'Apprevention.' It's the word we came up with to describe that unique mixture between excitement and dread before your event begins: will they show up?
If you build it, they still might not come. You need to take certain measures to make sure you're not faced with a bunch of no-shows and an empty room.
1. Pick the right location
It's the day of your event. The sky is heavy. You look to the window; it's drizzling. All your guests have spent the whole day at work, they're looking at the same drizzle, and they're weighing up whether to come to your event. What do you want?
A venue that is effortless to get to.
1) Make sure your venue has seriously good transport links
2) Make sure you've given everyone clear directions of how to find it from the nearest tube
3) Make sure you've checked any strikes or closures
4) Make sure there aren't any other venues with the same name which your guests might accidentally go to instead
2. Choose an amazing venue
So, your venue is easy to get to. But is it cool? Is it somewhere your guests really want to go? Is it somewhere they haven't been before? Is it somewhere they might be surprised by?
London's got the best venues in the world. Our job is to make the most of them - choose something amazing!
3. Target the right people
If you're throwing a birthday party, you're going to invite your friends: they're the ones that want to come. And it's no different for a corporate or professional event: who would want to come?
There has to be an initial interest or relevance, and you want to make sure that you've comprehensively researched the people your event is going to attract. Your event will be great, and there are people out there who will really want to come. You've just got to find them.
4. Pick the right day
Ok, so you're probably not going to do it on a Sunday night. We know that - but you don't want to do it on a Friday night either - people have their own lives, and they're going to prioritise that over your event.
The best days? Wednesday and Thursday.
5. Pick the right time
People tend to finish work at 6pm. If your event starts at 7:30, you're giving them an hour and a half to kill - not enough time to go home, not enough time to meet a friend. It is, however, enough time to decide to bail on your event.
6pm is the best time to start.
6. Organise an activity other than food or drink
A welcome glass of champagne, exquisite canapés - it's the stuff everyone looks forward to, but it's also what everyone expects.
Throw something else in - a photo booth, free manicures, live music, cookie-making, cocktail masterclasses, fortune teller - there's a whole world out there of amazing entertainment. Make the most of it!
And if you ever need some pointers, just get in touch at hirespace.com
7. Add some mystery
If you build up a sense of mystery and surprise, the only way your guests can find out what's going to happen is by showing up.
The alluring prospect of the unknown is the oldest trick in the events book, and it still very much applies today. Will there be a special guest? A secret location? A mystery prize?
Keep your cards close to your chest, and your guests intrigued.
8. Let your guests bring a plus-one
Nobody wants to go to a party alone. It's as simple as that.
9. Use electronic ticketing
Now you've got everything in place to make sure your guests want to come, you need to manage the whole invitation process. An electronic ticketing system like Eventbrite can let you do several key things:
1) You can see how many are planning attend, and who they all are.
2) You can email all your guests with relevant information
3) You can release tickets at different times, building urgency
4) You can promote your event via the link to the event
5) Your guests can be sent an automatic reminder
These are all useful, and in some cases, crucial tools for managing your guest list.
10. Create hype
These are fundamentals of generating interest and enthusiasm about anything, but especially in events. Here are some of the things you can do:
1) Have 'early bird' and 'final release' tickets, with very few 'early birds' and a load of 'final releases'. As those early birds sell out, and suddenly there are only final releases left, your guests will be rushing to grab them. And, it'll give the impression that your event is proving popular.
2) Count down the days until the signing up to the event will end, and to the event itself: 'just one day to go!'
3) Emphasise that there are limited spaces
4) Have a reserve list, so that late-comers can still come but feel as though your event is oversubscribed (which, because of the first 8 tips, it will be!)
11. Follow-up with a call
Your electronic ticketing system will automatically remind your guests about the event, but it's still crucial to talk to them in person and get them excited about coming.
This kind of personal touch will go far, not only reminding your guests about the event but making them feel like they're personally wanted there.
It's the final nudge that will make your event irresistible.
For help finding a venue for your event, just get in touch at hirespace.com