How to Increase Event Attendance with These 4 Key Marketing Tactics

Members join your association for one of two reasons: either for education or opportunities to build their network. There is no better chance for you to show the value your association provides to those members than your annual event, but do you know how to increase event attendance?  

Let’s think of a couple traditional event promotion practices.

Monthly newsletter?

Email marketing?

Social media?

Sure, those are all great options to promote an event to increase attendance, but let’s look beyond the surface at how you can attract the crowd.

Event Attendance Tip: Phone Outreach

For our clients, this has proven to be very successful means of communication to encourage members to attend meetings or events. Not only does it add a personal touch to the traditional marketing approach, but gives the member a chance to ask any specific questions they may have one on one. There can be so much clutter within the marketing channels listed above, but a phone call you can guarantee your intended message is heard.

Related Post: Why You Need to Be Calling Members Right Now  


Event Attendance Tip: Maintain a Desirable Vendor Ratio

No one wants to attend an event just to be sold to the entire time, and as an association you don’t want that reputation. Your marketing efforts should follow the below guidelines:

Too many vendors: Focus your event promotion on member registration.

Not enough, or not the type of vendors that you would expect would add value to your event: Focus promoting the upcoming event on vendor registration.


Event Attendance Tip: Utilize Lookalike Audiences

Facebook has excellent tools to help with this, and if you aren’t familiar don’t be afraid to reach out to us for help. Through Facebook’s advertising platform you can upload files of your current members and their proprietary algorithm will be able to target similar organizations who share a lot of the same traits, AKA your target audience.

If you’re ahead of the game and have a decent list of potential prospects, you can upload that as well and Facebook will make sure your content is seen by those parties.

LinkedIn is also a great place to run your B2B campaign. In the past, LinkedIn had been quite clunky to manage campaigns, but there have been some awesome improvements recently! You can use these 3 tips when creating a hyper-targeted campaign to your members.

Event Attendance Tip: Geographical Targeting

Geographically targeting members applies to you especially if you’re a national association travelling to a regional hub city for your membership event. Create a list of potential prospects for the select city and reach out to them. Not only do you now have the chance to drive attendance, but also add to your association.

Consider the lifetime value of a member. Would offering a complimentary registration, or one day pass to an outsider pay dividends in the future? For some of our clients the answer is yes. In other instances you can offer a discounted rate, etc.


It’s not enough to just simply exist and expect your members to follow through. Budgets are limited, and in most cases organizations will be a part of multiple associations. You must actively market yourself and continue to provide value in order to show your worth & keep your seats full. Be on the forefront of your industry & continue to be the best association available to your members!

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