Monetizing Event Registration

Team GTRTeam GTR January 21, 2021

We know that event registration is the tried and true way of earning event revenue. It has also become one of the biggest sticking points for event organizing committees around the globe.

With what we’ve learned over the past year, let’s review 10 ways to earn revenue through event registration:

ways to energize virtual event registration
  1. Add Perks to Registration

    Look for opportunities to motivate attendees to sign up or spread the word. Boost your registration by offering:

    • Sponsored gift cards

    • Discounts for the first 100 registrants

    • Free VIP upgrades

    • Group or BOGO pricing

    • VIP networking sessions

    • Conference boxes with sponsored goodies

    • Access to a virtual VIP lounge

    • Fireside chats with keynote speakers

    And don’t forget about the referrals! Every attendee has hundreds, if not thousands, of active social media connections. Reward socially-active attendees with an incentive when they help you spread the word.

  2. Conference Preview Sessions

    A teaser campaign can earn extra revenue and hype registration. Organize a conference preview webinar, or a series with speakers from your conference. Whether you charge a registration fee for this preview, discount the conference passes, or offer it for free to gain awareness, don’t forget to collect viewers’ contact information so you can follow-up with them after the preview to further promote your conference.

  3. Attract New Attendees

    Hosting your event in the digital ecosystem provides you with an ocean of potential new attendees. Virtual events are a low-pressure way for curious participants to learn about your organization or industry. Don’t be afraid to think outside the typical box here. Reach out to colleagues in related industries, adjacent professions, government segments, and even professors or students studying topics in your industry. Every new attendee grows your bottom line now and in the future.

  4. Custom Event Registration

    Your event likely has members and non-members, attendees and speakers, staff and VIPs. Different data needs to be collected for each one of these attendee types – whether it’s answering separate questions or charging different fee structures. Regardless, this is why it’s important to have a flexible registration platform. GTR™ Register allows you to manage multiple registration types through different pricing levels, custom forms, payment processing, and gathering data through reports and analytics.

  5. Single-Session or Single-Day Passes

    This tip comes straight from the in-person event world, where multi-day conventions often have a single-session or one-day pass option. This easily translates to virtual events too! Along with a one-day pass, consider offering a “view-only” pass (versus the standard, fully interactive option) to give attendees the choice of tiered access levels. This is a great way to increase your overall attendance and revenue.

  6. Access to Content, Speakers, and Recordings

    Virtual events allow for recorded content in ways that make in-person events jealous! With the ability to record sessions easily, conferences can live on well past the end of their closing remarks. Have a keynote speaker presenting groundbreaking research? Hosting the premier tradeshow of your industry? Set up a specific registration type or charge à la carte for session transcripts, attendee contact information, or even permission to take part in a live Q&A. As you’ll see with VIP registration, access to content can be a huge selling point for your higher end tiers.

    Check out more ideas about how to charge for conference content when the conference is done!

  7. VIP Registration

    (TL;DR = Offer. VIP. Registration.) Not only does a VIP-style registration differ from general admission because it’s more costly with limited availability, but a VIP pass offers the attendee exclusive access to event content. In the virtual ecosystem, this special “content” can include VIP networking sessions, conference boxes with sponsor goodies, access to a virtual VIP lounge, or fireside chats with keynote speakers.

  8. Early Bird 🐦 Registration

    Early bird registration has always helped create a sense of urgency. Available at a discounted rate and for a limited time, this price tier is sure to get your deal savvy, prospective attendee chirping. Early Bird registration can be promoted across all channels, but be sure to include an email blast as an “insider scoop” for past attendees. (Pro Tip: You can increase your revenue even more by extending early-bird pricing to VIP registration.)

  9. Last Minute Registration

    An interesting result of the shift to virtual events is an increase in last-minute sales. Don’t turn off your registration the day of the event, because attendees might still be signing up right as a session is about to begin! You can adjust your registration prices up or down, just make sure that you are clear with your intention across all of your marketing.

  10. Sell Merch

    Build excitement by adding event merchandise for attendees to purchase before your event. Avoid overestimating how much inventory you need by using a dropshipping service: attendees can order online (set up your orders via an e-commerce platform like Shopify) and the merch will be directly shipped to them, cutting you out of the process. Services like Printful are perfect for custom, on-demand merch. This is a great option for recurring events, like an annual association conference. Create an online store with branded merchandise that association members can buy specifically for the event or just to show support year round.

    Event Merchandise Examples (keep in mind size and weight, as everything will be shipped!):

    • Wearables: T-shirts, hoodies, hats, masks

    • Usables: Keyrings, mugs, notebooks

    • Well-designed mementos: an event poster, sticker or patch

    • Keep the brainstorming going with sites like these

    Remember you can also leverage the power of sponsorships with your merch! Learn more about monetizing your event through sponsorships with our handy downloadable guide.

ways to energize virtual event registration

These are just a handful of ways you can increase revenue through event registration. If you’d like to learn more about virtual events and how GTR™ can help, get in touch with us here.

Regards, Team GTR™ 👋


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