FOMO: Marketing's New Best Friend, For Sure

If we’re going to pull a definition for FOMO, this one sums it up better than most:Fear of missing out or FoMO is "a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent".[2] This social angst[3] is characterized by "a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing".[2] FoMO is also defined as a fear of regret,[4] which may lead to a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity for social interaction, a novel experience, profitable investment or other satisfying event.[5] In other words, FoMO perpetuates the fear of having made the wrong decision on how to spend time, as "you can imagine how things could be different".

It should come as no surprise that FOMO is a tool that should be in every event manager's arsenal. People are constantly on the lookout for experiences to be a part of - something they can share on social media in a way that makes them feel trendy, knowledgeable, and (above all) relevant.

Here are the three top ways to use FOMO to your advantage when planning your next big event:

1. Integrate Social Media Right from the Start

Make sure that your website, email lists, and any related apps are prepped for the onslaught of social-media-obsessed guests. Let your guests know who on their friends list is signed up for the event. Get your well-known speakers and celebrities in on the action as well. Start conversations, get the online activity flowing, hint at a few upcoming surprises... your event is guaranteed to start trending online in the best way possible.

2. Exclusivity is Key

Make your event exclusive, but do it cleverly so as not to block out any potentially valuable guests. People want to be a part of something special. Creating a feeling of "desire" only works if your offering something that not everyone has and not everyone is going to have.

Limited ticket offerings, secret venues, price, and surprise guests are four of the easiest methods used to create a sense of exclusivity guaranteed to attract the right kind of attention.

3. Add a Dash of Mystery

Teasers are a great way to generate interest. Instead of rolling out all of your information in one go, create a few teasers to tantalize guests in the months or weeks leading up to the event. Keep them wanting more. Use images as clues and add in the occasional cryptic text - you'll be amazed at the sort of buzz this creates.