According to a Harvard Business Review, increasing your retention rate by 5% can increase your profits by 25%-90%. Not only does retention rate apply to membership, but especially those attending your events.
Ways you can work towards a 90% profit increase:
- Drive feedback and involvement while at the event. A couple fun ways to go about that are:
- Tweet Walls ( http://visibletweets.com/ )
- Picture slideshows (https://eversnap-examples.squarespace.com/results-conference-2014 )
By having attendees tweet about the event or take pictures, you can use these social media sites to create live streaming of what everyone is doing at the event. Not only does that give attendees a chance to give you instant feedback, but also a fun way for them to showcase in real time how they are participating. It is during this time, when you have the attendees most attention that you want to announce upcoming events. I know I have witnessed events in the past where hosts wait until the end of the event to make these important announcements, which is after a large portion of attendees have already mentally or physically checked-out. This is also a time when you should take advantage of converting new members on-site. Get them while they are there in person; and maybe even include an incentive to signing up on the spot like discounted membership rate.
Once the event is over, it is already time to start looking forward to the next one. How can you increase attendance next year?
- Ask for the help from your team. Get together and encourage open and honest feedback during a “brain drain” session. This allows you to better understand how other people might view things, and maybe even hear a couple great improvements for next time!
- Get input from the attendees. Since you used social media at the event you were able to respond to comments then, but what about the issues that have not been addressed? By following up in survey form you give the attendees a time to reflect. A good strategy when putting together a survey is to include plenty of open ended questions. By asking “what would you change,” rather than, “did you enjoy?” gives attendees the chance to let you know what could make them happier; which is what we are in the business for.
Increasing attendee attendance is not a simple task. By focusing on one clearly unsuccessful aspect at a time, you can continually improve event after event. Remember to investigate what was ineffective, prioritize what needs to be given attention to first then make changes accordingly. Not only will your attendees be happier, but also your association when you increase profits by 90%!