In the diverse world of events and tradeshows, one thing that all Show Organizers have in common is their desire to grow attendance. Many turn to advance marketing techniques such as e-blasts, custom brochures and special pre-show offers. Increasingly however, Show Organizers are looking at their onsite event for ways to capture attendees. Below are some ideas for what you can do AT your current event to gain attendance for your future event.

Ask attendees if they would like to register for the next event

Just a simple question, asked by an onsite staff member (temporary or otherwise), can get registrants into the database for your next event. There are several ways you can do this, for example:  1) include it as a demographic question on your onsite form 2) scan the bar code on their badge with a wireless scanner. In both instances, before the website goes live for the next year, your registration company can load them into the database as registered attendees. Then, an email can be sent to the registrant allowing them to make any necessary updates to their record and make payment.

Have the website live for your future event AT your current event

More and more, Show Organizers are keeping their websites “live” year round. By doing so, you have the unique ability to see an immediate financial return on those who sign up early. Typically though, attendees need a little convincing before they’re ready to part with money while they’re already at your event. A way to entice them is through incentives. Whether it is a monetary discount, offering a free session or even including a free lunch, incentives can be tailored to marry what’s most important to you and your registrants as well.

Space Draw

Show Organizers not only want to increase attendee registration at their event, but they also want to increase the amount of exhibiting companies that participate. After all, more exhibiting companies can equate to a bigger attendee draw. A popular way to increase booth sales is through an onsite Space Draw at your current event. A Space Draw allows exhibitors to strategically select their booth location for next year’s event during the current event. There are other benefits to an onsite Space Draw as well, such as the ability for exhibitors to talk, in-person, to service providers and show management. Their goal is to help you understand your options and take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you.

Try putting some, or all, of these ideas into place at your next event. A little extra planning in advance can go a long way onsite when it comes to increasing attendance.

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