barrierHave you ever planned an event where registration just trickles in? Every day you check your reg system — only to find one or two additional attendees. With only six weeks until your event, you start to panic. "What is the hold up? Is it the price? Should I offer an incentive?" you might say to yourself. 

The truth of the matter is, just like any other purchase in life, attendees need to be motivated to make a decision and go to your event. Mariela McIlwraith, President of Meeting Change, recently shared her insights about this topic with MPI one+. Below are three of her key takeaways and my own food for thought. 

Behavior Barrier #1: TOO MANY CHOICES

When you give individuals too many choices, their eyes tend to gloss over and their brain begins to try to process the pros and cons of each choice. What happens is "analysis paralysis" and the participant puts the email or brochure away to look at another day. 

McIlwraith states, "Consider the number of choices you offer as part of your registration process; from the supplier perspective, consider the number of options you offer to your clients." 

Food for Thought: In one of my recent blogs, I wrote about Art Markman's "Role of 3" and that we can only really process and remember 3 things from any experience. This is true whether it be renting audio visual equipment or selecting a conference center for your meeting. Giving attendees, exhibitors or sponsors no more than 3 choices should expedite the process. 


Even though individuals want and need change, they do have a bias toward the status quo. There is something comforting in knowing that some things about your meeting or event will remain the same. 

Food for Thought: Keeping some things the same while changing up others is probably the way to go. Perhaps you keep the dates of your conference the same and the registration pricing. Whatever you keep, it is something participants really like about your meeting. An easy and fast way to understand what they like is through polling with Audience Response System rental units


Charging for something that used to be free, such as charging for Wi-Fi access or baggage on your airline trip, leaves a bad taste in your participant's mouth. With regards to Wi-Fi, most attendees see signs for "Free Wi-Fi" almost everywhere they go and do not understand why they need to pay for it at a meeting or event. 

Food for Thought: Even though attendees may expect free Wi-Fi when they come to your meeting, it is more important to them that the Wi-Fi be secure, fast and robust. Perhaps gaining a sponsor or set of sponsors to cover the Wi-Fi network array rental may be the solution but if this is not possible, education about the cost and why it is occurring is very important. 

AV Event Solutions, now part of SmartSource Rentals, is ready to work with you on your next meeting or trade show! Contact them today for creative ways to work interactive technology tool rentals into your next event!