In the past three years or so, I have shot at a total of 71 different locations. Some were club shoots, others were festivals and some were actual competitions. One of the common themes I have heard is that they wonder why they are not growing, attendance is down or disappointing. These complaints have become much more frequent the past year or so.
Now, you might ask what do I know about this? Well, for the past twenty-five years I have run my own business that was marketing based. What I offered was not essential, it was what is called discretionary spending. Which means that what I offered they did not have to have and that I had to use marketing to convince them why they should not only spend their time and money on what I offered, but also with me and not with someone else. In those twenty five years I spent thousands of dollars going to seminars, hiring consultants and networking with the top people in marketing and in my field. They taught me that there are just three reasons why someone does not go to your event.
1) THEY CANNOT GO TO YOUR EVENT
This group just cannot go because of work, money, travel, etc. They just cannot go. This group is one we have no control or influence over and because of that we should no spend anytime on them.
2) THEY DID NOT KNOW OF YOUR EVENT
This is the largest group out there and the one you should spend the most time on. This group has the time, money and can travel, they just did not know about your event. Reaching this group will help grow your shoot more than any other.
3) THEY CHOOSE NOT TO GO TO YOUR EVENT
This one should sting, they had the time, money and travel, but chose not to go! They instead decided that their time would be better spent doing something else or worse yet, going somewhere else for the same thing! While important, this group tends to yield a lower return and therefore you should not make them the focus of your marketing.
The big takeaway here is that the main reason why people do not go to your events, is because they did not know about them! Want to grow your events? Then focus on getting the word out. Which is easier said than done. But, it can be done, with the right knowledge and tools.