Whether you’re hosting a monthly meetup, a special event with a speaker or a day at your state capital, the key to any successful event is getting people to show up. And as any event organizer will tell you, this can be the hardest part. Few things are more disappointing than putting time and energy into an event with low turnout.

How do you prevent that? Read on for tips on how to ensure you have a full house for every event your host!

Schedule wisely

Before nailing down a date, find out what other events are going on in your area. If there’s a county fair, a big rally or a conflicting event being hosted by a like-minded organization, it’s probably best to avoid that day.

Get a commitment 

Before recruiting, create a way for people to sign up for your event. Getting people to “register” to attend will make them much more likely to come and will help you keep track of how many people to plan on. Both Facebook and Eventbrite allow you to create event pages for free.

Don’t count on email—but don’t neglect it either

Too many new event organizers think if they just blast out an effective email to enough people, they’ll have a standing room only crowd.

While you may get a few people to attend through just email, filling up a room is usually more work than that. It’s important to remember emails are an important tool, but not the only one. Emails work great for informing people about an event and laying a foundation you can build on later.

One-on-one contact works best

Want a successful event? Pick up the phone. After sending out an initial invite email as early as possible, reach out via phone to people to invite them to attend personally.

Get help recruiting

Contact leaders of other aligned organizations or influential members of the community and ask them to help get the word out about your event. Even if they just forward your email to their list, every little bit helps.

In addition, ask every person who signs up if they would be willing to invite a friend. People who don’t know you are far more likely to attend if they’re invited by a friend.

Want more tips on hosting effective events? Join us for an upcoming Grassroots Leadership Academy training coming up near you here. For grassroots tips delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our email list here.