Event Incentives That Drive Attendance

by Ty Collins on December 9, 2019 in Vendor Management
Lightbulb ideas on chalkboard

Whether you’re hosting a gallery opening or you’re a corporation running a business seminar, it can take a lot of effort to market your event. After all of the planning and preparation that goes into an event, it would be incredibly disheartening to have an event with no attendees. By finding the right event incentives, you can encourage more people to sign up and go. Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (formerly abbreviated as MICE) are and increasingly effective tools in the rewards industry .

When it comes down to it, people care about how much an activity will benefit them. They are probably only going to your event because it provides them with some type of networking or performance advantage. Sometimes, the benefit is directly connected to the event like earning a certificate at a realtor convention. Sometimes, you have to create a benefit for your attendees.

Thankfully, finding incentives is not difficult. The following ideas include the most popular options for motivating attendees. You can easily incorporate these ideas into your marketing campaign for your next event.

Use Incentives on Social Media

An easy incentive event management professionals use is with inbound marketing. Social media is where your customers are, and it is also the cheapest place to go if you want to market an event. If you can get people to share your event with their friends, you can reduce your marketing budget.

Depending on your event, people may need some incentives to share your post. An easy way to do this is by offering a coupon to the first 50 people who share your link with their friends on Facebook. You could also give the first 50 people a reduced ticket price instead.

If you want to really get your event noticed, make your promotion interactive. For example, the ALS challenge involved someone dumping an ice bucket over their head and recording it. The videos went viral because friends loved watching each other get dunked in icy water. You can use the same concept by asking people to post their most hilarious pictures from the event and sharing them with a hashtag on Twitter or Instagram.

Incentives are great for social media because your participants only have to do a minimal amount of work to take part. By simply clicking a button, they can enter to win a prize or a discounted ticket. While it might take minimal effort to do, this campaign allows you to share your event among thousands of people for a very low cost. With these incentives, you can gain more traffic on your site, generate leads and eventually convert those leads into a sale.

Create Price Incentives

Another great option for event incentives is to offer discounts. This kind of incentive is probably the oldest one in existence. From nightclubs offering a reduced price for early birds to store coupons, price incentives have been used by marketing professionals forever.

If you have ever taken an economics class, you know that different people will respond at different points along the demand curve for price. This is one of the major reasons why companies use price differentiation for seniors, students and children. Companies know that these groups are more sensitive to prices, so they offer lower rates for these groups.

The same thing is true for airlines and flight tickets. Airlines know that business travelers often have to travel right away, so they charge higher prices right before a flight because they know these travelers can afford it. Meanwhile, families are price-sensitive when it comes to vacations and can afford to wait or buy in advance. Because of this, airlines charge less a few weeks in advance because the buyers during this time period are often families or vacation goers.

It is important to remember that different groups respond to different prices and stimuli. Instead of sticking to a single, long-term discount, you should consider different short-term discounts. In addition, you can use different ways to practice price differentiation as long as you stick to legal regulations about how you target different groups.

You can offer your clients early-bird access to get more people to sign up in advance. Right before the event, you can offer discounts on your unsold tickets. You can also offer discounts for people who are connected to certain professional organizations, schools or other groups. These kinds of discounts are incredibly common in retail stores, but they are just starting to become popular at major events.

Try Using Group Incentives

Group incentives are wonderful because they help you fill up your seats as quickly as possible. They also capitalize on the social side of your events. When people see all of their friends joining your event as a group, they naturally want to take part.

One way you can do this is by creating a refer-a-friend program. You can offer discounts when people sign up as a large group or give people a 2-for-1 discount when they bring a friend. Another option is to use GrouponLive to make a promotion. This allows you to market your event to a huge number of people. It also increases the odds that your event will go viral.

You can also encourage people to sign up in large groups by creating a competition. Advertise that the largest group will get free admission, and people will try to sign up with as many friends as possible. Another technique is to give groups larger than five people free drinks or appetizers. By using group incentives, you can increase your income from the event and have more money to invest in marketing it.

Remember to Have Incentives for the Event Day

In a perfect world, all of your tickets would sell out before the big day arrives. Unfortunately, this is seldom the case. Instead of hoping for the best results and being disappointed, plan ahead so that you have day-of-event incentives ready.

People love to hear about incentives and discounts before an event, but this does not mean that they will show up. Life can get in the way, so they need added incentives to actually come to your event. By advertising your day-of-event incentives, you encourage people to show up to claim their reward. This incentive can be something as simple as a gift bag. If you want to advertise a more expensive prize, you can create an incentive that gives special prizes to the first 20 people who arrive.

Ideally, you want to make multiple incentives so that you have a variety of things to promote. Each incentive gives your attendees another reason to register for your event. You can advertise these incentives on your website or blog. Then, people will be excited about your upcoming event and spread the news among their friends.

As you plan ahead for your event, remember to make a cohesive campaign. If you have multiple incentives, it can dilute your message if they are too different or disconnected from each other. You should also make sure your incentives actually connect to your event. If you are marketing an educational seminar, you will want incentives like free educational apps instead of free shot glasses.

Ultimately, incentives are a fairly low-risk way to market your event. They cost very little to create, so you are only losing a small amount if they fail. If they end up working, you will have a higher attendance rate for your upcoming event.