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by Brett Robertson, CEO

It’s no secret that the event industry continues to face challenges in a post-pandemic world. Be it staffing levels and experience, shrinking budgets, or hyperinflation, event planners have a lot to think about. One trend that event planners are grappling with is attendees waiting until the last minute to register and purchase tickets. This uncertainty can be unsettling for event organizers who must plan and budget effectively. Let's explore several strategies that event planners can utilize to motivate attendees to register early and increase event registration.

Early Bird Experiences
Early bird discounts are a tried-and-true strategy but take this one step further with early bird experiences. Treat your early bird attendees in the same way you would a VIP by offering them preferred seating, exclusive happy hours, keynote meet and greets, backstage tours, complimentary upgrades, and curated swag.   

Exclusive Content Previews
Generate buzz and interest by providing registrants exclusive content previews or access to certain event materials before the event date. This could include sneak peeks of keynote presentations, workshop materials, or special reports. By offering a glimpse of the value attendees will receive, you can persuade them to register early. 

C-Suite Access
Your C-Suite will likely be at your event; you might as well put them to work! Give early registrants the opportunity for one-on-one or small group time with your CEO, Product and Marketing Leaders, or Head of Sales. This direct engagement can lead to a deeper understanding of the organization's values and strategies and humanizes the leadership team. Moreover, for the executives, these interactions provide invaluable feedback and perspectives from a diverse audience.  


Limited time offers tap into the FOMO mentality and can motivate attendees to act quickly.


Limited-Time Offers
Create limited-time registration windows with special incentives or gifts for those who register during that period. For example, you could offer a free event-related eBook, a voucher for a local restaurant, or access to a premium networking session. Limited time offers tap into the fear of missing out (FOMO) and can motivate attendees to act quickly.

Early Access to Preferred Sessions or Workshops
Allow early registrants to secure their spots in preferred sessions or workshops before general registration opens. This can be particularly appealing for attendees with specific interests and want to ensure they get the most out of the event.  

Personalized Email Campaigns
Segment your email list and send personalized messages to different groups of potential attendees. Tailor your messaging to address their specific needs, interests, and pain points. Personalization makes recipients feel valued and understood, increasing the likelihood of early registration.

Think Outside of Digital
Reaching out to past attendees via a good old-fashioned phone call can be an effective and personalized strategy to encourage them to register for an upcoming event. This approach adds a personal touch that emails, or digital marketing cannot match. During these calls, a genuine conversation can take place, allowing for the sharing of specific details about what new and exciting features the upcoming event will offer. 

Partnerships and Collaborations
Collaborate with industry influencers, relevant associations, sponsors, or complementary businesses to promote your event. These partnerships can help you tap into new audiences and create a sense of community around your event, encouraging earlier registrations from their followers and members. Create a tool kit, asset and brand guidelines, and templates to help partners spread the word.  

Encouraging early registration for events in the post-pandemic landscape is essential for event planners to ensure smoother planning and a successful outcome. By implementing these strategies, event organizers can create a sense of urgency, provide added value, and build trust with potential attendees, ultimately leading to a better planning and attendee experience. 

For more information on SHW's Registration, Event Tech & Attendee Experience Services, visit our webpage at SHW.