Does it seem harder and harder to drive up attendance at your events? For those that rely on the paid registration model, the trending answer is probably “Yes.”
The reasons are varied – there’s more and more event competition, some of your competitors may charge nothing or little to attend now, people rely more on industry info via the Internet, and potential time away is more and more limited.
You probably have a salesperson or a whole team dedicated to selling exhibit booths or sponsorships, right? But do you have a dedicated salesperson working specifically on selling large group registrations?
If not, you should consider it. We certainly are. For years niche event organizers have relied on traditional attendee acquisition marketing — website, e-mail efforts, brochures, post cards and social media efforts. But what about adding someone to the team (or change an existing salesperson’s role) and go after larger corporate group sponsorships? It can be a powerful boost to registration sales if done right.
Here’s some quick ideas on how to get started with your sales group:
- Identify the key person within the company that is in charge of training or other criteria you want and let them help you define the goals.
- Just like vendor related sales, identify your list of the best prospects for group attendee sales.
- Strategize around timing. Is your conference at the perfect time for some groups?
- Send out a personal email requesting a call and develop a promotion that clearly identifies the benefits for the prospect to send a team to your event.
- Get creative with those benefits – offer big super-team discounts, offer a comp meeting room, VIP access to the event, etc.
- Incentivize your new “Group Attendee Revenue Officer” just like you would with booth or sponsor sales — commissions, etc.
I think you’ll be surprised how putting in that extra sales effort on the group attendee side will really help build your numbers up. Think about it– the same old approach will likely produce the same old attendance results.
So try a focus on groups for your sales team vs individual registrations. And keep freshening up the event offers to capture new groups of attendees!
P.S. It’s important to ensure your registration system is geared up for groups so the process is easy and painless and they’ll want to come back.
Editor’s note: If you want to learn more about organizing successful niche events, check out our all new Niche EventFest workshop in March 2017.
About the blogger: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau – Niche Media’s Grand Poobah – is launching the all new, yet same AMAZING source of NEW REVENUE for your niche magazine brand! The Super Niche event March 27-29, 2017. Check it out!
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