3 Event Retention Tactics to Get Your Event Attendees to Participate Again

Onur Mete

It is commonly quoted that acquiring a new customer costs seven times more than retaining an existing one. Whether you see your event participants as customers or not, this counts for them as well. Every event manager knows the hassle of getting enough attendees for their first event, but once that hurdle is passed, it does not seem to get much easier. Here are our 3 tipps on how to increase event participant retention (if we may call it that way).

1. Stay in touch with your event attendees year round

In case your event takes place once a year you might assume that is just about right to keep calm until a couple of weeks or months prior to the next edition. Here is where most event managers go wrong. If you want to increase the chances of having the event participants come back, you will have to keep in touch throughout the whole year. You could start of by doing the following: 1. Right after the event: Send out a „Thank You“ email. 2. 2-3 weeks after: Send them the stats or a short recap of the event 3. 1-2 months after: If you have produced a video of your event, send them a link of it. 4. 3-4 months after: Give them some generic updates about what’s happening in your industry 5. Half a year later: Remind them of what a blast the last event was and tease them with some information about the upcoming event. 6. Month to the next event: Announce the first speakers or the location

You see that there are actually quite some occasion to keep in touch with your audience - and if not, make up some. This will make sure that your event participants keep you on their radar.

2. Show your event attendees recognition

This is a no-brainer. And when it comes to client recognition, hardly anything works better than a discount. Also, offering an exclusive discount to repeat event participants will make them feel special and recognized. Don’t want to charge less than your minimum ticket price? What about offering free add-ons like access to special sessions or lunch instead or upgrade their tickets for free. In one of his blog posts, Julian Solaris from EMBlog says „Reward positive behavior with special treatment. You need these people more than you realise and most of all, you need them to come back.“

3. Offer something new & stay up-to-date in the event industry

We as human beings always pursue a good balance of certainty and uncertainty. On one hand we like what we already know. On the other hand we would not watch the same thriller over and over again. Why? Because at some point what used to arouse us has no longer any effect. If your participants liked the theme or topics of your last event, it does not necessarily mean that they would be happy to repeat that very same experience once again. In order to repeatedly spike your audience’s interest and keep them engaged, you’ll have to stay on top of your game and offer a fresh layer for each new event, even if it is the same dough you are baking with. The musician J. Cole said it best „Make sure it’s mean so them fiends keep on coming back“.

How to do so? Look around in your industry. What is the next big thing? What are current buzzwords? What is trending on the social networks? Maybe you can even survey your previous participants about their expectations and interests.

Any ideas or thoughts? Post them below in the comments section!