Plan a Successful Conference and Optimize Your Event Registration

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Conferences, and in particular business conferences, have evolved significantly over the last decade. Today's conference-goers crave an authentic and valuable experience.

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1 Make a Good First Impression With Your Conference Website

Does your conference need a website? Over 40% of the world's population is online, sifting through a billion or so websites on a monthly basis. So an effective site can dramatically improve your ability to sell registrations and grow attendance.

The Importance of Having a Conference Website

The ultimate goal of your conference website is to sell registrations. But before it can accomplish this, it needs to play an active role in the attendee's decision-making process.

Aid the Attendee Decision-Making Process

Depending on where they are in the decision process, an attendee will evaluate your event from either an emotional or rational mindset. They are looking for emotional cues that communicate the event experience. They are trying to figure out if your event meets their aspirations and if your event is worth attending.

Once they're confident that your event has value they will switch their mindset and look for information that rationalizes their interest.

  • The Cost: Can they afford to attend?

  • The Distance: Will they need to travel?

  • The Time: Will they be able to make your conference?

Articulate the Event Experience with Content

If your site does not include rich, detailed content that articulates the event experience, you are forcing readers to find it elsewhere — and you may be losing sales because of it.

In addition to the basic elements that help attendees better understand your conference, you can use content from previous events to further demonstrate value. Your conference may have a fixed time and place, but that doesn't mean your event content — like event photography or session recordings — has a shelf life.

Don't Know Where to Start?

Here are three ways you can repurpose event content and give interested event-goers a glimpse into the event experience.

  • Highlight Reels: Highlight reels remind past attendees of the value gained from attending your event and give interested conference-goers a glimpse into the event experience.

  • Session Recordings: One of the most common forms of conference content is video of presentations or panels.

  • Repackaged content: Package your presentations in a variety of formats to get more out of them — and give your attendees more options.

All you need to do is start setting up your event website. Don’t worry, we’re in it together! Eventbrite makes it easy for you to get started.

Tips

Do Not Forget About Mobile

mobile-only users surpassed desktop users in March 2015. So if it's easy to register on mobile, you're not only providing a premium experience, you're encouraging a fast-growing segment of attendees to register.

Call To Actions

A call to action is a prompt for visitors to take their next step. For most event-related websites, it's the button that says "Buy Tickets" or "Register Now." Make sure your attendees can find your call to action easily.

2 Optimize Your Registration Process

Even if your website effectively convinces interested visitors that your conference is a can’t-miss experience, a difficult registration process can cause them to think twice about attending.

How difficult is your registration process?

How many steps does it take to check out? For each additional step in the checkout process, there’s a 10% decrease in transactions. That means that each time you add a step, you may be losing 10% of your potential attendees.

Do you need to log in or create an account to register? Twenty-three percent of online shoppers say they wouldn’t buy if they had to create a new user account. So if you’re not confident that all of your attendees already have accounts with your event registration provider, you’re forcing them to create an account — and one in four won’t bother. That’s another quarter of your potential attendees.

How many of your site visitors turn into attendees today?

How many visitors come to your site each day? How many registrations do you sell online each day? If a low percentage of visitors actually register, it might signal a difficult purchase experience.

Once you’ve figured out what percentage of site visitors are actually registering, you can determine how to improve it.

What’s your registration process like on mobile?

More people search Google on their phones than on computers, and 1.4 billion people use Facebook on mobile devices. So it’s important that you make their browsing and registration experience easy on mobile.

Don’t underestimate the impact this could have on sales: Studies have shown a 160% lift in purchase completion with mobile-optimized payments. If you haven’t tested out your registration on a mobile device, now is the time.

How much time and money go into your other strategies to drive more sales?

You can spend more money, or rely on a registration partner’s email blasts, or spend more time and effort on yet another channel. But does all that additional investment actually lead to more sales?

Instead of spending the time and money creating ads, consider what could have happened had you focused on converting your existing visitors instead. By making it easier to buy tickets on your site, you could increase the percentage of page viewers who register by 50% — without spending more money on promotion.

All you need to do is start setting up your event website. Don’t worry, we’re in it together! Eventbrite makes it easy for you to get started.

Tips

Integrate with Google Analytics

Add Google Analytics to your event listings so you can track visits to your event pages. Combined with your event reports and analytics, you will have a holistic view of who’s interested in your event — not just who’s attended.

