Three Detours That Derail Conference YES Decisions


Your email marketing blast generated plenty of clicks, but the registration needle hardly moved.

What’s up with that?

For every smooth registration, there are many more frustrating moments that cause people to bail on your conference invitation. You worked hard to earn that “maybe” click. Your next move must be stellar to convert that “maybe” to a “yes.”

Three Detours That Must Be Removed

Here are three barriers that could be preventing you from scoring a YES decision:

1. This isn’t what I thought it would be.

You crafted a powerful message that zeroed in on critical issues for a top target segment, but when people click, they go to a generic home page. Suddenly, they’re in a “one size fits all” world and wondering if this conference is a fit.

If you serve up a niche message, when they click, they need to feel like they belong. Show me you know me. Take me to my tribe and a special page that highlights sessions of greatest interest. Alumni campaign? When they click, take them to a “Welcome Back” page and when they register, make sure fields are pre-populated with last year’s data. Years ago, this kind of customization was tricky and pricey. Now, it’s not only easier and more affordable — attendees expect it.

2. You closed the deal too soon.

Your message was intriguing, but the recipient hasn’t made their decision yet. Unfortunately, when they clicked the link, it went straight to the registration page. Even worse, there’s no link to learn more about the conference. You want to be efficient, but if you proceed to “get your credit card out” too soon, you’ll lose them.

One option might be a splash page with two options:

  • Learn More
  • Register Now.

Give prospects a chance to identify where they are on the decision cycle.

3. I feel like I’m being interrogated.

You earned my “yes,” but now I’m navigating through endless screens. You want my membership number, password and a DNA sample from my firstborn.

But wait, isn’t data important?

Absolutely, but save the follow-up questions for later. Secure that first “yes” as fast as you can and later, you can follow-up with more questions. Don’t go overboard.

By the way, if you expect me to have my membership number handy, I expect you to have it, too. Give people an option to bypass that field, add language to your confirmation message that this is pending membership verification and handle this step for them. Staff efficiency should never trump the attendee experience. Make it easy, make it fast and get ‘r done.

What other roadblocks get in the way of a “yes” decision? What questions are you willing to save for later to speed up and enhance the registration experience?

Adapted from Donna’s Meeting Innovation post on Cvent’s Event Planning blog. ©2014.

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1 comment
  1. […] Does your conference registration cause any of these barriers? If yes, you're probably derailing registrations.  […]

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