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When it comes to events, attendance is everything.
It’s the key performance indicator (KPI) that gives even the most seasoned event marketing pros a sleepless night or two.
Because whether it’s an intimate roundtable or an international trade show, it’s your event attendance (or lack thereof) that people will notice first.
While growing your attendance rates for in-person events certainly has its challenges, with an even higher no-show rate of 35%, it’s your virtual and hybrid events that stand to gain the most from increased day-of attendance.
But in the age of crowded inboxes and endless webinar invitations, sharing a landing page and sending a reminder email before the event isn’t going to cut it.
At Goldcast, we’ve developed three simple ways that make it easy for registered event attendees to show for your virtual event.
If you’re struggling to boost show rates on your virtual or hybrid events, you should know that it’s most likely not your fault.
Often the reason folks don’t show up to events is simple: they’re human. 🤷
And being human means three things when it comes to commitments:
If you’re going to ace attendance and get more people to your event, you’ll need solutions to all three of thesedeeply human traits.
At Goldcast, we've created a next-level event platform that seamlessly increases your show rates while keeping the focus on delivering a human-first experience for your virtual and hybrid attendees.
Here’s a closer look at how we broke down the show rate problem to help our users nail it.
Source: Heinz Marketing
The first challenge when it comes to event show rates is the fact that, as a rule, humans are forgetful.
We forget to turn lights off. We forget to reply to texts. We forget names, faces, dates, and passwords (oh, so many passwords).
In psychology, there’s even a visual representation of this “forgetting phenomenon” called the Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve. According to German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, we forget close to 50% of what we’re told within an hour of learning it and up to 70% within 24 hours.
So forgetting to attend an event we signed up for three months ago? Yep, sounds likely.
(Actually, according to Ebbinghaus’s theory, we could even forget to attend an event we signed up for an hour ago! 😳)
If you’re like most event marketers, you probably aim to combat forgetfulness by automating an email reminder to go out a week, a day, and an hour before the event.
And that’s great! But often, it isn’t enough. Goldcast puts a stop to the ‘oops, I forgot’ phenomenon by taking it a step further.
With automated calendar invites sent straight to the registrant the moment they sign up for an event, registered attendees get the same calendar notifications as they do for all the other can’t-miss meetings on their agendas.
It’s a simple yet effective fix that allows registrants to:
Because remembering to turn up is half the battle.
It’s long been suggested that humans have an average max attention span of 20 minutes. And post-Covid, that may even be a tad optimist
When you consider everything else competing for your attendees’ attention, trying to maintain event interest from the moment an attendee registers to the time they actually show up to the event poses quite the dilemma for marketers.
Open registration too early, and people lose interest. Open it too late, and they’re too busy to attend.
But what if you started driving awareness for your next event at the close of every current event
For example, if your event is annual, you can start registering next year’s attendees right away at this year’s event.
Do it while you have momentum. Build on the positive experience the attendee is immersed in, offer something exclusive to early-bird registrants, and increase your odds of the attendee actually showing up on the big day.
However, there is a caveat to this approach. If you opt for a registration cycle this long, you’ll have to work to maintain the anticipation. Don’t leave registered attendees without any updates or communication for 12 months and then expect them to show up.
Whether you have two weeks or 52 weeks before your next event, nurturing your registrants is a great way to boost your show rate.
Set up an automated email campaign your registered attendees actually look forward to receiving. Include interviews with upcoming keynote speakers, updates on big-name attendees, and insights into your exciting networking sessions.
And this doesn’t have to be a major time investment. At least, not with Goldcast.
From day one, we built our event marketing platform to deeply integrate with systems like Salesforce and Marketo, allowing you to seamlessly add your virtual and hybrid events to your MarTech stack and easily create, schedule and send as many emails as necessary to your registered attendees. Or, you can create and send these emails right inside Goldcast.
Here’s a quick rundown of the types of emails that might make sense for your event nurture sequence:
Nurturing your event leads through a series of strategically timed emails, supported by ultra-readable and consistent content will allow you to build trust long before your event even opens.
And the long-term benefits for your brand can be pretty awesome too.
According to Adobe’s latest research, when a brand uses customer data to build trust (rather than be “creepy”), this increases a customer’s likelihood to:
If you can create that kind of trust with your future attendees, you can bet they’ll be way more likely to show up on the big day this year and next year too!
When the going gets tough, giving up is the easy option. When it comes to technology, the same rules definitely apply.
And when it comes to event technology, there are a few common barriers to entry that are sure to lose you attendees.
To be clear, your attendees should never have to complete any of the following tasks in order to join your event:
If accessing your event poses a problem, regardless of how easy you know it is to solve, most humans simply won’t bother. After all, they have a million other things calling out for their attention.
So why not make it easy for them by giving them one simple, easy-to-find link as an all-access pass to your event?
We know we’re biased, but Magic Links really are, well…magical.
Instead of having to memorize a clunky login combo when entering an event, registered attendees receive a unique URL that grants access at the click of a button.
Whether via email or SMS, one click of the Magic Link takes your attendees directly to your event.
No login. No usernames. No passwords.
For the team over at Kong, this little link made one big difference in show rate.
“The most important thing for us is honestly the fact that when somebody registers, they get their magic link,” says Melanie Salman, Director of Corporate Events at Kong. “Attendees can easily join the event, and they know how to do that.”
Empowering your registered attendees with speed and convenience not only boosts your attendance rates, it also ensures their experience with your event gets off to a seamless and stress-free start. 🙌🏻
At Goldcast, we know just how much work today’s event and field marketing heroes put into every event.
But with our data-driven (yet human-first) event technology, boosting your show rate and tracking your event success has never been easier.
Try our simple three-pronged approach to eliminating forgetfulness, keeping event registrants engaged, and making event accessibility as simple as clicking a link.
Before you know it, your show rates will be back on the rise!