How Do We Get More People To Attend Free Events?

Look around your office, how many of your colleagues have attended any training in the past year? How many have been to a user group meeting, SQLSaturday, Code Camp, Give Camp, or IT Pro Camp? If that number is low, you’re not alone. Why is that?

Part of it there are a lot of people that have the cynical but functional strategy to learn what they need as they need it. That will only change by being around people like you, slowly, maybe.

Part of it is they haven’t heard about the event. That’s the marketing side, and we might try any of these ideas to work on that.

Part of it is they don’t believe that if it’s free that it can be valuable. If you think about it, that’s not dumb. Most “free” stuff isn’t really free, or isn’t very good,or is a loss leader to sell you something.

I was thinking about this recently because I had lightly mentioned to someone I see now and again about an upcoming free event here in Orlando. They missed it,and really I didn’t think much of it. Mentioning doesn’t equal a commitment or obligation. Still, I was surprised to see this guy at an event later in the year. I had a chance to ask him what he thought afterward and his comment, paraphrased, was “the content and the speakers were much better than I expected”.

Maybe I need to work on my pitch. No, I’m sure I do. But that’s not all of it, we’ve got to be more effective at delivering a realistic message about what someone can expect at our events.