Are you investing time and money into prepping a great event?
It’s only natural you’ll want as many guests as possible to show up the day of!
If the no-show rates are an organizer’s greatest dread for in-person events, it won’t be as important for digital events. However, attendance rate remains an essential way to measure the success of an event.
The attendance targets will be different depending on the type of event you organize.
There are however some good practices you can follow to maximize attendance for your events. So, how can you be sure that your next curtain cal will be a sell-out?
Keep your registrants excited until the day of, thanks to consistent communication
Managing the registration phase is an essential first step in organizing an event.
Significant marketing efforts are required in order to convert targeted audiences into registrants such as: invitation campaigns and reminders, marketing acquisition campaigns, media purchases, relays via partners, etc.
Pace yourself, as once the people you’ve invited are registered, the race will still be far from over and it may be necessary to double efforts in the final stretch!
The relationship with registrants often boils down to simple exchanges: a thank you message, a registration confirmation, a reminder e-mail…
Here are some ideas to transform your “passive” registrants into “engaged” participants.
1) Step by step onboarding of new registrants
The first step is to ensure that the registration phase is simple and light. An intuitive registration form that is quick to complete and has a limited number of fields to fill in is a good start.
Registration is not the optimal time to collect qualified information about the registrant. A more thorough qualification of registrants can be accomplished later.
It is more efficient to invite registrants to create a personal account after the registration stag. This will be the ideal time to encourage them to create a contact sheet, personalize their agenda, register for workshops, have access to participant networking…
Each profile will contain more complete information such as social network accounts, participation objectives, interests, etc.
This approach will allow the registrant to be better involved in the event as they can personalize their experience.
2) Segment your lists of registrants in order to personalize their experience
Because each participant has unique goals and expectations, personalizing the experience can be critical in building the “organizer- participant” relationship.
The creation of participant categories makes it possible, to create relevant communication lists.
This segmentation can be based on several criteria: type of ticket ordered, type of company, job title, category of the participant (VIP, speaker, etc.)
It is then up to you to create the most appropriate scenario for each participant category, and to share content that will capture their attention.
3) Define how often you will communicatee with your registrants
Choosing how often you communicate with your audience is an important decision as to not cross the line between wanting to inform and the risk of spamming.
However, according to our experience, most registrants are enthusiastic about receiving information about the event, as long as it is well targeted.
By communicating wisely, you can keep the conversation going with your registrants, help them prepare for the event, and reduce the risk of your event becoming secondary to them.
Although email remains the most effective form of communication with registrants, a smart tactic would be to diversify your communication channels through social media platforms, in-app push notifications, remarketing campaigns…
Be sure to set up an opt-in / opt-out system in compliance with the RGPD so that each subscriber can freely choose their preferences.
It’s up to you to find the right timing, and most importantly, the right messages!
Build anticipation: the event content must instil curiosity and convince your participants to come
Some of the reasons for not participating in an event are, of course, beyond the organizer’s control such as transportation problems (for in-person events), professional or personal imperative, etc.
Other reasons for being absent can be avoided. You’ll need to gather the best arguments to convince your registrants to make the right decision: attend your event!
To reinforce the commitment of registrants as your event approaches, here are a few things you could do/actions you could take
1) Share content that will inspire your audience
What to share with your registrants? The goal here is to maintain their burning curiosity, and you can do this by revealing a bit of elements of interest of your event.
Presenting your event or workshop themes, speaker’s profiles, and exclusive content announcements are all elements that will keep your audience interested.
Professionals attend events to gain knowledge, learn about trends in their industries, meet experts in their fields, etc.
Think of every program update and every speaker confirmation as a selling point. Be sure to share this information gradually before the event to build up anticipation and keep your audience on their toes!
Your speakers and partners can be great ambassadors so take advantage of their notoriety to relay your announcements and enhance the value of your event program even more.
2) Shine the light on networking opportunities
Opportunities for professional encounters are an attractive trait for any BtoB event, whether it’s creating new business opportunities or expanding one’s network of contacts.
Regardless of your event being in-person or digital, it’s important to bring forward opportunities for networking or professional meetings to your registrants.
With a solution like inwink, your registrants can make business appointments with partners in preparation for the big day. They can also use the matchmaking algorithm to identify other participants with whom they’re likely to have strong common interests. Finally, on the day, they can network with their peers, speakers, and partners (either face-to-face or at the online networking tables).
All these elements are great arguments to put forward in your communication streams with your registrants.
3) Create events within the event
Specific events within the event can bring more to the participant, whether it is a networking cocktail, interactive workshops, one-to-one meetings, an invitation-only evening, a press conference, a round table, etc.
Organizing either a digital or hybrid event is a fantastic occasion to communicate with your registrants. Share tutorial content that highlights the innovations of your format, in video for example, or with screenshots. Are you planning a networking chat roulette, thematic paths defined for each person by an algorithm, or interactive live sessions? These are all teaser elements you can share with your registrants.
Create a feeling of exclusivity with your registrants so they won’t want to miss your event! Even if your event content will be available in replay afterward, the experience will be so much more enriching for your participants if they can be part of the event the day of meaning they wouldn’t miss it for the world!
By relying on these best practices, as well as using a powerful event orchestration platform that allows you to use these tools to their full potential, you can maximize the attendance to your event.