Built to Convert Faster

If you use Eventbrite, you don’t have to stress about all these hidden conversion killers. Our registration platform has no more than three to four steps for even the most complicated events, while other providers have eight to ten steps.

3 Anticipate Expectations and Create a Bulletproof Agenda

Your conference is your agenda. Get it right, and attendees will come back for more — and convince others to attend as well. But if your talk tracks and speakers fail to deliver a valuable experience, attendees will reconsider their investment before your conference is over.

Go to the source with surveys

Post-event surveys are a common, if not standard, practice for events. But these questionnaires often don’t go beyond asking attendees if they enjoyed the event or would recommend it to a friend or colleague

There are plenty of online tools on the market to help you get a survey out quickly, and that’s a testament to how important surveys are to gauging consumer satisfaction. SurveyMonkey, for instance, has more than 300 prewritten survey templates — four of which are specifically geared toward events — that can get you started figuring out just what to ask.

Gather insight from your mobile event app

Mobile event apps have turned attendees into active participants and opened up previously unimaginable opportunities for your event and its sponsors.

Recent studies found that event technology can increase your attendance by 20%, increase productivity by 27%, and decrease costs by 20-30%.

All you need to do is start setting up your event website. Don’t worry, we’re in it together! Eventbrite makes it easy for you to get started.

4 Get Attendees in the Door Quickly

The best experience in the world won't matter if your attendees are stuck in long lines. Even if they have a fabulous time once they're inside, it's the long line that they'll remember — and post on social media about.

Avoiding long lines and chaos at the entrance of your conference will also make conference-goers feel safer.

Traffic and parking

While attendees have access to navigation apps and can find parking structures on their own, go the extra mile and make suggestions ahead of your conference. It also helps to keep an eye on traffic conditions during your event. If the surrounding area is experiencing congestion, giving attendees a heads up will be much appreciated.

Attendee flow

Once attendees arrive, their anticipation will be at an all-time high. By helping them get checked in quickly, they can carry that excitement into the venue. To adequately staff your entrances, you'll need to estimate how long it takes to check attendees in. If you use an entry management app, make sure staff are trained to use it. Unlike paper lists and spreadsheets, event management apps like Eventbrite’s Organizer app can check approximately 1,000 attendees in per hour.

Selling registrations on site

A good rule of thumb is to have one window for sales for every 500 walkups you anticipate. If you expect a large number of onsite sales, make sure you have dedicated lanes for purchases.

Registered attendees shouldn’t be held up by last-minute attendees, and long lines could turn away potential buyers.

Tips

About Our Registration Platform

Events using Eventbrite’s powerful registration platform can use the Organizer App during the event to track and monitor real-time event data. Effortlessly manages the chaos of your event from anywhere in the building and take proactive steps to ensure attendees enjoy their experience. Check out these helpful articles to learn more about using the Eventbrite Organizer on iOS and Android devices.

Extensions

When your conference is on Eventbrite, you can extend our core registration technology to open new possibilities. With over 170 extensions from leading technology providers, including Salesforce, MailChimp, and Facebook, you can spend less time manually transferring data between applications and focus on what matters — your event.

How to Organize a Conference Step by Step

Here are 6 points to always keep in mind when planning a timeline for a successful conference

  • 1.

    Decide on a Theme

    The theme will help to coordinate the key points your speakers will present about and help to provide the takeaways your attendees with gain from the conference.

  • 2.

    Assemble a Team

    A great conference requires a capable team. Everyone doing their part to make sure the attendees are getting the best experience.

  • 3.

    Prepare a Budget & Business Plan

    Whether you have sponsors or not making sure you're budgeting accordingly is critical for a well-executed conference.

  • 4.

    Settle on a Date

    The start date of your conference should be far enough to give your team enough time to start building awareness and interest from attendees.

  • 5.

    Book the Venue

    After setting a date you will need to find out what venue meets your requirements for the conference.

  • 6.

    Line Up Your Speakers.

    Line up speakers who will provide the value your attendees are looking for. This will be the most critical part of your conference.

Ready to Get this Conference Started?

Now that you're a conference expert, all you need to do is start setting up your event website. Don't worry, we're in it together! Eventbrite makes it easy for you to get started.

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