#FOMO. For those of you who haven’t heard of FOMO, you’ve definitely experienced it, perhaps without even knowing it. It’s the ugh-I-wish-I-was-there feeling. FOMO, or the fear of missing out, can be a powerful tool for event planners. To get a bit technical, it stems from a social anxiety biologically hardwired into our subconscious, eliciting emotional strain when a missed opportunity is recognized.
Event organizers take note: keep FOMO in the forefront of your mind during the entire planning process because it will help you build engagement, attendance, and brand loyalty. According to a study conducted by Expedia and the Center for Generational Kinetics, 74 percent of Americans now prioritize experiences over “stuff.”
Now that we know exactly what FOMO is and agree we’d rather not miss out on anymore experiences, it’s time to learn how to build FOMO around your event. Whether you’re planning a music festival or a 10k, here are the 4 tips to build FOMO that our team recommends for all event creators.
1. Create and curate your story.
Tell your story. Begin by finding your brand’s voice. What type of sentiment do you want your community to perceive for your brand? Determine what you have authority in and own it. Follow this by establishing your purpose and goals of your brand and event. This is an important part of curating the story because it helps people make an emotional connection to your brand and understand why your event is so great. Once you have cleared up any ambiguity behind your brand’s voice and goals, it’s time to create your brand identity. Make sure the aesthetics of your brand create a consistent look and feel that is easily recognizable. It can range from the colors and font your event attendees see on an advertisement on Facebook to the personalized swag they receive at your event. Simple and consistent.
Next, know your audience. If you show your online community how they missed out on a hamburger festival when a majority of your followers are vegetarians, the only feeling you’ll leave them with is the dreaded #JOMO (joy of missing out).
Prepare all aspects of your event to be specifically optimized for each of your social media platforms. Plan to broadcast Facebook and Instagram Live sessions previewing an exclusive look into the event set-up, Tweet branded hashtags that event attendees can use during the event, providing social proof of the success of the event, create a customized Snapchat geotag and use step-and-repeat banners or photo booths to provide photo opportunities that guests will be excited to share.
Now that we have given you the steps to create your story, it’s time to curate it as well. Actively share user generated content to show your online community the hype around your event. Pay special attention to those who use your branded hashtags or post more than once about your event.
Consider creating a moment in your event that is something worth talking about (if you don’t already have one). Wow-factors can be as short as 15-seconds, but it should be 15-seconds where every single one of your attendees won’t be able to look away.
2. Create incentives to share your event from the start.
Word-of-mouth is the most powerful sharing tool. Let your event attendees know they have this power. Create incentives for your event goers to share your event on social media. This is also a good way to increase your engagement with your attendees online. The more your event is shared, the greater opportunity you have to interact with your online community by liking, sharing and responding to posts.
For more tips on how to get your audience feeling the FOMO, consider these ideas:
- Create content that triggers strong emotions (particularly positive).
- Create a referral campaign that encourages users to repost your content and tag their friends.
- Leverage Snapchat and Instagram by posting stories to incentivize your event goers to view the content before it’s gone.
- Show how many people are actively viewing your site or buying tickets to create a sense of social proof that this event is not to be missed.
- Create a sense of urgency by making your audience feel as though they are going to miss out on something if they don’t buy a ticket or swag item by a certain date.
Pro-tip: Throw in a free t-shirt or a desirable item with an early-bird ticket to show the benefit of signing up early and avoiding FOMO.
3. Create a socially integrated event page.
Show all the excitement in one place: your event page. Pull in content from different social media platforms so your site visitors get a feel for your brand and see what they are missing. Create a branded hashtag that is clear, short, unique and relevant across all social platforms.
Pro tip: Give your attendees internet access at the event. A lack of internet access is a surefire way to have no FOMO for your event.
4. Be explicit about FOMO.
Show social proof that everyone not at your event will be missing out.
Highlight missed opportunities in your messaging by posting highlights of the event, sharing testimonials, sharing live updates and sharing event attendees’ posts. Monitor mentions before and during the event and respond to them while keeping your brand voice in mind. You want to build FOMO from the second your event is announced (maybe even a little beforehand) until nearly the end of time (not to be dramatic, but seriously).