Whether you host workshops, seminars, intensive boot camps or any other event, the most important part is to get the people to attend it. If you don’t have an audience, you can be the most brilliant, entertaining speaker that teaches incredible things, but if you don’t have anyone there to teach, you do not have an event.
In my “Butts In Seats Virtual Boot Camp“, I teach 10 strategies for filling up your workshop, including some that are specifically designed to get people of the fence and have them commit early. In this article, I will share one of these strategies, the Early Bird Campaign.
The early bird special is nothing new. Restaurants have been using this strategy for years with great success. They use it to entice their clientele to come to their restaurants at an earlier, slower time. It is an especially popular with the senior crowd in Florida. In fact, Seinfeld dedicated an entire, very funny show to the early bird crowd in Florida. The Early Bird Campaign applies the same concept to your workshop.
During the Early Bird Campaign, you try to fill seats at a reduced price for signing up early. The key is to make your Early Bird offer truly irresistible and give our audience very good value for them to bite on it. If the advantage is marginal, people will wait to sign up, because they just don’t see the advantage of signing up early. The benefits for registering early have to outweigh the risks of making the commitment.
The most obvious and most popular way to structure your early bird campaign is to offer a discount. For the early bird discount to be effective, it has to be at least 50% off. That makes it hard to resist, especially if your event runs in the thousands of dollars range. If your event is only $50 or $100, a discount is still good, but people may not worry too much about it. They may feel that the time they gain by not making a decision just yet, is more valuable than the $25 or $50 they would save by signing up in advance.
Interestingly enough, early bird discounts are becoming less and less effective. Perhaps that is because in the new economy, your potential attendees do not think you will sell out the event. If they think that, they will not believe you will raise your prices. It’s like the last couple of days before Christmas. Stores want to get rid of their inventory and the public can get great deals. Just like your potential audience will expect great deals up to the last minute.
That is why it is important that you are absolutely convinced that your workshop, seminar or event is a fabulous deal, even at full price. If you are overpricing your event, and under delivering on content and value, your audience will never pay full price and you will have a hard time filling your event. However, if your workshop has great content at a great price, (as a Winning Workshop should), then your Early Bird discount will be irresistible.
If you want to learn about more strategies to fill your events effectively and authentically, check out the Butts In Seats Virtual Boot Camp.