Hello fellow Conference Organiser,
Hosting a multi-day conference for hundreds, if not thousands, is no small feat. And finding ways to not just engage your ideal attendees but also boost ticket sales? Well, that's the dream, isn't it? What if we told you there's a way to do just that - to double your ticket sales in merely 90 days without exhausting your marketing budget?
This isn't a mere claim. Drawing from personal experience and insights from the world of event marketing, we're about to unveil the golden strategies. Ones that have been the driving force behind some of the most successful events, bringing in billions in ticket sales, and standing firm regardless of the economic climate.
These aren’t just tactics; they're game-changers. They'll not only set you miles ahead of your competition but also create a buzz that resonates long after your event concludes.
Ready to dive in?
Why Trust Us?
Having navigated the complex waters of event organisation and marketing for over a decade, we've unearthed some of the most potent strategies that can significantly uplift ticket sales. Our hands-on experience and lessons learned on the front lines give us an unparalleled edge.
In this piece, we'll unpack:
- The art of tapping into attendee insights, enabling you to anticipate their needs and supercharge your sales;
- The untapped potential of “The Wider Audience Strategy”, a technique to harness the vast majority of overlooked market segments, converting them into loyal attendees and ardent advocates;
- A groundbreaking marketing principle, so transformative that it can effortlessly double your ticket sales. Surprisingly, many in the competition are oblivious to it;
- Crafting compelling copy that resonates so deeply, attendees will be eager to be a part of your conference; and
- Taking a leaf out of the Godfather's book, we'll demonstrate how to present offers so irresistible, they can’t refuse.
We've applied these tactics successfully for our conference organisers and have empowered our many of our strategy session clients with the same. Now, it's your turn. Are you ready to uncover industry secrets that could redefine your event's success?
1. Build Deep Connections with Your Audience
The key to meaningful engagement isn’t about foreseeing potential needs for the distant future. It’s about addressing what they require immediately, right here, right now. To achieve the audacious goal of doubling your ticket sales, you must forge a profound connection with your potential attendees.
Delve into their most pressing challenges. Understand the pressing concerns that rob them of their sleep. Recognise the hurdles they grapple with daily, the ones they'd give anything to overcome. Grasping these core issues is your golden ticket. Once you truly know their pain points, tailor your conference, summit, or webinar to be the ultimate solution.
However, there’s a catch. You're not blessed with psychic powers. So, how do you peek into the inner workings of your audience's minds?
Enter the "Insight Beacon" strategy. Think of it as a window into the souls of your prospective attendees. It's designed to grant you a deep understanding of their core issues, empowering you to curate events that resonate profoundly.
But how does the "Insight Beacon" method operate?
At its core, it's quite straightforward. Begin by identifying two or three pivotal keywords or search terms linked to your conference theme. With these at hand, the detective journey commences.
Begin your journey with the world’s most popular search engine, Google. Punch in your selected keywords, and let Google serve as your mirror into your audience’s minds. As you explore, Google not only reveals the trending searches but also showcases exact questions your potential attendees pose during their research. These queries and phrases are goldmines, shedding light on the genuine concerns and needs of your prospects.
The Magic of 'Answer The Public'
While telepathy remains a realm of fiction, 'Answer The Public' is the closest we've got in the digital world. This remarkable tool is a veritable Aladdin's Cave in sales and marketing. Feed it your search terms, and it conjures a vast network of associated inquiries. The results? A deep dive into the psyche of your audience, the questions they pose, and the challenges they face.
Industry Forums: A Pulse on the Ground
Venturing into industry forums gives you a candid look into the real-world issues your audience grapples with. Spotting recurring questions or issues? They're likely your audience's major pain points. Address these, and you have the formula for a surge in ticket sales.
LinkedIn: The Professional's Diary
LinkedIn groups in your domain can serve as invaluable troves of information. Here, professionals voice their concerns, challenges, and aspirations openly. Don't fancy trawling through endless conversations? Tools like 'Social Lead Freak' come to your rescue, distilling insights from these discussions.
Industry News & Magazines: Gleaning the Current Pulse
Keep your finger on the pulse by immersing yourself in industry-centric publications. Scan through to discover trending topics and areas of interest. Equally important, look out for gaps and unmet needs. Positioning your event to address these gaps can pivot you to an unassailable position in the marketplace.
Deploy the "Insight Beacon" strategy, get to the core of your audience's pressing issues, and tailor your offerings accordingly. The result? Watch your sales figures ascend to heights previously deemed unattainable.
2. The "The Wider Audience Strategy" Strategy
Have you ever pondered why some events sell out in hours while others barely make it past the halfway mark? It all boils down to an intuitive yet overlooked strategy: the 'Vast Ocean' strategy.
Let’s explore this 'The Wider Audience Strategy' that, believe it or not, has the power to supercharge your ticket sales.
Diversifying Your Attendee Streams
Step One is all about casting a wider net. Picture this: Relying on one pond for all your fishes can be disastrous if that pond dries up. It's the same with your traffic. Placing all your bets on Google AdWords? Well, what if, heaven forbid, the account gets flagged? Then, your stream of attendees grinds to a halt!
