Managing attendance at events: Experts recommend
It’s easy for events that are paid or ticketed but what otherwise? Managing attendees- calculating the right number, barring the unwanted ones at your event is a task in itself. A lot of factors such as sponsors, budgets, knowledge shared depend on the number of people that turn up for a particular event.
Anticipating an attendee count for your event and work accordingly in terms of spends and sponsors involves a great amount of risk. In addition to that, what arises as another difficult and unavoidable situation is when uninvited guests arrive at an event. Consolidating certain measures that the event agencies take while anticipating the right number of attendees at their events, we delve deeper by hearing it from the horse’s mouth.
The points discussed are:
Calculating the number of attendees at an event
Steps taken to ensure that the attendees turn up in the numbers anticipated by the event agencies
Managing and controlling uninvited attendees
Mr. Amanveer Singh, Director, Ten Events & Entertainment when asked said “Every event is planned for a purpose and the same helps in anticipating the number of attendees. To elaborate this further, when an event is being planned we start from understanding the requirement of our client, post which the need is created for all elements that should go in making that particular event a success. Most of the events have a targeted guest list who is either invited through personal invitations, RSVP management, up to choosing the right day to choosing the location of hosting that particular event and building the hype around your event prompting more guests to confirm their presence.” Attendees to Public Events / Ticketed Concerts / Product Road shows / Political Rallies / etc are subjective to the kind of pre-event publicity, advertisement, highlights of the event I.e. Celebrity Attraction / Freebies / Type of Entertainment! For example : A very prestigious event "India Bike Week" that's held in Goa in the beginning of every year gets huge numbers of enthusiast Bikers from around the country driving down to be part of this event and still attendees are well accounted for. And on the other hand a similar IP called the "Bike Festival of India" made a debut at the Budh International Circuit, Greater Noida in the month of Oct'14; the event was well planned and at the perfect location but it saw very low footfall during the event even though the icing on the cake was the presence of India’s most successful cricket captain and a very keen biker himself Mahendra Singh Dhoni; this is a strong example of Content Marketing.
Most importantly we ensure that the announcement of the event, its publicity, sending invitations and guest list management are done well in advance besides building the Hype. Make the event meaningful by using the best suited concept, zero down on the targeted audience; make a contact with the desired audience through personalized invitation, advertisement, selling of tickets, etc based on the magnitude of the event. You just cannot forget the Social Media now days which does the amplification to unimaginable levels and also sometimes it works towards making or breaking most of these events before they have even happened. The Key? - "Don't let the Curiosity Die before the actual Movie is released" just keep on building up till the actual event is rolling. There is much more learning for all of us in this industry where digital space needs to be amalgamated with the experiential one at the earliest.
Talking about managing and controlling uninvited attendees, I think it is all about good planning of the venue & security.
When asked Mr. Gaurav Dhall, Managing Director- T.I.C said, “There are different ways by which a healthy attendance is ensured at an event. Firstly, clients have their own discretion to invite audience that is important to them. Secondly, at times a client ask us to help in inviting a number of people. Thirdly, there are clients who while taking our services make it imperative for us to invite right kind of attendees for them. In such cases we use our database and do different exercises to ensure the 'target' attendance at an event. If it is an event open for public then we have an experience in marketing activities for ensuring desired outcome. Basically it’s kind of event that determines the right marketing activities to be taken.
He further added, "If it’s a public event we suggest distribution of passes through right channels, mall activations, BTL activities to ensure good turn-up at the event. Then we have tools of analyzing RSVP and accordingly we take an action.”
On being asked about the measures taken to control uninvited attendees, Mr. Dhall shared, “If attendees are invited by a client then there we have no control. However, if invitations are send by us we ensure right audience for our clients by utilizing various procedures like making invite compulsory, issuing a guest list etc. In case of a public event, we cannot do much.”
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