How do you optimize for online event registration? What are some tips you can use to improve your event registration numbers this year? Find out how to supercharge all areas of your online marketing plan and boost registrations in this practical event registration guide.
According to these 2019 event marketing statistics, 36% of marketers said their biggest challenge is increasing event ticket sales and registration. From event websites to advertising, there are lots of new tactics available for you to try out this year. Here are 18 marketing tips for you to experiment with in 2019.
Event Website Tips
1. Have a standalone brand.
Your event should have its own identity separate from your overall brand. Visitors who visit your event registration page online should leave with a strong impression of what they can expect, the overall vibe of the experience, and a sense of excitement for the upcoming event. Making your event registration page memorable is a great way to do that.
Use colors, fonts, and a great CTA form that is both unique and cohesive with your existing marketing. Make important information like locations and event dates easy to see and remember. Tailor your page content to the interests of your target audience and use videos or images that they will like.
2. Prioritize user experience.
A fancy event registration page means nothing if your users can’t figure out how to navigate it. Streamline your copy and design so that important information is made immediately available. Have a banner with your event name, dates, location, and other important information clearly visible. Use bold colors for buttons so guests know where to click when they’re ready to check out.
If you plan to showcase last year’s event videos or share your latest social media posts, separate your content into sections. Use a drop down menu or navigation bar that's easy to read. No matter what design elements you choose, your event registration page should align with your overall vision for the event.
Source: Converge Southeast
3. Show off your personality.
What makes your event brand stand out? Your event registration page is the place to flaunt it! Whether it’s bright and fun colors or minimalist and specific copy, making your brand stand out is as simple as showing people what you’re made of.
That doesn’t mean you need to come up with an entirely new concept from scratch. Think of your event personality as if it exists under the umbrella of your company brand. What aspects of its image would work well on your event registration website? Use those ideas in fresh ways to boost interest and increase ticket sales or registrations.
Source: Image Festival
Organic Social Media Tips
4. Tap your super fans.
Word of mouth is a great way to increase event registrations. To do this, you’ll need to create social media posts on platforms that align with your event’s mission. Then, make and share the content that most excites your audience.
Finally, reach out to your top subscribers and followers. They already love your brand so sharing your event promotion with their network is a no-brainer. Just make sure you streamline the process for them. Use tools like social tiles and pre-written Tweets so it’s super easy for your biggest supporters to spread the word.
5. Make a digital promotion plan.
Social media can get very complicated very quickly. There are a lot of moving parts to manage when posting and engaging across multiple platforms. Have a plan in place for before, during, and after your event. Even if prospects don’t see your content before this year’s iteration they might find and bookmark it for next year.
As you can see, the marketing tactics you use for this event can affect a possible registrant’s decision to attend future events as well. Create a strong digital promotion plan that uses email, media sponsorships, and cross-promotions with partners. Include details like goals and how you plan to measure them so you can keep track of progress and look for future areas of improvement.
6. Use more than one RSVP tool.
You should definitely try and create a great website with the perfect event registration landing page for your next event. But marketers should also find other ways for prospects to register. Why? Well for starters, they’re probably already spending more time on any given social media platform than they are on your event page.
Plus, posting to a site like Facebook gives audiences a familiar place to find your event details. They can view a list of other people attending which gives the event more social proof. Attendees can also share the event themselves and get even more eyeballs on it than before.
Source: Mysteryland Facebook
Paid Advertising Tips
7. Don’t forget about retargeting ads.
Advertising your event to anyone and everyone is a sure fire way to blow your marketing budget and get zero results. To make the most of your paid advertising, you’ll need to decide both who you’re targeting and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Prospecting ads for first-time event registration website visitors are a must. But aren’t you also looking to lock down those who seem interested in the event but haven’t yet committed? Try out some retargeting ads. Only a few people will purchase a ticket or register for an event the first time they visit your website, which means retargeting ads are a worthwhile investment.
8. Choose your platforms wisely.
You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing paid advertising. Narrow down your choices to the platforms and packages that best align with your event and brand. Because there are many pluses and minuses to each possibility, getting to know your paid social stacks is a must.
If you have a lot of B2B clients, LinkedIn might be your best resource. If your audience responds to carousel ads, Facebook could be a great place to invest. Even if you can afford to use paid advertising across all social platforms, be specific in your choices to make the investment worthwhile.
9. Measure goals.
It doesn’t matter what your goal is. It could be increasing ticket sales, event registrations, or boosting revenue by a certain percentage. The important thing is to optimize your spending across multiple ad networks with a well thought out plan.
Most paid advertising packages offer a CPC (cost-per-click) model. While prices vary, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few cents to more than a couple dollars per ad click. Keep track of your goals and review which paid advertisements are the most helpful over time. Update your paid social plans and limit your spending to the ones that actively get you closer to the finish line.
