Achieving high event registration sales accomplishes a twofold purpose: you generate a profit from the sales of those registrations, and achieve brand awareness from attendees who will be learning about your company or organization. The process is easier said than done if you’re not privy to the tricks-of-the-trade employed by successful sellers and marketers.
1. DON'T SETTLE FOR ONE REGISTRATION TYPE
People like having choices. Give potential attendees multiple options. Aside from a basic registration, what other options can you add
Here are some ideas:
Award those who reserve their registration early by giving them a discount. Whatever date you begin selling registrations, create a window of opportunity for attendees to get a discount. If you begin selling registrations two months out from the event, for example, then consider a discount price for the first two weeks. Heavily advertise this to get people to take advantage of the offer. Aside from the cheaper price, early bird sales also ensure that those who buy early are guaranteed a spot. This also prevents you from having too many registrations that have to be sold last minute.
HALF-DAY OR PROGRAM SPECIFIC REGISTRATIONS
If your event spans the course of a weekend or a whole day, then provide partial day access for those that cannot attend the whole event. Keep in mind that there are those who would like to attend but are unable to spare a weekend or even a full day. Provide people in this situation with the option to attend for just the afternoon or evening portion of the event.
LIMITED ACCESS REGISTRATIONS
If the event contains multiple booths, workshops and presentations, consider providing registrations that are only good for a certain aspect of the event. Some attendees may only be interested in just one of the workshops or just want to attend one lecture.
Limited access registrations give these attendees the option to do just that without having to pay the price of a regular registration.
2. GET SPONSORS INVOLVED
Remember, a bigger turnout means more potential new clients for the sponsors, so they are just as invested as you are for a successful event. Also, sponsors likely have bigger name recognition than your company; if they didn’t then they would be the ones turning to you for sponsorship. Make your sponsors help you by offering all the same registration options and discounts you give your own followers. To make the work easier for your sponsors, let them use some of your own marketing material. You can, for instance, give them email copies of your own newsletters complete with a call-to-action and link to the event page. This way, sponsors can use the copy for their own newsletter and not have to write up their own.
3. MARKET YOUR EVENT AS EDUCATIONAL AND FUN
The primary focus should be the educational content. However, keep in mind that guests don’t just consist of your core demographic; they also consist of family members, friends, and third wheels of that demographic. Do you think these people really care for your event and all the workshops and lectures that will probably put them to sleep?
To make it worthwhile for them, promote the fun aspect of the event. Will there be entertainment, such as an after-event dance party or a professional entertainer? If so, then there is no such thing as overemphasizing it.
4. UPSELL REGISTRATIONS
Upselling is somewhat of a controversial sales tactic due to its overtly promotional nature. However, most people agree that upselling can be effective as long as you don’t shove one product after another down your customers’ throat.
Keeping it to one product after a purchase should work just fine. In this case, upsell your registrations at a discount price as a thank you offer for customers that make a purchase or sign up for a service. Be sure to include a strong call-to-action. Here is a sample of how to write an upsell offer:
Thank you so much for being a (company name) customer. As a token of our appreciation for being a valued customer, we would like to offer you a chance to be one of our guests for our upcoming event. Click below for an exclusive, discount registration price available only through this page.
5. STREAMLINE THE PROCESS
Simplify the process for your attendees by using a software program like Eventinterface. Such programs contain features that make it easy for you to include discount codes and multiple payment options. This also includes options for foreign transactions to enable foreign payments.
This comes in really handy if expecting oversea guests. For all other guests, it just makes the process easier for them as their registrations can be reserved online by just inputting their basic information.
6. HOST FRIENDLY COMPETITIONS WITH GIVEAWAYS
Use your social media outlets to host a few contests with registrations as the winning prizes. Consumers love interactive experiences, and a competition is a great way to get participants involved in a way that draws hype and anticipation. So what kind of competition should you host? Create a contest that requires participants to use their own social media accounts to advertise your event.
Here are a few ideas:
- Contest to see who can send the most tweets containing your event hashtag
- A photo contest where selfies are taken and edited using your company or event logo as part of the background
- Contest to see who can create an event slogan for the event and draw the most “likes”
SELLING REGISTRATIONS IS ALL IN A DAYS WORK
Selling registrations doesn’t have to be a complicated venture. You just have to know what kind of strategy to use and put it into practice in a result-oriented way. If you put in a wholehearted effort, then there is no reason why registrations or event tickets shouldn’t reach sold-out or close to sold-out status.
This is a guest post by Dan McCarthy, Event Manager at JD Parties, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has five years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.