LinkedIn is an amazing tool to drive event attendees.
With over 630 Million users on LinkedIn, it has become an unbelievably powerful tool to reach B2B Decision makers and generate leads.
Let’s say you’re holding a networking event in Manchester and you are looking to drive attendees to your event, here are the steps we would follow to get the maximum number of attendees to your event
Identify your ideal attendee
Work out who it is that you’d like to see at your event, and there may be several considerations for you here. It might be really important for you to get a high volume of attendees, to get your business name and the principles out there to as many people as possible. On the flip side, maybe you want a smaller event, with a highly targeted set of attendees at a high decision-maker level.
LinkedIn allows you to filter down to the most granular demographic, so it’s easy to find your perfect event delegates once you’ve worked out who they are. You can filter by the industry that someone may work in, their job title, seniority, years of experience in the industry, or even by the company they work in currently if you’re after the hyper-targeted attendees. If your ideal attendees are split across multiple industries, you’re even able to build multiple lists that can get specific. It’s likely that if you’re targeting multiple industries, you’ll be targeting different job titles within each.
Sales Navigator is the perfect tool for building such targeted prospecting lists, once you have determined the type of people that you’re looking for.
Set your geographical search radius
Where your attendees may come from depends hugely on the size of the event. If you work on a national or global scale, you can market to entire countries, and high targeted prospecting means you can fill your event with the best decision makers in the industry, from all over the place.
More frequently, events are based on a city or regional level. Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can search for attendees as nearby or far away from you as you’d like. Whether you look for anyone suitable who’s based in a certain city (or a number of cities), or you want only those within a set number of miles from the event’s postcode.
There are benefits of setting your search to a wider area – the unique approach of outreach through LinkedIn means you may be able to further your reach, and get people travelling further to come and see what you have to offer. Setting your target a little wider as well can help you include more people in your prospecting lists, so helping to get a higher number of attendances. However, you may want to keep things closer to home for many reasons. Events are perfect for local networking, introducing prospects to other thought leaders in the industry and allowing for relationship building between you and all attendees.
Once you’ve decided where you’d like your attendees to come from, you’re all set. You’ve built a list of every single ideal attendee to your event, and it’s time to start reaching out to them.
Finalise the value proposition
Potential attendees need to know what they’ll get out of coming to your event, and why it’s worth their time.
Put together a range of material that covers what people stand to learn, achieve and how they’ll benefit from being there. Whether you’re putting on a seminar that will teach people how to do something that will make them more money, if they can meet other industry experts or potential clients – people need a reason to attend. Content to push out, concise and convincing info emails to people that are asking, discounted tickets for attendance (or even free if it’s feasible).
Pushing out content not just in an outbound manner is also super important. LinkedIn is the best platform for organic visibility, so push for more engagement on reasons to attend your event to compliment the outreach you’re doing to help drive visibility and attendances for your event.
Start Sending Connection Requests
The core of effective LinkedIn outbound lead generation is adding your target audience to your network. Not only does it mean you can send them a personalised message about why you’d like them to attend, but it also means that you are connected with them going forwards and they can see all subsequent content you post on LinkedIn. Each and every one of these people that you’re adding to your network have been identified as someone you’d like to attend your event, and is also likely a potential customer of yours, so you’re connected going forwards and able to share content and ideas.
Note – sending connections should be done carefully, and too high volume can lead to account restrictions.
Begin sending messages to your new targeted LinkedIn connections
Once you’re connected with your ideal prospects, you want to reach out to them with a personalised introductory marketing message. Getting the format of these messages right is crucial, you need to spark interest and open the conversation with your ideal attendees. The message needs to include the important information about why you’re reaching out to them, be engaging, and have a Call to Action to get as many people interacting with you as possible.
There are many different formats your message may take, and it’s important to work out which will have the highest engagement and conversion rate. Learning about what makes a good LinkedIn message is key to be able to get
Following up with prospects who don’t reply is also a great way to capture people who you may have missed the first time around, as it’s very common for people to read the message and forget to reply!
Do you want event sponsors?
LinkedIn outbound activity is also the perfect way to generate interest for sponsors/exhibitors. If you’re after sponsorship to help fund the event, or you’d like some high profile businesses there that can help get you attendances, a direct and targeted approach can help get you a foot in the door.
Your ideal sponsors would be profiled in the same manner as your ideal attendee, the type of business and where they sit within their market. You can connect with them in the same way, but they’ll need a very different type of message if you’re looking for them to sponsor. Bringing them value is important still – what will they get out of sponsoring your event? Are you looking for an expert speaker to deliver a piece of content to the people who have attended?
Once you have a couple of confirmed sponsors, this can be an extra piece of added value to your attendees.
Talk to your interested prospects to gain commitment
Sites like eventbrite are perfect for getting people signed up and having an idea of how many people to expect. However, the more engagement you have with your prospects, the more value the commitment holds and the more likely you are to have a higher percentage of people actually attend. Naturally, paid events will have a higher proportion of ticket holders attending, but may have a lower engagement initially.
Sending over information, following up the day before the event, a brochure with some of the sponsors or other confirmed attendees, or any other material that improves engagement and will build even more value around them attending the event.
Enjoy an event full of your perfect attendees
By targeting your prospects in a methodical and practical way, sending each a personalised message and engaging in conversation, you’ve already started the relationship building process with some potential clients. Allow your attendees to mingle, learn from what you’ve put on offer, and have a great time.