value proposition for attending.
The exhibitor voice is the most supportive. It portrays familiarity (because we know you, we know you will like this event), trust (we wouldn’t be recommending this event if we didn’t think it was valuable for you) and help (we’re going to make it easier for you attend). Attendees like receiving messages from companies they already know and that know them.
The exhibitor voice comes across nicely using exhibitor-to-attendee referral channels and tactics, such as:
The attendee voice is the most authentic. It expresses desire (I really want to see you at this event), camaraderie (this event is something we can do together) and belief (I like this event so much I want to share it with people I care about). Attendee prospects value recommendations from other attendees (their colleagues and friends) more than they value recommendations from the event organizer or exhibitors.
Peer-to-peer social referral marketing is the ideal channel tactic for amplifying the attendee voice. Social referral marketing platforms help attendees communicate via email, social media platforms and WhatsApp in an authentic way and on channels that attendees like to use.
Marketers need to use multiple channel tactics to grow event attendance. But they also need to leverage all of the voices in the room. When they do, a common theme emerges: the event has value and if you attend, you will be rewarded professionally and personally.
Gleanin can help you understand how all the attendee marketing channels can work together and, especially, how to leverage social referral marketing to deliver the authentic voice your prospective attendees are craving. Arrange a demo or just reach out to talk.
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