6 ways to increase event registration
- Know your audience
- Promote the event
- Create a sense of urgency
- Offer a sneak preview
- Involve presenters
In 2021, 92% of organizations moved away from physical events—and 48% of organizations are planning even more virtual options in 2022.
With many provinces and territories re-introducing event capacity restrictions, planning a virtual event can offer more certainty and eliminate the stress of having to cancel an in-person event at the last minute. If you’re planning a virtual event, your top priority is going to be drawing in an audience—which is why we’re offering these six virtual event registration tips.
Tip #1: Know your audience
After running a successful event for years, you likely know what your audience wants. But with so many changes to business models over the last two years, you’ve got a prime opportunity to take another look at your attendees’ pressures and pain points.
To ensure you’re giving your audience what they want:
- Review attendance data from recent years and note which speakers, booths and small group gatherings had the most attendees. (Bonus tip: If you didn’t track that data, now is the perfect time to start.)
- Send a survey to past attendees asking what topics, speakers and opportunities they’d like to see at future events. Offer a company thank-you gift, like a planter, to everyone who responds.
- Invite early registrants to become part of a VIP group that provides input on what they’d like to see at the event. Thank VIPs with a members-only, high-end jacket.
Tip #2: Make your event information easy to find
Now that you’ve designed an event everyone will want to attend—it’s time to promote it.
- Email the information to current customers, leads and past attendees.
- Post it on social media.
- Help people find your landing page while searching online by including the name of the event in the page headers. Incorporate a formula, like Current Year Event Name, in your page title. Use high-interest industry terms in your copy to catch more organic searches.
Tip #3: Create a sense of urgency
Once people know about your event, it’s time to encourage sign-ups. You can increase registration by sharing dates that encourage action. For instance:
- Early-bird deals and discounts.
- Surprise price drops with one, two or three days to sign-up for the deal.
- Prize draws for promotional items, like a cooler or travel duffel.
- Exclusive access to additional speakers, content or past years’ presentations.
Tip #4: Retarget
Sometimes recapturing a previous audience is more successful than trying to target a new one.
- Offer a group discount to organizations with multiple attendees. For example, if four people are attending, offer 25-50% off registration for a fifth attendee.
- If someone previously dropped out of an in-person event, send them a message letting them know this event is virtual—saving them travel time and costs.
- Offer custom options to people who don’t have the time or budget to attend the event in its entirety. For instance, provide an option to attend one day of a three-day event. Or to view the keynote speaker only.
Tip #5: Offer a sneak preview
One of the most important questions any potential attendee has is: “What’s in it for me?” Answer this question while boosting excitement with a sneak preview.
- Share a short video from your keynote speaker that provides a teaser about what they’re going to discuss.
- Create an updated list of other organizations that have committed to attending.
- If it’s an annual event, ask previous attendees or presenters to share the benefits they received from attending.
Tip #6: Involve presenters
A successful event isn’t just a win for you—it’s a win for the people presenting too. Reach new audiences and boost attendance by asking your keynotes and presenters to share event dates and registration information on their social pages, website, emails and at other speaking events. Provide content for easy social sharing, like:
- Social graphics and suggested hashtags.
- Logos and landing page URLs.
- Prewritten posts and tweets along with an easy-to-follow content calendar
Show gratitude for helping you build your audience with a company thank-you gift, like a set of high-end ear buds.
Get more guests
More attendees means more networking, more sales and more opportunities to connect. And with the help of these virtual event registration tips, you’ll be able to increase attendance.
- Know what your audience is looking for.
- Make your event easy to find online.
- Set deadlines to compel people to sign up.
- Don’t just look for new attendees—re-engage with previous ones.