Tuesday, January 1, 2013

5 Ideas to Help Sell Out Your Events

By Jim Romanik

Unless attendance at an event is mandatory, getting people to register comes down to sales. You, as the event planner, need to convince the event participants that attending your event is the best use of their time and money. Even if your event is free and intended to be fun such as a Christmas party, you still need to show people that attending your event is better than anything else that they could be doing.

For some events, the promotional material (mailers, emails, etc.) will list the benefits and do a good job of communicating the value of an event to prospective attendees. This will help get people to the registration form, but the sale isn't closed until they click the submit button.

Here are five tips to keep in mind for your promotional material and your registration forms to help you get the sale.

1. Clearly state the benefits of attending. Clearly stating how people will benefit by attending your event is one of the best ways to encourage people to register. Make your benefit statements descriptive and put them in terms that prospective event participants can relate to. Here are two examples:

- "When you leave this event, you will have ten new strategies for motivating your staff that will result in less turnover."

- "In this workshop, you will learn the real difference between software A and B, so you can make the right decision for your business and avoid a buying mistake that will cost you time and money.

2. Use a good title. Most event titles are similar to "2006 Annual Convention." This tells you what it is but doesn't really catch your attention. Try adding a benefit or other interest-grabbing words to the title such as the one below:
2006 Annual Convention - See the new industry technology that will keep you competitive.

3. Clearly state what the price includes. Everyone perceives differently. Some may say it's too high, while other people will pay it and not complain. Itemizing what your event includes will help to show people who think it's too high the value of what they will receive. Outline items such as speaking events and the number of instructional hours, to meals and conference materials.

4. Talk about the food. Everyone likes a good dinner and most conventions have several meal functions and usually a final banquet.

Rather than listing the meals as "Monday Lunch" or "Dinner and Awards Banquet" create some anticipation around the event by giving more details such as the dinner options, what is for dessert, how fresh the ingredients will be, how many awards the chef has won, etc.

5. Use testimonials. Testimonials from previous events can be a powerful motivator. Make sure the testimonials you use are descriptive and demonstrate how the person benefited by attending the event.

Jim Romanik is the founder of ePly Online Event Registration Software. "We are online registration experts and treat your reputation as our own to build registration forms that help your events succeed and make people wonder how you did it. Download our free guide What Every Event Planner Should Know About Online Event Registration at www.eply.com/lp/articles.html."

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