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« Great Stories & Event Marketing | Main | Red Bull Air Race - Exciting Viral Video »

Using Scarcity with Free Events

Free_Event_Ticket Yesterday I had an interesting discussion regarding free events. For those that don’t know, I’m not a big fan of free events. There are too many event organizers who think just because their event is free that masses of people will automatically attend their event. Be sure you check out “the danger of free event thinking.” The discussion about free events gets even more tedious when the same event organizers proceed to tell me of their budget shortfalls. I’m not economic genius but if you want to have a free event, don’t complain to other people about not having enough money to put on your event.  Now that I have that out of my system . . . I’d like to focus on the positive. Yes, it is possible to be very successful with free events. Let me try to get you one idea that might help.

The Double Edged Sword
For today I’m going to focus what one can do to get more people to their free event. If you have a free event, inject a little scarcity. Free events are a double edged sword. A friend of mine who did event promotion for a local radio station told me about ticket giveaways for various concerts his station promoted. Here is an interesting statistic he shared.  Less than 15% of the people who the station gave free concert tickets to actually went to the concert. It’s psychology at work. If you don’t spent money on something you aren’t really vested in it. It’s as easy to say yes as it is to say no.

Using Scarcity
Let your target market know that because you are having a free event, you’re only allowing a certain number of people to attend. As soon as your event is full no one else will be admitted. This scarcity should be emphasized throughout all your marketing and event promotion. One of my mentors, Eben Pagen has a great line to sum up the idea above, “there is nothing more motivating than a rapidly diminishing supply of something you want.” You can use the concept of scarcity to change people's perception of you event.

If you’re going to have a free event, you need to make sure that you’re protecting your own interests. By using scarcity you can insure that some value is placed on the tickets to your event.

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