Using FOMO to Convert Conference Fence Sitters

On the Fence by Craig Sunter - Thanx 3 Million ;-Why do people camp outside Best Buy before Black Friday sales?

What about those constantly checking their Facebook news feed?

It is the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

The Word of Mouth Marketing Association defines FOMO: “At its root, FOMO is 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.”

Why Should You Care?

With so many channels and opportunities to learn and engage, individuals feel pressured to connect to the perfect experience. The feeling of fear of missing a popular, or near capacity, opportunity can be leveraged – especially around experiential events – like your conference.

It is easy to fall into the trap of pushing opportunities to all – making all things available all the time. However, the concept of scarcity tells us that things in short supply can create the best calls to action. Scarcity aligns well with FOMO.

We think marketers are uniquely positioned to build FOMO into their conference marketing strategy.

Build FOMO Registration Packages

1. Create Value-add Exclusive Offers.

While there is a need to offer basic registration packages, a package that is available to the masses does not leverage FOMO. Keep your basic package for the catch-all marketing, but build exclusive opportunities that attendees must qualify for to receive special conference access.

Consider higher-priced, but limited in quantity registration packages for C or VP-level attendees. Include special networking and VIP experiences like exclusive receptions, priority seating and/or backstage passes with your leadership or keynote speakers.

2. Time-Sensitive Packages.

You probably already offer an early bird rate, or possibly multiple early registration rates to help spike registration. Creating more instances of urgency that cause action can be very powerful. Keep your early bird cut-offs, but consider layering in time-sensitive packages that include creature comforts or are bundled with meaningful value-add resources.

These can be unique time-sensitive offers that include access to the hotel’s concierge level, networking lounge on the show floor or bundled with a valued publication/education product. You might also consider offering a special code, with an expiration date, to individuals who have participated in another program – i.e. webinar or specialty conference.

Don’t clutter your registration form or website with every offer. Too many options tend to confuse potential registrants and postpone decisions. The use of FOMO and scarcity are emotional plays that are best leveraged through targeted campaigns.

What registration packages can you develop to leverage FOMO? How are you using scarcity to build interest and cause action?

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1 comment
  1. E Robinson says:

    Exclusivity is a powerful marketing tool, people want to be able to tell others that they got something very few others got, experienced something very few others have experienced. Applying tier packages to your event allows people to purchase that exclusivity for a much higher price (price in this instance is directly related to perceived value) and these people are very likely to tell lots of others about their experience.
    It can be hard to balance between scarcity and wanting to get as many people through the doors as possible but at the end of the day FOMO is real and becoming more widespread through society and so we need to use it to our advantage.

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