Get people to your events: our top 5 tips

We at The Art House have been running events here for over 6 years, and our three directors, Jani, Bik and Ziggy, have many years experience between them of planning and running events large and small before we started here.

Here are our top 5 tips to get people to come to your event

1) Plan in advance.  Events planned only a few weeks in advance are likely to fail unless you’ve done a lot of work building an audience who are champing at the bit to come to something you’re arranging.

2) You have to publicise.  A lot.  The best event in the world will flop if nobody knows about it – do not assume people will come looking for it, either.  A good rule of thumb is that you will need to tell people about it WAY more than you think you will.

Marketers call this “effective advertising frequency” and, depending on what research you look at, it can take somebody anything between 3 and 20 views of your ad before they buy.

Whilst you should never bombard people with advertisements, or spam other people’s groups or pages (huge no-no), please don’t expect to post the event once on Facebook and fill it – try multiple approaches:  social media, emails, posters, fliers….

3) The more practical info, the better.  Here is a handy checklist of what to include:

Trash Cocktail Garden Party (1)– When is it?  Day, date, time and don’t forget to include the year (events on posters or online can hang around for a long time, so this little detail is important).

– Where is it?  The more info, the better, people often fret about finding an event or where to park, or what public transport to use.  Be helpful and take these worries into account on any information.

– What is it?  Again, information is key, people like to know exactly what to expect so give as much detail as you can about what exactly the event will be like and what will happen.

– Who is it for?  Make sure people know if all ages are welcome, if something is aimed at beginners or experienced people (for a workshop), how accessible it will be, etc.  Folks often worry that they’ll be the only person of their age, level of experience or gender at an event, so be honest about this.

– How can people book?  Make this as simple as possible and, if you can, have more than one way to book or buy tickets.  Not everyone is happy to book and pay online, for instance, so if you can have another option it’s good.

songwriters circle4) Get people’s details for next time!  Building a solid mailing list of people who come to things you arrange will make it gradually easier and easier for you to fill events – which has to be a good thing.  Also, try to track the effectiveness of your marketing by asking people how they heard about your event.

5) Follow up.  If you have people’s details, especially for a larger event, follow up with a thank-you and perhaps a feedback request.  This step will make you stand out and look professional and caring – plus feedback helps you to improve each time.

We hope this has been useful to you, and wish you happy event planning!

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About arthousesouthampton

The Art House is a not-for-profit café, gallery and arts venue in the centre of Southampton. We are a place you can meet new people, meet up with friends or just come in by yourself. Our licensed café offers delicious organic lunches, Fairtrade tea and homemade cake. We also have a busy programme of events, workshops, and art exhibitions, a clothing and crafts boutique and lots more. Most of our crew are volunteers and you might even want to apply to join them. Come along and enjoy our unique, community run space.
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