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Sending event emails to your attendees

Class handout: Why and when you should email your attendees

Your event is a few weeks away, your inbox is starting to get noticeably fuller, and most of the emails are questions. Timing, locations, specifics--okay people, single file, one at a time. One of the easiest ways to prevent inbox overload is by sending out organized email blasts in advance to keep your guests and partners up to date with everything they need to know about your event.

Registration Email

When a guest buys a ticket to your event, your ticketing platform will automatically send them a snazzy confirmation email, but what you might not realize is you can email attendees any additional information you want. Some additional emails might include:

  • A good ole' Thank You for Registering (because let's be real, you probably are thankful!)
  • Include appropriate information about your major partners if you have any (a Registration email can be another piece of inventory where your sponsors receive the benefit of brand exposure to your audience, another upsell for you! )
  • Include any additional information on who you are as a presenting body - registration emails don't sound sexy, but they are an excellent opportunity for you to build brand loyalty.
  • Hot Tip: Write a few sentences that answer the following questions: What are you all about? Why are you so passionate about this? What gave you the idea and the motivation to put on this event? What makes your event different from others?
  • Include an iCal or Google Calendar link so people can add it to their digital calendars with one handy click of a button.
  • Include some details about your headliner, like links to a bio on your event listing or website, and then links to their YouTube or podcasts.
  • If people will be traveling to attend your event, including information on your hotel partners so people can easily book rooms and make arrangements is a must.

2 Weeks Out

With your event just 14 days away, people are starting to think of it as a real thing that is actually happening (and you’re probably also realizing that), so it's a great time to send out an email with experiential notes.

  • What should your guests be expecting? Will there be glasses of champagne waiting for them upon their arrival or a cozy lobby with a convenient coat check? Give them a rundown of the day.
  • Has there been any great press or reviews about your event that guests might be interested in reading?
  • Hot Tip: No press? Maybe it's time to build a short-but-sweet local influencer list. Research a few local bloggers or writers who might be interested in doing a piece on your event. For bloggers and influencers, keep in mind there might be a charge.
  • Are there any apps to download that might make their experience at your event more connected? Whether it's an event-specific app you've had built for your project (fancy pants!) or a link to a Google Photos shared album where people can upload their photos, giving guests a bit of time to process and get familiar with the technology is helpful.
  • Make sure to include a link to all your social accounts, so you can direct people on where they can find more updates and information.

1 Week Out

You're one week away, your phone is ringing like crazy, and you're balancing a bunch of balls and plates on your nose. That's okay! Life’s all about balance.

  • Now is the perfect time to release any last minute event updates--a new speaker, a new sponsor, an accompanying performer, or a new experiential component.
  • Start reinforcing the hashtags or social media accounts people should be tagging and following at the event. The more posts people share on the day of your event, the better. Hash it up, people!
  • Vendor/Sponsor highlights--there will always be sponsors who have gone above and beyond for your event, whether they’re bringing out their staff as extra volunteers or they have stepped up to the plate financially. Celebrate what you've been able to achieve because of their support.

3 Days Out

It's official, you're working 12 hour days. But you're almost there! People are preparing themselves for what to bring with them, so empower them with tons of info.

  • In this email, send out transportation/parking reminders. Parking lot space might be limited, your venue might be conveniently right near a major metro station, or maybe the entrance to the space is hidden around the back of the building. If you have the time, do a walkthrough of your customer experience to anticipate any questions you can answer beforehand.
  • Will people need to bring cash? Are credit cards accepted? Will they need change for raffle tickets? Are you running a drink special? Can people buy tickets at the door? People don’t jangle change in their pockets anymore, so if they need to bring some money, let them know!
  • And what about technical stuff to bring? Portable phone chargers, a water bottle, and business cards are staples for business events. Perhaps a sweater if the space tends to get cold, or their stadium or lawn chair if it's an outdoor event.
  • Here’s a crazy idea: challenge people to get out of their comfort zone and connect with other event attendees they don’t already know. Find seats with the family you don't usually talk to, come prepared with five great questions to ask new potential business connections (as well as five fresh ways to describe who you are and what you do).
  • Hot Tip: the morning of your event, in the shower, sing your favorite songs as a bit of a vocal warm up. It will loosen your throat and tongue muscles if you need to give a welcome speech. Plus singing along with your favorite song just feels good--bonus points!
  • Include some details about your headliner, like links to a bio on your event listing or website, and then links to their YouTube or podcasts.
  • If there are any just-released tickets or final remaining tickets, it can be a great prompt opportunity for people to invite friends. Add a call to action to have them forward the email along to someone who might be interested.

1 Day Out

You're excited and exhausted, your guests are just excited. This final email is all about the thank yous!

  • Share your excitement with your guest list--it will be contagious. They'll arrive at your event feeling fresh, informed and ready to embrace what you're providing. In this email, add a paragraph about what you are most looking forward to on the day.
  • This is also the time to update the audience on any last-minute schedule adjustments or changes.

Remember, emailing attendees isn’t about spamming them, it’s about giving them the information they need at the right time. As long as you are thinking about what you would want to know if you were attending your event, you’ll be in good shape. So go ahead and get started with your next event.

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