Contributing Bloggers

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Is the deadline for your Early Bird conference rate creeping up?  Are you tempted to extend that Early Bird Rate?
This is a dreaded issue for so many of our clients.  Here are some reasons why we never recommend it:
·         If people are undecided or putting off the decision, extending the period just gives more time to delay
·         Gives the impression that your event is struggling
·         Frustrates delegates that registered before the early-bird deadline
·         Makes future sales pitches to register harder to sell
·         Sets a precedent that waiting until the last minute pays off
Here are some alternative ideas that you may want to considering before giving into temptation:
Send out an email with the early bird code to only certain groups (explaining that they are getting an extension because they fit into this special group). Consider including:
•                     the people who registered last year, but haven’t registered for this year
•                     sponsors, exhibitors, committee members and/or vendors
•                     related or sister associations
Make sales calls and send sales emails – the personal touch. It can be time consuming, but the payoff can be big. Most people had your conference on their to-do list, but reminding them why they should register today will bring it back to the top of the list.  Offer to enter their details into the online form while you have them on the phone to secure the registration right away (Everyone loves being treated like they are getting a special favour).
Let people in on some of the new details such as surprise guests, newly added workshops, or door prize announcements.   We often see a huge increase after the announcement of a big speaker or celebrity guest.  Door prize can be as simple and cost efficient as a copy of the keynote speaker’s book included with their registration.
We also see a rise after we post a list of attendees to date on the website – a “Look Who’s Coming” type list that can list delegates or simply company names and organizations.  I am not sure if this is a result of guilt, envy or pure peer pressure – but it works!
Adding a second tier price break sometimes works better than extending an early bird deadline especially if you want to promote this on your website. If you really feel that extending a price break is needed, then consider making it in between the early and regular rate. For example, the Early Bird deadline went up by $250, then go up to $125 as an interim promo on your website. This ensures that people who registered early still get the greatest benefit.
Hope my “Free Idea” makes your Friday!
To learn more, please visit
Dana Zita CSEP, CMP

Dana Zita CSEP, CMP

Establishing aNd Logistix Inc in 1993, Dana is known for her energy & often outspoken zeal in attempt to improve the industry for future event planners. She combines a no-nonsense management style with a passion for creating the ultimate WOW for her clients.
Dana Zita CSEP, CMP

Latest posts by Dana Zita CSEP, CMP (see all)