Improving registration for your conferences and events is year round effort, not just something you do in the months leading up to the event itself. As an experienced organizer, you already know that building registrations for next year begins at (or in some cases before) this year’s event. Your team will be using every possible channel and incentive to inspire new professionals to sign up and bring back previous attendees. Something to keep in mind: it’s easy for people to turn down opportunities that are presented as an open call to anyone in particular.
Your efforts should have a personalized element that makes each professional feel that they will be personally welcomed and valued at your event. One way to do that is with targeted emails, triggered and sent at exactly the right moment to make your invitees feel like the invitation really means something. In this post we’ll take a look at four useful email triggers that will add value (and higher registration rates) to the potential attendees you reach out to.
When Someone Joins Your Social Media Forum/Group
For certain conferences and corporate events, there might be an existing or new social media group, message board, or forum where attendees across the city/state/country can come together. The group may host chats about industry news, facilitate connections between attendees, and create a space for members to make plans to meet up during the conference. If someone has joined a social media group you have formed, but hasn’t registered for the event yet, you already know they’re interested.
Managing these platforms provides useful information for targeted invitations. Use the opportunity to send any group members who are not registered a welcome email. Something along the lines of “Hi there! Thanks for joining our Facebook group, we’re glad to have your valuable insights and experiences as part of the community. Our community also comes together once a year for a big event and we would love to see you there!”
Honest flattery will get you everywhere.
When Someone Regularly Interacts with Blog Posts
What about blog readers? If you have a lively blog with regular articles and commenters, this is another great place to find new registrants for your conference or event. Commenters on a blog are interested in your industry/business/focus and have something to say. Perhaps they’re new to the industry and have questions about how to get a foot in the door. Maybe they are old hands who have a lot of expertise to share, or just opinionated professionals who want to get involved. So get them involved and invite them to enjoy your in-person event where their opinions and questions will be addressed more personally. Consider setting up a triggered email after about 5 blog comments, inviting this new person who actively participates in your online community to become a part of your larger event/conference based community as well.
When Someone Signs Up for a Newsletter
Not every lead you come across online is a future conference speaker. Most of them will be regular professionals who come to the conference to attend the talks, take the classes, network, and meet friends they made at previous conferences. People who sign up for a newsletter – any newsletter if you offer several – are showing that they want to stay connected and are interested, but they may have a more passive interaction style overall.
When someone signs up for a newsletter, take this as a sign that they might be interested in attending the conference as well. Use one of your first five newsletters you send them (depending on your funnel) as a direct invitation. A “Thank you for subscribing! If you want a great opportunity to learn more from the pros in person, we would be glad to have you at our conference!” Provide a discount code and details about the conference itself: sample talks, positive feedback from previous attendees, attractions, and how a newsletter subscriber might both find value and feel valued.
When Someone is Referred by Another Attendee
Never underestimate the power of referrals. Your attendees from previous years can be some of your best sources for new registrants, especially if you incentivize the practice. Encourage your attendees to refer their friends, coworkers, and/or industry acquaintances who they think would be a good fit for your conference/event. If someone referred by a registered attendee ends up registering for the first time, you can offer to discount the registration fee for both parties, or you can include other perks at the actual event. This can work by having registrants submit referrals to your team with contact info (likely preferred as you can be in charge of outreach and follow up) or asking those who register if they were referred by anyone. Your personalized email is even more meaningful when you tell someone a person they know thought they would be a great potential attendee for your event
Conferences and professional events are an important part of business culture. Whether you are a business, organization, or association, your events don’t work if they are not well-attended. Targeted ways to gather qualified professionals who might be interested in attending is often an overlooked practice. By tracking activity, using social media, and asking for help from current attendees, you create the opportunity to send a more personal invitation to qualified leads.
Focused on improving your registration numbers this year with both new and returning attendees? Coterie Spark can help. If you’d like more insight into improving both the registration and results of your annual conferences or corporate events, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary consultation.