If you’re a small business owner, you’ll probably have a lot to deal with. Amid the struggle of staying afloat, managing a business event may sound daunting. But it’s something you need to do to attract clients and projects, right?
Are you struggling to get attendees through the door at your events? Well, even big brands face the issue, so you can expect it as a small business owner.
You should find ways to overcome your struggle because getting them in is crucial. Surveys show that 70% of the audience converts to regular customers after attending an event. That’s impressive!
But promoting events can be tough for small business owners with their limited resources and tight budgets. However, we’ve got some secret tricks to break the barriers and get the word out. Here are a few ways to address the top challenges you may encounter.
Challenge #1- Cutting through the crowd
Perhaps the biggest challenge small business owners often face when promoting events is getting lost in the crowd. It’s tough to stand out and get noticed when you are less than a big brand.
But don’t worry, there are ways to set yourself apart and attract attendees to your event. Start by tapping into your existing network and leverage them to spread the word.
Reach out to your family, friends, and loyal customers and request them to share your event on social media. Word of mouth can take you a long way, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Challenge #2- Limited reach
Yes, leveraging your network for early promotions surely gives you a head start. But you can’t rely only on these sources because they limit your reach. Imagine planning a perfect event, but not getting enough attendees. That’s the worst feeling, right?
Think beyond relying on your existing network when it comes to promotions. Why not partner with other local businesses and influencers to expand your reach? All you need to do is to ensure they’re in the same niche and share the same target audience.
Consider offering incentives such as discounts or giveaways to people who spread the word. They may do it by sharing your event on social media or bringing a friend. The good thing is that you need not do a lot of work to extend your reach. Just be creative with the initiative and you’re good to go!
Challenge #3- Falling short of ideas
What if you run short of ideas when planning a business event? Well, it happens more often than you imagine. Business owners have a vision and goal in mind, but they often fall short of ideas to achieve them.
For example, you may want to organize an event to launch a product or create brand awareness. But you hardly know what to do!
Experts recommend thinking hard or even stealing ideas from your competitors. You can attend their events or stalk your competitors on social media. There’s no harm in seeking inspiration, so go for it.
Ask your team to brainstorm and generate some original ones as well. Remember that you need not do fancy antics to keep your attendees hooked. Just try something that connects with them and appeals to them. They’ll definitely attend and give you business.
Challenge #4- High promotion costs
That’s a given when you organize an event on a low budget. Small businesses cannot spend big on event promotions because they also have to manage the expense of organizing them. But you can save loads of money, guys!
Well, promoting through word of mouth and social media is a great start. You can use an online registration form template to maximize attendee registration and attendance.
Luckily, it’s easy to find affordable options online and create forms in a few steps without hiring experts for the job. And the process is a breeze. Just remember to keep the form as simple as possible.
Challenge #5- Going over the top with the budget
Well, there are ways to promote your event without breaking the bank. But you may still go over the top with the budget at some point. All the hard work can go to waste if you go wrong with budget planning.
The best way to prevent overspending is by setting a realistic budget before planning the event. Consider your expenses and set aside enough money to cover them.
Also, keep a bit in the buffer because a surprise expense can pop out of nowhere. The last thing you want to face is a money crunch when the program is just around the corner, right?
Create a must-have and nice-to-have list so that you can prioritize expenses. Of course, you can miss out on a fancy interactive display, but you must absolutely give away product merchandise. So check where you spend your dollars to make the most of your budget.
Challenge #6- Lack of engagement
Getting more registrations is perhaps the most daunting part of the process. But you shouldn’t rest easy after getting sign-ins. It’s only a start because you need to keep these people hooked until the big day and ensure they turn up for the event. But it’s easier said than done because a lack of engagement is a red flag.
What if no one’s engaging with your content? Not getting enough views, likes, and comments for your social media posts is a reason to worry because it indicates low engagement. Maybe you’re not creating content that resonates with your target audience. Or it’s just not compelling enough.
Ensure you’re speaking directly to the potential attendees and creating content that they will find engaging and interesting. Instead of simple posts, ask questions, run contests, or create polls to encourage interaction. Give people something to think about, and they’ll have good reasons to drop in.
Challenge #7- Networking bottlenecks
Besides a lack of attendee engagement, small business owners may also face networking bottlenecks when it comes to event planning and promotions. Remember that networking is one of the primary objectives of such initiatives. You must reach out before, during, and after the event to build a strong network for your brand.
Networking is valuable as it helps you connect with the right people such as your target audience, industry leaders, potential partners, and mentors. It also helps you consolidate your customer base and get new ideas and opportunities. So overlooking it is the worst mistake you can make as a business owner.
The good thing is that you can tap social media to connect with people who can bring value to your business. It’s the easiest way to reach out and create a buzz around your brand and event. But even as you leverage social media, remember that connecting through direct human interactions is equally crucial. It adds a human touch and makes your brand more credible.
Challenge #8- Time constraints
Another challenge you might face is the time crunch. It’s one thing most business owners struggle with. You may not have enough time to dedicate to promotion while juggling the multiple responsibilities of running a small business. But promoting your event should be a priority if you want to drive attendance and make noise.
So, what can you do? You can address the challenge by planning ahead and setting aside dedicated time for promotion. Dedicate a few hours each week to focus on promotions. It enables you to manage things realistically without overlooking your business responsibilities.
Stick with low-cost ideas that offer a broad outreach. You can do it by sending out emails, creating social media posts, or reaching out to potential partners. Besides being easy on your wallet, these strategies help you with quick promotions and effective outcomes.
Challenge #9- Post-event blues
So you managed to host a successful event and pull the crowds. But now what? It’s not the end of the road, and a lot more needs to be done. You cannot gauge success by counting the number of attendees arriving at the venue, right?
After all, these are only numbers until you convert them into customers. It’s more about making them stick, whether you want leads, conversions, recommendations, or brand awareness.
Post-event promotion is a challenge because most business owners overlook it. But remember that it’s as important as the pre-event promotion. Leverage social media to thank the attendees and share pictures and videos from the event.
You can even encourage the attendees to leave reviews and share their experiences as they can enhance your brand’s presence. Also, follow up with your new leads to keep them engaged. Post-event promotion helps you make the most of the hard work, so don’t miss out on it.
Well, that’s it, small business owners! Undoubtedly, event promotion is challenging, no matter how well-prepared you are. While the challenges you may face while promoting your events are real, they needn’t keep you from getting the word out and pulling the crowds. Just be a little savvy and creative with your strategies, and you’re good to go.
Try these ideas to ace promotions and attendance for your next event. All the best!
I am the the Founder of SuccessGrid and I am so grateful you’re here to be part of this awesome community. I love connecting with people who have a passion for Entrepreneurship, Self Development & Achieving Success. I started this website with the intention of educating and inspiring people to always strive to Raise the Standards to Achieve Greatness.