Use promo codes to boost event registration

Event Promo Codes: How to Boost Event Registrations

Promo codes are a great marketing tactic to increase the ticket registration numbers for an event. Read on to learn more about event promo codes!
September 23, 2022

There are a number of ways you can go about boosting event registration numbers for an event. However, one of the most effective techniques out there is offering an immediate value for future attendees. In this blog, we’ll go over all there is to know about promo codes, from how to use them to the different types you can choose from. 

What Are Event Promo Codes? 

Promo codes can be used as a great tool to market an event, and in turn increase the number of registrations you receive for said event. In short, promo codes are deals that a business offers customers for their product or service. In the event space, promo codes can be applied by customers to receive a certain amount of money off of fees like registration. These promo codes can be advertised at any point leading up to your event, and can sometimes be categorized as “early-bird” codes to codes on limited seats near the end of the registration date. There are a number of promo code types that you can offer potential attendees to incentivize registration - and we’ll go through all of them! 

2 Reasons Why You Should Use Promo Codes

1. Track Other Marketing Efforts

When you give customers certain promo codes to use, you have the capability to track where they came from. You can accomplish this by appointing different codes to each separate marketing campaign. As you review the different campaigns where your promo code purchases originated from, you can make note of which ones are working and which may not be. Collecting this data can not only improve your registration marketing efforts for the current event, but also for the future events you plan. Maybe your event promotion on LinkedIn did really well and brought in lots of registrations, but the post on your company’s Facebook page didn't perform as well as expected. The more you know about where the majority of your event registrations are coming from, the more you can focus on that in your event marketing plan. 

2. A Great Promotion Tool

A great way to use promo codes is to use them as a way to promote your event. By showing future attendees that they could save money on an event that could teach them valuable lessons or increase their professional network, many will be enticed to sign up. Use the money they could save as a key factor in promoting the event on every platform you’re advertising on to get the word across. Also promoting the expiration date on the codes to create a sense of urgency to your customers will motivate them to sign up in order not to miss your great event. 

How To Use Event Promo Codes Like a Pro

Offer Invisible Tickets

Invisible tickets are a special type of promotion - instead of a promo code that everyone can use, this type of deal is available to a limited group of people. Think either VIP members or your company’s partners. The key for this kind of promotion is advertising it where only they can see it, whether it be a special email sent to members only or reaching out to them individually and telling them about it to make it more personal. Make sure to inform them of how special and rare the deal is to show how much you value their loyalty! 

Incorporate Group Promo Codes

Group promo codes are just that- instead of the usual promo codes that you’d advertise for individuals to use and sign up themselves, these ones are for groups. Whether you offer it to a group of employees from a partner company or offer a discount to a group of students, group promo codes are a great offering to many. 

How to increase event registration

Different Types of Event Promo Codes

1. Early Bird Specials

An early bird special discount is a promo code that is offered for signing up far in advance for an event. By offering a big reward, which would be a big amount of money saved, for signing up for an event it will motivate people even more to register. Doing so will not only create excitement around your event, but it will also give registration numbers a boost during the beginning stages. Make sure to visually emphasize the amount of money attendees will save as well. In their event marketing, INBOUND included a graphic that displayed their early bird pricing compared to the full price and physically showed the difference. Some events like Consensus by CoinDesk even have “ultra early bird” deals for previous attendees who were able to save a substantial amount of money for their next event.

2. Partner Promotions 

Partner promotions is another great way to get the word out about your event. Your company selects another company to partner with and negotiates a deal based around your event. Typically, the partnering company agrees to promote your event to their following in exchange for free or discounted tickets to your event. This type of deal turns out to be very beneficial for both parties - your event gets advertised to a completely new audience, and your partners are gifted a great event at little to no cost to them. You can track the amount of registrations made through your partner by giving them a custom promo code to have their customers use. That way, you can track the stress and potentially partner with them in the future (if the numbers are great)!

