Everyone likes to feel as though they are getting a bonus or something for nothing when they make a purchase, which is why offering prizes to people who register for your next event could be a great strategy to boost interest.
You can choose the prize and make it as expensive or inexpensive as you like, but mentioning it when you target potential attendees using your event landing page has the power to really boost ticket sales.
Prizes for Early Bird Registrations
For example, an Amazon gift voucher could be offered to the first 100 registrations. As an alternative, you could be offering free SEO audit at a digital marketing conference to the first 100 visitors in order to get the early registrations in, and this in turn, may be administered by a participating exhibitor, who’s more than willing to do this as it actually translates to lead generation for them.
Prizes for Audience Engagement and Involvement
If you have a twitter account for your event, having a prize for best tweet is a great way to get people to follow you, mention your event hashtag and publicise your event to the twitter community. Once your twitter following for your event grows, you could in turn charge your exhibitors for sponsored tweets, which will ultimately help to pay the cost of the prize for best tweet.
Prizes for Audience turnout
Door gifts for the first 100 person who turned up for the event for a 200-pax event would be a great way to ensure at least half of the audience actually turn up for the event (before your exhibitors come after you for the guaranteed turnout numbers).
Prizes for Audience retention
Most conferences are full-day in nature so you probably need some premium prizes for audience retention. An iPhone 5s or a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at this moment are some examples of great prizes to guarantee that the audience stay throughout the event. If you need an application to administer this, check out this site which has a list of lucky draw applications available, both free and paid.
If you feel you will be too busy to orchestrate a draw on the big day, it’s also possible to use your event management software to provide coupons when people register their details.
You could easily send personalised emails to large groups using mass personalisation.
Prizes may not involve investment, if you are smart enough
Remember that the freebies need not come from you. It could very well come from your exhibitors and sponsors, who are willing to pay a premium so that their brand name gets featured to a relevant group of target audience. As illustrated earlier, an SEO agency would be willing to even pay you the event organiser to be able to put forward the offer of an SEO audit to the 100 potential attendees (in their case leads). So as a matter of face, prizes could be seen as a sponsorship generation tool. For one, I have sold sponsorship packages in the 5-digit range for exhibitors to give out things that showcase their brand at an event.
So as a summary:
- Have different range of prizes, from early bird, door gifts and end-of-day lucky draw to capture and retain audience throughout the event.
- Always provide information about the end date if there’s a time limit on prizes
- Ensure you get email information so you can target interested parties again
- Leverage on your exhibitors. They may have more ideas than you and might be willing to pay for extra mileage.