3 ways to attract huge crowds to your conference
#1 Hire a rockstar keynote speaker
A rockstar keynote speaker will cost between $10,000 and $50,000. While this cost may seem steep, it is less than the coffee breaks you will be supplying and much more important. Nobody is going to go to the event for the coffee nor will they talk about the coffee pre or post conference. However they will go to an event and rave about a great keynote speaker. A well-known keynote speaker will also attract other great keynote speakers for your conference. Other speakers will want to be able to say they shared the stage with a Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Dave Kerpen, Malcolm Gladwell or Chuck Martin.
Have your rockstar keynote speaker kick the conference off it will help supply a positive “halo effect” for the rest of the conference (aka creates a great first impression for the attendees).
#2 Leverage your keynote speaker
This may seem like common sense, but so many conferences that hire a great keynote speaker forget to leverage them prior to the event. Your work is just beginning when you hire the keynote speaker.
- Immediately place the keynote speaker in all marketing materials
- Make sure the conference board is knowledgeable and excited about the keynote speaker as this helps create great buzz and word-of-mouth
- Get the latest photos and bio from the keynote speaker directly rather than pulling from the Web as the information on the Web may be outdated
- Have the keynote speaker shoot a quick 60 second video about why they are excited about coming to the conference and why other attendees should join him/her
- Most rockstar keynote speakers have large outreach networks (e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc.) – make sure you give them easy to publish items about the conference so they can blast to their loyal fans and followers
- Have the keynote speaker stay for an autograph or book signing following their speech and make sure you mention this in your marketing materials
#3 Capture video/photos of the event
Most likely if your event is successful you will be running the same event the following year. It’s imperative to capture high-resolution videos and photos of your keynote speakers and attendees having a great time. Make sure you share these immediately during and following the event (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare, Pinterest, e-mail) to enhance current attendees experience and to help create a buzz for next year.
Give a substantial discount for early sign-ups. Get the current attendees to sign-up while they are “caught-up” in the moment. If you have someone helping you with the video and photo production make sure you own all the rights for future marketing use. Store these media materials in an easy to locate digital folder for next year’s marketing which should start today!
If you follow these simple tips you are well on your way to attracting huge crowds.