Pricing Strategies for Meetings and Events – First Post
Elizabeth and I are just on our way back from the GMIC conference in Portland where I presented two sessions on pricing strategies. It was exciting for me to see meeting professionals start to change the way that they think about pricing, and how they can incorporate new strategies to help increase revenue and reduce financial risk.
One of the concepts we discussed was a change to how meetings use early bird discounts.
The origins of this concept were about helping to address cash flow concerns – ensuring that you have the money that you need at the time that you need it. From a meeting planner perspective, this might mean having sufficient funds to pay your deposits. Unfortunately, most meetings tend to offer early bird discounts too close to the actual event to really make a difference in this area. In addition, our industry has had a tendency to extend deadlines, and attendees have come to expect it.
So what can we do differently? First, think about how you can create a sense of urgency for people to register. A couple of ways that you might do this would be through using limited quantities instead of a deadline, or through designing your meeting in such a way that your experience starts at the time of registration instead of on arrival. Consider how you might develop and deliver exclusive experiences for those that register early.
If you are using early bird discounts, consider how you can leverage them to address your financial risk. For example, can you work with your suppliers to match up your registration milestones with key contracting dates, such as opportunities to review your room block.
If you’d like to see us blog more on pricing, please post a comment on the blog and let me know what you’d like as the next topic:
- How to use bundling
- How to target your discounts
- Encouraging room block pickup
- Getting out of pricing based on last year’s fees
- Sponsorship models
- Increasing attendance in a tough economy