June 18, 2024   |   Vol. 23   |   Issue 6
By Kelsey McKinney, MGI Account Director

4 Steps to Conference Registration Success

So much work throughout the entire year goes into planning a successful conference, and the last thing you want to worry about is meeting your registration goals. To help boost registration numbers at your next event, here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Highlight your content. You know you’ve put together a great program—now it’s time to announce your lineup! What content or speakers do you think will be the most compelling? What about this conference makes it a can’t miss event for your audience? How will the content support attendees as they take their work to the next level? By highlighting the conference content, you can build excitement for prospective attendees who will not want to miss a session.
  2. Make the most of the early registration window. Are you ready to hit the ground running when registration opens? The more registrants you get during the early bird window, the better positioned you will be to meet your overall goals. Organizations often offer a discount for those who register during the early bird window, which gives you a lever to encourage registration. Are you promoting this in multiple ways, such as online, via email, or with a postcard? Make sure your audience knows that there is a great financial reason to register early and is clear on the deadline that they need to meet to receive it!
  3. Target your audience geographically. As the conference date draws closer, organizations often see their registration numbers start to decline. People are more likely to register if they do not need to also make travel plans such as booking flights or hotels, so why not target prospective attendees who are already located near the conference site? Try a calling campaign to just those prospective attendees within driving distance of the conference site, or use those more local addresses for a geofencing campaign to show them “last chance to register” ads. These tactics allow you to pinpoint your late registration conference spend on those who are most likely to attend with a shorter planning window.
  4. Don’t miss an opportunity to promote membership. If members enjoy a discount on registration, feature that information in communications to nonmembers! Help them to understand how membership pays for itself, and be clear about the value they’ll receive: “The $XX you’ll save on registration covers X% of your annual membership dues!” While some people will only join to save on the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to engage them at a deeper level throughout the next year to try and convince them to renew.

Want to learn more about conference marketing? Contact Michelle Peterson, Managing Director, Account Services at mpeterson@marketinggeneral.com or 703-706-0327.

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