In a perfect world all of your event content would be ready a year in advance, long before early bird registration even opens; the reality is that wrangling speakers and narrowing down session topics often takes longer than expected.
In order to appease superfans and quality seekers who are anxious to lock down their spot for next year, it’s not uncommon for registration managers to open registration before the event theme or branding is perfectly polished.
We’ve created this guide to help you gracefully launch early bird registration and build anticipation leading up to your event.
1. Create a Temporary Landing Page for Registration
Give potential attendees a place to learn and get excited about the event, even if it’s not fully cooked. By providing a simple place where they can learn about the event at a high level—as well as a way to register on the spot—you’ll get a jumpstart on meeting your registration goals.
So how do you design a landing page for your next event with limited information? First, it’s important to be upfront and state that the landing page is temporary and more information will be coming. Many companies simply put up a “coming soon” page in lieu of a landing page to alert visitors that the event should be on their mind.
It’s not necessary to share the theme, sponsors, exhibitors, or tracks of the conference on your temporary landing page; however, having basic details like the name of the event, time frame, and location can catch visitors’ attention and motivate them to return later for more information.
2. Provide a Time Frame for Your Next Event if You Don’t Have a Specific Date
Giving your early birds a time frame is a great way to prepare them for an upcoming event. Even if you don’t have specific dates set in stone a year in advance, giving your audience whatever information you do have can go a long way.
Obviously the more specific you can be the better; however, if the only information you have is the year, publish it. General time frames like spring, summer, fall, or winter are great, but giving your early birds the month, or even a specific part of the month is even better.
For example, your landing page might read: Early March 2019. This gives your early birds enough information to know that they should keep early March clear in their calendar so they can attend your event.
3. Send Out Special Emails for Early Registrants
Supplementing your landing page with an email form is a great way to reach out to potential early registrants leading up to the event. The RainFocus Platform allows you to set up smart workflows for email automation. This enables you to set up triggered emails with messaging specific to the potential attendee based on things like location, company, track and product preferences, and other demographics.
For example, suppose you have someone who registers from one of your target customer accounts. You can email them to let them know that you’ll be hosting a cocktail reception for potential customers the night before the event officially begins. You can also send an email to anyone who has shown interest in registering at the early bird rate as soon as early bird registration opens.
Ideally, you would have a temporary event page on your site before sending the emails. This way the emails will drive traffic to your site and will bring in visitors you may have otherwise missed. Learn more about how workflows can help you “set it and forget it” while nurturing potential attendees and driving them to the best possible event experience.
4. Post Recap Videos to Build Excitement
If you really want to take your early registration game to the next level, think about creating a recap video of your last event. This tactic works particularly well with annually-recurring events.
Putting together a short, well-produced video highlighting last year’s experience will build excitement like nothing else. This video is your opportunity to brag about your speakers, your venue, the event’s attendance, or whatever else you want to showcase.
A good recap video will entice people who have never been to your event before as well as returning registrants, as long as you convey that this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity.
5. Put Last Year’s Data to Use
Data is RainFocus’ bread and butter. Our software provides you with an in-depth look into all of your event’s valuable information. From within the RainFocus Platform you can see everything from the number of attendees that attended each session to how long they stayed there as well as their satisfaction with the content and speaker.
This information is not only helpful in planning your next event, but it’s also great promotional material. In tandem with your recap video this data will help fill out your temporary landing page and get people excited about attending your next event.
Early registration is a great way to incentivize your attendees with special prices. The tips discussed in this article will help you elevate your events starting with early bird registration.