Creating event hype with the power of FOMO


Ever felt that sinking feeling of regret when deciding not to go to an event at the last minute, or went to the hottest restaurant and ordered the wrong thing.. or even booked a vacation with your friends only because they’re all going and you’re afraid of missing out?  Sound familiar? What you are experiencing is FOMO—and you are not alone!

While it sounds like an infectious disease, FOMO (fear of missing out) has helped create a booming industry focused on live events. According to a new study by Eventbrite, 69 percent of millennials experience FOMO when they can’t attend something that their family or friends are going to. They would rather spend money on experiences, like concerts, festivals, sports or parties, instead of buying tangible products.

We’re in a FOMO state of mind! Today we are exposed more than ever before to what others around us are doing, and we’re filled with a gnawing uncertainty about whether we’ve made the right choice about what to do or where to be. The rise of social media fuels FOMO and feelings of exclusion for millennials scrolling through posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about events they missed.

So how can we harness the FOMO to attract attendees to our event?

1. EXCLUSIVITY IS KEY! – If everyone is doing it, then it can’t be that cool – right? Make the event seem “harder” to get in to… you could use a curiosity building tone in your event marketing campaign… and as the months draw nearer “leak” small hints about exclusive keynotes, inevent mini events etc..

2. Take advantage of Word Of Mouth – These days WOM pretty much equals social media.. According to the study, In a world where newsfeeds and social networks broadcast what friends are experiencing, FOMO propels millennials to show up, share and engage: a driving force behind the experience economy.

Word of mouth FOMO

3. Timing Matters! – Add FOMO in to your event timeline planning! This about what happens in the short-term and how that affects the long-term. What experiences can you create in a short amount of time that will keep people talking for days/weeks/months/years to come? Alex from Eventrebel gives some great examples:

  1. Flash Sales: An instant, one time only, time-sensitive discount. Best practices for a flash sale include keeping it simple, defining your target group based on your existing customer base, choosing the right time and date, offering significant savings, and actively monitoring your sale and engaging with your customers.Your goal is to create a sense of urgency, taking advantage of FOMO. A successful flash sale relies on a well-run pre-marketing campaign to alert your audience. Not only will your attendees appreciate the discount offer, but they’ll also begin to follow your social media accounts more closely, looking for the next opportunity to save money.

    flash sale FOMO
  2. Random Acts of Kindness: These rely heavily on exclusivity. Increase awareness and engagement before, during, and after an event by randomly awarding attendees with opportunities such as behind the scenes tours, exclusive meet and greets with speakers, and prizes from sponsors.Those who have not received the opportunities will begin to actively ask themselves, “How can I get that?” Some conferences have begun randomly awarding attendees who get their badges scanned as they enter the general session with prizes like front row seats. This creates an environment of engaged attendees hoping that they get picked next.It is important that you publicly acknowledge when somebody gets a reward. This can be done in front of an audience by announcing winners, or through social media. The important thing to remember is, if nobody knows it’s happening, they won’t be able to fear missing out on an opportunity.
  3. Live Streaming: Nothing activates FOMO more than something that is only going to happen one time. By restricting the broadcast of small “happenings” during the event to one time, live experiences, we are insisting that the attendee join us in the moment. If you don’t watch it when it happens, you miss out. And who knows what you might miss! It could be the greatest moment in event history. You have to be there at the event to experience it!This strength of webcasting – as opposed to standard Video on Demand – is now becoming an extremely useful tool, not only for event profs to use as a part of their experiential marketing strategy but also the everyday media consumers who are quickly downloading and watching peer to peer livestreams on Meerkat and Periscope.
    Check out our previous blog on ways to use these platforms in your event!Live streaming FOMO

4. Create FOMO-worthy experiences – Step away from the “Thumbs up” approach, FOMO is about making customers fall in love with the experience of your brand or product, not just giving it a like! Keep the attendee’s EXPERIENCE in mind throughout the process, and everyone will be dying to not miss out.

In conclusion…

Don’t fear FOMO, embrace it! Make sure, as you market your event, that you take advantage of the technology around you to leverage FOMO for results. With millennials starting to dominate the market, tapping in to the niche now is the golden ticket!  Once you get your attendees talking about your FOMO-worthy event, you’ll begin to see your attendance numbers, as well as your onsite and ongoing engagement increase.