Month: February 2019

Tip of the Month: Minimizing Attendee Attrition

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Welcome to BDI’s Tip of the Month, where we share lessons learned about field marketing events. We’ve been at this since 2001 and have learned most lessons the hard way, so you don’t have to!

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[push h=10]We all know the feeling – it’s 10 minutes before the event kicks off and there are too many empty seats in the room. We take deep breaths and tell ourselves people tend to arrive a little late as we periodically glance at the door in hopes of seeing a big group enter. When they don’t, we scramble to pull chairs and force the perma-smile and pretend everything is fine.

[push h=10]Over the years we have learned how to answer the ever-important question, “How do you minimize attendee attrition?”

[push h=10]Answer #1: Know your audience. Not just the personas and industries, but know your audience down to location. BDI uses a data-driven approach in every step of the planning process. We not only know that the IT function tends to have higher attrition than, say, marketers and HR folks, but we also know that the average attrition rate for a New York City event with a senior IT audience is 35%. But in Denver it’s 25%. With this data, we know that if the goal is 25 senior IT leaders in the room for a NYC event we need about 40 people to register in order to meet our goal. Gather data on location, personas, industries, and topics; turn that data into actionable insights and learn from it.

[push h=10]Answer #2: Create and execute a post-registration communications plan. Now that you got ‘em, how do you keep ‘em? Some of the same incentives you use for attendee invitations that originally got people to register will come back into play to keep these registrants, and ultimately have them show up day of. One week before the event day, send an email to re-confirm their participation, and include attendee incentives: peer-to-peer learning, high value networking, and a fabulous meal. In this same follow up, be clear that if they no longer plan to attend, it’s important that they let you know at their earliest convenience so you can free up their reserved seat, and offer their seat up to others on the waitlist. Additionally, we recommend picking up the phone the day prior to the event for a friendly confirmation call – this personifies you and creates a more substantial commitment. Lastly, always send a quick “see you today” email in the wee hours of the morning as a final reminder.

[push h=10]We hope these tips and tricks help you strengthen your field events!

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ABOUT BDI

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Business Development Institute (BDI) is an award-winning ABM event marketing agency specializing in producing custom, thought leadership driven, client acquisition roadshows called Accelerate Events. Using an ABM approach, we are able to successfully brand our clients as thought leaders in their industry while simultaneously generating qualified leads thorough our Accelerate Events. As a turnkey partner, BDI handles all of the heavy lifting from conception of the program content, to recruiting our client’s qualified buyers, to executing the event day of.

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