How to Use Registration Data to Boost Conference Attendance

Did you know that your registration database of past meetings can be a goldmine of information that can increase your marketing efficiency and boost attendance at your next conference? If you have been using great online registration software to record your attendee data, you may have the keys to catapulting your registration numbers to the next level.

Here are some ways you can use your registration data to reach your goals.

  • Week over Week reports. It is common practice to see how your show is trending compared to previous years. Week over Week reports comparing factors like total registrations and revenue are solid metrics for these differentials. Don’t forget to look at mitigating factors like early bid cut-off dates when reviewing the comparisons.

  • Registration categories. Your attendees tend to fall into groups. If you are an association you may break down your main registration fees by member or non-member. For multi-day conferences, you may have full conference versus single day. Is a large percentage of your registrations complimentary? Are categories like these consistent in your totals over the years or are clear trends being established?

  • Types of Organizations. Similar to registration categories, are certain types of organizations drawn to your meeting? These classifications can include corporate, associations, education, government, non-profit and so forth. Planners are often quite surprised when reviewing this data. For example, a show may have a much larger group of corporate attendees than you would expect. This data, of course, will influence how you plan such components as your program schedule in the future.

  • Key Demographics. Make sure you are collecting key information that lets you dig deep into your attendee base. For many shows, knowing titles and purchasing power are seminal. For other shows, it may be items such as professional categories and areas of interest. Though this data is more open ended, with a little analysis you can also establish trends.

  • Geographic Demographics. If you have an annual conference that changes location every year, a look into the home base of your attendees can be quite valuable. Do you get a big pickup for locations that are in “driving range?” Looking into state and zip code data can be quite illuminating.

  • Popular Sessions. Even if you do not need to track sessions for issuing CEU certificates, you still need know who is going to your general sessions and breakouts. By correlating your session attendees with the previously mentioned data, you will be able to truly explore why people are attracted to your conference. Automated session tracking tools will make it easy to organize this critical information.

  • Attendees versus No-Shows. You also need to track actual attendees from no-shows . No-shows can artificially inflate your reporting and mislead you on the actual interests of your attendees. Once more, cross-referencing these groups with the previous metrics will provide real insight into why your show is of interest.

  • Review your questions. Every year you should review the questions you are asking on your registration form. If a question does not provide truly valuable information, you should drop it – you want to keep the registration process as simple as possible. On the other hand, you should evaluate if there is some additional information that would another level of depth to your analysis.

The key to all of this is to make sure your online registration software has the key reporting features you need.