Nearly every event can benefit from increased attendee registration and loyalty. In fact, some of the best event marketing you can do for your event is to say thank you to your attendees (even before they become your attendees).
There are a few reasons. For starters, it’s the nice (and right) thing to do. Saying thank you expresses gratitude, acknowledges their time, and demonstrates humility as you’re acknowledging your attendees have a choice when they consider or choose your event, tradeshow, or conference. It also proves your event is powered by event planners who care about the attendee experience, rather than the "please buy a registration to our event" marketing automation machine (even if the thank you is slid into an aut0-responder series).
We like hand-written notes, like Gran always told us to do. Another way we’ve seen it done is to put it to music and thank them from the stage of your live event, a la Brian Walter and Extreme Meetings, Whether big or small, the act is what counts, not necessarily the method.
Saying thank you allows you to offer reward and bonus options to your loyal attendees, too. Whether celebrating an anniversary of last year's conference or giving deep discounts or insider access to a highly-coveted VIP sessions or pre-workshops, you can use this value-driven thank you outreach through phone, email, or other channel to demonstrate how much you really appreciate your customer (and their loyalty!).
Loyalty rewarding buy-ins are triggered through consistent, thankful interactions. For instance, I recently renewed my membership to one of my professional associations. I had been a member for five years. As a thank you, they sent me an additional discount for the new conference they're hosting. All because I renewed and showed my loyalty.
This works for new and lapsed attendees too. I couldn't make a professional conference last year. It was just too prohibitively expensive. However, this year, I saw an email saying if I came back, I would get a discounted registration and an iPad Mini. I signed up nearly immediately.
Finally, did you know that saying thank you motivates people? Loretta Breuning, author of Meet Your Happy Chemicals, says that we’re drawn to “happy highs” that boost our natural feel-good chemicals. Being thanked feels good, which in turns motivates us to continue to repeat the action which made us get thanked.
So, really, you’re investing in your business by saying thank you to your new and potential customers. Because they’ll likely remember your kind gesture. Marketing magic stat? A customer who has purchased with you before is 27% more likely to engage in a repeat purchase. Saying thank you can only raise that statistic. Leading to have them repeat the purchase AND hopefully refer you. This matters greatly because nearly 85% of new business comes from word of mouth. Think of the money you could save in your paid marketing efforts!
I hope you say thank you to your attendees today! If you’re looking for new ways to say thanks, here are some great suggestions we hope you can peruse to get ideas to further boost your attendee experience.
–Check out Donna Cutting’s amazing book on 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers
—112 Ways to say Thank You in any Situation via @MyEnglishTeacher