Top secret tip: Invite Warren Buffet and Tony Fernandes. End of conversation.
On a serious note, consider your conference as the product you’re selling (well, it is). Just like selling any merchandise, you’d need to ensure your conference is packed with value added learning keynote speakers and topics worth every registration currency. As much as your objectives are clear, you’d have to bank on reputation. You’re bringing like-minded individuals together. Ask yourselves the ‘Why’ and ‘How’ prior to blasting. Think on how your event will stand out in the crowd and how will you get to make people (and their companies sponsor) spend the money to attend.
Let me share to you few learnings that have helped drive our campaign towards SOLD OUT and (unfortunately) lead to declining further registrants; hopefully these will help promote yours, too!
Early Bird Rate
For being ahead of the game, give those registrants a heads-up and reward them for being first in line. When offering early bird rates, you’d always have to have it posted side-by-side the regular rate. Have group rates. If possible, give a significant amount of difference. Giving them a sense of urgency and realizing there’s a huge difference would encourage people to buy before the price increase.
Let them feel as if they won the lottery of discounts!
Forge partnerships with your target industry partners. In every Industry, there are certain professional organizations who’s database are rich in resources and may be able to promote on your behalf. Give them an incentive, this way, they’ll be more encouraged to push your event and legitimately reach out to the qualified people you wouldn’t normally have access to on your behalf.
You know your targets and we all do know every professional have their own LinkedIN account and have access to Facebook for personal networking. Take advantage of the fact you’ll be able to be in-control of your campaign and promote your event to relevant people in the industry you’d want to tap.
The visuals, however, should be compelling enough and has the information they need. Albeit it’s great to have drive to your website; your website should supplement your campaign and your social media visuals has the call-to-action.
Be consistent with weekly updates, constantly include the registration link on the caption and image for easy drive and share; and leverage on paid advertising to target people in the industry.
Sponsors & Partners
Forging partnerships through sponsorships builds trust and credibility, the more sponsors you get to tap to join you, the more it’ll give your event a lasting and positive impression. Although, you will also have to consider who your targets are and relevance. In return, you may also give incentives to your sponsors. Allow them to offer your event either interim or their consumers. It’ll be a win-win situation, cross promote and support each other.
These days, the one-pagers hits the spot. It’s direct and straight to the point. Your webpage is your store and you’d want the menu to be presented crisp and clear. Answer possible questions your registrants may ask and provide an easy contact page should there be further queries.
Have your drive to action towards registering. Make the REGISTRATION tab available for both sharing and easy registration. Don’t allow your registrant to loose sight of that tab.
Promote the Location
The truth is, everyone hates traffic and looking for parking. Give them the solution. Situate your event somewhere accessible and easy drive. Promote the location, not just your conference. You’ll need to tell your registrants that you’ve thought of their convenience.
Not only does it help in promotion, it actually makes your conference legitimately something for everyone to consider and refer to as an event that needs to be attended. You’ll also need the added mileage for your sponsors.
Gamify your event
Sure, it may probably a formal engagement but giving a little fun won’t hurt. In fact, it can also make your attendees stay longer during the event for a grand raffle in stake! If they paid a hefty amount for the registration, a probably same cost or higher, would make them want to wish for them to win.
Handouts and Certificates
If it’ll be added to their credentials, the better.
Always have kits for every attendee – provide a pen or pencil, notepads, and handouts they can write on for their note taking. Your registrants are there to learn, you’ll need these for their ease and convenience.
You should always have photographers and videographers to cover your event. You’ll need these for documentation for your partners and for your next event. Have a short on-site video summary for you to show as reference or you may also have the entire conference recorded for future sharing (you wouldn’t know right now but it’ll always come in handy).
Everyone is a VIP. Think of your attendees ease from the registration process, welcoming to the after-event experience. It’s always important to leave a lasting impression which you can also bank on for the succeeding efforts.
These are only but few. What other ways can you think of to drive sales for your event?