“Build it and they will come” goes the adage, but for special events, this is not always the case. Particularly in cites like Washington, DC, that are saturated with receptions, dinners, and fundraisers of every shape, size, and price.

So, how do you build an audience in a competitive market? Well, first define your target audience and create an event they want to attend.  Remember: the messaging is yours, but the experience is theirs.  Also, think about how you are reaching out to your target audience in the months preceding the event.  The typical client or donor save-the-date email or direct mail piece is useful, but to reach a broader audience, social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are important for sharing information and generating the pre-event buzz that encourages attendance.  Also, think about services such as Eventbrite, that not only sell tickets and integrate with social media, but also promote events to a wide network of prospective attendees though geographic location and/or topic-of-interest filters.

Just a few ideas to noodle over as you enjoy the dog days of summer.

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