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"Conferences are like parties, you need the A-list to attend and then everyone will want to be there." —Tim O’Reilly

A well-executed and successful conference offers you and your attendees great value. You get the opportunity to meet existing and potential clients, establish personal connections, and better understand their needs and struggles. All of these opportunities build stronger relationships and trust in your company. Successful conference planning is more than just choosing a venue, speaker, entertainment, food, and drinks. Attendance makes or breaks a conference’s overall goal. The key to hosting a sold-out event is proper event planning, marketing, and management.

Goals for a successful conference

Any successful event starts with a well-defined goal. To determine your event goal, answer these questions:

  • What message do you want to convey to attendees?
  • What problem will you solve for them?

Once you identify your goal, you can move on to marketing the event. Use these five ideas to sell out your next conference:

1. Create an event website

Event websites increase your online visibility. Choose an available URL from a domain database website. Craft unique content and highlight the conference benefits. Link to the website from your main site to increase online strength. Online visibility is important in attracting organic attendee registrations. Make sure your event is easily found!

2. Enlist speakers that matter

Conference speakers deliver the overall message of your conference. Choose speakers that your target audience will connect with and be inspired by. Do not choose based on price. Identify what you want to ignite in attendees, watch demos of past events, and contact references to determine if they are a good match. Attendance is significantly influenced by speakers that attendees want to hear from.

3. Promote the location

Many conference attendees turn conferences into mini-vacations by bringing their families. Choose a location offering fun and excitement. Promote entertainment and sightseeing opportunities to increase registration. Choosing an unknown city will negatively impact your registration numbers.

4. Social media ads

Social media marketing is a necessity in today’s marketing strategies. Utilize paid advertising options to increase your online reach. Multiple platforms offer audience-targeting options, which let you identify the characteristics of your ideal attendee and pinpoint your ads or sponsored posts to them specifically. Include a link to your event website for a streamlined registration process. The more difficult registering is, the more likely they are to move on to something else.

5. Cross-promote

An additional benefit of choosing the right speaker is having the ability to cross-promote to their group of followers. Implement an e-mail marketing campaign highlighting the event benefits and a special ticket offer. Special ticket offers can include discounted pricing or an increased number of benefits (i.e. free gifts).

Make your next conference impossible to say no to. Attract and promote A-list attendees and speakers with these 5 tips to sell out your next conference.