Early bird registrations are a great way to boost attendance at events. By offering some type of promotional incentive for guests who buy tickets early, usually within a specified period, you’ll experience a higher attendance. Guests are more likely to buy tickets now rather than later if you offer a promotional incentive like 10 or 20% off. But many event planners ponder the question of whether or not to extend early bird registrations past the original deadline.

Benefits of Extending Early Bird Registrations

The single most common reason why event planners extend early bird registrations is to, well, sell more tickets. Some guests may only register for an event if they can buy tickets at a special, lower price. If they missed the initial early bird registration period, they may choose to skip your event altogether. You can prevent this from happening, however, by extending your early bird registrations. It’s a quick and easy way to increase attendance at events.

Disadvantages of Extending Early Bird Registrations

There are also some disadvantages to extending early bird registrations, however, including frustrated guests who signed up during the initial early bird period only to realize the promotional deal was extended. If a guest went out of their way to register for your event during the initial early bird period, he or she may feel frustrated if you extend this promotion. After all, what’s the purpose of buying tickets early if you can get them later at the same price?

Another drawback to extending this type of promotion is the negative image in which it presents your event. Some guests may assume your event is struggling if you extend this promotion.

As you can see, there are both benefits and disadvantages to extending early bird registrations. Some event planners use this tactic on a regular basis to sell more tickets and increase guest turnout, while others avoid it altogether. If you don’t extend early bird registrations, though, there are still ways to increase attendance…

Tips to Increase Attendance Without Early Bird Registrations

  • Create a simple and transparent registration process.
  • Schedule your event on a date that’s convenient for guests.
  • Offer free transportation to and from the event.
  • Send save-the-dates to remind guests of when and where your event takes place.
  • Beware of competing events on the same or similar date as your event.
  • Incorporate entertainment like a live band or DJ into your event, advertising it in your event’s promotional material.
  • Send reminders via direct mail and email.