Just because 200 guests sign up for your event doesn’t necessarily mean that all 200 will attend, nor does it may they will stay until the end. Early departure is a common problem faced by professional event planners. When attendees begin to leave, your event may look barren, which is exactly what you want to avoid. So, how do you discourage guests from leaving early?


Save the Best for Last

Don’t schedule all of the “fun” and buzz-worthy activities during the beginning of your event. If you want guests to stay until the end, you should plan these activities for the beginning, middle and end. Just remember to include these activities in the itinerary so guests know when they are happening.

Host a Raffle at the End

Another tactic that many event planners use to discourage early departure is hosting a raffle at the end of their event. When guests first enter the venue, give them a raffle ticket with a unique number (or use their existing ticket, if it has a unique identifier you can track). Right before the event ends, select a random ticket, rewarding that guest with a free prize.

Reward Guests for Staying

Alternatively, you could reward all guests with some type of incentive for staying until the end. Maybe you could give them a swag bag full of goodies, or perhaps you could reward them with a promotional voucher towards the purchase of a future event ticket. Incentives such as these are a great way to encourage guests to stay.

Short and Sweet

Keep your events short and sweet to discourage guests from leaving early. Not everyone has  6-8 hours to dedicate to an event. If your event begins in the morning and doesn’t end until later that night, you may struggle to keep it packed. Event planners don’t always full control over the hours, but if you do, keep it reasonable enough so that guests stay and enjoy themselves.

Professional Entertainment

The right entertainment can keep guests engaged throughout your event. Whether it’s a DJ, live band, etc., entertainment is a sure-fire way to keep guests engaged. And when guests are engaged, they are more likely to stay until the end.

Here are some tips on choosing entertainment for your event:

  • Skip the do-it-yourself music solutions and instead hire a professional DJ or band.
  • Schedule music and entertainment towards the latter half of your event.
  • Seek entertainment suggests from your audience.