Grow Your Meeting by 20 Percent Annually

grow your meeting
Strategies from a fellow meeting planner to help you grow your meeting.

Mimi Abdulkadir, conferences and events manager  at GED Testing Service, has been able to sell out every conference she has planned. How can you also grow your meeting?

A fellow meeting planner, GED Testing Service’s Mimi Abdulkadir, shares her strategies on how to grow your meeting attendance by 20 percent each year:

Know you audience

Knowing the demographics of your conference is key when creating your marketing campaign for the conference. And yes, I said marketing campaign. Best practice for every conference is to have a game plan prior to sending out the first promotional email. You will be able to successfully tailor the emails and other marketing promotions based on what your audience looks like.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

And by this, I am referring to your very detailed, excel sheet which lists every possible way you plan to communicate your conference to the world. This should be strategic and planned out for at least a year in advance.

Make social media your best friend

What a wonderful age we live in! You can literally promote your conference for free. Again, depending on your audience demographic, you can pick and choose carefully which platforms to utilize. This plan should be carefully laid out like your communication plan a year in advance.

Promote at other conferences

If you are like my organization, we attend various conferences and trade shows throughout the year and one thing that has worked for us is tying in our conference promotion to any sponsorship. In addition, I am usually able to negotiate access to email lists which will gives me direct access to thousands of potential participants.

Grow your meeting by paying attention to your surveys

The best way to sell out your conference is to have a great conference. I obsess over the attendee experience and every touch point they will encounter when attending my conference. With that, surveys are key. My average overall satisfaction rate has remained steady at 94 percent for the past 5 years. People talk and the reputation your conference holds should make you obsess over it too.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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