WOM (Word of Mouth) is a pretty powerful method of spreading a message. Let’s face it, people like to talk, especially if it’s about a great/horrible experience. This can make it an important piece in your event guest recruitment tactics. People who have previously attended will be happy to share with others about their experience, and potentially try to persuade them to join next year. Talk about free advertising.
But these days, word of mouth is a lot quieter than it used to be. I am talking about social media. Messaging, sharing, and retweeting are all ways to get guests into the promotion plan. If you are specifically looking to encourage people to spread the word, hold a social media campaign that challenges them to share posts and like the event page. Their motivation? Perhaps a discount on their package rate or a free T-shirt. After the event is over, encourage people to share their stories online. Maybe they found the Lord or were baptized. People love to see inspirational stories online, and there is hardly a better place for it to come from than friends.
The best part of this promotion is that you as the event planner can be an engaged part of the conversation among guests and easily give them opportunities to spread the message. So maybe the conversation is coming from their fingertips instead of mouth, but that doesn’t change the effectiveness. A 2014 study by Bright Local found that 88% of people trust reviews they read online as much as personal ones. It’s the same people talking, just a different method.
When it comes to promoting, don’t shy away for social media. Guests are on it and will engage, so long as you give them the chance.
 Marchant, R. (August 14, 2014). 5 Visual Stats to Show the Power of Online Reviews. Bright Local.