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Pricing for Engagement: Recap of the Three-Part Series in MPI’s One+

December 6, 2012

Price Tags

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
– Henry David Thoreau

Over the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of writing a three-part series for MPI’s One+ Magazine on pricing strategies for meeting, event and association professionals. I see pricing as one of the most important issues facing our industries, particularly as it has so many facets beyond profitability. Pricing involves more than math; it also involves ethics, an understanding of your stakeholders and of the economic context.

An underlying theme in all three articles is the need to use pricing as a gateway for engagement, rather than as a barrier. It’s a tall order, and requires changes to the way we currently do business in our industry. Key points from each of the articles are summarized below.

Part 1: Framing the Pricing Picture: Revenue, Risk and Registration

The first article in the series examines issues related to managing financial risk. Topics include increasing registration, encouraging earlier registration and simple steps to increase room block pickup.

Sample Article Recommendations:

  • To encourage earlier registration, ensure the event experience starts when people register, not when they arrive at the event.
  • Use hybrid meetings as a way of increasing participation by reducing the Total Cost of Attendance (TCA).

Read the full article.

Part 2: Adopting Better Discount Practices

The second article in the series explores the better use of discounts. The article includes a case study of an association that dramatically increased the number of early registrations by using an alternative to the traditional early-bird price strategy. This article also reviews various price-discounting strategies to encourage greater profits, social balance and environmental benefits.

Sample Article Recommendations:

  • Use limited quantity discounts as an alternative to early bird discounts.
  • Take the stigma out of discounts by offering preferred pricing in recognition of the rare and important voice that is brought to your event community.

Read the full article.

Part 3: Price Check: Member and Sponsor Engagement

The last article in the series focuses on alternative models for two important relationship and revenue streams for meetings: membership and sponsorship.

Sample Article Recommendations:

  • Consider organization wide membership models instead of individual models. See the results of one association that went from 1,200 to 25,000 members in 3 years by doing this.
  • Use a credit-based model for sponsorship and partnerships to allow for customization of benefits.

Read the full article.

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