The number of registrations is a good indicator for measuring the event success. How do you as an event professional increase the number of registrations? The answer: a thorough analysis of the target audience, combined with effective marketing and clear communication.
Know your audience
Knowing who will visit your event is the only starting point. Make sure you understand who you want to have at your event and why they should want to be there. Only if you can answer these questions, your audience will feel the need to sign up. I wrote another blog about this: How to organise FOMO for your event.
Make a promise
The invitation or RSVP for your event should contain one message: how will your event contribute to the needs of your audience? How your invitees you understand them, and that you are aiming to give them something that benefits them. The 'standard' invitation text "You are invited to event X on date Y at venue Z. Come and see speakers A, B and C." simply does not cut it.
Try summing up what they can expect briefly and clearly — and make a promise to your audience. "After the event you will better able to X" or "Speaker Y will help you solve challenge Z".
Try different angles to bring across your arguments, and find out what resonates best for your audience. Don't be afraid to send one or more reminders, all approaching the same theme, but taking a different approach or formulation: share an interview with your key player, reveal something interesting about the program or venue or link your event to a topical issue.
Make it pretty (easy)
Your event invitation is competing with a lot of emails, so make sure it stands out. Make smart use of a unique design, beautiful images, sharp texts and a clear call to action. Make sure the invitation process is smooth and easy, eg. by pre-filling some fields in the registration form — and including a remarkable sign-up (and cancellation) button in the invitation email.
Oftentimes, we do not realise how many times we have to repeat a message before it comes through. It is not unusual to send 2 or 3 reminders for an event, simply because the average professional receives 20 - 60 emails a day! Make sure you include the option for your contacts to unsubscribe if they are not interested.
Stay top of mind
In the run-up to your event, engage your audience by feeding them interesting bits of information regarding your event. Announce new speakers, sessions, workshops or other interesting news facts. An update every one or two weeks is a great way to stay top of mind. Always direct your contacts to the event website: this is the place where all up-to-date information can be found, at all times.
Collect as much feedback as possible during the event (using interaction tools) and after (by sending a survey). This information helps you determine the success of this event and improve the next. Ask questions and try to find out the expectations of your attendees, so you can better fulfil their needs (or top them!) in the future.