One topic that continually comes up when I meet with clients involves driving attendance and employee engagement at Employment Appreciation Events. Many times event planners tell me that they can’t seem to get more people to come out to their events. Because we’re all focused on budgets, they mistakenly feel that it takes more money and flashier events to get their employees to participate. That is only partly true.
No, it does not necessarily take more money, and yes, perhaps you CAN dress up your events and make them more attractive, but you needn’t break the bank to do so.
Here are 5 ways you can increase attendance at your next event. These are easy, proven strategies that I have used with my clients that work. One of these strategies just might be the answer for you!
5. Big Ticket Items– It doesn’t always take a ton of money to add great value to your events.
• Have a keynote speaker like the CEO or plant manager, a prominent member of the community or government, or even a local celebrity or athlete address your crowd.
• An insured chance to win a huge prize like an all-expenses paid vacation or a brand new car is actually very affordable and very exciting.
• Live entertainment like music acts or stunt shows are very popular with every crowd.
4. Event Promotion– Communicating accurate event information is essential to participation.
• Use announcements, newsletters, flyers, posters, table toppers in the cafeteria, and a custom event website. ( don’t fear this one, it’s something that is not that difficult to setup)
• One of the best drivers of attendance is notifying the family. An invitation mailed to the home will ensure that everybody in the family gets the essential event information.
3. Hold Events on Company Grounds– Hosting events at your workplace will reduce the intimidation factor of driving somewhere new.
• Every employee knows the exact directions to get to work, the traffic patterns, and even their favorite parking spot, making them more likely to participate on event day.
• Open houses and plant tours add another level of engagement because employees will get to show their family around their working space, which may be a rare occurrence.
2. Offer Everyone Good Reasons to Come– Plan your events specifically for who you are inviting.
• If it’s open to retirees, make sure that there are more passive activities like trivia or bingo for them to enjoy.
• If it’s open to kids make sure there are arts and crafts, midway games, or bounce houses to play on.
• If it’s just open to current employees and spouses make sure to include relevant prizes, quality food, and maybe a bar service.
1. Word of Mouth- It’s the most powerful medium in the world, maybe the slowest, but certainly the surest way to increase participation and attendance is to routinely hold fun, engaging, quality events. A steady schedule of events will bring about a culture of participation and comradery. Isn’t that what we all want, anyway? Positive water cooler talk is the most powerful medium for positive company culture, and consistently positive reviews will lead to better attendance at future functions. Consistency, as it is in all aspects of business success, is the key. Start planning and building your model of consistency today.