Leveraging Word of Mouth to Grow Attendance

Author: David McMillin       

Partnership disclosure: Gleanin participated in the Tech Spotlights series at PCMA’s Convening Leaders 2018, a paid sponsorship opportunity. The company has worked with a wide range of event partners including IMEX Group, Clarion Events, and dmg events.

Each new year brings new registration goals for event marketers, but those goals can be very challenging to reach. As more online users delete branded emails and scroll past branded social posts, true word-of-mouth messaging is one of the most important elements in a marketing plan. Gleanin, a referral marketing platform for events, aims to turn attendees into true advocates.

“Growing attendance is our clients’ biggest challenge and objective,” Tamar Beck, CEO and co-founder of Gleanin, told PCMA. “We help organizers reach and acquire new attendees for their events. We do this by identifying genuine advocates during the registration process and encouraging them to send personal invites to their contacts and social connections and/or to spread the word about their attendance with their social networks.”

Rewarding Referrals

Those advocates receive more than the satisfaction of knowing that someone in their network is listening. Beck said events use Gleanin data to run reward campaigns for their most loyal supporters. While it’s up to the organizer to determine specific rewards, she said that some of the incentives include booking discounts, VIP status with access to elite lounges, food vouchers, iPads and Amazon Echos, and cold hard cash.

Taking Data Seriously 

As more event organizers recognize the importance of data transparency in advance of Europe’s GDPR, Gleanin is ahead of the curve in its efforts to make sure that all attendees have a full understanding of how their data will be used. “We’re completely transparent about our social-referral consent opt-in process,” the Gleanin team wrote in a recent blog post on GDPR. “All actions are permission-based and clearly indicate how information will be used. No tricks. No obscure check boxes.”

Marketing Week Live, held last month in London, is one event that has benefited from Gleanin’s approach — more than six percent of its registrations came in via Gleanin referrals. Similarly, more than five percent of registrations at KBB 2018, the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom supplier exhibition held in March in Birmingham, U.K., came from Gleanin activity.

Interested in learning more about how Gleanin works and what it can do for your registration numbers? Check out a series of case studies here.

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