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Worried your hybrid event will impact onsite attendee counts?

Worried your hybrid event will impact onsite attendee counts?

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Use these Pro Tips for adding an on-line ticket option without threatening your on-site sales.

Now that onsite events are being scheduled again, one of the largest concerns of our clients is how to position the virtual option to an onsite conference without risking the cannibalization of onsite ticket sales.  This is a valid concern as most conferences are booked years in advance and have contracts with hotels in place and onsite logistics to plan. 

While choosing the hybrid event model is definitely the smartest way to accommodate all the participation and engagement needs of your audience, one can not ignore the tension of balancing the planning and budgeting onsite and online formats for the overall success of the event. Although this sounds daunting, relax! 

Utilize these Pro Tips in your event marketing strategy to maximize the potential of both in-person and hybrid ticket sales.   

1.) Clearly Communicate the Value of your Content and the Benefits of each Ticket Option 
While you are offering on-site and virtual ability to access your event, your meeting content is unique, exclusive and valuable.  

  • On your registration page, position the virtual event as an additional way to access the same valuable content. List the benefits under your ticket pricing that outlines all the ways your content is unique, exclusive and valuable.
  • Create a benefit table of both the on-site and virtual formats. (ie. Onsite offers in-person experience, in-person networking, extra breakouts, excursions, cocktail receptions, etc.; Virtual access offers on-demand viewing, access to the same content, flexible accessibility, and no travel expenses. 
  • (If applicable) Note that all attendees get the same CME’s, regardless of how they access the content.
  • Create an FAQ resource that explains the hybrid event and pricing, and provide this information as supplemental info when needed  

Keeping your pricing comparable for on-site and on-line tickets helps you uphold the integrity of the pricing of the unique meeting content, rather than the way the meeting is accessed. However, if considering a lower price for on-line, always show a discount off the full amount, not just a lowered price, to keep the perceived value of the ticket higher.  There can be a perception that virtual events are cheaper than onsite events, so we must help educate attendees that there is simply a shift of expenses from onsite expenses, such as food & beverage, to the professional virtual production and virtual platform of the event.     

2.) Timing and Segmenting your Event Communications
Strategically In a nutshell, the idea here is to think about your entire existing and desired audience for the event and segment out groups that have different engagement needs. Organize your messaging and timing to those groups strategically so you are garnering the ticket sales you require from each group.  

For example: 

On-site Ticket Sales:For onsite conferences with long histories, you know your attendee base and what they expect in your event.  You may choose to initially focus your onsite ticket sales to existing event attendees.  

  • As soon as dates and locations are known, send out Save the Date communication emails with Early Bird Ticket sales for onsite registrations.  
  • Make sure to highlight key facts your onsite attendees will be looking for, such as your keynote speaker meet and greets, golf tee times, special cocktail receptions, etc.  
  • Schedule drip communications until the ticket deadline to continue promoting the ticket sales, announcing other in-person opportunities and the key-note speakers.  

On-line Ticket Sales: If this is a new feature to your conference, you may be in the building phase of your online attendee base.  

  • Utilize online marketing strategies such as Social Media Posts, Blog articles to announce the available on-line ticket and to create buzz.  
  • Create email campaigns using lists of attendees who may have not joined your event in a while, or who are completely new to your event.  
  • Consider new sources for lists of interested parties for your event.Include the compelling online features like the virtual platform you will be using, special networking and accessibility features, giveaways and on-demand viewing options.  

3.) Flash Sales to Boost Numbers
After you open the ticket sales, you will be able to see which ticket sales are rising and which need a boost.  

  • Create special Flash sales with short expirations to boost the ticket sales that are lagging.  Plan a creative discount offer to create buzz and momentum around the virtual (or onsite) offering. 
  • Example: “The first limited number of virtual registrants get a discounted price or a free giveaway.”
  • One-day only “Flash Sale” special pricing for online or onsite (if needed to boost sales)
  • Consider offering an “upgrade” option to on-site ticket pricing to add virtual access to on-demand content later after the meeting.  

Like what you’re hearing? Digital Motion takes the time to consult with clients on all aspects of the event. We have available event success resource guides, creative technical solutions and event planning expertise and processes to support our clients in event planning and execution. To learn more about positioning your virtual ticket sales on any other related event topic, reach out to Digital Motion and tell us about your event! We’d love to hear about it and give you our recommendations for a successful and engaging event or conference.Let’s get started!We’d love to hear about the event you are planning and give you our best tips for success.

You can make your next event awesome, if you need some help with that, call Digital Motion!

Getting started is so easy, just schedule a free consultation by visiting www.digitalmotionevents.com

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