There is nothing quite as nice as an organic (free) high-quality lead that approaches your organization expressing a serious interest in your event. Organic leads are valuable enough because they require little effort, time, or money on your end to reach them – because they’re coming right to you. Beyond that, word of mouth referral leads are even more valuable because they come from a trusted source: your brand advocates.
There are many ways to build up a steady event referral stream. While many referrals may come from your existing or past participants, positive word-of-mouth can start anywhere!
Read on for some simple, tried-and-true ways to boost your organic event referrals.
Offer a BOGO
Offer discounts or free registration to participants who share your upcoming events with friends and family. A “buy one, get one free” registration offer is a great way to boost not only event referrals but your attendance numbers, too. People love being a part of a good thing; they’ll get to pass on the discount to their friends who might be trying something new for the first time.
Use a Hashtag
Make it easy for participants, volunteers, and onlookers to engage with your brand on social media. Have a hashtag or two posted around your event so people know how to tag you in pictures and check-ins. Every person that posts is temporarily sharing their audience with you – for free. Social media is the ultimate avenue for word-of-mouth referrals; a simple hashtag alongside a post is the equivalent of an endorsement.
Show Your Professionalism
As mentioned above, positive word-of-mouth doesn’t always just come from your participants. Consider everyone you do business with – from the t-shirt vendor to venue management – an opportunity to highlight your mission. Be kind, courteous, professional, and always leave a great impression. If you get them excited about your plans they might pass your event along to friends who are in your target demographic.
Ramp Up the Anticipation
Create a simple countdown campaign on your social media pages with the intention that your followers will share it to their own pages. Start posting a few months out to build excitement for your current registrants. Include your organization name, slogan, and a motivational quote or other shareable content. You’ll make it easy for followers to repost and share their anticipation with family and friends who may not have heard about your event.
There are many ways to start boosting your event referral pipeline. It takes a short amount of time to implement some of these strategies upfront, but it’s certainly worth the return-on-investment. Soon, you’ll begin to see more word-of-mouth and referral leads trickle in and sign up for your events. From there you can start building out entire campaigns aimed solely at increasing your organic (free!) event referrals.
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