While most invitations these days are sent out digitally or the notifications are issued on public forums like online social and professional networks, the conventional route of sending out mails is still in practice. There are many investors, chief executives and even professionals who would still want to receive direct mails and not emails or invitations on LinkedIn.
Regardless of how you invite your guests and communicate with them before the event, there is a possibility that you would have an online and an onsite attendance. You must be able to bring the two worlds together, not during the event but also before and after.
Here are a few ways you can accomplish the objective:
• Always make a list of attendees available to those who are attending and those who are invited. If you have used the invitation feature on Facebook, where you can create an event and get people to say if they would be attending, wouldn’t be attending or are yet to decide, then you know people can get to see who all are attending and accordingly they can come up with their plans to interact with specific people. Letting the guests know the presence or absence of other guests will boost your attendance and you would also allow the guests to interact.
• You should consider running feature stories leading up to the event. Your job is not just to bring people together but also to facilitate the initial communications. Every event that succeeds in this will be a success itself. You can feature different people, at least those who are the most important, and publish articles, stories or even testimonials if you want. This will allow people to know more about other attendees.
• Have a public platform for the event. It can be a website, a social media profile or a YouTube channel. It could also be a blog or just an online forum. When potential attendees and those who are confirmed get to share their views, ask questions and respond to one another, you are automatically creating a foundation for the attendees to connect. Both onsite and online attendees would seamlessly connect on such forums.
• You need to facilitate real time engagement. You may be hosting the event and you may simulcast it. When you run a webinar which is also a real event, you can have real time correspondence facilitated by the website or through live kiosks at the event.