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Everyone wants their event to be a huge success. Part of its success will be how popular it seems to your attendees.
So there are six ways to make your venue space look full when guest numbers are lower than you'd like.
Free events attendance
The incidence of poor guest turnout is traditionally much higher at free events than paid events where people are literally "invested" in attending and want to get value for their money spent, and attend.
Free event attendees are also much more likely to leave early or part-way through if they're bored or the speech is not of interest.
If your event is free, you can assume that even if 100 people have confirmed they're coming, sadly, about 40-50 won't arrive.
Err on the side of caution and book a smaller venue for a free event (aimed at 100 attendees) that fits up to 60. Better yet, let people know there are limited numbers to suggest scarcity.
This way it will be and look full with the 50-60 guests who DO turn up.
If it's a new venue launch, don't use all the available space
When venues launch their new dining and/or open areas, it can be a huge temptation to open up the entire space for guests to explore the rooms and outdoor areas.
However, this can be a mistake as you'll have thinned-out crowds which makes the event look like it's not very well attended. Plus, they'll find it harder to imagine guests in there when only three or four are milling around.
For example, a new yacht club that can fit 200 guests at sit-down media launch can fit up to 350 cocktail guests.
If you're having a cocktail party to launch the space, you should either invite up to 600 people (allowing for 50% non-attendance rate for free events) or close off up to half of the available space to make it feel highly attended, and like it's going to be a hot new venue of choice.
You can always take guest on tours of the closed-off spaces.
If it's a filmed conference, avoid filming empty seats
If it's a seminar or conference, and you're filming the speeches to use for promotion on your company website, the last thing you'll want people to see on the day - and later on your video and photos - are rows and rows of empty seats.
Book a venue with flexible space and room dividers
People tend to spread out if there are many seats to choose from and when they have arrived on their own.
By placing your seats in two blocks with an aisle space, it removes a row or two of seats without anyone realising you have fewer guests than you expected.
Ask your venue manager to provide you with a flexible space that can be closed off if numbers are low.
If latecomers arrive in droves, you can always open up room panels to provide more seating space.
Use bulky and/or space-taking decor and props to fill in venue gaps
Not only does it make your event look fantastic, it can also draw your guests' attention away from lower attendance numbers, but it fills in gaping space.
Use 3D backdrop curtains and floral walls as a fun photo opportunity and to act as a magnet for your guests' attention.
Use differently tiered staging platforms to subtly take up floor space.
Feature a row or even a field of plinths or lycra-covered cocktail tables on the floor with flowering displays or product displays.
People give these a moderate berth to avoid knocking them over and again, these chew up floor space to make your venue seem larger.
Bring in bulkier furniture such as pallet bars for rustic theme store openings or those luxurious velvet three-seater sofas and matching armchairs for a fancy media launch.
Fill up venue spaces with food serving stations such as rustic carts, white candy carts or feature food displays such as chocolate fountains or antipasto grazing tables.
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