Change These 3 Things to Drive More Event Attendance

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Want to grow your event this year? Here are three simple, high-impact changes to make.

This is a sponsored post by Maggie Jones, Managing Editor at Eventbrite. More information about Event Manager Blog’s sponsored posts.

Are you happy with your last event’s attendance rate? For most event pros, the answer is “not quite.” If you didn’t pack the house, you’re determined to sell out next time. If your event did sell out, you want the next one to be even bigger and more successful. As you know, you can’t make it in the events industry with “good enough” attendance.

With that in mind, here are 3 changes that will help you bring more people to your next event:

  1. Stop Getting In The Way

You put a ton of work into promoting your event — why make it hard for attendees to buy? Many event professionals spend serious time and dollars driving people to their “buy” page…and no time turning those visitors into attendees. Or maybe you are trying to seal the deal, but your website visitors just aren’t biting.

Registering for an event or buying a ticket is like any other purchase you make online — the more steps you have to complete, the less likely you are to buy. One in 10 buyers will abandon the process for every extra field in that process, and — according to Nielsen Norman Group — one in four online shoppers will give up if you ask them to create an account.

So how can you get out of your own way? Follow these 3 easy rules of thumb:

  1. Require as few steps as possible. Whether you’re working with a ticketing partner or going it alone, require no more than 4 steps to complete a check out.
  2. Don’t make people create an account or log in. It’s tempting to ask for this — all of that glorious data! — but you must resist.
  3. Don’t hide fees! If you’re going to include extra fees in your price, include them upfront. Revealing an additional cost at the last minute is a great way to lose people who were this close to buying.
  1. Become A Data Scientist

Just kidding! But seriously: if you have events, you have data.

Let’s start with the data you probably care most about: your sales. Most event professionals like to have an hour-by-hour (if not second-by-second) grasp on their sales leading up to an event.  At minimum, you want to know if your sales are on track, which marketing efforts are driving the most sales, and where your buyers are coming from. Your ticketing platform should put those reports at your fingertips, so you can direct your staff from wherever you are, know your most important tasks from the moment you wake up, and access that info on-the-go (ideally on mobile).

You should also have a tight handle on the source of your sales — for example, you should be able to see how each of your marketing/promotional channels are performing. Adding a tracking link (a unique URL for each promotion you do for your event) or a pixel (a bit of code that tracks visitors to your website) to your ticketing website can help you get even more granular with your ticketing data. That way, you can see exactly which ads drive sales, figure out how many times fans interact with your site before making a purchase, and follow visitors across the web to retarget them with ads.

  1. Drop Technology That Doesn’t Stack Up

It seems like an amazing new product to optimize, streamline, or multiply your event ROI is launched every minute — your inbox is probably full of these offers. When it comes to choosing the best technology for your event, start by asking the most important question: “Does it play well with others?”

For example, let’s say you’re using MailChimp or Hubspot to send your event emails. If your registration tech doesn’t easily sync with your email marketing system, you’re signing up for a lifetime of manual data transfer. As some of us have learned the hard way, the more manual your process, the more room there is for human error. And, of course, the more of your precious time gets wasted on tedious tasks.

And then there’s pesky return on investment — if you’re going to spend on something fancy (say, on a CRM like Salesforce), you need to know it will pay off. That means it has to sync with your registration platform. That’s the difference between buying software and buying a streamlined, end-to-end solution. If your goal is to increase attendance, you need tech that makes your life easier — not software that leaves you manually syncing a bunch of separate tools.

In Conclusion

Increasing attendance to your event is all about efficiency — an efficient buying process for your attendees, efficient analysis of your sales and marketing, and efficient use of your time. But don’t stop there — build an even more in-depth to-do list with the complete guide to selling out your next event.