A couple weeks ago, a colleague of mine sent me an email chain regarding a large outdoor event.
In the email chain, a representative from a Fortune 500 company took serious issue with the event's reported attendance. The event organizer told sponsors that their weekend event draws over 120,000 attendees. The Fortune 500 company was a sponsor and had booth space at the "120,000" person event.
Because the sponsor had years of outdoor event experience, they are excellent at accurately calculating event attendance numbers. One could say the sponsor has event estimation down to a science. You can probably guess where this one is going …
Long story short, the sponsor asked for their money back. According to the sponsor's internal calculations, the event had approximately 5,000 attendees for the weekend. That's a 115,000 person difference. To be fair, events often exaggerate their attendance numbers. But where does one draw the line, 5%, 50%, 95%? The attendance delta was over 115,000 attendees.
I'm no attorney, but if one were to grossly exaggerate their attendance numbers by 100,000+ attendees and sell a sponsorship or exhibitor booth package based on those numbers, I believe that's called fraud.
Event organizers need to stop blatantly lying about attendance numbers!
If not, they are putting the future of their event in serious jeopardy.
If the fraud statement above is a bit much for you, gross attendance exaggeration creates numerous other issues. One in particular … word gets around about events that completely bull$hit (not by a little, but a lot) their attendance numbers. And people won't do business with those type of events.
Do yourself and your team a favor, keep your attendance numbers as accurate as possible.
Here's more attendance insight regarding your event: