Here are three key factors in getting people to turn up consistently:

1. Have a Great Program

You don't need to have fantastic speakers all the time, but whatever you put on, you must ensure your participants will enjoy, appreciate, and/or value it. Your aim is to make people glad they attended. If they aren’t, you don’t have a great program. Part of getting this right is to know what your attendees want and need and, to do this; you need to know them. The more you know your audience, the better you can design great programs that will keep them coming back for more. That said; make sure you keep it varied. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use icebreakers to get the participants warmed up
  • Create networking or get-to-know-each-other activities for the group
  • Have a great speaker on a topic of interest to the group
  • Facilitate group table discussions to keep it interactive
  • Present a skit to the audience for variety
  • Always end on time – it’ll keep them coming back

2. Get Rid of the Adminis-Trivia

No one wants to listen to someone read out the minutes of the last meeting or a, rambling committee report. Before you know it, you’ve filled a meeting with admin which the participants could read at their leisure.
There are loads of alternatives – send your minutes out ahead of time, leave copies of announcements on the tables, and set time limits on committee reports if they really must be read out instead of taken away. The more adminis-trivia you have, the less time you can spend on things people are really interested in, and the less people will want to come to your meeting.

3. Market Your Meeting

You’ve got to make people WANT to come to your meeting, which means making it worth their while. You’ll need some advance publicity, enticing meeting announcements, and some teasers on what they’ll miss if they don’t turn up.
The meeting announcement should give at least three really great reasons why your audience should come to the meeting. Don’t just announce who the speaker is; tell them why the audience will want to hear what the speaker has to say. Tell them why they are such a good speaker about this subject, and why this is a great opportunity for them.
Whenever you’re promoting anything, ask yourself the question: “Why should people care?” and come up with at least three solid reasons. If YOU don’t know why they should care, neither will they! When you know why your meeting will be great, then you’ll be able to communicate that so much better to others which, in turn, will bring people to your fantastic meeting.

 

*Adapted from www.marshaegan.com