What Personal Touches Are You Doing To Increase Attendance At Your Conference or Events?

There are many ways to communicate with your potential conference attendees that it’s very easy for the information being communicated to be lost or forgotten because of the use of traditional communication methods. To separate your communications from the traditional ways, personalize the information. Incorporating personalized information into your communication efforts will help with increasing attendance at your conference. Encourage potential attendees to engage with the information they are receiving by using pURL’s, twitter, and facebook.


Personal URLs are perfect for potential attendees to interact with the marketing materials. For example, as you send out your save the date postcard, you can send along with it a PURL for the recipient to log on to. On their personal page, you can have them register early, fill out a questionnaire, or have them choose or suggest topics that they would like to have covered during the conference. By allowing the attendee to participate during the pre-conference stage, the conference value and attendance will increase.


During the pre-conference stage, you can begin to setup #hashtags for your conference on Twitter. Invite possible attendees to follow your conference twitter account to receive instant updates about the conference and to begin conversations about what they would like to see at the conference and to start networking with other attendees.

Twitter can be used during the conference as well to let attendees provide their own personal views on subjects and to strike up hot topics throughout the conference. Have the speakers setup their own accounts so they can get involved with conversations through twitter.

For more information, check out our newsletter on Twittering your Annual Conference.


Setting up a group on Facebook for your conference is a great tool. As you add friends to the group, you can gauge the potential for attendees at your conference. Utilizing the upcoming events tool, the group will be notified about key dates for the conference.

Registration Offers

Who does not like a discount or special offer? Why not offer a discount for early registration using PURL’s? Provide special offers to your Facebook Fans who participate in discussions. Conduct contests through Twitter during the conference where you provide information or clues only seen through your Twitter updates. Providing more options for early registration and participation in pre and post conference sessions will encourage members to take advantage of the situation and in turn it will help with conference attendance and late registration because we know “it’s not just a trend, it’s a fact.”

By incorporating these personalization tools, you will help with the overall value of the conference, but more importantly it will help increase your attendance.

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Fill Your Empty Seats with RCG's Exclusive Marketing Planning Package

We’ve been giving you guys tons of tips and how-tos about conference marketing, and now its time to help you put it all together and fill those empty seats at your next conference.

“We cannot adjust the wind… but we can adjust the sails.“

This marketing plan package equips association and non-profit executives with the tools and knowledge to fill the empty seats. This package is especially designed for:
  • Associations and non-profits with a limited staff
  • Organizations not meeting their attendance goals
  • Organizations with an In-house marketing team that needs a fresh set of eyes to review currents strategie

We are only offering this special package in the first quarter of 2010. If you want to reach your conference attendance goals for next year, then check out the details and special price for the workday sessions and remote guidance provided in our exclusive Marketing Planning Package.

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Not meeting your conference attendance goals?

Adapt or Fail.

A plan for survival.

Under attended. Under funded. Under staffed.
Does that describe your last conference?

It’s time to adapt, or your conference will be 6 feet under…..along with your job. History has taught us that the inability to adapt to change, will result in extinction. “Survival of the fittest” is not just a theory for the animal kingdom, it also applies to businesses, organizations and even annual conferences.

The first conference I helped promote was way back in 1988 for the United Way of American. Amazingly, we see associations using the same approach to conference marketing today. The same preliminary offers and save-the-date postcards that were being used 21 years ago, are staples in many organization marketing efforts today. But, there have been drastic changes in communication and lifestyle. Therefore, can this still be the best way to market a conference?!

Adapting for survival, and success.

In previous editions of White Space, we have given you plenty of tips on effective conference marketing.

  • We’ve covered the importance of positioning your conference as a unique offering.
  • We’ve climbed onto our soapbox many times to stress value over venue.
  • Like a newsboy standing on the corner yelling the day’s headlines, we’ve harped about changes in communication and social networking.
  • We’ve written do’s and don’ts about marketing to younger members and integrating offline and online communications.
  • And, we’ve warned you of deadly myths, like the misconception that late conference registration is just a trend of 2009.

You are now equipped with some of the best ideas in the industry about conference marketing. These ingredients can be combined to help you adapt and achieve attendance success. But, are you still missing one thing?

The recipe.

Even with all the ingredients, you can’t make a delicious cake without the directions. You can try winging it, but without the recipe you won’t know how much of each ingredient to include, the order, the purpose or the timing.

The same is true for conference marketing. You can read our newsletters and blog posts to learn about the strategies and activities that are resulting in sold-out conferences, but without a conference marketing plan, you won’t get it right, especially with the constant changes in communication and the economy.

  • Do you develop a new plan each year based on last year’s event?
  • What method or role does research have on your planning?
  • Does your marketing strategy stress value over venue?
  • Does your marketing plan take into account the ever-changing way your members want to receive and access information?

If you’ve answered no to any of these questions, then you need to call us.

Filling empty seats.

There is one thing that will fill those empty seats, and that is a marketing plan that is a schedule of strategic activities designed to guide behavior.

Let me reiterate, the only way to fill the empty seats is to follow a strategic marketing plan based on research, the audience’s needs and the organization’s mission.

We’ve told you about the ingredients, and now we’re going to give you the recipe. For the first time, we are going to offer a special package for organizations who want to adapt for survival and success.

A one-day, on site hands-on marketing planning session, followed by 4 weeks of remote support that will provide your team with a plan on how to fill empty seats at your next conference.

This special offer is only available for the first quarter of 2010, call or email for details and to reserve your spot.

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