Instead, consider nurturing a tapestry of traffic sources. It's like having an archipelago of islands; if one gets inundated, the others still thrive. Initiate with one reliable source, optimise it till you strike gold, then pivot to the next, and so on. Monitor the efficiency of each channel and let data be your guiding star. Should a hiccup arise in one channel, the others act as a robust safety net, ensuring a steady inflow of intrigued delegates.
Navigating The Depths: Understand Your Market Segments
On to Step Two. Here's an insightful statistic for you:
- A mere 3% are itching to grab their tickets immediately
- 17% are still window shopping, gathering information
- 20% recognise they'd benefit from your conference but aren’t active yet
- A whopping 60% are entirely unaware of what they’re missing out on
While many are chasing the ready-to-commit 3%, think about the vast, blue ocean comprising the other 97%. It’s in this deeper, expansive part of the ocean where your true potential lies. Nudge these groups, enlighten them, make them realise the value they'd gain from your event. Once they do, not only will they book a ticket, but they’ll become your event's most enthusiastic champions.
By aligning with the 'The Wider Audience Strategy' strategy, you won't just be scratching the surface; you'll be diving deep, exploring the immense expanse of potential attendees, and ensuring that when the time comes, they’ll have eyes only for your event.
You might be tempted to think, "Hey, I've got this conference to sell out. Shouldn’t I be targeting those who're already scouring the internet with credit cards in hand, ready to purchase a ticket?" Well, surprise, surprise, the game has shifted.
The real magic lies in cultivating an audience that adores you. An audience that waits with bated breath for every event you unveil. An audience that trusts that the event you're advertising will be worth every single penny. And because they're so attuned to the top-notch value you consistently offer, guess what? You get the leeway to up the ante, to charge a premium, and skip the early-bird dance that every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the conference world seems to be doing.
Let me drop a golden nugget your way: “When you increase the quality of your prospects, you increase the quality of your product” Let that simmer for a moment. It's about quality over quantity. Fewer attendees, a more intimate venue, a steeper ticket price, and guess who's laughing all the way to the bank?
"But wait," you muse, "shouldn’t I chase the 3% who are already on the cusp of purchasing?" Well, yes! But here’s the plot twist: equally, if not more so, woo the 97%. Bring them into the fold, nurture them, move them inch by inch closer to the 'Purchase Ticket' button.
Want the insider tip to make this happen? Become the undeniable champion in your space. Wear the crown of authority.
How, you ask? By being omnipresent and a beacon of value. Dabble in engaging lead magnets, sprinkle your insights on industry blogs, tackle the big questions on platforms like Quora, and get up close and personal on Instagram Shorts or Facebook Live. The trifecta here is visibility, value, and trust.
Remember, by positioning yourself as the industry maestro, you touch the hearts and minds of attendees at every stage of their journey. From the eager 3% ready to jump in, the curious 17% collecting brochures, the contemplative 20% who recognise they need the magic you're selling, to the blissfully unaware 60% who will soon have a eureka moment – you'll be their first port of call.
So, harness the power of the The Wider Audience Strategy. This is not just a strategy; it's your passport to double, triple, or even quadruple your sales.
3. The Spotlight Isn't On You – It’s On Them!
Hey, event titans and marketing maestros, here’s a riddle for you. What's the most overplayed song in the marketing world? - If you thought, “Me, Me, Me!” then you’ve nailed it!
Shockingly, a chunk of our industry buddies are serenading just the 3% ready to snap up tickets this very instant. Their marketing? A chorus of “Admire us!” or the incessant drumbeats of “Purchase! Now!”. And while it’s tempting to think that parading your glitz and glamour will have them queuing up, reality sings a different tune.
Let’s face it: Your attendees, as lovely as they are, aren’t losing sleep over your brand story or credentials. Their thought bubble? “What’s in it for me?”
Here’s the golden rule: Stop serenading them about how fabulous you are. Instead, strike a chord by showcasing how YOU can make THEIR event experience unforgettable.
Want the secret sauce? Help. Them. Out. Truly.
Sounds elementary? Yet, it’s the path less taken. So, play this song of service, and watch as your audience is captivated. By choosing to genuinely assist them, you’re not just a business with products to sell – you’re their trusted guide, ensuring they shine. This, dear friend, is your yellow brick road to not just doubling, but possibly tripling your sales!
So, as we discuss the magic of events, remember to shine the spotlight on your audience. For when they shine, so do you.
Let's take a trip down memory lane. Picture 1946: Louis Engel, a rather ambitious chap, pens an intriguing full-page educational ad for his modest investment firm. The bigwigs are skeptical, but they let it fly. And fly it does – landing in The New York Times and reeling in a whopping 3 million leads. What blossomed from that was the Wall Street behemoth we now know as Merrill Lynch.
Engel’s secret sauce? Value-based marketing.
Sadly, it seems that in our digital age, the essence of value-based marketing has faded away, lost among flashy ads and quick sales tactics. The space is eerily quiet on this front, and dear event organiser, this is your cue.
