Encouraging Registration for Association Events

Your association puts so much effort into planning their events and conferences, so you want them to be a success. Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, ahead of an event, it’s almost like you have to hold your breath – waiting to see if you get the uptake you’re looking for once you make the event registration live. It’s all fun and games once you have a full event roster. However, before that time – it can be extremely nerve-racking.

For this reason, and to soothe your concerns, you need to deploy every trick in the book. This way you can know, at the very least, you are doing everything in your power to ensure your association gets the event turnout it’s looking to accomplish.

There’s no shortage of initiatives you can execute to stimulate event registration. The question is, which ones will work best for your members? Below, we’ve provided a few ideas you can draw on to support your efforts of encouraging uptake.

Repeat Customers
The old adage that it’s much simpler to sell to existing customers applies in this scenario. Members (and non-members) who have attended your association events in the past will be more likely than others to have quick uptake to your upcoming event. To put yourself at ease, this is the first group you should draw on when requesting registration, since they’ll be able to make a quick decision to RSVP. Getting these invitees to register early on will get you off to a strong start.
Early-Bird Discounting
Probably one of the most tried and true methods for stimulating registration well before the event date is the choice to offer early-bird incentives. Whether it’s in the form of a discounted admission or gaining access to further value without additional cost, sweetening the deal for those who choose to register early can really motivate them to do so. If your association puts forth an appealing early-bird initiative, you should see a significant upward trend in registration – allowing you to take a little bit more of the load off your shoulders.
Draw on Presenters
You can try every trick in the book to coax invitees into registering. None of it will accomplish anything if the purpose of the event itself is vague or is of no interest to your target audience. First off, you should certainly make it clear what the focus or theme of your event will be. If invitees are confused regarding what will be offered, that doesn’t bode well for uptake. Secondly, once you’ve provided a concise description of the event, you need to really capture invitees’ attention. A great way to do this is to draw on your event speakers. Have them pen brief blogs summarizing what they plan to discuss at the event, or initiate interactive discussions about a topic related to their presentation on event forums. Your presenters are the meat and potatoes of your event – they give everything substance. Exploit the value they plan to provide by having them tease it just enough that invitees are excited and enticed in such a way that they have no choice but to register – ensuring they will be able to hear the rest of what presenters have to say.
Focus Your Content
During the registration phase for your event, your blog content should be tightly focused on event-themed topics – to get your readership in the mindset. If you’re an established association that has been around for quite some time and you’ve hosted many events in the past, you should draw on notable stories from those conferences to showcase how enjoyable and entertaining events hosted by your association can be (and have been). Reminiscing on the time you had that hilarious and insightful speaker, or the incredible games room your attendees enjoyed at that unbelievable venue – there are so many stories you could share on your association website and social media networks that would make it clear to invitees that your events are not to be missed. Exploit the great times people have had at your events to make the case for the great times yet to come.
Make RSVP’ing Easy
This one seems straight forward, and it is, but unfortunately easy registration isn’t always what invitees come across. Much more frequent than you’d think, invitees get frustrated so badly by an association’s registration process that it actually motivates them to throw in the towel and give up. This is a nightmare, not only because it discourages people from registering to and attending your event, but also because it is value they will feel they are missing out on. Frankly, if a member can’t mine value from your association in a simple way, why on earth would they continue with their membership. It won’t take long for them to get to that conclusion if you’re frustrating them out of value. Fortunately, this doesn’t need to be a concern. With the right association management system supporting your event management efforts, it will be a breeze for administrators to manage the details and for invitees to register. Guild’s event management component has been used with great success by a variety of associations serving different industries. If you’d like to learn more about how Guild can help your association positively stimulate event registration, or would like to schedule a live demo of the solution to see for yourself, please click here.

While it can be a bit stressful for a period when trying to make sure you achieve the level of event attendance you’re looking for, there’s nothing more gratifying than accomplishing a strong turnout and hosting a great event that everyone enjoys and remembers. To help you get through that overwhelming registration phase, draw on the above tips and whatever other tactics you have up your sleeve for encouraging as much commitment as possible. Sometimes, all it takes is a little push in the right direction and before you know it, your event is sold to capacity.