"If you build it, they will come" does not apply to events.
Not unless you are One Direction or have a similar following of millions, watching your every move.
Allow me a short rant.
In the past few months I have personally experienced:
- A major conference sending me an emailed invitation a week before the event - no website, not even a programme! Who books to go to an event without knowing the topics/speakers?
- A invitation to a seminar, with an "email us to register" (aaargh!). Doing so results in a "mailbox full" bounce-back. You won't believe it, but this is the second time this has happened with the same organiser (I use the word with a big pinch of salt). Think how many more delegates they would have, with an efficient online booking system.
- No social media presence whatsoever for an event - a conference about innovation, no less. No website, no Facebook page/event, nothing. I heard about the event via the grapevine, went looking... nada!
- An event organiser's website with contact details that don't work and links to pages that don't exist.
(While I was writing this blog post, an email arrived for an "advanced PA" masterclass, full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Ummm.. no, thanks. Not very professional.)
The mind boggles.
How do these people stay in business? How badly is their bottom line affected by this inefficiency and lack of insight?
A few years ago, I went to a concert by two internationally acclaimed guitarists. Fantastic show! There were 6 of us in the audience. Why? Because they didn't advertise at all. They assumed people would just come. But the people didn't know.
Don't make the same mistake.
Market, market, market - tell your audience, then remind them a couple of times. Make it easy-peasy for them to book a seat. Don't expect them to repeatedly phone you for information - ensure it's available online.
This isn't rocket science.
It's basic common sense.
Which as we know, isn't that common :)