[Podcast] 7 Tips to Boost Event Registration Quickly


Event badge lanyard printed with "reach your attendee goals"

I love a challenge so I decided to come up with a list of ideas that would help reach my attendee goals, because, let’s face it, it can sometimes be difficult to meet or exceed them.

After I finished my list I narrowed it down to 7 things that I think are pivotal for boosting attendee registrations.

These are simple, easy to implement, and will make the process easier for your attendees.

Are you up for it?

I knew you would be – let’s get started.

1. Look at Historical Data

Historical data is all the information you have collected over your years of event planning, such as new attendees numbers vs. return attendees numbers, and using that data to reveal patterns or trends that will help guide your decision-making.

You can’t make an impact with historical data if you ignore it.

I’m a curious person so looking at historical data gives me a peek inside the psyche of my attendees, like what behavioral trends might be impacting my data.

Once you know, you can influence future behavior by making adjustments.

For example, when you determine what is moving registrations, you can capitalize on those factors.

There can be a lot of data to sort through so I like to be intentional with my goals. I’m a firm believer in aiming high, but I’m also a believer in being realistic.

Choose some areas that you know need improving, then set milestones to achieve throughout the process and stick to them.

It’s satisfying to know that the changes you are implementing now will pay off later.

2. Create a Sense of Urgency

Event campaigns are more than just building up excitement. It’s also about creating a sense of urgency.

In the words of Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last”.

While it sounds a bit oversimplified, it’s kind of true. We don’t put all of our hard work into coming in second place.

To be a winner, you have to think like one, and that’s why I create moments that make attendees want to take action.

Here are a few of my go-tos…

  • Offer a limited-time incentive that is contingent on an immediate response.
  • Use flash promotions, like a short-lived discount, to drive sales.
  • Create pricing tiers with limited availability.

3. Be Social

The social media market is all about getting attendees to respond to a particular message. You want to engage with your audience as much as possible, trust me.

I can’t help but cringe when I see someone respond to a marketing campaign and no one from the campaign responds to them. It’s such a missed opportunity and I don’t want to see you make the same mistake.

Be active. Let your future attendees know how much you value their questions and get them pumped up for the event.

4. Utilize Relationships and Resources

Did you know that a majority of the information people receive about your event comes from word of mouth marketing? It’s true, 87% of people don’t get their messaging straight from you, but from other sources.

This is what makes using an industry influencer to push your event invaluable and why it’s quickly becoming the modus operandi for marketing.

It’s our relationships and resources that fuel growth and one of my favorite ways to encourage growth is what I call promotional opportunities.

Here are a couple of examples…

  • Entice current attendees with a registration discount by sharing a personal promo code with them.
  • Fold a promo opportunity into an exhibitor’s sponsorship package.

5. Make Registration Easy

We are a fast-paced society that doesn’t have the bandwidth to deal with a slow and cumbersome registration process.  When I’m filling out forms I want them to be concise without all the extras and they had better not take their sweet old time loading.

I suspect you feel the same.

That is why it’s critical that we make the registration process as easy as we can for our attendees. Skip all non-vital information and while you’re at it make sure to imbed links to nearby hotels and transportation essentials. It shows attendees that you appreciate their time while saving them the hassle of researching it for themselves.

Anything less will drive attendees away which is exactly the opposite of what you worked so hard to achieve.

6. Offer a Group Discount

Group discounts are especially prevalent with events like concerts and conferences and are a good way to entice more people to your show. The larger the group the better the discount.

One thing to keep in mind when registering a large group: make sure the information only needs to be entered once, like names, etc. You can accomplish this by hiding fields within the online registration process. It keeps it tidy and convenient.

7. Break Through the Noise

Some people respond better when information is in its most basic form and boiled down to facts and information without all the noise and flash. Old school email or event snail mail gets the point across while maintaining your message.

Sometimes basic is good and it’s worth the effort.

Think outside the box like doing an email blitz on a Saturday. It’s simple and effective.

What You Need

Oftentimes what you need is what you are fighting against. The things that challenge me the most are what I know are going to propel me forward.

What I love about these 7 action steps is that they are achievable in every sense. I want to hear about your experiences with registration and I also want to challenge you to come up with some of your own ideas to boost registration numbers.

I can’t wait to hear what you come up with.