The sooner you open your registration, the better. You don't necessarily need every ticket and form set up when you publish, but it's a good idea to launch some early-bird options for people who simply can't wait to be part of your next event.
In general, we recommend launching all registration ticket options at least 3-5 months before your event to ensure everyone has time to learn about your event and register for it. For in-person and hybrid events, registrants need time to make travel arrangements. Virtual events can have a shorter timeline of 2-3 months. You know your event and audience, so the timeline is ultimately up to you. Whatever you decide, make sure you have enough time to plan and execute your marketing and promotion strategy.
⭐️ Keep in mind, virtual events typically have a rush in ticket sales in the weeks right before the event, so if things don't pick up for the first few weeks, don't be alarmed. 👍
Set up for success
Before your clamoring attendee base can start registering, you must set up your registration event, create Tickets, configure Forms and Questions, and then publish your Registration Event. It's a good idea to get your Event App set up first so you can leverage the amazing power of Groups to personalize your content further. For instructions on creating a Socio event, check this out.
Some aspects of your promotion plan or event logistics may affect how you set things up. Here are some considerations to help you think through some of the nuance:
If you plan to use Groups, make sure you configure them in the Event App before publishing registration
Plan your promotion strategies and identify target audiences, then draft email, website, and blog content with those in mind
If you want to work with sponsors, exhibitors, or speakers to reach their network or run flash sales or targeted promotions, you'll need to plan and coordinate beforehand to ensure things run smoothly and seamlessly.
Create any necessary access or discount codes for flash sales, student registrants, etc. in advance. Doing so will help solidify your promotion plan. Remember that you can generate registration links with an Access Code already filled in, so registrants see only the tickets you want them to see based on where they click from. Set the access code to go live at a certain time.
Coordinate with website personnel to plan widgets and embedded links on the event website
Consider setting up registration in time to advertise it during other events. Create "frequent-flyer" discounts to sweeten the deal.
While it's tempting to start broadcasting on all channels right after publishing, it's a good idea to run through registration yourself at least once. Pay close attention to promo and access codes, question wording and options, and confirmation email content. Clear communication throughout the experience reduces dropped registrations and instills confidence in your registrants during and after the process. Consider any potential areas of confusion, and prevent it before it starts!
There are many ways to send out your registration link and entice people to your registration page. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about ways to get the word out once you've published registration:
Sending out emails and posting the registration link on your website and social media spaces are common and useful avenues for ushering people into the registration page. Take full advantage of these simple promotion avenues!
When you launch early-bird registration, take a look at who signed up early last year, and send that list of people a special email
Send unregistered people on your email list reminders periodically, but be sure not to inundate them.
After folks register, you'll want to stop asking them to register, but that doesn't have to be the end of your promo efforts! Consider sending "refer a friend" emails and rewarding referrers with event swag, discounts on next year's event, or a special Game Code that'll give them a boost in the leaderboard.
Launch digital ads in online spaces where your potential audience hangs out. Don't just pay Google or Facebook some money to show your advertising media to random people. Tailor to and target your audience.
Coordinate with sponsors to post on your behalf to reach an even broader audience. Work this promotion tactic into your sponsorship deals!
Speakers can also help spread the word. Consider providing a social media kit with suggested messaging they can share.
These are only some of the possibilities for promoting your registration, and there are many more. Network with other event planners to learn even more amazing ideas, and let your imagination run wild!
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