Free Idea Fridays!

Early Bird gets the worm
Is the deadline for your Early Bird conference rate creeping up? Are you tempted to extend that Early Bird Rate?

This is a dreaded issue for so many of our clients. Here are some reasons why we never recommend it:
  • If people are undecided or putting off the decision, extending the period just gives more time to delay
  • Gives the impression that your event is struggling
  • Frustrates delegates that registered before the early-bird deadline
  • Makes future sales pitches to register harder to sell
  • Sets a precedent that waiting until the last minute pays off

Here are some alternative ideas that you may want to considering before giving into temptation:

Send out an email with the early bird code to only certain groups (explaining that they are getting an extension because they fit into this special group). Consider including:
  • the people who registered last year, but haven't registered for this year
  • sponsors, exhibitors, committee members and/or vendors
  • related or sister associations

Make sales calls and send sales emails - the personal touch. It can be time consuming, but the payoff can be big. Most people had your conference on their to-do list, but reminding them why they should register today will bring it back to the top of the list. Offer to enter their details into the online form while you have them on the phone to secure the registration right away (Everyone loves being treated like they are getting a special favour).

Let people in on some of the new details such as surprise guests, newly added workshops, or door prize announcements. We often see a huge increase after the announcement of a big speaker or celebrity guest. Door prize can be as simple and cost efficient as a copy of the keynote speaker’s book included with their registration.

We also see a rise after we post a list of attendees to date on the website – a "Look Who’s Coming" type list that can list delegates or simply company names and organizations. I am not sure if this is a result of guilt, envy or pure peer pressure – but it works!

Adding a second tier price break sometimes works better than extending an early bird deadline especially if you want to promote this on your website. If you really feel that extending a price break is needed, then consider making it in between the early and regular rate. For example, the Early Bird deadline went up by $250, then go up to $125 as an interim promo on your website. This ensures that people who registered early still get the greatest benefit.
at 10:10AM
With construction slotted to begin this spring, debate has been
aggressive in recent days about the express Air Rail Link (ARL) from downtown Toronto to Pearson International Airport. Debate fumes mainly over anticipated cost, number of stops included on the line and the use of diesel powered trains. Yes DIESEL - seriously

I know how hard it is just to run my small business so I don’t have any delusions about being able to solve the problems of a the 2nd largest province in Canada let alone manage a deficit budget in the billions of dollars (17.7 billion to be exact). But DIESEL - seriously?

Now don’t get me wrong, we need this train. If anything it is embarrassingly overdue (30 years overdue). Smaller, less popular convention destinations across the world have had some sort of mass transit to their airports for decades. Surely with so much time to create and apply a plan, more forethought could have been applied to develop a proposal to implement all-electric trains in time for the Pan Am Games, instead of the proposed electrification 5 years after the fact. The giant concrete supports for the platform that would greet these incoming trains have been in place at Pearson Airport since 2004. There has been nothing but time - to conduct studies, environmental impact assessments, project viable timelines and even encourage constructive debate across political arenas. So DIESEL - seriously?

When completed, travel time between Union Station and Pearson will be approximately 25 minutes. I am sensible enough to recognize that solar power and wind turbines and magical fairy dust made from millions of tons of garden compost won’t be able to reach those speeds. But DIESEL - seriously?

I do know that Ontario is a global leader in renewable energy and environmental efficiency – the province supports over 2,800+ environmental industry companies that generate approximately $7 billion in revenue employs 65,000 people. So DIESEL - seriously?

I am open to comments on this one -

at 09:43AM
Award Winning Events...
Free Idea Friday is taking a break this week for the long weekend, but we still want to share some great news with you.

aNd Logistix had 2 reasons to celebrate during this year’s Star Awards at the Canadian Event Industry 15th Annual Gala with wins for Best Conference (for the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals annual Mortgage Forum 2011) and Best Trade Show (for OCE Discovery 11).

The Canadian Event Industry Awards is a national award program that recognizes outstanding achievements in Canadian special events, meeting management, conference planning and exhibition management. Celebrating its 15th anniversary is no small feat considering the ups and downs of our industry and economy - proving excellence does endure and prevail.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!
at 12:54PM