Use Bribery to Get People to Show Up at Your Meetings and Business Club Events

Even more frustrating than getting people to RSVP to your events is to get them to show up. As a person who has spent seven years planning and promoting business-to-business events, I know this feeling. But after setting up and running over 1,000 mixers, meetings and business club gatherings, I’ve learned the secret to getting people to show up. There are two parts to this strategy: nagging and bribery. Nagging has been covered in good depth in other articles. Bribery is the more important of the two.
It is more important because you can have the best marketing in the world, but if your attendees see no benefit in attending, they will not show up. Regardless of Wall Street Journal Login how many different ways you remind them. In fact, you’ll probably make them mad by insisting they pay attention to something that holds nothing of value to them.
While the word bribery has a very bad connotation, a bribe is simple anything given or serving to persuade or induce a behavior or action. It’s the answer to “what’s in it for Starting A Successful Small Business me?” It may be the main purpose of your event, or it might be something to make the necessary but dull part palatable. Like a spoonful of sugar making the medicine go done.
Make sure to have a combination of “feature bribes” and “benefit bribes.” Both are important but will bring you different people for different reasons. Feature bribes are things like an interesting location, great food, door prizes, and easy or free parking. A feature bribe will help get more people there, but they might not be the exact target market. You risk that they will only be there for the food or wine or prizes. But, having bodies at an event helps increase the energy level. There’s a certain balance.
A benefit bribe is not about things or places. It’s about people and relationships and what your attendees are going to get out of the event, probably in the long-term. These are benefits such as the people they will meet, gaining access to people they normally wouldn’t meet, having a unique experience, learning something, building their business skills or making great networking connections. You can use benefit bribes to almost exactly target the kind of people you want.
Don’t think that you can “weed out” the lookie-loos or tire-kickers by stripping off all the feature bribes. But even great networkers and serious business people appreciate the added attraction of good food or a nice location. And, the people who are attracted by the features can become great business partners; they just need the experience of spending time with the kind of good networkers who are attracted to your events.

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