Reviews play a large role in influencing customer behavior. A whopping 61% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. The same amount of customers are more likely to purchase from businesses that have online reviews.
Yelp, Amazon, TripAdvisor, and many other successful businesses rely on the power of reviews. But how do you get quality reviews to bolster your event business?
The best way to do this is to encourage satisfied attendees to leave reviews. This will ensure you have plenty of feedback from real, happy customers.
Event attendees are some of the best brand ambassadors. Those who have experienced your events are the most qualified to discuss them and make recommendations to others. They are able to tell a story and create an authentic portrait of the event experience.
We’ll go through how to gather more stellar reviews for your events and where to post them to get more exposure for your business.
5 Tips for Getting More Reviews
#1. Make it Ridiculously Easy
Everyone is busy and can likely come up with several reasons they can’t leave feedback. The sure-fire way to get more reviews is to make sure the process of writing and submitting reviews is as easy as possible for attendees. This way, it takes less time and effort to submit a review.
One way to make submitting reviews easy is to utilize review websites attendees are likely to already have experience with, such as Yelp or Facebook. Make it easy to connect with your business on these review sites by linking to them on your website.
#2. Send an Event Follow-Up Email
The event follow-up email is a perfect place to ask for feedback. It’s sent not too long after the event, so the experience is still fresh in attendees’ minds, making it more likely they will provide a detailed review.
Make sure to put a direct link in the email to where the attendee can easily leave a review.
#3. Provide Incentives in Exchange for Reviews
Consider providing some sort of incentive for attendees to leave reviews. This can be a free t-shirt at the next event, a small discount on registration, or raffling off a prize for new reviewers.
When done right, this will encourage more reviews without breaking the bank. Even the smallest goodie can sometimes be the push people need to write a review.
Note: Incentivizing reviews does not mean buying them. It can be pretty obvious when a company purchased reviews from people who have no experience with the product. Purchased reviews may actually end up discouraging potential customers.
#4. Turn Mentions into Reviews
Do people mention your events on social media sites like Instagram or Facebook? If attendees take the time to mention your event on social media, this likely means they have something to say about it and would be a great candidate for leaving a review.
Simply reach out to these users and ask them if they would be interested in submitting a review.
#5. Consider Employee Incentives
It’s also important to have event staff invested in receiving more attendee reviews. If you have the means, consider offering a bonus for each review solicited.
If event employees are receiving an incentive for reviews, they will be more likely to suggest to attendees they should write reviews.
3 Places to Highlight Online Reviews
It’s not enough to have plentiful reviews. The best strategy is to post these reviews in a key place on your website, as well as on other review websites for maximum exposure.
#1. Website Testimonial Page
You worked hard for those reviews, so make sure you display them on your website for potential attendees to see. Do this either by setting up a “review” section that is easy to find or by putting them on the front page where they can’t be missed.
Facebook is a popular social media website. Use this to your advantage by setting up an event business page and displaying reviews from Facebook users. On Facebook, reviews are displayed in a dedicated “review” tab, so visitors can easily navigate to this section to view feedback.
Yelp isn’t just a great website for finding an awesome new place to eat dinner. It also displays reviews from many different types of businesses, including event businesses. Set up a Yelp profile and encourage attendees to post their reviews
Addressing Negative Reviews
If you receive a not-so-great review, it may feel like a huge hit to your business. While it may be easiest to simply ignore the review, it’s important to show your organization is committed to improving.
Negative reviews are inevitable if you are in the business long enough. When someone leaves a negative review, simply respond to it by apologizing and asking them to contact you to remedy the situation. This shows other visitors you care about customer happiness.
If many negative reviews are left, it’s time to take a look at how your events can be improved.
These tips will help you create a robust network of online reviews to excite new attendees. What approaches have you used in the past to encourage online reviews?