Beguile Potential Conference Attendees

They exist

Want to spike your conference registration?

Try an emotional call to action. It captivates fence sitters and potential first timers.

The only reason anyone does anything is to change the way they feel, says Tony Robbins. With the right emotional call to action, you can help potential attendees begin to experience those feelings right now. And continue those emotional feelings at your event.


According to True Impact Marketing (TIM), a Canadian neuromarketing research and strategy firm, consumer purchase behavior has evolved from Think-Feel-Act to Feel-Act-Think. And our brains are hardwired to feel before we think!

The aim of neuromarketing is to:

  • Understand customer behavior
  • Predict purchasing decisions

In essence, it’s a scientific way of thinking about response marketing (made famous by the infomercial industry), which can be extremely effective when used with high integrity.

Applying Groupon Tactics To Your Conference Marketing

Groupon offers one of the best examples of a company that is going all in on neuromarketing. Here are some of the tactics they use and how you might apply each to your attendance-acquisition strategy.

1. Social Proof

95% of 1,189 customers recommend.
35 people bought.
19 positive reviews.

Groupon tells you how many customers gave the deal a thumbs-up and how many already purchased this specific deal. They open the door for comments and tips from purchasers. Social proof reduces the risk associated with purchasing decisions.

For conferences, you can highlight your best seller or most popular package or preconference workshop. Consider leveraging the power of social proof by replacing the Register button with a Join 652 Professionals — Register Today button.

You can encourage registered attendees to forward an email to a friend, provide a testimonial, or share that they are attending on their social-media channels. Better yet, you can publish the list of who’s attending to demonstrate social proof.

2. Fear Of Missing Out (FoMO)

This is the emotional trigger that Groupon has mastered. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association defines FoMO as a sort of social anxiety that occurs when one is concerned with missing a social interaction, experience of value, talk-worthy event, or monetary gain — a definition that has face-to-face events written all over it.

Groupon only makes deals available for a limited time and quantity. They even include an annoying clock and declining number available. Creating the impression of scarcity is a very powerful persuasion technique.

Conference organizers can leverage FoMO with early-bird discounts, other time-based special offers, and communicating the amount of savings. Even hotel and airline-travel sites are getting into the FoMO game. United, for example, will tell me that only three tickets are available at a particular price.

Scarcity can be leveraged by limiting and communicating the number of seats or tickets available to an exclusive experience. It can also be used as an additional benefit to the first 25 who purchase. Scarcity can also be effective for converting registrants to higher-priced experiences.

3. Keep it Simple

If you offer too many registration options or packages and send prospective registrants to that landing page, neuromarketing tactics will lose their effectiveness. Consider setting up specific landing pages or processes that make it easy to say yes. If registrants need to think too hard before they buy, the decision will be rational, not emotional. That’s a campaign for another day.

What type of emotional appeals have you successfully used for your conference registration and marketing? Why is integrity important in neuromarketing strategies?

Adapted from Dave’s Forward Thinking column in PCMA’s Convene. Reprinted with permission of Convene, the magazine of the Professional Convention Management Association. ©2015.

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