Email Marketing Tips
10. Personalize your message.
Whenever you email your audience about registering for your event online, remember to address them as individuals. You can do this by showing you have a clear understanding of who you’re talking to. Inside jokes, industry terminology, and a brand voice they can relate to are all attractive qualities in an event email marketing campaign.
The more you tailor your emails to their specific perspectives, the more personal it will feel. You don’t need flashy graphics or complicated designs to grab your audience’s attention. Just make them feel heard and understood.
11. Use event registration email best practices.
Your email marketing messages should have no more than three separate sections. This helps ensure your emails are concise, simple, and (most importantly) easy to remember. Clearly divide the message visually with color blocks, lines, or graphics. Then use rich text to make each header and main idea skimmable.
You should also limit the number of sentences you use in every email to get the point across faster. Despite these limitations, there are still plenty of ways to take calculated risks and make your email stand out from the rest.
12. Consistently engage your audience.
Useful extras like videos and templates make for great email marketing engagement. If you’re going to use video, make sure your thumbnail image is interesting and piques the viewer’s curiosity. Getting your audience to spend more time on your emails through content they actually enjoy builds their trust in your brand.
You can even engage your audience with email marketing during and after the event. Things like venue updates, behind-the-scenes, and daily recaps are all great for keeping their enthusiasm and interest. You can keep the momentum going by encouraging them to register early for next year’s event while this one is fresh in their minds.
Partner Marketing Tips
13. Make sure you’re both on the same page.
You’ve already made your partner wish list and screened candidates to find your perfect match. Now it’s time to communicate the ins and outs of how you’ll handle online event registration together. Start things off with a classic kickoff meeting to discuss big picture ideas.
Then, dive a little deeper and answer the following questions. Which partner will be responsible for creating, organizing, and tracking event registration online? Which partner is better equipped to handle event promotion? How will event registration be measured and how will both parties use this information throughout the event lifespan? These questions are a great starting point, but feel free to add in your own as they come up.
14. Coordinate social media campaigns.
Play to your and your partners’ strengths. Does one brand have a significantly larger social media following? Let them spearhead the campaigns. Does another brand excel at using content marketing to gain event exposure? Give them the blog and podcasting duties but let the social media gurus find new ways to share it.
Assigning tasks like this requires very honest conversation around who is best at what. Again, communication is key. The most challenging part of working with partners to market an event is making sure you all share the same brand voice. Consistent messaging across all social media platforms is crucial.
15. Decide how you’ll handle leads.
Have a meeting to decide where you’ll focus your lead-capturing efforts online, who is responsible for promoting those campaigns, and who is in charge of following up. There’s no one right way to do this. All that matters is that you can agree on who is responsible for what.
If lead capture is a shared goal in your partnership, you’ll want to determine what numbers you’re aiming for as a team. You can have check-in meetings leading up to the event or keep each other up to date with a shared spreadsheet. As long as communication continues to flow, you’re sure to pull off a successful partnership.
Tools for Driving Online Event Registration
Online event registration systems like Bizzabo will help ensure your branding is consistent across all channels, offer integrations with your favorite tools, and give you access to optimized website templates. It’s kind of the like the swiss army knife of marketing. Bizzabo users build registration pages that convert, streamline the planning process, and dig deep into their event insights every step of the way.
This event registration software also comes with dashboards that allow you to visualize the event registration process, mobile applications that engage attendees, and even more tools to help you successfully run your next shindig.
Optimize your landing page with this online event registration tool. HotJar gives organizers a sneak peek at analytics, feedback, and user behavior for registration landing pages. You can actually view where users are clicking using Hotjar's heat map technology!
If you’re interested in finding out why visitors aren’t converting, HotJar offers Feedback surveys that directly ask users via your website’s sidebar.
Pro Tip: You can combine HotJar and Optimizely to further test new event registration websites.
Moz is all about search engine visibility. Using a tool like this one can help your online event registration form get closer and closer to the top of Google’s search results. Discover and track SEO keywords, choose the best keywords for your traffic goals, and increase overall traffic with Moz.
They even offer some useful extras like SEO training and in-depth video presentations to help you make the most of their program. Compare your Moz findings to your HotJar results and gain greater insight into your audience.
Wrapping Up: Online Event Registration Tips for 2019
When selling registrations online, there are a few key ideas to keep in mind and apply to every area of your marketing.
- Get specific. Then get even more specific. Track user behavior with software tools. Get personal in your email campaigns. Do whatever it takes to cross the digital divide and get attendees emotionally invested in your event messaging.
- Find ways to communicate better. With your partners, your team, and your prospects.
- Discover methods for standing out in the crowd. Have your biggest fans do some leg work. Create a totally fresh event brand. Do something that’s exciting for you and the feeling will be contagious for your viewers.
At the end of the day, helping attendees discover, learn about, and ultimately register for your event online is all about creating a human connection. Keep this in mind and you’ll see some positive results this year and beyond.