Few aspects of event planning are more important than the registration process. With a great event registration strategy, you not only can boost ticket sales and revenue but also put more attendees within arms reach of you and your sponsors—a key part of any successful event.

But that’s not to say increasing event registration is easy. Remember, on the other side of every ticket is a real person whose wants and needs you have to meet. They expect a seamless experience from start to finish, and that goes for the registration process, too. 

From event promotion to check-in and everywhere in between, there are plenty of factors you need to consider. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail and discuss 10 event registration strategies you can use to maximize attendance at your upcoming event.

Increase registration rates with event marketing

Process of checking in on a conference congress forum event, registration desk table, visitors and attendees receiving a name badge and entrance wristband bracelet and register the electronic ticket

No matter the type of event you’re planning, whether it’s virtual, hybrid, or in-person, the registration process absolutely has to start with event promotion. After all, nobody can attend an event they don’t know about, right? That’s where your marketing strategy comes into play. 

An event marketing strategy is just as it sounds: an organized, purposeful approach to increasing ticket sales as much as possible. By strategically raising awareness among your target audience, you stand a better shot at convincing them to register.

That said, there’s no guarantee that a registrant will actually convert into an attendee. In other words, even if they sign up, they may not show up. In fact, event attendance is down across the board, at least compared to pre-pandemic levels. According to Skift Meetings, attendance is only 65% of what it was in 2019. 

So potential attendees need a bit more convincing. As an event planner, you have several options. Here are a few key event marketing tactics at your disposal:

Content marketing

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that uses various forms of media—blogs, videos, podcasts, and eBooks—to attract, engage, and retain the target audience. And guess what? It works.

Over 80% of marketers say content marketing has successfully helped them raise brand awareness in the past 12 months. More importantly, it’s also helped generate leads, increase sales, and drive attendance to one or more in-person, virtual, or hybrid events.

Produce content you think your prospective attendees would find valuable, then share it where they’ll see it. Always link back to your registration form so that interested prospects can easily complete their transaction or find more information.

Social media marketing

Closeup up hands holding cell phones with various like, comment, and emoji notification popups

Billions of people use social media on a daily basis—a number that’s only going to grow. Simply put, there’s perhaps no easier way to reach your potential attendees than online. 

Think about which platforms your audience most frequently uses, then post on these channels. Maintain a steady stream of content, but don’t overflow them with information. A good rule of thumb is to follow the 4:1:1 rule. Generally, it means for every six posts you share, four should be educational, one should be a soft-sell, and one should hard-sell your event. 

Email marketing

Business person reading emails on smartphone and laptop computer screen online, communication and marketing concept

According to a 2021 study by Markletic, 76% of marketers consider email marketing the best way to boost event registrations. Like social media, email is one of the most effective avenues for reaching prospective attendees because nearly everyone has an email address.

However, don’t overdo it. Keep emails concise, informative, and valuable. Personalize emails based on where each potential attendee is in their customer journey. For instance, don’t remind someone to register if they’ve already done so. 

Not sure how to get started? Check out our guide to pre-event email marketing.

Event website

Two women working on new website design choosing pictures using the laptop surfing the internet.

What good is your marketing effort if you don’t give prospects somewhere to learn more about your event? Worse yet, how do you expect them to register if you don’t have a registration page?

That’s why your event website proves essential to a successful event. Here, people should easily find all of the necessary information: the event description, agenda, start date, schedule, speaker bios, sponsor information, and more.

We’ll explain in more detail below how best to create your event registration page, but for now, bear in mind the look and feel of your website. Design it to be eye-catching and exciting, but not overstimulating. A poor user experience may dissuade prospects from registering.

Learn more about how an event website can increase registration and wow your attendees.

10 strategies for streamlining the registration process

An effective event registration strategy increases ticket sales and maximizes turnout. How? By making the registration process as seamless as possible. 

Let’s take a look at 10 event registration strategies you can use to do exactly that.

1. Try early registration

Offering early-bird discounts is a great way to incentivize sign-ups by rewarding the first batch of registrants with limited-time pricing. Typically, discounts are between 10-25% off standard pricing. 

If done properly, early registration is a powerful tool for increasing event attendance. In addition to building anticipation, it helps organizers prepare for the later stages of the event planning process. By evaluating the success of the early-bird offer, planners can better understand what attendance will look like and how they might need to adjust their marketing strategy to make up the difference. 

