Last week, I attended an event and the complaint from the organizers is that fewer and fewer people are attending. Now part of this particular group’s situation has to do with poor publicity. In fact, their attendance has dwindled to such an extent that they have had to change venues. Today I attended another event (different group), same problem: fewer people.
If you are organizing an event that has been losing audience, you may want to ask yourself these questions:
Is your publicity reaching new/bigger audiences?
Obviously, if few people know you are having an event, few people will attend. As a communicator, you have to evaluate where you are publicizing your event, and whether you are attracting enough people. Moreover, if you are trying to expand the amount of people at your events, you are going to have to experiment with new ways of publicizing the event. If you can only count on your core group, you don’t have a recipe for growth.
Is your program good?
There are just so many times I can go to a social media event. I have heard lots of it before. Nothing new there. Programming content counts. Doing a boring event or having the same speakers is not going to draw a new or bigger crowd.
What else is going on that day?
This is about the importance of timing. If you are having an event, and there is a presidential debate going on that evening, you are forcing people to choose, and you may lose. Also, what time of day is your event? Have you experimented with other times?
How good was your last event?
You know the saying, you are only as good as your last success. How successful was your last event? Were people interested, motivated, energized? Or did you receive complaints? Was the speaker entertaining or boring? Unfortunately, you do not have too much control over circumstances (speaker was grumpy, people were late due to mass transit problems, etc.), but it matters anyhow. If you had a crappy event, people aren’t going to want to attend another event that you put on.
Do you know who your audience is? Do you know why they attend your events?
You don’t survey you attendees? Big mistake! If you don’t even know why the people who are there attended, how are you going to figure out why people aren’t attending? YOU MUST SURVEY…even informally. As an organizer, ask people on the way in how they found out about the event and on their way out whether they enjoyed the event. Have forms people can fill out. Send out an electronic survey. Do what it takes to find out more about your audience.
What are you up against and how are you fixing it? Let me know in the comments.