The brilliance lies in its simplicity: Give first, ask later. No strings attached. Instead of "How can I bag a sale?", let the guiding star be, "How can I bring more to the table for my attendees?" And one of the grandest ways to serve up this value? Lead magnets.
Whether it's riveting reports, handy ebooks, insightful videos, or snappy cheat sheets, the objective remains. Offer an appetising morsel of wisdom, asking in return perhaps just an email address (a subtle nod to future conversations, not monetary transactions).
The magic? When you roll out the red carpet of knowledge, attendees no longer feel cornered by sales pitches. They're learning. They're engaged. They're grateful. Suddenly, you're not just another event; you're the guide they trust.
Want to craft an irresistible lead magnet? Here’s my cheat sheet:
- Headline is King: Don’t let it snooze. Ensure it's catchy enough to have them hitting that download button faster than one can say "event."
- Squash the Skeptics: Doubts can be pesky. Address them head-on. Share why you're doling out this wisdom. Why do you genuinely wish to help?
- Answer the Burning Questions: Whether it's a report or ebook, every piece should touch upon a query keeping them up at night. And if you can address these in your subheaders, you’ve got a win!
- Sneak in a CTA: While the lead magnet is pure value, don’t forget it’s also your chance to engage further. Tactfully introduce a CTA, ushering them deeper into your world.
Value-based marketing isn't just a tactic; it’s a philosophy.
4. Commanding the Room: Why Your Copy Should Be the Star of the Show
In the grand theatre of marketing, if you desire to double the applause (or sales, in this case), you need a star performer that won't let the audience drift away. That star is your copy. And just as the headline suggests, it should be as tantalizing and arresting.
Perfecting a copy strategy is not about merely putting words together; it's about stitching them in a way that transforms every line into an opportunity, every phrase into a conversion.
So, what makes for stellar copy? Let’s break it down:
The Magnetic Headline
Picture your headline as the spotlight. It's the first thing that catches the reader's eye, determining whether they'll stay for the show. It sets the stage for the narrative that follows. An effective headline should:
- Illuminate: Let your readers instantly know what's in store.
- Intrigue: It should pique curiosity, urging them to delve deeper.
- Promise: Ensure it paints a genuine picture of what’s to come.
The Irresistible Offer
Crafting a captivating narrative is all well and good, but without a climax - a compelling offer - your story might lack a purpose. This portion of your copy should make the audience feel they're on the brink of something grand. Build it up, underscore its worth, and present it in such a light that saying 'no' feels like a missed opportunity.
Imagine watching a play where every actor speaks at once. Confusing, right? Similarly, bombarding your audience with multiple requests or calls to action will disorient them. Focus. Choose one essential action you want from them - be it a sign-up, purchase, or review - and weave your narrative around it. A laser-focused approach ensures clarity and results.
In summation, it's not just about having copy; it's about having copy that resonates, persuades, and most importantly, sells. By perfecting these three pillars – the captivating headline, the enticing offer, and a clear, singular focus – you're setting the stage for a standing ovation.
5. Irresistible Invitations: Make them an offer they can’t refuse
Look, if you think every prospect entering your orbit is ready to splurge on your high-ticket items instantly, you're in for a surprise. Marketing isn't a fairy-tale realm. In our perfect world, attendees would all eagerly commit the moment they step into your funnel. But reality often writes a different script. Some prospects need a gentle nudge, not a hefty push.
Missing out on them? That's like leaving gold on the table. And in our business? That's a missed shot at doubling those sales figures.
So, what's the game plan for those teetering on the edge of commitment, eager to engage but hesitant about hefty investments?
Enter the "Make me an offer I can’t refuse."
You might recognise it as an entry offer. While it might not fetch you a king's ransom upfront, it's the key to expanding your customer base and ideally covering the costs of driving traffic.
Priced usually between £1 and £20 – with the sweet spot hovering between £7 and £10 – these offers are tantalising, but not because they're cheap. Forget the 'bargain bin' pitch. The true magic lies in delivering outstanding value that far outstrips its price. It's not just about selling; it's about dazzling them.
Whether it's a webinar, an insightful guide, or another tool they'd find indispensable (think VistaPrint's masterstroke with their pocket-friendly business card offer), it's all about catering to their core needs without burning a hole in their pocket.
This strategy isn’t just about immediate gain. By crafting an entry offer, you lower the drawbridge, inviting those who might be wary of larger investments to experience what you offer. It’s your audition – a chance to prove your mettle. And once you've charmed them at this stage, nurturing them towards pricier offerings becomes a natural progression, setting the stage for soaring sales.
Now, I won't sugarcoat it: dreaming of doubling your sales? It's going to demand effort and some top-tier tactics.
Yet, with the strategies I've laid out, the roadmap is clear. The journey? That's for you to embark on.
If you're buzzing with excitement and eager to tailor this approach to your unique event needs, brace yourself for some exciting news!
I've earmarked a few strategy sessions each month – and spots vanish faster than tickets at a blockbuster gig. Eager to turbocharge those ticket sales? Secure your slot pronto! Ready to craft conference magic? Let’s make conference magic together! - see what I did there? 😉