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Top Tips: Stagnating Delegate Attendance

delegate attendance

Delegate attendance: One of the main topics in the highly competitive world of associations where uncertainty continues to grow.

Very often due to lack of expertise or resources, associations struggle to find the right ways to reach their target groups, and to develop a strategy that will allow them to maximise their delegate attendance for their conferences.

So, how can it be made sure that potential attendees know about the conference and its value? And how can associations ensure the impact of their conference is effectively communicated to prompt the attendance numbers to go up?

It is all about putting the key pieces together.

Master the 360-marketing approach

1.Go all-in with digital marketing – turn the official conference website into a content hub to increase brand awareness, promote the scientific programme and share insights via online sessions or webinars. Complete your digital marketing strategy with personalised email blasts, newsletter campaigns and social media.

2.Don’t let traditional marketing tactics slide – for associations, advertising in industry outlets, press releases in related industry press and printed promotional material are still of service.

3.Remember that face-to-face promotion carries a great weight – this is where your long industry relationships with partners and sponsors come in very handy, acting as a strong sales accelerator.

Think beyond the first-tier conference destination

Next to scientific content, the choice of destination is the second most critical factor in driving delegate attendance. Traditionally, associations went for first-tier locations, but what is happening more and more nowadays, is that second-tier cities are making a stand, becoming more attractive than ever before. And there is a lot associations can learn from these locations.

Could the destination be a significant driver for millennial conference attendance?

The answer is yes.

A report that explored the bleisure travel phenomenon—the combination of business and pleasure travel—concluded that a staggering 94 percent of younger travellers are “more than” or “equally” likely to take a bleisure trip in the upcoming years.

Hit the road with smaller-scale events

“I couldn’t be away from the office for more than a day or two”. That is a statement associations hear a lot from delegates, and frankly this makes a tree-day Summit difficult to participate into. So, what is an association to do?

Delivering multiple small-scale events across different locations throughout the year can create the much sought-after demand that all conference organisers crave for. Such exclusive events in carefully selected locations can give the attendees a taste of what the main conference has to offer to them, and motivate them to commit to the bigger event later in the year.

Looking for additional tips to stay up-to-date with the shifting industry landscape? Visit here for more.

Get more valuable insights on how to create immersive experiences, engage your audiences and drive growth here

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