6 Free Ways to Increase Online Event Registration

Your big event is coming up soon, but your event promotion budget is...not so big. Well, there’s no need to worry. There are plenty of ways to increase event registrations without spending any money, and with an easy-to-use event registration software, you won’t have to spend much time, either.

1. Alert your existing audience and reward their loyalty

The people most likely to register for your event are people who are already fans of your organization. Your email list will really come in handy here--send an email and let them know about your upcoming event. If you’ve held an event before, this is your chance to get some repeat customers by remarketing to past attendees. Send out an email blast and include a loyalty code to encourage them to buy tickets using a discount code or use a a "Buy One, Get One Free" offer.

If you don’t already have a huge email list, get the message out to your audience on social media. As your audience grows, it's a good idea to keep track of how many people have opened your email blast. A dedicated email tool can give you stats on how many people looked at your event email, how many clicked a link to go through to your event registration page, and how many people haven't even had a chance to open it yet.

2. Make event registration a breeze

There are plenty of things that make potential buyers hesitate to register for an event, so you want to eliminate as many obstacles as possible from the purchasing process (This is where event registration software comes in). Put yourself in the shoes of your event attendee - you want to do as little typing and clicking as possible to get registered. If there is too much navigating between event pages or your event registration form is too long, potential ticket buyers might leave the transaction.

A good event registration platform is the tool you need for a frictionless experience, from a custom event registration page that looks great and draws in attendees, to a streamlined checkout process that is simple to do on any device. And, since event registration software includes a secure way to accept credit card payments, your attendees can feel safe sharing their payment information.

3. Promote an A-list guest

Does your conference have a standout speaker? Is a superstar chef of a local 4-star restaurant doing a cooking demo at your community center? Let people know! A well-known name can generate major buzz, so post some teasers on social media, send an event email before registration begins, and make the big announcement when your event goes live. Your headliner will have their own established audiences you can tap into for ticket buyers. Don’t forget to tag your special guest so they can easily share your promotional posts with their followers!

4. Get creative with your event registration options

Event registration software allows you to create different ticket types for attendees to register for your event. Creating a tiered ticket pricing system with your event software gives people different options for buying, but you don't want to create too many options and overwhelm them.

Starting your ticket campaign with early bird discount tickets is great for driving registrations soon after your event goes live. With VIP tickets, you can add value and give your attendees perks when they register, like special seating, early admission, or meet and greet access. Bundled tickets are an opportunity to upsell--include registration plus merchandise or a meal at your event in a single ticket price. Or create a custom option that suits your unique needs. When it comes to ticket types, the only limit is your imagination.

5. Create a contest or giveaway on social media

Social media giveaways are a virtually free way to get the word out about your event and increase registration. The best platform for your contest is usually the one where you already have the biggest following, but can also help grow your audience. Contests on social media almost always get great engagement, and that can have a positive effect on how much your posts show up in the organic algorithms, meaning you'll get more eyes on your content without spending a dime.

An Instagram comment contest where users have to tag their friends boosts engagement for your organization and promotes your event to a totally new audience (don’t forget to post a link to your event page in your bio). You can also direct your users from one platform to another (Tweet a link to your Instagram contest post) or hold a different giveaway for each platform (have your followers Tweet using your event’s custom hashtag or share your event link on Facebook). For only the price of admission, social media giveaways can have big returns when it comes to increasing registrations.

6. Find an event sponsor or partnership

Find sponsors for your event by reaching out to businesses or industry organizations related to your event. A thoughtful partnership with a sponsor that matches the values and interests of your organization and audience can do a lot to increase registrations for your event. Look for businesses that would be interested in connecting with the audience that you're bringing to your event to make sure they receive as much benefit from the partnership as you would.

For instance, if you're running an event about home improvement, pitch a sponsorship to a local hardware store or paint store. Cross-promotion builds awareness when your sponsor promotes your event to their audience, typically in exchange for brand visibility at your event. Cash sponsorships and donations of products or services increase the value of your event, which means that you can charge more for registration and your attendees will still feel like they are getting a lot for their money.