The key to successfully growing bigger and better events is to set up what’s called the Marketing Cycle. The first part of the cycle is to promote your event in whatever way you can, such as traditional advertising. The next step is critical. You must collect names and addresses & email addresses when people book. At this point, you should confirm their booking, but importantly from your point of view, use it to ask them to tell others.
As the event draws closer, in order to create anticipation of the event you contact people prior to the event who have already booked to remind them of the event and again ask them to tell others. This next step is again critical. After the event, you actively seek feedback. This must seek constructive feedback to help improve your events. You need to know what people are thinking and pick on the issues you can improve on. The feedback must also seek to collect positive comments.
You now have completed one cycle. Marketing the next event (marketing cycle) gets easier. You use the database of contacts you already built up to direct market to these “qualified” people. Most importantly, in your promotional communication, you tell them (from your feedback) what has changed (to make it a better event), and you include the positive comments (testimonials) from people. You then continue through the remainder of the cycle.
As you can appreciate, for each subsequent event (marketing cycle) the information you generate gets more fine-tuned to what people want so you can deliver events they will be more motivated to attend.
An online booking (& payment) service provides an excellent way to manage the Marketing Cycle as it will collect email and postal addresses (and payments), automatically provide confirmation emails and send reminder emails (plus use it to ask them to tell others). The most critical part is it will collect feedback after the event. This is the marketing gold of your Marketing Cycle!
For the next event, you simply use your database to direct mail. Plus you also now have another valuable weapon as part of the Marketing Cycle. Most people will only respond to a promotional after several communications. You can now very easily use your online booking system to send subsequent follow-up promotions to only those on your database who have not yet registered.