Ecosystems + Economies

Tips for Filling Your Programs, Cohorts, and Events

Some simple tactics to boost event attendance and build a pipeline to your entrepreneurship programs.

There’s nothing worse than pouring your labor into an event, program, or workshop—only to be disappointed by the number of people who show up. Here are some simple tactics to boost event attendance and build a pipeline to your entrepreneurship programs.

Have an easy entry point.

Signing up for a multi-week program, or even a two-day intensive, can seem like a huge commitment—especially if they have no idea what the program is or whether it’s the best fit for them. 

By creating a clear first step or starting point for entrepreneurs in your community, you create an easy “yes” that will bring more people through your doors and give them the information they need to make a bigger commitment. One way to position yourself as a “front door for entrepreneurs” in your community is by offering free Wayfinding meetings to point starters in a clear direction. 

Start a regular meetup.

Providing regular opportunities for entrepreneurs to come together is important for building community and creating the conditions necessary for ideas to thrive. People are inspired when they see others starting and are encouraged to pursue their own ideas. Not sure where to start? 1 Million Cups is an easy, proven model to adopt.

Have feeder offerings.

Like Wayfinding meetings, having other “easy yes,” low commitment offerings can provide feeders into your more in-depth programs. Workshops like Get Started or Work for Yourself@50+ can be used to reach wider or more unique audiences and will help entrepreneurs understand how they can benefit from more intensive support. 

Tap into your alumni.

Who knows the value of your programs better than your alumni?! Since they deeply understand the benefit of your offerings, ask them to refer friends who could benefit. If you are just starting out and don’t have alumni to mobilize, tap into the power of the CO.STARTERS network and share stories of starters from other communities.

Leverage unusual community partners.

It’s natural to start by collaborating with other entrepreneur-focused organizations in your community. However, some of the best candidates for your programs may not self-identify as “entrepreneurs.” Try partnering with less likely community organizations to extend your reach—libraries, community colleges, mom groups, arts organizations, or churches.

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