As an event creator, the last thing you want right now is to put tonnes of work into planning an event, only to have a handful of people show up on the day. This is especially true if your event is free or has low-cost ticketing tiers.

There are a whole host of reasons why people might not attend. If it’s a free event, then no financial investment can dampen their incentive to turn up. But they could also have had a change of plans or simply feel a lack of excitement about attending. Whatever the reason, the question is this: Once you’ve convinced people to register and buy tickets, how do you persuade them to turn up? Here are a few strategies you can use to get people to attend any future event.

Create premium ticketing options

One way to encourage attendance is to consider offering a form of paid ticketing, even if the event is mainly free. Whether it’s for a post-event add-on, such as a follow-up Q&A session, or premium experience at the event itself, like a meet and greet with performers, giving a paid option increases the value of your event in people’s minds.

Engage in advance

It’s important to make each and every attendee feel valued. Build up a rapport with them before the big day by starting a conversation via your communication and marketing platforms. Poll them on various event options and ask for their input into aspects like panel topics. Greater interaction equals greater encouragement to attend, as they will feel more emotionally invested and the event will line up more with their preferences. Don’t forget to keep the conversation going during and after the event to pique their interest in future offerings. You could send out post-event surveys to learn what they thought and gain important insight.

Reward, reward, reward

Another great way to build a solid attendance list for events is to reward guests for showing up. For example, if it’s an educational event, consider offering a CPD certificate to attendees who complete the session. You could also provide goodie bags or an entry into a lucrative prize draw. When employing this tactic, remember to publicise the reward to your audience before the event for maximum effectiveness.

Honesty is the best policy

The most straightforward way to limit no-shows is to just ask ticket-holders to be honest about whether they will attend. Get in touch with them in the days leading up to the event, and make confirming a no-show easy by including a simple button to click. You can do this by sending out an event attendance confirmation email 24 hours ahead of your event using one of our Eventbrite email templates. An added advantage is that this will help you in estimating attendance at an event.

Create a sense of responsibility

You can also make it clear to ticket-holders that if they don’t plan on attending, there are other people waiting to take their place. This will hopefully encourage them to notify you of non-attendance and means that you can have a last-minute ticket push if needs be.

Get ahead of the no-shows

One way to prevent non-attendance is to have a last-minute plan. If several people have confirmed that they now won’t be attending, having a standby guest list will work wonders to fill those slots. Be aware that to build this list, you’ll have to generate plenty of hype about your event beforehand. Use social media videos, competitions, and polls to get the word out and create a buzz in the months and weeks leading up to the big day. Alternatively, you can reach out to existing guests and ask if they have friends or family who may want to attend, or give away tickets as part of a sponsorship and marketing strategy.

Take the opportunity to learn

No-shows happen, but there are ways to minimise them. And if you do experience no-shows, benefit from them by analysing the data that they provide. Knowing who didn’t turn up and the kinds of tickets that they purchased means you can focus your attention on this demographic in future marketing. It’s all useful information that can inform how to attract crowds to your events in the future. To make event attendance tracking even easier and create a seamless entry experience for guests, download the Eventbrite Organiser app.

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