I host MANY events large and small.
Some might consider me to be a “serial inviter”.
An idea pops into my head, or I notice an emerging issue or opportunity, or I see potential in gathering together a specific group of people, or I get the feeling that: If these people who don’t yet know each other personally were to meet in a safe space to explore a topic of common interest, some great things might happen.
So . . . I name the topic and issue open invitations to anyone and everyone whom I think might have enough passion for this idea to show up at a prescribed day/time in an appropriate location.
I then wait for it . . .
Will they come?
If they do RSVP, how many of them will actually show up?
Oh! There are so many things about which I could worry in this period between invitation and commencement of the event, but I don’t worry.
I know that the right people will come with their flavor of passion for the topic and whatever happens will be the only thing that could have. At the end, everyone will have learned and made a few new friends, and we usually come to realize that this is not “over” . . . It’s a commencement of new relationships and initiatives relative to the topic . . . and beyond.
Many hosts agonize about the details from conception to conclusion.
What if the people I think “should” attend, don’t?
What if more people show up than expected . . . and we run short on space or food and beverage?
Not a big deal! The people present didn’t come for the food or space . . . they came because they cared enough about the topic to put it on their calendar and show up.
The number of people who come is far less important than WHO comes.
The BIG WIN is whatever happens as a result of the juicy stew of ideas and conversation that has ensued.
There are some “Pre-event” things that the host can employ in order to attract the “right people” to your event.
Provide pre-event interaction through a digital connection space. The “YAPP” app is a handy tool for this . . . or create a “closed” Facebook group available ONLY to people who have registered . . . or maybe offer weekly or bi-weekly ZOOM meetings . . . There are myriad other connection possibilities.
Perhaps do the registration on a platform (Eventbrite or Facebook events) such that people can see who has registered. Folks are more apt to register if they can see known friends, colleagues, or other “people of interest” registered.
Offer creative pricing . . . 3 tiers . . . a limited number of “Eager” at 50% of full price – “Early Bird” Register by a certain date at 75% of full price . . . Beyond the Early Bird date and at the door 100%.
I’m not a big fan of “incentives” in the form of give-aways because those may result in folks coming for the prize and not because they have passion for the topic.
These are simple tips to attract the “right” people to your event.
Mostly, focus on effectively communicating the reason – the theme – for the event and enjoy whatever happens.