Last Call: Getting Your Attendees to Stay for the Final Night Gala
Towards the end of a conference, it is very common for the attendance to drop. This is the last chance for planners to make an impression, get their message out and leave attendees thinking, “WOW!”
To ensure your wrap-up reception is well attended and well received follow these helpful suggestions:
1. Start Spreading the News
Create a buzz right off the bat by including information about the gala in your original invite/itinerary to get your attendees thinking about it before they even arrive! Send out separate invitations to the gala/reception to emphasize its importance.
2. Save the Best for Last
- Save the highest profile celebrity guest speaker/entertainment for the ultimate event to increase your number of guests.
- Add some mystery and suspense by keeping the final act a secret – this will mean attendees have to show up in order to find out who the special guest is. You can drop hints throughout the conference to build excitement and curiosity.
3. Make it a ticketed-event
- Make your attendees purchase or pick up tickets to your event, which generates an extra sense of value.
- The cost of the tickets likely won’t cover the event but in addition to adding some relief it will give you a total number of expected guests.
- Guests will be less likely to skip out on an event they paid for or that they have RSVP’d to.
4. Get away from the Hotel/Centre
Since your delegates have probably spent the past 4 or 5 days in one hotel or convention centre, change the scenery and hold your gala at an offsite venue. This gives you the opportunity to be creative and chose an offbeat location with unique décor and different cuisine that will have your guests talking. Click here to get a look at Toronto’s array of interesting event locations.
5. Reward their attendance with a large prize draw
- Get attendees excited with an auction or draw. Be sure to promote the prizes during the conference so delegates know what they would be missing out on.
- Make their presence at the prize draw a requirement to win – a sure way to keep them around longer.
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