Recession coming? No, the labor market is strong! We’re about to have a soft landing. Although . . . inflation! It’s a long way from under control, so maybe we are headed straight for a recession.
We are on the brink of recession. We aren’t on the brink of recession. The true answer (which even the data heads don’t know) matters far less than people’s perception of whether we are.
Because what always goes with a maybe-recession is a certain-scaling back. Once the speculation starts, where do companies look to cut costs? Business travel. Training. Expenses where they can’t immediately trace the ROI.
And that’s bad news for your events this summer.
Or maybe it’s exactly the news you need to make some changes.
Here are 3 best practices we’re doing with our association clients to help them reach their numbers amid the recession chatter.
Offer, Segment, Adapt
Recently, we promoted a special offer for a client who has an event in June. We sent emails and ran a social media campaign that advertised an early bird deal: Sign up by X date and you get X amount of dollars off your registration.
The offer wasn’t necessarily about getting people to sign up—it was still early, after all. The offer was mostly a strategy to see who would click. Tracking who clicked told us who was interested in the event. With this particular campaign, we had 1,600 people click.
Now, we had a large segment of very warm prospects. You can talk to people who’ve shown interest in a slightly different way than people who still aren’t sure who you even are.
Pulling out this segment of interested prospects helps us create a customized engagement strategy. With each piece of content we send to them, we could learn more about what gets them excited, and adapt accordingly.
The best part: If we just convert 30% of this one segment, we’ve helped our client nearly reach their attendance goal.
Enlist the Early Adopters
The early bird bait may be all about uncovering a segment to market to, but some people will take you up on your offer. These are the early adopters. Maybe they are loyal members. Maybe they are willing to take a chance on you. Either way, they are a fantastic asset.
In thinking about them, remember one word: EARLY.
It stands for Early Adopters Really Love You.
Why do they love you? That’s for you to find out—by asking them. And specifically, asking them to share their story.
We heard from a vendor who mentioned they had just signed up to attend an industry association event. It wasn’t even on their radar, they said. But a colleague posted on social media that they had just signed up and couldn’t wait to see everyone. That one message not only inspired our vendor to sign up, but inspired at least 5 others, who posted in the comments—all within an hour—that they had just registered.
Both the early adopters and the early majority (a larger segment) can help you in this project. But you need to make it easy for them by making a specific ask, such as: Can you post one sentence on your preferred social network about why you are attending?
Create a Landing Page That Cuts Through the Noise, Especially for Non-Members
Time and time again, we see associations that invest heavily in building great websites for their members. But so often, when non-members go to their site, they aren’t even clear if the event is open to them.
Non-members already have a hurdle to overcome (usually one involving cost). Don’t throw more hurdles at them!
It’s why you need to build out a simple “demo-style” landing page for your event. It should be a page that’s accessible for all, but optimized for non-members.
Think about when you are researching software. Are you ready to buy it the second you land on the page? No, you want a demo. You want to understand what you’re getting, in the simplest terms possible.
At Rottman Creative, we’ve taken this “demo” concept and reimagined event landing pages for several of our clients. After refining and tweaking, and we have a formula that works.
If you’re curious to learn more about landing pages or any of these strategies for changing the conversation from “Will there be a recession?” to “I’ll be there! Who’s with me?” . . . just drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org or let’s talk!
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