https://www.rmef.org/elk-network/increasing-your-events-attendance/

The benefit of increasing RMEF event attendance is simple: more attendees mean more can be raised for the mission. Here are some considerations to help increase your event’s attendance.

The benefit of increasing RMEF event attendance is simple: More attendees mean more can be raised for the mission. Volunteers and staff share some considerations below to think about when increasing your attendance, as well as some tactics to help promote your event and increase attendance.

Event Promotion:

Effectively promoting your event to past attendees as well as potential new attendees is key to growing your turnout. Beyond traditional advertising tactics such as radio and newspaper ads and distributing banquet mailers and emails, there are added things to do to help promote sales. Here are some helpful tips suggested by RMEF volunteers:

  • The number-one way to increase attendance is to ASK!
  • Print and display banquet posters at the event facility several weeks ahead of time so people that attend other activities learn about your event. If allowed, you can also create banners and display them outside of the facility so those passing by see the information.
  • Ask local businesses if they will advertise the event date and banquet information on their reader boards, as a donation to the chapter.
  • Ask your regional director about Phonevite, a low-cost option that makes automated calls to local members. The ticket chair records a short banquet announcement including sales information, which is then sent out via an automated call. When scheduled mid-morning, the call will most likely be missed and will be recorded in RMEF member’s voice mailboxes. By doing this, the recipient does not know that the call was an automated phone call.
  • For an item that is underwritten or donated by a local business, display the item at the business a month prior to your event, along with a poster that highlights the donation and promotes event ticket sales.
  • Promoting your event through your state’s Facebook page is a proven sales tactic, and engaging with people within that Facebook event helps build excitement and sales as well. Be sure to post auction and raffle previews as well as your dinner menu and event timeline so potential attendees know what to expect.
  • One successful sales tactic that caught on in recent years is table package sales. A table package includes meals, memberships and more, which can accommodate eight or 10 people! Thanks to these packages, regular banquet attendees are inviting new attendees to share their table. Business owners invite clients and employees. Parents invite their kids and grandkids. If you create the opportunity for eight or 10 person sales, you might be surprised how many table packages you will sell. Consult your regional director on how to bundle memberships, meals, raffle tickets, merchandise and more into a single sales package—it financially makes sense!

 

 

Facility:

Chapters are often limited within their current facilities to a restricted capacity for attendees. Here are some creative ways to increase your capacity.

  • Evaluate other facility options. If you are at maximum capacity with your current facility, what other options are available that will allow you to grow by 20% or more? Making the jump to a new facility isn’t always easy but is usually worth the change in the end.
  • Does it make financial sense to rent tents to move the food line or other banquet features outside? It may not be cost effective in all situations but could be worth exploring since you may be able to increase the number of attendees at your banquet venue.
  • Don’t be afraid of splitting your event activities into different rooms. Perhaps placing your general raffle in a separate room will free up space to add table seating.

 

Scheduling:

One thing that may help increase your event’s attendance is the time of year it is scheduled. Below are a few things to consider when determining an event date.

  • Check with other nonprofits to make sure there is not a scheduling conflict on the same night or within a week of another group’s event. Having two events scheduled on top of each other will hurt the bottom-line results of both organizations. If scheduled within the same week, potential attendees may only pick one nonprofit to support, or they may be financially limited since both may fall in the same pay period.
  • Try to pick and stick with a fixed date, such as always scheduling a banquet for the second weekend in March. Doing so allows attendees and other local organizations to take notice when to plan for your event to take place. It also builds anticipation and allows everyone to plan for it year after year.
  • Be cautious of scheduling over holidays and other major events. Consider local community sports, tournaments or championships, and major school events such as graduation or homecoming that may draw attendees away from your event.

The post Increasing Your Event’s Attendance appeared first on Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

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