The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.
- Edward R. Murrow
So I read this little snippet of a post about patience needed in social media event marketing. The author explains that all you need to get people to your event is patience and some more invitations. Okay... But let's talk about how difficult it actually is to get the RIGHT people to your event. Obviously it all depends on your goal for event attendance - if you're just out for profit and you don't care who shows up, then by all means, invite away!
If, however, you have a thoughtfully planned and executed event, then you want to actually ensure that the people showing up are either the ones with the decision-making power to be influenced by your content, or they are the ones who will partake in your sponsors' wares so that your sponsors will continue to be attracted to your events.
So how are you targeting your attendees? Third party list rentals are one way to go. Pay for the names, do some mass/direct marketing, and hope for the best. Social media is a fantastic way to let the audience self-select and target their friends.
But how do you find the right attendees who are also influencers in social media? Consider opening up a few spots for bloggers or other media outlets. Offer them exclusive access to a person or a product, in exchange for their voice. Allow them to do sneak peeks before the event to help you draw attendees who are influenced by them. And don't forget to thank them afterwards.