online registration

Between the economy, scandals, and online technology options, meeting planners are constantly positioning and defending themselves and the worth of their meetings. Now comes one more challenge: attendance. Attendees are asking this very question:

"Am I getting the maximum value at a fair price?"  

So how do you price your event? MPI recently published an article called "Framing the pricing picture: revenue, risk and registration" which took a look at how event meeting services professionals typically set their price point, suggested improvements to this algorithm along with my own suggestions about how interactive technology tool rentals play a role in the budgeting process . 

Typically meeting planners are in one of two camps about reg fees:

  • Break-even analysis: Add up all the fixed and variable costs, determine the number of attendees expected to attend, gauge the revenue projections and voila — you have your price. Two problems arise with this type of pricing 1) too many assumptions are made and 2) it doesn't take into account the planner's time in preparing for and executing the event. 
  • Anchor pricing: You have always charged $500 for this event, so why change now? No algorithms or math formulas. Just status quo.  

But what if there is a better way? Say…based on what the attendee thinks the event is worth to them? How do you do that? Here are 4 ways to deliver value-packed meetings that are worth the price:

Tip #1: Create an event experience, not just a meeting.

Get attendees involved in the planning process by doing the following: 

  • Have an online preconference networking component for attendee introductions. 
  • Let participants select the speakers and co-create sessions through crowdsourcing. 
  • Introduce gamification for a fun, interactive learning experience.
  • Ask the attendee what they want and need to learn about. 

Tip #2: Deliver on the pricing promise.

Ask attendees what price range they think is fair for the type of conference you are planning to deliver.  And then make the content happen and deliver on price. Most event planners over- or under-price their conference and then are surprised when participants don't come back the following year. If you really want to be gutsy, offer a partial or full refund if they are not satisfied. 

It boils down to delivering valuable content at an affordable price. What would you be willing to pay?

Tip #3: Scratch your old budget. 

Previous budgets do not take into account the new technology and Wi-Fi access attendees demand. Once you know what attendees want, start to build out your event audio visual rental needs. Base your budget on your current needs, not past ones. 

Tip #4: Make it easy for the attendee to say yes. 

In these tough economic times, participants have to weigh whether the conference is worth being away from their work and family for a few days. Below are a few creative ideas to help get them to "Yes":

  • Offer early bird pricing of significant value if they register 2-3 months prior to the event.
  • Provide a wide range of housing accommodations from economy to luxury. 
  • If they need to bring their children to the meeting, provide onsite affordable childcare services. 
  • Offer discount codes they can publicize to others. If others enroll using that code, your attendee will receive a discount off their own registration fee for each person that uses it. 

AV Event Solutions, a California meeting equipment rental supplier, is ready and willing to work with you on planning and budgeting your next meeting or event. Check out their express quote page to get started!