Lessons in Boosting Attendance from NAB Show Marketers

In case you missed it, Gleanin’s webinar, Case Study: Lessons in Boosting Attendance from NAB Show Marketers, received high marks from attendees. The questions attendees asked of the presenters, as well as the in-webinar poll and post-webinar survey responses, surfaced some additional discussion points. Here is an overview of what transpired in front of and behind the scenes.

Measurement, when it’s possible, is critical to event marketers. Webinar attendees—83% of whom were event organizers—look for (on average) an overall growth KPI of between 3-4% for attendee registrations. Of attendee types (alumni versus net new attendees), the majority (almost 100%) of poll respondents preferred net new attendees.

Verified attendance rates based on social (versus email) referrals are not as important as verifications from referrals of any kind. According to Gleanin data, referrals offer between a 3 to 7.5% boost in verified attendance based on a sample of 700 events worldwide. The percentage varies based on the size of the events and on whether events are with or without paid attendance.

Attribution (the touchpoint in the sales cycle that receives credit for conversion or, in this case, a registration) remains elusive for some organizers. In the post-event webinar survey, the majority of respondents use a mixed or weighted approach that takes into account multiple touchpoints.

While NAB Show marketers didn’t provide any incentives to registrants making referrals, they did incentivize individuals who registered by giving them free access to the NAB show floor—the primary source of interest to NAB registrants. In fact, when referral programs incentivize both the advocates who make referrals and their colleagues who register, referral programs can be more successful.

The topic of the pre-show marketing to introduce referral marketing to an audience emerged in the webinar Q & A. There are ways to promote a referral program pre-event, including having an incentive program and promoting referrals to advisory board members who can spread the word. NAB marketers noticed that once referral messaging began to show up on social channels and in emails, it had a viral effect, which legitimized and publicized the tactic organically.

Advocacy, the percentage of individuals who make a referral, was another topic of interest during the webinar. On Gleanin’s platform, an average of 16% of the people who see the Gleanin referral dashboard (which is all registrants), refer the event to another person.

The webinar recording is available here. Use it and the above talking points to decide whether referral marketing is right for your event.

Contact us if you have more questions.

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