3. Free VIP Codes 

Giving away tickets for your event free of charge may seem a little crazy - but we promise it’s not! For certain individuals, allowing them to register for free isn’t for no reason - it's good business practice if they are bringing in some sort of value or assistance to your event. These people may be: 

a. Speakers & Event Staff

Not everyone at your event will be there as an attendee. The ones who are essentially working at your event shouldn’t have to buy a ticket - they’re helping you put on a great event, after all! The same goes for a virtual event - if you hire someone as a moderator for a chat room, for example, making them pay the fee for a ticket doesn’t make much sense. Offer both speakers and event staff a VIP code that they can apply to get their ticket. 

b. Guests of Honor

Similar to guest speakers, guests of honor shouldn’t have to pay for their event ticket. Even though they may not present anything at the event, if their presence is one that is influential and you invited them intentionally as a guest of honor, they should receive a VIP code. 

4. Discounted VIP Codes 

Discounted VIP codes are essentially what they sound like - a discount that is offered to those whom your company would consider VIP level. There are a few key examples of guests who would receive this type of promo code for an event: 

a. Returning guests 

Offering guests who attend a number of your events or the same one for a multitude of years a discounted price is a great incentive. Not only does it reward attendees for their dedication and loyalty, but it also secures tickets for registration. Those returning guests will look forward even more to your event knowing that they were able to save money!

b. Workshop Partners

While they may not be presenting an entire presentation at your main event, workshop partners should receive some sort of VIP discount. If they’re providing some sort of value to your guests when they attend your event, it’s worth granting them a discounted ticket price. 

c. Booth Presenters

Along with workshop partners, even though booth presenters are not giving a keynote presentation, they should still receive some sort of VIP discount. Chances are, they paid to secure a spot inside your event to showcase their product, so in return it would only be fair to grant them a great discount. 

d. Promotional Partners

With promotional partners, a discount VIP code should be a must. Working as partners means your two companies are a team, and should treat each other as such! This includes giving them great deals where you can so you can maintain a great relationship. 

e. VIP

If there’s anyone in mind who you think the event attendees would love to see or anyone who you think would provide amazing value, invite them using a VIP discount code! You have the option to grant them either a free VIP code or discount VIP code - either way, any discount off registration prices is a great advantage!  

5. Seasonal Promotions 

Seasonal promotions are one of the top marketing sales techniques for any type of sale in many industries. With the four seasons (fall, winter, spring, summer), companies have used each one as an excuse to hold a sale - and your event is no exception! Holding special discount codes for any or all of the holiday seasons is a great way to boost registration numbers. Promo codes don’t have to be limited by holidays, either - you can hold discounts based off any big occasions like anything related to sports or going back to school. 

6. Surprise Sales

Is there anything better than finding out one of your favorite stores is holding a surprise sale? We don’t think so! The same goes for an event - holding a surprise sale for an event you’re throwing will not pleasantly surprise potential attendees but it will inspire them to take action and register. By catching your audience off guard, it will entice them to register for this event out of fear there won’t be another sale as good as your surprise one. 

7. Bundled Promo Codes 

Bundled Promo codes are great for two reasons: they allow attendees to save money on more than one ticket, and they bring in more ticket registrations for events and in-turn more revenue! Offering promo code bundles to guests will encourage them to purchase more tickets, especially if they have friends or co-workers in mind who they know would enjoy attending your event as well. 

Ways to increase event attendance

8. Viral Codes

If there’s one way to get the word out about something, it's to make it go viral on the internet. This type of promotion requires advanced skills on social media- be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or even Tiktok. With these types of promotions, one person holds a promo code and by promoting it on social media, their followers or friends can use that specific code to receive money off. The original promoter of the ticket code then receives a sum of money depending on the number of followers who use their code. It’s important to note that with viral codes, a type of software is usually utilized for this process in order to ensure everyone’s purchases line up correctly, and so you can track the money that the original promoter earned. 

9. Bulk Promo Codes

When using different promo codes for your marketing efforts, you’ll need to create multiple different codes in order to track the performance of each - hence bulk promo codes! To create bulk promo codes, typically companies use softwares that generate as many promo codes as you need, and from there you can track each one’s performance! This can save lots of time and energy from doing the technical work of generating codes yourself. 

Key Takeaways: Boost Your Event with Promo Codes

As we mentioned before, promo codes are a great way to market your event online, and can be done on any social media platform. You can then learn more about which platforms are generating the most tickets based on those numbers as well to further increase registration numbers!

There are so many different types of promo codes to choose from. You can pick and choose which one is best suited for your company and your event needs; whichever one you choose, you can be sure you’ll receive a great turn out of registrations for your event! 

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