They are getting shorter and shorter.
Lead times. Promotional windows. The time before people actually commit to attending your event. Shorter and shorter.
I remember several years back, when I was working as a Conference Planning Manager at a conference center. Lead times for meetings were getting shorter and shorter. Plan a meeting for 300 people in 3 weeks? No problem.
However, those meetings were corporate and had a built in audience. When the company books your flight and tells you to be there in 3 weeks, you go.
Workshop and seminar producers are not so lucky.
Yet the time between people buying a ticket to your workshop and the day of your event is getting shorter and shorter. You see it especially with introductory workshops.
Attending an introductory workshop, which is short and inexpensive, doesn’t take any planning at all.
Since they are normally local, there is no flight to book, no hotel reservation to make. You hop in your car and go.
All conducive to a last minute decision. And Last Minute Lisa and Last Minute Larry are out in force.
Is it their disappearing attention span, as Nicholas Carr noted in “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
Or is it the overwhelming amount of information that we have to sort through these days?
It is coming to us from all directions. We have our social media accounts, our email, our newspapers and our favorite blogs with us at all times on our smart phones.
What if something better comes along tomorrow, or next week? Let’s put that decision off for now.
Perhaps the trend of registering only days or hours before a virtual event is moving to live, introductory workshops as well.
A couple of years ago, I wrote about half of the attendees for a short, inexpensive workshop registered in the final week. It is even worse now, with up to 75% registering attendees last minute.
But it is not all bad. After all, when people register for your event a couple of days before, your workshop is the “something better” that came along. They are more committed and your no-show rate is lower.
As Ken Krogue noticed in his article for Forbes about online events “People who register for online events 3 to 6 weeks out don’t show up nearly as well as those who register 3 to 5 days out… even 1-2 days out.”
But while Krogue suggests shortening your promotional window, waiting till the last minute with your promotions is not the right move for your face to face events.
After all, people still need 7-9 impressions to make a decision about your event. And while it doesn’t take much planning on the part of the attendee, you still need to convince them that taking 4-5 hours out of their day sitting in traffic, attending your event and driving across town again is worth their time.
And that takes all 5 essential keys to filling your workshops and seminars. Miss one and your workshops stay empty, without even the last minute attendees.
Want to know what they are? Join me for my free webinar and find out how to get the butts in the seats.
Go to http://eventstrategysolutions.com/webinar for all the details and to reserve your spot.