How to get guests to register early for your event

The Complete Guide to Early Bird Registration

Classic marketing tactic that can boost event registration and generate excitement about your event is early bird registration! We’ll cover why you should incorporate early bird discounts and the best ways to go about it.
December 2, 2022

Giving your event attendees the chance for early bird registration is a great idea that can benefit both you and your attendees. In this guide, we’ll go over the significance of early bird registrations and ideas to promote early registration. 

What is Early Bird Registration? 

Early bird registration is a marketing tactic where you offer customers the chance to purchase tickets to your event at a discounted price if purchased earlier than the usual buying timeline. Offering customers a discount if they purchase tickets earlier than others is a great way to motivate people to buy event tickets. Early bird registration also creates a sense of urgency for people who want to attend. No one wants to miss out on a deal, especially if it’s for something they really are interested in. Typically, early bird specials take 10-25% off regular pricing of event tickets and usually take place about 10-15 weeks before your event. 

Types of Early Bird Registrations 

<span class="mid-size-title">1. Restrictions</span>

While everyone who attends your event would love discounted ticket prices, some planners keep restrictions on who can access these deals. Depending on their target demographic, planners may choose to allow early bird registrations only for members who are a part of a certain membership or just for local residents. 

<span class="mid-size-title">2. Rewards</span>

Not all early bird registration specials have to be a certain amount of money off! Some planners offer a coupon code to promote the event or a discount on an event in the future. Some even opt for a promotional item or swag bag item as their incentive for early registration. Just make sure you set a limit on how many early bird offerings there are to prevent any angry customers. 

Why Do Planners Include Early Bird Registration?

Early bird registrations are a great tool to leverage as you plan your event. Many experienced event planners know that early bird registrations are great to build up excitement for your event. It creates an air of exclusivity to your event as well as motivates people to act urgently on getting great discounts. FOMO is a real thing, and when people know that that could be missing out on a great deal for a great event, they’ll be more motivated to buy early bird tickets as well. Building up excitement during the early bird registration phase will translate into more ticket sales during the regular sales timeframe. By holding early bird registrations for an event, planners will also be able to measure what attendance will look like for their event. If people are virtually lining up to purchase early bird tickets, the event itself will most likely reach its full capacity. This helps planners and marketers with their marketing strategy and it helps the planning for future events. 

Read and Learn: How to Harness Webinars for a 2X Pipeline Boost

Why is Early Bird Registration Beneficial for Event Attendees? 

Just as there are benefits for an event team to hold early bird registrations, it’s equally as beneficial for event attendees to receive early bird registration discounts. Attendees will feel good about scoring tickets to a great event and even more so for saving money on said tickets. By purchasing tickets early on, attendees have the chance to plan for any necessary travel in advance, learn more about the event destination, receive additional early bird savings on hotels or flights, make reservations for popular attractions at the event destination, and plan for any necessary family care or pet care in advance. 

Marketing Ideas to Help Planners Promote Early Bird Registration 

It’s not enough to create your early bird registration and hope that potential attendees find it - you need to spread the word! It’s important to market this opportunity more than once and in a variety of areas so no one misses out. There are many ways you can market your early bird registration, and we’ll go over each idea. 

<span class="mid-size-title">1. Advertise Early Bird Offers on Your Website</span> 

Your early bird registration special should be advertised where all your event details are located. This includes on the event website, any pages where your event is mentioned, and your company’s main page. Make the discount advertisement easy for visitors to see with clickable buttons with the promotion advertised on them. A large amount of people may be visiting the site on their mobile device, so ensuring that your site is mobile friendly should be a priority as well.  

Notifying email subscribers about upcoming events

<span class="mid-size-title">2. Create an Email Drip Campaign </span>

Contacting your customers through email is a great way to keep them in the loop with what your company has going on, including events. You can send additional emails to remind customers who haven’t registered during the early bird phase to register before it's too late. Make sure to highlight the rewards and benefits of registering early as well. After customers have registered for your event, sending a confirmation email along with emails containing event information will build up excitement as the day arrives! 

<span class="mid-size-title">3. Advertise Early Bird Registration on Your Social Media </span>

A great place to advertise anything for an event is on social media. Post about your early bird registration on every social media platform that you have to ensure no one misses out. You can post testimonials, promotional videos, and highlight the benefits of purchasing your tickets early as well as covering enough details of your event.

