The sooner you can recognize the signs that things are about to go from bad to worse, the better. If you recognize it early enough you can correct it.

Sometimes it’s not as obvious as you think to know if your event is failing though, so watch for these early indicators.

No One Is Talking About Your Event

Indifference is a total lack of emotion. With indifference, your audience doesn’t care enough about the event to give it any of their time. Whether people love or hate your event, they should be talking about it. If they aren’t, you have a problem.

Retention is Dropping

If you track numbers only, you may feel good that attendee numbers are increasing with each event but if you’re seeing new faces and very few returns, that indicates a problem. Sure, maybe you have mad marketing skills but eventually, you’ll run out of new attendees to recruit, and you’ll see your numbers drop.

Your Marketing Is Not Specific Enough

Every event has an ideal attendee. You should not be trying to recruit everyone. If you’re not talking to that ideal attendee, your event will fail. Don’t be afraid to exclude certain groups. It can help you provide stronger sessions.

The Ideal Attendee Is Undefined

See above. If you don’t know who you’re trying to target, figure it out before you do another thing. Seriously.

There’s a Calendar Disconnect with Attendees

If your event is recurring, you need to keep things buzzing year round. Popular ways of doing this are on social media, through newsletters, email campaigns, and online communities. A year goes quickly but not so quickly that you can count on remaining in an attendee’s calendar. Stay connected and it’s one less thing to worry about.

Vendors or Sponsors Aren’t Signing Up

Wherever possible, it’s important to speak to veteran vendors or sponsors who don’t sign on for another year. This sudden change could indicate a problem with the quality of business they’re receiving from your event. It’s also (possibly) an early indicator in a change of your attendee demographic.

Happy planning!