2. Tiered pricing and group registration

Just as you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, you shouldn’t necessarily assume one ticket price works for all of your prospective attendees. Instead of just a single option, a tiered pricing strategy gives your target audience more choices in the matter. 

Offering a lower-tier ticket is a great way to make your event more affordable to prospects that may otherwise be outside your price range. For instance, if you’re hosting a multi-day conference, some people may only be able to attend just one day of the event. These prospects are likely unwilling to pay full price for a fraction of the experience.

Another way to increase conversions is by allowing group registration. This approach enables a single person to pay for multiple people. This is both more convenient for the registrant and makes sense for corporate attendees registering on behalf of their colleagues. 

3. Keep questions to a minimum

Don’t ask your event attendees to fill out a cookie-cutter registration form. Make sure it’s tailored to your liking and includes all the fields you need to measure the success of your event. 

That said, don’t overload registrants with too many questions. Short-and-sweet registration forms are best practice. Generally, the more fields you ask people to fill, the more likely they are to abandon the page entirely. 

Pro tip: Consider using a registration solution with a conditional logic feature. With conditional logic, you can add follow-up questions to your checkout form, which further personalizes the registration experience, reduces the overall time to register, and helps boost registration rates.  

4. Activate your speakers and sponsors

Chances are your speakers and sponsors are well-known, at least to your target audience. If so, use their following to your advantage by asking them to help promote your event.

Have your VIP guests share your registration page on social media. As part of your agreement, you can also ask them to share a certain number of posts and engage with potential attendees to help spread the word. 

Likewise, sponsors can generate even more buzz by attaching their names (and individual promotions) to your event. 

5. Communicate a sense of urgency

“Buy now while supplies last! Limited time only! Time is running out to get your ticket!”

Phrases like these all share something in common: They convey a sense of urgency. By doing the same with your event promotion, you can encourage prospects to jump into action before it’s too late. 

One way to boost your registration numbers is by hosting giveaways and offering prizes. For instance, the first few registrants to sign up using a certain promo code may be entered to win a raffle. Or they might receive a limited edition swag bag upon arrival at the event. No matter the reward, this allows you to capitalize on FOMO—the “fear of missing out.”

6. Keep branding consistent

It’s best practice to maintain a cohesive look and feel between your company’s brand identity and the rest of the event registration process. This is especially important for your event website or registration page.

Design your registration experience to match your image from head to toe. Instead of a simple Google Form, use a completely branded page that is instantly recognizable as your own. This helps build trust with prospective attendees. From your colors and logo down to your language and tone of voice, it’s key to stay on brand at all times.

7. Use registration software

An effective event registration strategy is one that makes the process as frictionless as possible, which is why so many planners use event registration software.

Event registration software takes a feature-rich approach to online registration, allowing organizers to customize every aspect of the experience. With a user-friendly interface, registration forms are easy to navigate and even easier to complete in just a few minutes.

Check out the video below to learn more about Webex Events event registration software.

8. Keep track of analytics

Chart, tablet or business people in a meeting planning kpi, strategy or analytics paperwork for data analysis. Documents, team work or employees in communication or speaking of goals for sales growth.

The best part of using a digital registration solution is that it can automatically collect robust analytics. This allows you to easily compare ticket sales against benchmarks to measure progress and adjust strategies accordingly.

9. Personalize follow-ups for incomplete signups

To that last point, event registration software also allows you to chase down leads at risk of not converting. By integrating registration with your email marketing, you can follow up with potential attendees that abandoned the registration form, encouraging them to complete their signup.

10. Make it mobile-friendly 

Today, people are mobile by nature. The vast majority of people have smartphones on them at all times, meaning they’re more than likely to be experiencing your registration page on a mobile device. Make sure you optimize your event website—or better yet, a branded event app—to make the mobile experience the best it can be.

Launch your next event with Webex

Implementing event registration strategies is even easier when you’re using a top-rated event management platform like Webex Events. 

As a fully featured solution, you gain access to a robust array of tools that optimize your event planning process from start to finish. From registration software with dynamic ticketing capabilities to seamless data collection and reporting, you can do it all with one all-inclusive platform.