<span class="mid-size-title">4. Create A Short Webinar </span>

The perfect way to share information all about your event is by hosting a webinar! Webinars are useful tools to teach attendees insightful information about any topic. In a webinar for your event, you can showcase everything that attendees will take from participating in your event with detailed visuals. 

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<span class="mid-size-title">5. Advertise Locally to Target Potential Attendees</span>

Adding local advertising to your promotional plan is another smart way to gather new attendees! Some examples of local places to advertise are colleges, libraries, and coffee shops. There are endless places you can locally advertise - think about what kind of shops or places relate to what your event is about and consider reaching out to provide them with a flier about your event. 

<span class="mid-size-title">6. Market Early Bird Benefits as VIP Perks</span> 

Create an additional sense of exclusivity with your early bird registrations by categorizing it as a “VIP perk.” Add additional benefits to this offer like special seating, backstage passes, early entry and more! If it means receiving extra perks during your special event by purchasing tickets during early bird registration, attendees will be excited for the early bird phase. 

 Creating a VIP perk for early event attendees

<span class="mid-size-title">7. Reward Repeat Attendees</span>

Build customer loyalty while increasing registration numbers by offering some sort of reward for customers who have attended previous events and ones who will attend future events. This will keep people coming back for more of your events! 

<span class="mid-size-title">8. Promote Keynote Speakers & Distinguished Guests</span>

If there’s someone who is speaking at your event that you think will be valuable to others, make sure to promote that! The people you have speaking at your event could be a great draw to attendees who care about their insights and experience. 

<span class="mid-size-title">9. Consider Swapping Early Reward Terminology for Late Penalties in Promotional Copy</span>

As you write your early bird promotional copy, you may want to think about switching some words around. By using different terminology, potential attendees’ minds will change about waiting to purchase tickets. Focusing on what will happen if customers don’t buy their tickets early on may have more of an impact compared to talking about missing out. 

<span class="mid-size-title">10. Plan to Revamp Your Marketing Campaign with Early Bird Registration Ends</span>

Creating a plan for promoting your early bird registration shouldn’t be your only event promotional plan! Work with your marketing team to review the plans they have in place once the regular registration time comes into play. Use all of the same tactics as you did for early bird specials, such as utilizing social media, highlighting speakers and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Early Bird Discounts 

1. Do early bird discounts work?

With the right plans and strategies in place, early bird specials can work tremendously for your event! It motivates customers to buy tickets or order a product early. Using this scarcity tactic can be helpful for planners to anticipate how busy their event will be. 

2. Should I use early bird registration for my event? 

We’d highly recommend using early bird registration for your event, especially if your goals align with increasing ticket sales and attendance or creating excitement around your event. 

3. What businesses offer early bird discounts? 

Any business can offer early bird discounts! Early bird discounts can be offered especially if a business holds events or sells new products. 

4. How much is an early bird discount? 

Typically, early bird discounts are 10-25% off regular pricing of an item. While this can be adjusted depending on each business, 25% off is usually the maximum discount that is offered by businesses. 

5. How long should early bird registration last? 

The duration of early bird registrations can vary depending on your business and are customizable. They can also last either by a certain date or by the number of people who purchased an item. One aspect that should be noted as you decide on the length of your early bird discounts is how many tickets or items you can sell that won’t hurt your profits. You don’t want to offer too many great deals at the cost of losing money! 

6. When should you offer early bird registrations? 

Early bird registration deadlines are typically held 10-15 weeks before the day of the actual event. You don’t want to hold it too close to the event or it could interfere with your regular ticket timeline. 

Offering promotional goods to early event registrators

<span class="mid-size-title">Conclusion</span>

Early bird discounts are great for all parties involved in your event. They can increase sales and attendance while bringing in new customers who might be interested in the perks your event offers. Choosing a platform that can handle early bird registrations is just as important, so choose a platform like Hubilo to handle all your ticket registration needs.

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Hubilo is the webinar platform built for marketers that helps you 2X your pipeline. Founded in 2015, Hubilo's powerful engagement features, dedicated client experience team, and custom branding tools have helped create over 12K virtual events & webinars, creating hundreds of millions of minutes of high-engagement experiences and counting. Headquartered in Bengaluru and San Francisco, Hubilo's 200+ employees are dedicated to enabling webinars & virtual events that convert.

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